HARTFORD– U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, in introducing bipartisan legislation to authorize several Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) construction projects across the nation.

The senators’ Fiscal Year 2024 Veterans Affairs Major Medical Facility Authorization Act would authorize 11 VA construction projects in Connecticut, Washington, Texas, Maryland, Oregon, Nevada, California, Puerto Rico, and Missouri.

The West Haven VA Hospital will receive $153 million, appropriated through the federal budget, for the construction of a new surgical and clinical space tower on the West Haven VA campus, as well as the renovation of major buildings and demolition projects. The new bill would authorize up to $500 million for these critical improvements to ensure that the West Haven VA is fully modernized and can complete these long overdue renovations.  

“It’s no secret the West Haven VA is in need of serious upgrades. Investing in a new surgical and clinical tower will provide veterans living in Connecticut with the high-quality, modern and accessible services they deserve. We have a duty of care to those who served our country, and I’m proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to introduce this important legislation,” said Murphy.

“VA facilities need to be moved into the 21st century. We’ve delivered $153 million for renovations to the West Haven VA. This new act will mean another half a billion dollars,” said Blumenthal. “Men and women who have served their country deserve the very best – the gold standard in medical care. That’s what new facilities will enable. You simply cannot deliver world class medicine in substandard buildings.”

U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) also cosponsored the legislation.

This legislation builds upon historic infrastructure investments in the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The PACT Act invested in VA’s infrastructure workforce through new recruitment and retention incentives, provides funding for 31 new facilities in 19 states, and delivers additional tools to build clinics more efficiently in the future including with the Department of Defense and academic hospitals. The legislation also gave VA expanded authority to repurpose or lease out unused or vacant Department buildings benefiting veterans and saving taxpayer funds in the process.

The text of the legislation can be found HERE.