Senate bill to cap nursing home rent rate leaves committee

Officials are warning Floridians of the dangers ahead as Hurricane Ian nears landfall at near Category 5 speeds. The massive storm appeared on track to crash somewhere north of Fort Myers and at about 125 miles (201 kilometers) south of Tampa, sparing the Bay Area from a rare direct hit from a hurricane. The area is popular with retirees and tourists drawn by the pristine white sand beaches and long barrier islands, which forecasters predict could be completely flooded. Catastrophic storm surges could push up to 12 to 18 feet (3.7 to 5.5 meters) of water over a coastal strip nearly 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Bonita Beach north to Fort Myers and Charlotte Harbor in Englewood, hurricane center warned. Rainfall near the landing area could exceed 18 inches (46 centimeters). Overnight, Hurricane Ian went through a natural cycle when it lost its old eye and formed a new eye. The timing was bad for the Florida coast, as the storm grew stronger and bigger just hours before making landfall. Ian went from 120 mph (193 km/h) to 155 mph (250 km/h) in three hours, the second cycle of rapid intensification in the storm’s life cycle. There were 250,000 people in the Fort Myers/Lee County mandatory evacuation zones, and authorities feared before the storm that only about 10 percent would leave. Parts of Florida’s east coast also faced a storm surge threat, and isolated tornadoes tossed the storm long before it made landfall. A tornado damaged small planes and a hangar at North Perry Airport, west of Hollywood along the Atlantic coast. Florida Power and Light warned those in Ian’s path to prepare for days without power. As a precaution, hundreds of residents were evacuated from several Tampa-area nursing homes, where hospitals were also moving some patients. