Don't Delay Consumer Protections in Assisted Living Facilities

Last year, you helped us pass consumer protections for nursing home and assisted living residents, and with the news of more COVID-19 related deaths every day in those facilities we need those protections now more than ever. 

But Governor Walz's Administration is asking the Minnesota Legislature to delay important consumer protections for assisted living residents by more than two years. 

This is unacceptable. Your lawmakers need to hear from you during the Special Legislative Session.

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Dear [Decision Maker],

Last year, the Minnesota Legislature passed sweeping changes that strengthened the rights of older, vulnerable residents living in assisted living facilities. I am writing today to ask that you maintain these important resident rights slated to go into effect on August 1, 2021.

Governor Walz's Administration has asked the legislature to delay the implementation date for Assisted Living Licensure for another year due to the added workload of the Minnesota Department of Health during the COVID-19 pandemic. While delaying licensure is difficult but understandable during this time, it is critical that the changes that strengthened the rights of residents living in these facilities not be delayed.

Critical gaps and inequities exist in our current laws designed to safegaurd Minnesota's older and vulnerable adults from abuse. Important rights passed to address these gaps and inequities include protections against retaliation for speaking out about abuse and protections against arbitrary discharges and evictions. Delaying these resident rights until August 1, 2022, which is 2.5 years from now, is far too long for vulnerable adults to wait given the magnitude of the elder abuse crisis revealed in the fall of 2017.



These protections came about after a two-year negotiated process with the Walz administration, long-term care providers, and advocates in response to the crisis of elder abuse. Moreover, many of these protections, such as discharge protections, can ensure the health and safety of residents and that they have a safe and stable place to live if the pandemic continues for an extended period.

Finally, while we understand that long-term care providers will need time to plan for these changes, we still have the 2021 legislative session if we find it necessary to delay these important protections. Therefore, I ask you to support retaining these vital consumer protections and not delay the implementation at this time.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]