Republicans Kill Democratic Attempts to Take Action on Nursing Home Crisis

HB 1060, a bill introduced by Democrats to provide funding to help alleviate the nursing home crisis in South Dakota, was defeated in the House Appropriations Committee this morning on a party-line vote. Assistant House Democratic Leader Rep. Steve McCleerey (D – Sisseton), the bill’s prime sponsor, released the following statement in response:

“The defeat of HB 1060 this morning, along with the defeat of its sister bill SB 158 yesterday morning, on party-line votes, is extremely disappointing. Long-term care facilities in my district – and all over the state – are in a severe financial crisis and on the verge of closing. My friends on the other side of the aisle keep saying they want to do something to help these facilities, but we’re just about two weeks from the end of Session, and they still haven’t done anything – except kill the two bills put forward by Democrats to provide some funding to alleviate the immediate crisis.

“While there is still time, I urge my colleagues in the majority to work with us to find solutions to this crisis. Inaction is not an option, and half-measures won’t get the job done. Any time a facility closes, it has devastating effects on the residents, their families, and their communities. We’ve wasted countless hours this Session on pieces of legislation that are solutions in search of problems, and many bills containing solutions to problems, like HB 1060, have been defeated. I and my Democratic colleagues stand ready to work with the majority on this urgent issue. It’s time to get serious, and get to work finding solutions to this crisis.”