Big news this week for our veterans, Tulsa, and jobs. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee just advanced the funding bill for Veterans Affairs (VA) for FY2021. The bill includes $120 million for the initial construction of a new VA hospital located in Tulsa. In addition to providing improved care for our deserving veterans, this new facility will support 1,300 jobs and create $218 million of annual economic impact in the revitalized Tulsa downtown Corridor.

A big “Thank You!” To both Oklahoma senators - James Inhofe and James Lankford. Personally, I worked on this project for the Stitt Administration for nearly a year. The state, City of Tulsa, and Zarrow foundation have jointly collaborated on the necessary funding and real estate transfers for the Kerr-Edmonson building to be turned over to the VA for construction to begin in 2021.

Nearly 300 State employees, previously housed in the Kerr-Edmonson building, will continue to work downtown as well thanks to our collaborative efforts with the Oklahoma legislature. I personally want to thank appropriation chairman Rep. Kevin Wallace and Senator Roger Thompson for their efforts to help our state employees relocate and to improve care for our beloved veterans.