J O I N T R E S O L U T I O N
CREATING A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION TO DEVELOP A LONG TERM PLAN TO ENSURE AN ADEQUATE POOL OF CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANTS
WHEREAS, Certified Nursing Assistants perform one of the most difficult jobs in health care, but compensation for their efforts is minimal; and
WHEREAS, In the health care industry, which is funded primarily from government insurance programs, the impact of government cutbacks not only affects patients but also affects those who care for them; and
WHEREAS, In the present economy, a person can earn more in other positions than caring for a frail elder; and
WHEREAS, All of the above have created a Certified Nursing Assistant staffing problem that has reached a crisis level; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, That a special legislative commission be and the same is hereby created consisting of seventeen (17) members: two (2) of whom shall be from the House of Representatives, not more than one (1) from the same political party, to be appointed by the Speaker: two (2) of whom shall be from the senate, not more than one (1) from the same political party, to be appointed by the Senate Majority Leader; one (1) of whom shall be a representative of the Rhode Island Association of Facilities and Services for the Aging; one (1) of whom shall be a representative of the Senate Health, Education and Welfare Committee, to be appointed by the committee chair; one (1) of whom shall be a representative of the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee to be appointed by the committee chair; one (1) of whom shall be representative of the Department of human Services, to be appointed by the director; one (1) of whom shall be a representative of Elderly Affairs to be appointed by the director; one (1) of whom shall be a representative of the Department of Health, to be appointed by the director; one (1) of whom shall be a representative of the Rhode Island Health Care Association, to be appointed by the association's chief executive officer; one (1) of whom shall be a representative of the Partnership for Home Care, to be appointed by the chief executive officer; two (2) of whom shall be representatives of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, to be appointed by the council chair; one (1) of whom shall be the Rhode Island state ombudsman for long term care; and two (2) of whom shall be certified nursing assistants, of whom one (1) shall be appointed by the Speaker and one (1) to be appointed by the Senate Majority Leader.
In lieu of any appointment of a member of the legislature to a permanent advisory commission, a legislative study commission, or any commission created by a general assembly resolution, the appointing authority may appoint a member of the general public to serve in lieu of a legislator, provided that the majority leader or the minority leader of the political party which is entitled to the appointment consents to the appointment of the member of the general public.
The purpose of said commission shall be to:
(a) conduct and/or access studies of current and former C.N.A.'s to examine the root causes of turnover and detractors to the profession. Retrieve answers to questions regarding wages, benefits, the importance of career paths, education, values and job satisfaction;
(b) reevaluate the entire nursing home care team to determine whether staffing needs can be better handled by different divisions of responsibilities;
(c) examine labor trends for other levels and types of staff to avert situations similar to the current C.N.A. crisis;
(d) reexamine with the legislature and the administration the effect of the low cost center cap and the lowering of the labor and labor related cost center cap as a contributor to staffing problems;
(e) based on finds, develop a legislative proposal(s) to remedy the SNF staffing problem;
(f) develop informational materials and a targeted public relations campaign geared toward insuring legislation's passage; and
(g) garner the support of key state agencies .
Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet at the call of the Speaker of the House and organize and shall select from among the legislators a chairperson. Vacancies in said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.
The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.
All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information, documentary and otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or desirable by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.
The Speaker of the House is hereby authorized and directed to provide suitable quarters for said commission: and be it further
RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly on or before June 29, 2001 and said commission shall expire on August 29, 2001.