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Care gap funding

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

As your representative, I am proud to support reforms and increased funding for our long-term care facilities, particularly in greater Minnesota. I have long stood for legislation supporting families. That’s why I’m proud to join a bipartisan coalition in support of “The 5 Percent Campaign.”

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It is an effort to provide an increase to those who care for vulnerable citizens. The average wage of a long-term care worker is near the federal poverty line, and an increase is needed to encourage more Minnesotans to pursue and stay in careers in long-term care.

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends are the residents of our long-term care communities. A stable and committed workforce is imperative if we want quality care for our most vulnerable citizens in long-term care facilities. These residents have given so much and it is only right to step up and maintain their quality of care.

A 5 percent increase would do just that – a good first step to underscore our commitment to solving the “care gap” that exists.

As baby boomers continue to age, it’s estimated the number of people receiving disability services will rise to 83,000 by 2017 alone. Unfortunately, many facilities face high staff turnover, or are underfunded and at risk to close their doors in the next five years.

With recent news of a $1 billion budget surplus we have the opportunity to have this serious conversation. Many long-term care workers haven’t seen a raise in six or seven years.

In 2013-14 I supported multiple amendments reallocating parts of the state budget to give an increase to our long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, those amendments were rejected.

The 5 Percent Campaign enjoys bipartisan support, and I will continue working with any legislator to find $86 million necessary to give our long-term care facilities.

Rep. Ron Kresha

Little Falls

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