Legislature Approves State Budget; LTC is Bipartisan Priority

The Maine Legislature approved the State biennial budget yesterday, an agreement that includes $30 million in state MaineCare funds for LTC facilities. The funding is a combination of $20 million that comes from LD 949, sponsored by Senator Joe Baldacci, and $10 million that was already included in the Governor's change package. With the enhanced federal match in place until the end of this calendar year, MHCA estimates that it will result in a total of $120 million for nursing homes and PNMIs combined.

MHCA applauds the leadership of Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker Ryan Fecteau as they worked with Senate Republican Leader Jeff Timberlake and House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham, to support our caregivers. MHCA also appreciates the steadfast support of the Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency. Senator Cathy Breen and Representative Theresa Pierce, as Chairs, led the way with Republican Senator Paul Davis and Representative Sawin Millett to ensure Maine's long term care facilities were not left behind in the State budget process.

Finally, MHCA thanks our lead lobbyist, Andy Cashman, Partner, PretiFlaherty, for maneuvering LD 949 through a very different legislative process this year. Andy did an outstanding job keeping our funding on the list of top priorities for both Democrats and Republicans as they entered into closed door negotiations that resulted in a bipartisan budget agreement. LD 949 was the vehicle to keep our funding needs visible and we thank Senator Baldacci for his support from the beginning of the session. 

Maine's long term care facilities have been the battleground for COVID-19 and MHCA is grateful for the bipartisan support for nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the new biennial budget. Our dedicated employees have worked tirelessly caring for residents whose lives were upended by the pandemic. Caring for people during this time came with atypical and exorbitant costs. These funds are absolutely critical to ensuring continuation of the highest quality care for thousands of Maine's older residents. 

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