RALNA Legislative/Regulatory Update October 21, 2021

Minnesota

Minnesota S.F. 1098 is a workforce and business development bill. Among other things, this bill designates staff working in a housing with services establishment licensed under 144D and 144G as essential workers. As such, they would be entitled to certain benefits, including emergency paid sick leave due to symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19 or vaccination side effects.

MN S.F.982 is a bill that will require background studies of all staff in assisted living facilities. If a staff person is disqualified through a background check, that person is not allowed to have direct contact or access to residents. “Access” means physical access to a client or the client’s property without continuous and direct supervision.

Montana

Montana has a new law allowing a hospice or residential care facility to adopt a policy that allows use of marijuana by a registered cardholder.

Nebraska

RALNA does not normally track Medicaid-related legislation, but an important bill has been introduced in Nebraska to study the adequacy of current aged and disabled Medicaid waiver assisted-living provider rates. The state set provider rates 30 years ago and this bill recognizes that it is time to ensure that the rates are adequate.

“Providers of assisted-living services serve an important function in meeting the home and community-based care needs of some of the most vulnerable Nebraskans due to age or disability. To continue providing access, the payment rates for these services must be sufficient to cover the cost of the care and services required by the participants in the aged and disabled medicaid waiver program.”

To indicate your support, contact the bill’s sponsor, Sen. John Stinner, [email protected], 402-471-2802.

Ohio

Ohio is proposing a major initiative to change language in various statutes to be more person-centered. For example, references to “handicapped persons” are being changed to “persons who have disabilities.” Language changes can be an important way to create a more welcoming environment for people with disabilities. This bill has bipartisan support and is progressing through the committee hearing process.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island H.B. 5464 was introduced to amend the resident bill of rights to add that a resident “shall not be denied appropriate care on the basis of age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, marital status, familial status, disability, religion, national origin, source of income, source of payment or profession.”

The bill is being held for further study and we will watch to see if it starts moving through committee.

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