Senator Feinstein Introduces Legislation to Protect West L.A. VA Campus for Direct Benefit of Veterans
Apr 04 2007
Washington, DC – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation designed to protect the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus for the exclusive use and benefit of veterans.
The legislation would do so by:
- Prohibiting development and expansion at the West Los Angeles property until the Veterans Administration provides Congress a comprehensive report on the master plan for the property.
- Seeking to prevent leases that would allow private uses not related to direct veterans services.
“This land was set aside for the exclusive use of veterans,” Senator Feinstein said. “I will continue to work to ensure that it stays this way.”
The nearly 400 acres of land where the West Los Angeles VA Campus is located were donated to the federal government in 1888 for specific use by veterans.
In 1998, Congress passed legislation, which was signed into law, requiring the VA to develop a master plan for the West Los Angeles property.
And in 2002, then-Veterans Administration Secretary Anthony Principi underscored the promise that the facility would be reserved for exclusive use of veterans.
Despite this, private uses have been allowed at the West Los Angeles campus.
Examples include housing space for UCLA, and leases for a Fox Entertainment Group facility and Enterprise Car Rental.
This bill would ensure that the land and facilities are reserved for the exclusive use by veterans by:
- Requiring the Veterans Administration to provide to the Congressional Appropriations and Veterans committees a comprehensive report on the master plan for the West Los Angeles VA campus.
- Prohibiting the Veterans Administration from entering into leases for private uses of the property for 120 days after a report on the master plan is submitted to Congress.
- Restricting the Veterans Administration from pursuing development initiatives on the West Los Angeles VA campus that are not related to direct veterans services, unless authorized by Congress.
“Unfortunately, there have been numerous instances in the past where this land has been put to private use,” Senator Feinstein said. “This legislation will change that.”