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LOCAL LEGISLATORS: DFL MAJORITY SHOULD FULLY FUND NURSING HOMES, SENIOR CENTERS

Monday, April 22, 2013

ST. PAUL — Local legislators said the Minnesota House majority’s plan to cut $26 million next biennium from senior living has rural nursing home staffs very concerned. More than 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.                  

“Democrats are proposing to cut $26 million from the 2014-2015 baseline passed by Republicans in 2011. This represents a broken promise to our Greatest Generation, and an astonishing move from the Democrats, whose priorities are clearly out of line,” said Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe.

Gruenhagen explained that the DFL’s budget cuts will jeopardize 115 senior living facilities, 15,000 long-term care workers, and countless rural communities.

“We need to be going line by line through our budget to eliminate wasteful government spending, streamline our government programs and find cost savings," said Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township. "That money can be used to fund the promises made to our seniors. Why the Democrats feel the need to raise $3 billion in new revenue but make cuts to our most vulnerable is simply beyond me.”

Urdahl said that House Democrats are claiming an increase in nursing home funding in their budget, but he explained that the “increase” actually amounts to a net cut of $26 million in the 2014-2015 biennium baseline. He added that $26 million, at minimum, was needed to maintain current service levels at nursing home and senior care facilities across the state.

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