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Priority for Partial Grants to States for Construction or Acquisition of State Home Facilities

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Department of Veterans Affairs.


Final rule.


This document adopts as a final rule, without change, an interim final rule amending the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations regarding grants to States for construction or acquisition of State homes. The amendment was necessary to ensure that projects designed to remedy conditions at an existing State home that have been cited as threatening to the lives or safety of the residents receive priority for receiving VA grants in the future (including in Fiscal Year 2007).


Effective Date: February 14, 2007.

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Frank Salvas, Chief, State Home Construction Grant Program (114), Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20420, 202-273-8534.

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An interim final rule amending VA's regulations regarding grants to States for construction or acquisition of State homes was published in the Federal Register on August 11, 2006 (71 FR 46103).

We provided a 60-day comment period that ended on October 10, 2006. No comments were received. Based on the rationale set forth in the interim final rule, we now adopt the interim final rule as a final rule without change.

Administrative Procedure Act

This document, without change, affirms the amendment made by the interim final rule that is already in effect. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs concluded that, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), there was good cause to dispense with the opportunity for prior comment with respect to this rule. The Secretary found that it was impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest to delay this regulation for the purpose of soliciting prior public comment. Nevertheless, the Secretary invited public comment on the interim final rule but did not receive any comments. The amendment was consistent with the priorities established by Congress and was needed on an expedited basis because the prior version of the regulation may have precluded VA from funding life safety projects during Fiscal Year 2007. While it is important to give States receiving partial grants priority for continued funding, the regulations need to recognize the other priorities for awarding State home grants including the top priority for projects that protect the lives and safety of veterans residing in existing State homes.

Unfunded Mandates

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in an expenditure by the State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any given year. This final rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Executive Order 12866

Executive Order 12866 directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Executive Order classifies a “significant regulatory action,” requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) unless OMB waives such review, as any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this final rule have been examined and it has been determined to be a significant regulatory action under the Executive Order because it is likely to result in a rule that may raise novel Start Printed Page 6960legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This document contains no provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Secretary hereby certifies that this regulatory amendment will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. The rule will affect grants to States and will not directly affect small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this final rule is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analyses requirements of sections 603 and 604.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program number and title for this rule are as follows: 64.005, Grants to States for Construction of State Home Facilities.

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List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 59

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Approved: January 11, 2007.

Gordon H. Mansfield,

Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

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Accordingly, the interim final rule amending

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[FR Doc. E7-2465 Filed 2-13-07; 8:45 am]