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Senate rejects bill fully funding South Dakota nursing homes


Senate lawmakers on Monday rejected a proposal to fully fund nursing homes.

That comes after nearly a dozen nursing homes in the state have closed in the last year.

Critics of the proposal say the idea ties the hands of the committee that crafts the state budget.

Sen. John Wiik, R-Big Stone City, is among them. He said lawmakers are looking to fully fund nursing homes this year.

“There have been opportunities with the extra money that has come through the last few years to try and get caught up to 100 percent and, Lord willing the economy continues to be favorable to South Dakota, will stay there,” Wiik said.

According to a recent report, nursing homes are compensated at 75 percent for Medicaid residents. Over half of the state’s nursing home residents are on Medicaid.

Supporters of 100 percent funding say costs from the funding gap are passed on to other residents.

Senators rejected the proposal 27 to 8.

Legislative leaders have voiced support for studying the state’s nursing home funding formula over the summer.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.