Message from the Executive Director 6-3-19: Final Legislative Report

As has been widely reported, the 2019 legislative session came to surprise ending when the House and Senate failed to reach a deal on two key priorities – minimum wage and paid family leave. That outcome leaves both bills in limbo until January when – because 2019 was the first year of a two-year biennium – the process picks up where it left off.

The In the News section in this issue is entirely devoted to news and commentary analyzing what happened and why.

Our focus is already on building on the momentum we generated this year in advance of January 2020. This year, the VNAs of Vermont and key legislators significantly increased awareness about the need for adequate Medicaid funding so home health agencies and other organizations can raise the wages of staff like personal care attendants who do important and challenging work every day. While the minimum wage bill was the catalyst for the attention, the problem and the solution lie in the Medicaid budget and we will keep our focus there.

Click HERE for our final legislative report summarizing the outcome of all bills of interest to home health and hospice agencies. The report includes some important advocacy successes including a 2% across the board Medicaid increase for home health and hospice agencies and an extension on the home health and hospice certificate of need moratorium until 2025. Vermont’s home health and hospice agencies are grateful to the Legislature for their support on these critical issues.

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