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Arkansas lawmakers back veterans care fixes

Posted: June 11, 2014 at 5:44 p.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas' two senators have voted for a bill making it easier for veterans enduing long wait times for VA medical care to receive treatment from local doctors instead. The vote comes a day after the state's House members voted for a similar measure.

Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman and Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor on Wednesday voted for the measure, which passed on a 93-3 vote. The legislation would authorize about $35 billion over three years to pay for the outside care, hire hundreds of doctors and nurses and lease 26 new health facilities in 17 states and Puerto Rico.

The state's four Republican congressmen — Reps. Tom Cotton, Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack — voted for a similar measure that was unanimously approved by the House Tuesday.

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