Two Democrat representatives, Lisa Subeck and Jonathon Brostoff, recently introduced the CNA Pay Act to increase wages and expand access to training for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) who work on the frontlines of long-term care and nursing facilities. The proposal is in response to the passing of an act which would diminish nursing care quality by reducing the required number of hours of training a CNA is required to complete.
There are currently 11,500 vacant personal care worker positions with demand for CNAs expected to grow exponentially due to an aging population. The shortage of workers in this very important field is largely due to the low income that comes with being a CNA. A wage increase and other financial incentives provided to CNAs is of crucial importance.
Rep. Subeck tells UrbanMilwaukee.com, “Democrats would increase wages and expand access to training for CNAs who are on the front lines providing daily care to our most vulnerable residents. The bill passed yesterday by Assembly Republicans will diminish the quality of care. Instead, we can and should make CNA training more accessible and affordable and ensure these caregivers earn a living wage on which they can support their own families.”
The CNA Pay Act includes:
- LRB-4743 which would create a tax credit for tuition costs for CNAs. After working for 1 year as a CNA, an individual can claim a one-time $1500 capped refundable tax credit for the cost of CNA training.
- LRB-4744 would provide $500,000 annually to give grants to technical colleges to help expand access to CNA training in underserved areas.
- LRB-4745 would increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate for personal care services by accepting the Federal Medicaid expansion dollars. The bill also requires that the reimbursement increase go directly to increasing wages of frontline caretakers.
To learn more about the new Democrat CNA Pay Act to address the nursing aide shortage, visit here.