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Veterans home funding bill sent to Mo. governor

Will be updated.

Missouri lawmakers have sent the governor a measure providing a dedicated funding source to veterans' nursing homes.

The bill given final approval Thursday by the House would earmark most of the state's fees from casinos to a trust fund for the Missouri Veterans Commission. The intent is to provide a permanent, predictable funding stream for the state's seven nursing homes that serve more than 1,300 military veterans.

The veterans trust fund has been shrinking in recent years, because it was tapped to make up for declining general revenue appropriations.

Under the bill, early childhood programs that had benefited from casino fees would instead be funded through Missouri's share of a nationwide settlement with tobacco companies.