The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

May 18, 2013

Minn. House backs nursing home pay hike

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota House has voted to give nursing home workers in the state a 5-percent pay increase.

The pay hike is included in a broader, $6 billion a year budget for health and human services programs that the House passed Friday night by a party-line vote of 73-61. It's one of the biggest chunks of state spending and includes funding for services for the poor, elderly and disabled.

The Democratic-drafted bill trims spending on such programs by $50 million compared to projected demand for the services, which is a smaller reduction than DFL legislative leaders wanted but bigger than sought by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

It's the first pay increase for nursing home workers in four years. The bill also has a smaller, 1-percent hike for care workers for the disabled. Republicans said that raise should be higher.

The bill awaits a final vote in the Senate.

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