ALBANY – With the Legislature back in session – with no apparent plan to immediately address the crisis unfolding in New York’s nursing homes—Senator Sue Serino has proposed the “Protecting Our Nursing Homes Act of 2020” amendment to direct $100 million in unused Federal CARES Act funding to nursing homes, assisted living, and adult care facilities. The funding could be used to help purchase testing supplies and PPE, as well as train and hire desperately needed additional staff.
After cutting funding to nursing homes in March, the Senate Majority added insult to injury when they refused to act on the critically important amendment. Worse, the Legislature has so far failed to advance a single bill that would better protect vulnerable residents now, or support the facilities that care for them.
“To leave Albany today without taking a single meaningful step to immediately help nursing home residents, or the facilities who support them, is shameful. The state is sitting on over $1 billion of unspent federal dollars that could be utilized now to provide immediate relief where it is needed most. For my colleagues to ignore the opportunity to direct $100 million of that money to these hard-hit facilities to fund testing, PPE, and most importantly, additional staff, is just not right. We need to work together to ensure these frontline facilities have immediate access to the resources they need to keep residents safe and healthy during this trying time,” said Senator Serino.
In a March 25th directive issued by the state, these facilities were required to accept COVID positive patients, a fatal move which isbelieved to have contributed to the over 5,800 deaths that have occurred inthese facilities to date.