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News & Press: Legislative

Dems Propose CNA Pay Act

Friday, November 3, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sarah Bass
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From Forbes McIntosh, Government Policy Solutions, WALA Lobbyist 

 

Democratic lawmakers State Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) and Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) have drafted a legislative package of three bills designed to boost paid caregivers in Wisconsin.

According to the legislators, Wisconsin has a growing need for long-term care workers. 
 
"Due to low wages, lack of benefits, and a challenging workload that frequently requires irregular or overtime hours, caregivers are leaving their jobs as nursing aides to find other jobs," they say in the memo circulating to fellow legislators asking that they sign on as a bill co-sponsor. "Now Wisconsin is facing a significant shortage of these caregivers, with an estimated 11,500 vacant care positions. A recent report and testimony from experts on the shortage point to worker pay and cost/access to training as contributing factors. To ensure Wisconsin's most vulnerable residents receive high quality care, we can and should act swiftly to address the shortage of nursing aides by passing the CNA Pay Act, increasing wages and expanding access to training." 

Dubbed the CNA Pay Act, the three bills would:
  • Create a one-time refundable individual income tax credit for costs incurred by an individual for an instructional program that results in the individual becoming a certified nursing assistant.  Under the bill, the maximum credit that a claimant may claim is $1,500.
  • Require the Technical College System Board to make grants to technical college district boards in areas with nurse aide shortages to expand access to nurse aide training.
  • Implement the federal Medicaid expansion under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and increase reimbursement rates under the Medical Assistance program for personal care services.
Federal expansion of Medicaid is not likely in the current legislature. Further, at this time the probability this legislation passing is relatively low.

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