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S. 3421 (109th): Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006

The text of the bill below is as of Sep 26, 2006 (Passed the Senate).


S 3421 ES

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3421

AN ACT

To authorize major medical facility projects and major medical facility leases for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal years 2006 and 2007, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. AUTHORIZATION OF FISCAL YEAR 2006 MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY PROJECTS.

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the following major medical facility projects in fiscal year 2006, with each project to be carried out in the amount specified for that project:

      (1) Restoration, new construction or replacement of the medical center facility for the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, due to damage from Hurricane Katrina in an amount not to exceed $636,000,000. The Secretary is authorized to carry out the project as a collaborative effort consistent with the New Orleans Collaborative Opportunities Study Group Report dated June 12, 2006.

      (2) Restoration of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Biloxi, Mississippi, and consolidation of services performed at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Gulfport, Mississippi, in an amount not to exceed $310,000,000.

      (3) Replacement of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, in an amount not to exceed $98,000,000.

SEC. 2. EXTENSION OF AUTHORIZATION FOR MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS AUTHORIZED UNDER CAPITAL ASSET REALIGNMENT INITIATIVE.

    Notwithstanding subsection (d) of section 221 of the Veterans Health Care, Capital Asset, and Business Improvement Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-170; 117 Stat. 2050), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may enter into contracts before September 30, 2009, to carry out each major medical facility project, as originally authorized by such section 221, as follows with each project to be carried out in the amount specified for that project:

      (1) Construction of an outpatient clinic and regional office at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Anchorage, Alaska, in an amount not to exceed $75,270,000.

      (2) Consolidation of clinical and administrative functions of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Brecksville, Ohio, in an amount not to exceed $102,300,000.

      (3) Construction of the Extended Care Building at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, in an amount not to exceed $25,000,000.

      (4) Renovation of patient wards at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, in an amount not to exceed $9,100,000.

      (5) Correction of patient privacy deficiencies at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Gainesville, Florida, in an amount not to exceed $85,200,000.

      (6) 7th and 8th Floor Wards Modernization addition at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, in an amount not to exceed $27,400,000.

      (7) Construction of a new Medical Center Facility at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, in an amount not to exceed $406,000,000.

      (8) Construction of an Ambulatory Surgery/Outpatient Diagnostic Support Center in the Gulf South Submarket of Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 8 and completion of Phase I land purchase, Lee County, Florida, in an amount not to exceed $65,100,000.

      (9) Seismic Corrections-Buildings 7 & 126 at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach, California, in an amount not to exceed $107,845,000.

      (10) Seismic Corrections-Buildings 500 & 501 at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, in an amount not to exceed $79,900,000.

      (11) Construction of a New Medical Center facility in the Orlando, Florida, area in an amount not to exceed $377,700,000.

      (12) Consolidation of Campuses at the University Drive and H. John Heinz III divisions, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in an amount not to exceed $189,205,000.

      (13) Ward Upgrades and Expansion at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, in an amount not to exceed $19,100,000.

      (14) Seismic Corrections-Building 1, Phase 1 Design at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico, in an amount not to exceed $15,000,000.

      (15) Construction of a Spinal Cord Injury Center at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Syracuse, New York, in an amount not to exceed $53,900,000.

      (16) Upgrade Essential Electrical Distribution Systems at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tampa, Florida, in an amount not to exceed $49,000,000.

      (17) Expansion of the Spinal Cord Injury Center addition at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tampa, Florida, in an amount not to exceed $7,100,000.

      (18) Blind Rehabilitation and Psychiatric Bed renovation and new construction project at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Temple, Texas, in an amount not to exceed $56,000,000.

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF FISCAL YEAR 2007 MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY PROJECTS.

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the following major medical facility projects in fiscal year 2007 in the amount specified for each project:

      (1) Seismic Corrections, Nursing Home Care Unit and Dietetics at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, American Lake, Washington, in an amount not to exceed $38,220,000.

      (2) Replacement of Operating Suite at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Columbia, Missouri, in an amount not to exceed $25,830,000.

      (3) Construction of a new clinical addition at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in an amount not to exceed $56,163,000.

      (4) Construction of Spinal Cord Injury Center at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in an amount not to exceed $32,500,000.

      (5) Medical facility improvements and cemetery expansion of Jefferson Barracks at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, St. Louis, Missouri, in an amount not to exceed $69,053,000.

SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF FISCAL YEAR 2006 MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY LEASES.

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the following major medical facility leases in fiscal year 2006 at the locations specified, and in an amount for each lease not to exceed the amount shown for such location:

      (1) For an outpatient clinic, Baltimore, Maryland, $10,908,000.

      (2) For an outpatient clinic, Evansville, Illinois, $8,989,000.

      (3) For an outpatient clinic, Smith County, Texas, $5,093,000.

SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF FISCAL YEAR 2007 MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY LEASES.

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the following major medical facility leases in fiscal year 2007 at the locations specified, and in an amount for each lease not to exceed the amount shown for such location:

      (1) For an outpatient and specialty care clinic, Austin, Texas, $6,163,000.

      (2) For an outpatient clinic, Lowell, Massachusetts, $2,520,000.

      (3) For an outpatient clinic, Grand Rapids, Michigan, $4,409,000.

