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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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ERICKSON: DFL MAJORITY SHOULD FULLY FUND NURSING HOMES, SENIOR CENTERS

Monday, April 22, 2013
ST. PAUL—State Representative Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, said the Minnesota House majority’s plan to cut $26 million dollars next biennium from senior living has rural nursing homes very concerned. Over two dozen members from the GOP’s Rural Caucus participated in a press conference Monday to highlight the proposed cuts, and called on House Democrats to fully fund the promises made to Minnesota seniors.
 
“With $3 billion dollars in new revenue, and double-digit increases in other budget areas, it’s puzzling to me why the Democrats are proposing these cuts that even their HHS Committee Chairman has admitted would impact quality of care for our seniors in nursing homes and senior care facilities,” Erickson said.
 
Erickson explained that nursing homes have been forced to do more with less for years, and now the DFL’s irresponsible budget cuts will jeopardize 115 senior living facilities, 15,000 long-term care workers, and countless rural communities. She also pointed out that similar cuts were made to those who serve adults with disabilities, particularly independent facilities. Those cuts hit groups like Volunteers of America, which Erickson said serves over 100 people in the Mille Lacs area.
 
“When you look at the tens of millions of dollars in wasteful spending on government programs, any cuts to our seniors are frankly unacceptable. It’s plainly indicative of the Democrats’ fundamentally misplaced priorities. Favoring bloated bureaucracy and wasteful spending projects in the Metro area over our seniors is not what Minnesotans expect from the legislature.”
 
Erickson said that House Democrats are claiming an increase in nursing home funding in their budget, but she explained that the “increase” actually amounts to a overall cut of $26 million dollars in the 2014-2015 biennium baseline. She went on to say that $26 million dollars, at minimum, was needed to maintain current service levels at nursing home and senior care facilities across the state.
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