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Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta)
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For Immediate Release

Date: 11/08/13

Rep. Corey Wilson to Appeal Denial of Veterans' Homeless Shelter Bill

Augusta lawmaker shocked, outraged by legislative leaders' priorities as wine tasting bill trumps homeless vets

AUGUSTA - State Representative Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) announced Wednesday that he has filed an appeal of the Maine Legislative Council's decision to deny LR 2377, his bill to donate abandoned state buildings at the former Augusta Mental Health Institute (AMHI) that are slated for destruction to be used as homeless shelters for veterans.

Majority Democrats on the panel of 10 legislative leaders voted to deny Wilson's bill at a meeting last week to screen the roughly 400 bill proposals for next year's legislative session. Bills introduced for consideration in the second years of a two-year term are required to be emergencies.

"These buildings could be demolished at any time, so this is clearly an emergency," said Wilson. "Furthermore, every day that a veteran lives on the streets is an emergency. Maine has one of the largest veteran populations per capita and it's imperative that we take care of them."

Wilson, a Marine Corps veteran of the second Iraq War, questioned the Council's priorities after it deemed Senate President Justin Alfond's wine tasting bill to be more of an emergency than his time-sensitive bill to help veterans.

"I'm shocked and I'm angry," said Wilson. "This is why people get turned off by politics. The games and the inside baseball too often trump good policy and, in this case, veterans in need pay the price. I look forward to the opportunity to appeal the Council's decision on November 21 and I encourage those who feel as strongly about helping veterans as I do to contact the House Speaker's Office at 287-1300 and the Senate President's Office at 287-1500 before then."

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