ST. PAUL, Minn. – July saw numerous laws from the 2013 session take effect. One of them was the Health and Human Services budget, which included a five percent increase for nursing homes. The majority of that is going toward employee pay raises.
“It was important to get this first step done this session,” said Senator Kevin Dahle. “These hard working individuals take care of some of the most vulnerable members of our community and it is essential we provide them with the resources they need.”
Senator Kevin Dahle (DFL – Northfield) was a strong advocate for increasing pay for nursing home workers during the past legislative session. After meeting with administrators and staff at long-term care facilities throughout the district, he was motivated to take a leading role in pushing the recent legislation through the Senate.
“Senator Kevin Dahle has been a strong advocate for seniors and their caregivers at the State Capitol. He recognized that caregivers and facilities were approaching a crisis situation. His support for investment in long term care helped secure the first funding increase we have seen in more than five years,” said Patricia Vincent, CEO of Three Links Care Center in Northfield. “We look forward to working with Senator Dahle in the future on securing long overdue and sustainable funding that truly meet the needs of seniors and those who provide them with quality care.”
The five percent increase was a long overdue necessity, but it is just a beginning of the funding issues that need to be addressed in Minnesota’s long-term care facilities.
· Workers had not had a pay increase in the last five years
· Wages have not kept up with inflation
· Some employees live at the poverty level and work two or three jobs to make ends meet
· Care facilities have seen massive turnover rates which compromise the quality of care they would otherwise be able to deliver
· Even with the recent increase, wages have still not kept up with inflation, which continues to endanger the growing population of seniors in Minnesota.