BREAKING: Tester’s Bill to Approve Veterans Construction Projects at Fort Harrison VA Signed into Law
Chairman’s bipartisan legislation to authorize the construction of a new central utility plant and parking garage at Fort Harrison in Montana now law; First step in series of projects to modernize Fort Harrison campus
Following sustained efforts from Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester, President Joe Biden signed into law his bipartisan legislation to approve several Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) construction projects to better serve veterans, including at the Fort Harrison VA facility in Montana.
“Delivering veterans the quality care and benefits they deserve starts with ensuring VA has top-notch facilities that’ll help get the job done right,” said Tester. “That’s why I’m proud to have worked with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to deliver VA projects across the country, including much-needed investments at Fort Harrison. This law is an important step in serving Montana veterans in the long-term, and I’ll continue holding VA accountable to make sure these projects stay on track.”
Tester’s Fiscal Year 2023 Major Medical Facility Authorization Act will authorize several VA construction projects this year, including a new central utility plant and parking garage at the Fort Harrison VA Medical Center in Montana. This is the first step in a series of projects to upgrade the Fort Harrison campus to better serve Montana veterans and VA staff. As Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester secured the funding for this project as part of the federal omnibus appropriations package for fiscal year 2023.
These efforts build upon historic infrastructure investments in Tester’s Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The PACT Act invested in VA’s infrastructure and workforce through new recruitment and retention incentives, providing funding for 31 new facilities in 19 states, and delivering additional tools to build clinics more efficiently in the future including with the Department of Defense. 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.
Continuing his push to strengthen VA’s infrastructure to better serve veterans, Tester is also working to pass his commonsense Build, Utilize, Invest, Learn, and Deliver (BUILD) for Veterans Act of 2023 to modernize delivery of VA infrastructure projects, bolster the Department’s workforce, and save taxpayer dollars.
Tester has led the way in expanding veterans’ access to care in Montana—securing resources to build new and modernized facilities across the state. Through years of focused work with multiple Administrations of both parties, and working across the aisle in Washington and with communities throughout Montana, Tester’s efforts have resulted in 11 new facilities that have opened or been approved for construction. That includes two in Fort Harrison in Helena, Missoula, Miles City, Bozeman, Great Falls, Havre, two in Butte, Hamilton, and Kalispell.