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

Date: 02/19/14

Rep. Wilson's Bill for Homeless Veterans Receives Unanimous Committee Nod

'Ought to Pass' report sends bill to full Legislature for passage

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's State & Local Government Committee on Wednesday afternoon unanimously approved Augusta Rep. Corey Wilson's bill to turn dormant state buildings into shelters for homeless and transitioning veterans.

The bill faced initial opposition by majority Democrats, but after vigorous advocacy by Rep. Wilson, was accepted into the 2014 legislative session and ultimately moved forward by today's vote.

"I'd like to thank everyone who helped move this bill forward, from my neighbors and friends in my district to my colleagues in the legislature," said Rep. Wilson, 28, a Marine Corps combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "This is a big win for my brothers and sisters in arms who are too often left behind when they come back home."

Rep. Wilson's bill would repurpose state buildings at the former Augusta Mental Health Institute currently slated for demolition to be donated to a nonprofit organization for use as housing for homeless veterans.

Maine consistently ranks among the states with the highest number of veterans per capita. This, combined with its cold climate, makes adequate housing for veterans essential, says Rep. Wilson.

"Many of these veterans suffer from severe mental health and substance abuse problems due to their experiences overseas, and here in Maine with our high veteran population we should be especially concerned about their well-being," he added.

The bill, L.D. 1606, "Resolve, Directing the Bureau of General Services To Sell Certain Property To Assist Homeless Veterans by Establishing a Homeless Veterans Shelter," will be taken up by the House at a date to be determined.

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David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793