Capitol Notes

Legal protections for nursing homes are preserved (for now)

Legislation expected to come up for a vote this week in the state Legislature won’t include a measure repealing broad legal protections for health care facilities that were tucked into the state budget.

The language, which was dropped into the process at the end of negotiations between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislative leaders, broadly shields facilities, including nursing homes, from civil suits alleging their neglect led to COVID-19 related fatalities.

A measure repealing the protections was recently introduced, and is backed by Assembly Health Committee Chair Dick Gottfried, who told The Capitol Pressroom last week that he thought the provision in the budget “is going to open the door to a lot of damage.”

And while the bill was not on Tuesday’s Assembly Health Committee agenda, Gottfried issued a statement indicating the proposal still has life this year.

“This week, the legislature is narrowly focusing on bills that the governor agrees to or there is likelihood that he can be brought on board,” Gottfried said. “Unfortunately, this important bill is not at that stage.”

“We expect to take up more legislation after this week, hopefully with a much broader scope.  I’m working to make this bill part of the agenda,” he added.

The bill has not been introduced in the state Senate.


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