ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars for much-needed upgrades at VA hospitals across New York state.

The New York Democrat says Wednesday that the recently approved federal budget includes about $4 billion for the nation's VA medical centers. Schumer says he's asking agency officials to expedite funding for dozens of long-delayed projects at upstate VA medical facilities that are in desperate need of repairs.

According to Schumer, there are more than 70 such projects that would require a total of $550 million to complete. He says the needed upgrades range from heating and air conditioning system overhauls to expansion of the Canandaigua VA medical campus in western New York.

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