District 27A Rep. Shannon Savick, left, speaks Thursday at St. John’s Lutheran Home while Minnesota House Majority Leader Erin Murphy listens.  --Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune
District 27A Rep. Shannon Savick, left, speaks Thursday at St. John’s Lutheran Home while Minnesota House Majority Leader Erin Murphy listens. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Archived Story

Minn. House majority leader touts nursing home legislation

Published 9:58am Friday, July 12, 2013

Minnesota’s House majority leader said Thursday she is proud of the legislation passed this session to benefit seniors and those who care for them.

For the first time in four years, nursing home providers will see a 5 percent increase under the budget, said Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul. Of that amount, 3.75 percent will go to employee compensation and 1.25 percent will be tied to quality assessment. Providers will receive an additional 3.2 percent increase beginning Oct, 1, 2015.

“It is important to have staff who are committed,” Murphy said, noting that when people go four years at a facility without a wage increase it becomes harder for those employees to stay.

Murphy and District 27A Rep. Shannon Savick, DFL-Wells, presented the highlights of new legislation for seniors at a roundtable event Thursday at St. John’s Lutheran Home in front of staff and residents.

“Minnesota seniors deserve the best care we can provide and these increases will ensure that providers are able to retain their high quality staff and avoid the quick turnover that has become so commonplace,” said Murphy, a registered nurse.

Legislators also approved no-excuse absentee voting, to give seniors greater access to the polls on Election Day, and strengthened the laws dealing with people who want to take advantage of seniors through scams or fraud.

Minnesota seniors lose about $30 million each year to scams, according to a news release.

A new law also requires more scrutiny in background checks for guardians of seniors and allows family members to use existing sick leave to care for a parent. The previous law only allowed sick leave when carrying for a child.

After the presentation, residents and staff had the opportunity to ask questions of the legislators.

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