House Democratic Policy Committee to hold public hearing on living wage for nursing home employees Monday in Capitol

HARRISBURG, Nov. 12 – House Democratic Policy Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that the committee will hold a public hearing on state Rep. Ed Gainey’s House Bill 1449 that would incentivize nursing home employers to pay $15 an hour to workers through the creation of a statewide Living Wage Certification Program.

The hearing will be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, November 16 in 418 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg.

Gainey, D-Allegheny, requested the hearing and will serve as co-chairman. His legislation would also require nursing home employers to reimburse the state for the costs incurred by providing public assistance benefits to workers. A recent Keystone Research Center report found that one in six nursing home workers received benefits from SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistant program), Medicaid or both.

The current hearing agenda is:

11:00 a.m.      Welcome and Opening Remarks

11:10 a.m.      Panel from Pennsylvania State Agencies:

  • Christine Filipovich, Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance
  • Larry Clark, Director of the Office of Policy
    • Jen Burnett, Deputy Secretary for Office of Long-Term Living, Department of Human Services

11:40 a.m.      Panel from SEIU Healthcare:

  • Matt Yarnell, Executive Vice President for Long Term Care
  • Tisheia Frazier, Nurse Aid, Philadelphia
  • Brittney Perri, Nurse Aide, Plymouth
  • Dharnell Bridges, Housekeeping/Laundry Worker, Easton

12:10 p.m.      W. Russell McDaid, President, Pennsylvania Health Care Association

12:40 p.m.      Mark Price, Ph.D., Labor Economist, Keystone Research Center

1:00 p.m.        Closing Remarks    

The hearing is open to the public and media coverage is invited.