Assemblymember Wallace Helps Pass Legislation to Establish Minimum Safe Staffing Levels for Nursing Homes, Healthcare Facilities

“For years, I have advocated for and sponsored legislation to establish safe minimum staffing levels for nursing homes and healthcare facilities. As many healthcare workers and patient advocates have warned us, understaffing is far too common in our healthcare system, and it leads to adverse patient outcomes and preventable deaths. So, I’m proud to have helped pass legislation that establishes minimum staffing levels for all nursing homes and healthcare facilities in New York State.

“This legislation, the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act (A018B), will establish safe nurse-to-patient staffing recommendations for hospitals and require hospitals to develop clinical staffing plans. Under a separate piece of legislation (A7119) that we passed, nursing homes would be required to provide three and a half hours of nursing care per resident per day, including more than one hour of care with a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. This will help ensure that all patients and nursing home residents receive the care that they need and deserve.

“Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for safe staffing painfully clear. The New York Attorney General recently found that nursing homes with lower staffing levels experienced more fatal COVID cases than nursing homes with adequate staffing. Although vaccinations are now protecting nursing home residents and many others from COVID, we must act on the lessons that we learned from the pandemic: that safe staffing saves lives and is absolutely essential in New York. I thank my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate for passing this vital legislation, and I urge the Governor to sign it.”