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6/13/2024 Assembly approves creation of Nursing Home Workforce Standards Advisory Board
Please note: The governor vetoed this legislation on June 26.

STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today approved the establishment of a 13-member advisory board to keep state leaders informed on current market conditions, wages, benefits and working conditions in Rhode Island’s nursing home industry.

The legislation creating the Rhode Island Nursing Home Workforce Standards Advisory Board, sponsored by Sen. Bridget Valverde (D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, South Kingstown) and Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence), will help state leaders understand the challenges facing nursing home staff, and craft solutions that ensure safety for them and patients alike.

The bill (2024-S 2621A, 2024-H 7733A)  now goes to the governor.

“Nursing homes and their employees are an integral part of our state’s health care system, but their ability to deliver the quality care that our residents need and deserve is at risk. This bill will help ensure that our nursing home workers have the resources that they need in order to properly care for and support our loved ones while also being able to provide for themselves and their families,” said Representative Slater.

Said Senator Valverde, “The Rhode Islanders who work in nursing homes do a very critical job, often under high pressure and without as many resources or the level of pay that they really deserve. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our family members in nursing homes means providing proper support and training to the people who care for them. This new board will give state leaders insight into the conditions and challenges in our state’s nursing homes so we can work to effectively address them.”

The advisory board will consist of three members representing nursing home employers, three representing nursing home workers, two representing community organizations that work with the Medicaid population, one member representing a joint labor-management multi-employer nonprofit training fund, and representatives of the Health and Human Services secretary, the Department of Labor and Training, the Department of Health and the Long-Term Care State Ombudsman.

The board will advise the General Assembly and the Department of Labor and Training on market conditions, wages, benefits and working conditions in the nursing home industry; recommend minimum statewide compensation and working standards for nursing home workers; propose minimum standards for nursing home training programs and assist in ensuring compliance by employers with the recommended standards.

The legislation was strongly supported by SEIU Local 1199NE, which represents many staff members at Rhode Island nursing homes. The bill sunsets the board effective July 1, 2027.

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923