The Latest: South Dakota lawmakers bump nursing home funding

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on the South Dakota state budget (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

South Dakota lawmakers have approved millions of dollars of new funding for nursing homes experiencing a financial crisis that’s led to five closures over the last three years.

Advocates say the significant 10 percent inflationary funding increase for nursing homes included in the state budget is a step in the right direction.

The Legislature passed the spending plan Wednesday just days after a facility in Huron announced that it would shut down by May because of a lack of funding.

Mark B. Deak, executive director of the South Dakota Health Care Association, says the new inflationary increase will hopefully prevent some potential nursing home closures.

He credited lawmakers and Gov. Kristi Noem for taking a “very good step,” but he says advocates plan to keep pushing for future funding hikes.

The budget for the upcoming 2020 budget year starting July 1 includes roughly $1.7 billion in general state spending, about $59 million over the current budget year.

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2:49 a.m.

South Dakota lawmakers have passed a roughly $4.9 billion state budget, providing a funding boost for education and state employees and larger-than anticipated spending hikes for nursing homes and community support providers.

The House voted 53-6 Wednesday to approve the budget, capping the main portion of the 2019 session. The Senate earlier voted 27-2 for the measure that sets state spending for the upcoming 2020 budget year.

The Legislature allocated big increases for nursing homes as recent closures have hit communities. Joint Appropriations Committee Co-Chair Sen. John Wiik says the funding hike is a “good start.”

The budget for the next fiscal year includes roughly $1.7 billion in general state spending, about $59 million over the current budget year.

Republican Sen. Stace Nelson, who voted against the budget, said lawmakers received it early in the morning and that he wanted more time to review it.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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