The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Sen. Dan Brown: Presidential Executive Orders are Harmful for Veterans

  • Recent executive orders issued by the president are detrimental to the health of our veterans, I am asking Congress to overturn them.
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  • Recent executive orders issued by the president are detrimental to the health of our veterans, I am asking Congress to overturn them.
    Currently, there is a substantial waiting period for veterans to be placed in one of the seven veteran’s homes run by the state of Missouri. In order to accommodate the huge demand for these services, private facilities have been contracted to provide skilled nursing care to those who qualify. The executive orders were issued on Feb. 12, 2014 and July 31, 2014, and require private contractors for veterans’ long term care to pay the federal minimum wage for care workers.
    The problem is that in many of these facilities, especially in rural areas, the federal minimum wage is much higher than is what is currently being paid. It may not be a critical issue in some of the more urban areas that already pay higher wages, but in my district, these executive orders are causing cuts to essential veterans’ services.
    One of my constituents informed me that veterans at their facility had already been asked to find new homes. Many times these facilities operate on a shoe-string profit margin and when a business is no longer profitable, the owners must take different routes. Businesses are already absorbing higher fuel costs that have almost doubled in the last six years, skyrocketing electric costs, higher food costs, and now mandated increases in labor costs through actions like this and the Affordable Care Act.
    Undue burdens on businesses are regretful anytime, but when regulations force veterans out of their residences, the problem worsens. It is a shame that those who have sacrificed so much are once again being uprooted from their environment.
    As soon as the Legislature returns to session in January, I will ask the General Assembly to pass an official resolution that will urge the United States Congress to do whatever it takes to improve this situation.
    This is another example of the federal government intruding into the lives of citizens and businesses here in Missouri. The executive order issued by the president is not conducive to improving life for our veterans, and hopefully Congress will see the true nature of this act and work to repeal it.
    Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting my website at www.senate.mo.gov/brown.
    Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.
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