REP LIEU INTRODUCES BILLS TO ENSURE WEST L.A. VA FUNDS GO TO VETS
LOS ANGELES – Today, ahead of Veterans Day, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) announced two bills to benefit the local VA campus: the West Los Angeles VA Campus Improvement Act of 2019 and the Ensuring Access to West Los Angeles VA Easement Funds Act of 2019. These measures amend the West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016 to ensure that the West Los Angeles VA campus is able to recoup much-needed resources in service of our nation’s veterans. Specifically, the West Los Angeles VA Campus Improvement Act of 2019 ensures that any funds secured from settlements resulting from fraud or misuse of VA leases can be used in the renovation and upkeep of campus facilities. The Ensuring Access to West Los Angeles VA Easement Funds Act of 2019 guarantees that the money earned from land easements on campus can be used for West L.A. VA renovations and maintenance.
“As a veteran, I’m pleased to introduce these pieces of legislation to ensure that our veterans at the West L.A. VA campus can benefit from the money that is rightfully theirs,” Rep. Ted Lieu said. “Before we started implementing the Master Plan to revitalize the West L.A. VA, former service members at this facility were suffering from inadequate resources and care. While we’ve made incredible progress in improving VA conditions, these two new bills will ensure the campus has additional resources to best serve our nation’s heroes.”
Background on the West L.A. VA:
In 2016, President Obama signed into law the West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016, which was co-authored by Congressman Lieu. The law ensures that the VA enters into leases that benefit veterans and their families first and foremost. It authorized the Department to implement a Master Plan for the West L.A. VA campus with enhanced-use leases. Before this new law, parts of the campus were being rented to various third parties that sometimes provided little to no value for veterans and their families. For example, the FBI investigated and convicted officials and contractors who defrauded the West L.A. VA out of more than $13 million in relation to a parking lot scheme on the campus. The West Los Angeles VA Campus Improvement Act of 2019 will make sure any money recouped from that fraud will go back to serving veterans at the West L.A. campus.