(St. Paul, MN 04/19/2018) — Episcopal Homes residents and families gathered Thursday afternoon to discuss the impact of House File 2414 (House Health and Human Services Omnibus Budget Bill) on residents. Residents including former St. Paul City Mayor, George Latimer and former Ramsey County Commissioner, Ruby Hunt, spoke out on this issue and the possible impact of the proposed cuts on the ability to provide quality services to seniors and their caregivers.
“Funding cuts will have the greatest impact on wages, benefits, staffing levels and training which comprise nearly 65% of nursing home costs,” says Marvin Plakut, President and CEO, Episcopal Homes. “Another 60,000 Minnesotans will turn 65 this year, next year and every year during the 2020s. To meet the growing demand for care, we in Minnesota must recruit and retain another 25,000 caregivers and help them grow in their profession. We are concerned that cuts to nursing home funding will hinder pathways and pipelines that provide a skilled, stable labor force to meet the growing demand for safe quality care across Minnesota.”
Episcopal Homes is a non-profit senior housing community serving approximately 1,100 seniors in the heart of St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood. Nationally recognized for providing high quality care and service, Episcopal Homes of Minnesota also strongly supports the $15 per hour minimum wage increase for St. Paul workers. Proposed cuts to state funding will impose a $850,000 loss to annual funding for the organization. This new cut comes on top of the estimated $1 million added costs Episcopal Homes will manage to support movement of current lowest wage workers to the wage increase. It also comes at a time when Medicare changes are greatly impacting and pose threats to long term care organizations. “This legislation seriously impacts quality services to seniors and their caregivers in Minnesota,” adds Plakut. “We respectfully request that legislators oppose it.”