Facilities across the state are seeing the results of the 2023 legislative session as funding fought for by Senate Republicans is flowing to their facilities.
On Tuesday, Aug. 1, more than 300 nursing homes across the state, including 11 in Senate District 9, received their first Nursing Facility Grants payment. These direct grants are part of the $300 million agreement to help nursing homes reached back in May.
“Since the start of session, Senate Republicans made our Minnesota seniors a priority,” Senator Jordan Rasmusson (R- Fergus Falls) said. “It was a privilege to have helped foster a deal to keep our nursing homes open and ensure our loved ones continue to receive quality care. I know that this new funding will do a lot of good for our communities.”
The Nursing Facility Grants provide a total of $173.5 million in funding. The grants are split into two payments to be paid out in August 2023 and August 2024. This funding is calculated by a base payment of $225,000 plus an estimated $3,900 per bed.
“As a member of the Senate Human Services Committee, Senator Rasmusson played a key role in helping to obtain $300 million in funding for nursing homes,” Tim Kelly, administrator at St. William’s Living Center of Parkers Prairie, said. “St. William’s Living Center is very appreciative of the work that Senator Rasmusson did for long-term care providers. The funding increases to nursing homes and assisted livings will help to improve staff wages in the coming years.”
The grants can be used for various fiscal management strategies to improve the financial health of nursing homes. Unlike loans in the Human Services budget, these grants will not need to be repaid, making their impact much more meaningful for nursing homes.
“Senator Rasmusson’s steadfast commitment to our senior citizens has been unwavering. His tireless efforts in securing this crucial funding reflect his deep understanding of the challenges faced by Minnesota’s long-term care system,” Melissa Hoffman, Administrator at Good Samaritan Society-Battle Lake, said. “We are immensely grateful for his leadership and dedication.”
In Senate District 9, a total of 11 nursing homes received their first payment on Aug. 1. A second payment is planned for Aug. 1, 2024. In total, local facilities will receive the following funding:
• Barrett Care Center in Barrett: $385,661
• Browns Valley Health Center in Browns Valley: $373,611
• Evansville Care Center in Evansville: $345,496
• Good Samaritan Society in Battle Lake: $429,842
• LB Broen Home in Fergus Falls: $522,222
• Pelican Valley Health Center in Pelican Rapids: $357,545
• Perham Living in Perham: $542,305
• PioneerCare Center in Fergus Falls: $646,734
• St. Francis Home in Breckenridge: $546,321
• St. Williams Living Center in Parkers Prairie, $437,875
• Traverse Care Center in Wheaton: $ 401,727
“Were it not for Senator Rasmusson’s resolve, Minnesota could have lost up to 40 nursing homes in the coming year,” Nathan Johnson, CEO at PioneerCare, said. “His work this session gave nursing homes a lifeline to stay open and continue to provide invaluable care for our loved ones.”
Additionally, $51.5 million in state money supplemental to federal funds will enable a temporary $12.32 daily rate add-on for 18 months. Nursing home administrators say that this could translate into a pay raise of about $1 per hour for nursing home staff. The remaining funds from the $300 million are put into a Workforce Incentive Fund (WIF) that facilities can use for hiring and retention bonuses, employee-owned benefits, and employee contributions to a 401k, along with professional development, childcare, meals, transportation, and housing needs of employees. The WIF caps out at $3000 per worker, per year and is available until funds are spent or July 2029.
as a 2023 Legislator
The League of Minnesota Cities has recognized 35 state lawmakers, including Sen. Jordan Rasmusson (R-Fergus Falls), as 2023 Legislators of Distinction. Chosen legislators are honored for specific actions that aided efforts of Minnesota cities during the past year’s state legislative session.
Legislators of Distinction are approved annually by the League’s Board of Directors in recognition of the collaboration of state and city officials needed to successfully serve shared communities and meet the unique needs of rural, urban, and suburban residents across Minnesota.
To be eligible for the award, legislators must achieve one or more of the following criteria:
• Be generally and reasonably accessible to League representatives
• Seek input on issues of importance to cities
• Listen to League concerns and be receptive to League-provided information on issues
• Sponsor and/or support League initiatives
• Speak out on behalf of the interest of cities
• Demonstrate the importance of partnership between the state and cities
Sen. Rasmusson was instrumental in securing bipartisan support for legislation to address public safety duty disability trends related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which was one of the League’s 2023 legislative priorities. Further, he regularly checked in with League staff to identify and understand city issues in a wide range of legislation. As part of the conference committee for the adult-use cannabis bill, Sen. Rasmusson supported numerous local control provisions contained in the Senate bill.
Award winners received a letter of appreciation and a certificate. A copy of the acknowledgement letter was also sent to the mayor of each city in the legislator’s district.
The League of Minnesota Cities is a membership organization dedicated to helping cities throughout Minnesota build quality communities through effective advocacy, expert analysis, trusted guidance, and collective action. The League serves its more than 830 members through advocacy, education and training, policy development, risk management, and other services.
For more information, visit www.lmc.org.