Rep. LaFave offered the following concurrent resolution:
House Concurrent Resolution No. 3.
A concurrent resolution to call on the Michigan Veterans' Facility Authority to ensure plans for the new state veterans homes include designated smoking areas.
Whereas, The state of Michigan has committed to the process of updating its system of veterans homes to create a sustainable and responsive network of homes that meets the long-term care and aging needs of all Michigan veterans. One of the first steps in this process is replacing the outdated Grand Rapids Home for Veterans with a new and improved facility and building a new home in Macomb County; and
Whereas, The proposed architectural drawings for the new homes in Grand Rapids and Macomb County do not include designated smoking areas. Michigan's two current veterans homes provide smoking areas; and
Whereas, Many veterans are smokers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three out of every ten veterans use tobacco products, primarily smoking tobacco. In Michigan, that means around 175,000 veterans may be smokers at the time the new Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is scheduled to open; and
Whereas, Smoking was a regular part of military life and encouraged by our Armed Forces. For decades, the C-rations issued to the members of the military in the field included cigarettes. Many veterans entered military service nonsmokers but left a regular smoker; and
Whereas, The 2016 Michigan Veterans Workgroup envisioned a network of regional veterans homes that ensures every veteran gets the right care and is a destination for all veterans in that region. This legislative body shares that vision, and it was an important consideration in the Legislature's approval of $42 million in funding for the construction of two new veterans homes, including the new Grand Rapids Home for Veterans; and
Whereas, New veterans homes will fail to meet the vision of serving all veterans without the inclusion of designated smoking areas. Veterans will not feel welcome or comfortable at a home that does not accommodate smoking and travelling long distances to homes with smoking areas would defeat the goal of easily accessible regional care. A lack of smoking areas will create a barrier to nearly a third of Michigan veterans receiving the care they have earned and deserve through service to our country; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That we call on the Michigan Veterans' Facility Authority to ensure plans for the new state veterans homes include enclosed, climate-controlled designated smoking areas attached to buildings; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the members of the Michigan Veterans' Facility Authority Board of Directors.