ST. PAUL – One overlooked provision in Governor Mark Dayton’s recent budget proposal was his priority to reduce state spending on nursing homes. State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) said he was concerned with the idea.
“I’ll be the first one to say we need to balance this budget by making spending reductions,” Davids said. “But as with any budget, you have to make choices of what spending is or isn’t critical, and I cannot believe the governor does not think our nursing homes are a top funding priority.”
Even though Minnesota faces a $6.2 billion budget deficit, Governor Dayton proposed a plan that increased state spending by $5 billion over the last budget cycle and only recommended $485 million in net state spending reductions. Published reports say $50 million of those cuts would come from nursing homes.
Davids said he can’t understand why Dayton is targeting Minnesota’s elderly population and the people who care for them. Davids also noted that when Dayton was on the campaign trail, he called nursing home cuts “evil, immoral, and wrong,” and wonders why the governor is now calling for reductions on these vital facilities.
“The people who care for our elderly are performing a critical yet thankless task,” Davids said. “We should be holding our nursing homes and their employees harmless, not asking them to accept cuts. It is unacceptable to suggest that we balance our budget on the backs of the greatest generation.”