- Associated Press - Thursday, August 3, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says lawmakers have authorized seven new medical facilities for veterans in Florida.

Nelson said in a news release Wednesday that the new Veterans Affairs facilities will be located in Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Ocala, Tampa and Lakeland, with two in Gainesville. A total of 28 around the country were approved. Some are replacements for clinics already operating, while others are new.

By law, Congress must approve any VA leases that would result in an average rental payment of more than $1 million per year.

The legislation authorizing the new Florida facilities was included in a larger veterans’ health care bill. The measure, which was approved by the House last week, heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

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