      (4) For up to four outpatient clinics, Las Vegas, Nevada, $8,518,000.

      (5) For an outpatient clinic, Parma, Ohio, $5,032,000.

SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) Authorization of Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2006 Major Medical Facility Projects- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2006 for the Construction, Major Projects, account, $1,044,000,000 for the projects authorized in section 1.

    (b) Authorization of Appropriations for Major Medical Facility Projects Under Capital Asset Realignment Initiative-

      (1) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2007 for the Construction, Major Projects, account, $1,750,120,000 for the projects whose authorization is extended by section 2.

      (2) AVAILABILITY- Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in paragraph (1) shall remain available until September 30, 2009.

    (c) Authorization of Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2007 Major Medical Facility Projects- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2007 for the Construction, Major Projects, account, $221,766,000 for the projects authorized in section 3.

    (d) Authorization of Appropriations for Major Medical Facility Leases-

      (1) FISCAL YEAR 2006 LEASES- There is authorized to be appropriated for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2006 for the Medical Care account, $24,990,000 for the leases authorized in section 4.

      (2) FISCAL YEAR 2007 LEASES- There is authorized to be appropriated for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2007 for the Medical Care account, $26,642,000 for the leases authorized in section 5.

    (e) Limitation- The projects authorized in sections 1 and 2 may only be carried out using--

      (1) funds appropriated for fiscal year 2006 or 2007 pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section;

      (2) funds available for Construction, Major Projects, for a fiscal year before fiscal year 2006 that remain available for obligation;

      (3) funds available for Construction, Major Projects, for a fiscal year after fiscal year 2006 or 2007 that are available for obligation; and

      (4) funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, for fiscal year 2006 or 2007 for a category of activity not specific to a project.

SEC. 7. INCREASE IN THRESHOLD FOR MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY PROJECTS.

    (a) Increase- Section 8104(a)(3)(A) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking `$7,000,000' and inserting `$10,000,000'.

    (b) Effective Date- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on October 1, 2006, and shall apply with respect to any fiscal year beginning on or after that date.

SEC. 8. EXPANSION OF ELIGIBILITY UNDER SURVIVORS' AND DEPENDENTS EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    (a) Eligibility for Dependents of Servicemembers-

      (1) CHILDREN- Section 3501(a)(1)(A) of title 38, United States Code, is amended--

        (A) in clause (ii) by striking `or' at the end;

        (B) by redesignating clause (iii) as clause (iv); and

        (C) by inserting after clause (ii) the following clause (iii):

        `(iii) is hospitalized or receiving outpatient medical care, services, or treatment pending discharge from the active military, naval, or air service for a total disability permanent in nature resulting from a service-connected disability (as determined by the Secretary), or'.

      (2) SPOUSES- Subparagraph (D) of section 3501(a)(1) of such title is amended to read as follows:

      `(D)(i) the spouse of any veteran who has a total disability permanent in nature resulting from a service-connected disability,

      `(ii) the spouse of any person who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient medical care, services, or treatment pending discharge from the active military, naval, or air service for a total disability permanent in nature resulting from a service-connected disability (as determined by the Secretary), or

      `(iii) the surviving spouse of a veteran who died while a disability so evaluated was in existence,'.

    (b) Conforming Amendments-

      (1) DURATION OF ASSISTANCE- Section 3511 of such title is amended--

        (A) in subsection (a)(1), by striking `both sections 3501(a)(1)(D)(i) and 3501(a)(1)(D)(ii)' and inserting `sections 3501(a)(1)(D)(i), 3501(a)(1)(D)(ii), and 3501(a)(1)(D)(iii)';

        (B) in subsection (b)(2), by striking `3501(a)(1)(A)(iii)' and inserting `3501(a)(1)(A)(iv)'; and

        (C) in subsection (c), by striking `3501(a)(1)(A)(iii), 3501(a)(1)(C), or 3501(a)(1)(D)(i)' and inserting `3501(a)(1)(A)(iv), 3501(a)(1)(C), 3501(a)(1)(D)(i), or 3501(a)(1)(D)(ii)'.

      (2) PERIOD OF ELIGIBILITY- Section 3512 of such title is amended--

        (A) in subsection (a)(6), by striking `3501(a)(1)(A)(iii)' and inserting `3501(a)(1)(A)(iv)';

        (B) in subsection (b)(1)(A), by striking `3501(a)(1)(D)(i), or 3501(a)(1)(D)(ii) of this title.' and all that follows through the end, and inserting the following: `or 3501(a)(1)(D) of this title. In the case of a surviving spouse made eligible by clause (iii) of section 3501(a)(1)(D), the 10-year period may not be reduced by any earlier period during which the person otherwise was eligible for educational assistance under this chapter as a spouse described in clause (i) or (ii) of that section.'; and

        (C) in subsection (d), by striking `veteran' and inserting `person'.

      (3) EFFECTIVE DATES- Section 5113(b)(3) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

      `(D) The term `veteran' includes a person as described in sections 3501(a)(1)(A)(iii) and 3501(a)(1)(D)(ii) of this title.'.

Passed the Senate September 26, 2006.

Attest:

Secretary.

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3421

AN ACT

To authorize major medical facility projects and major medical facility leases for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal years 2006 and 2007, and for other purposes.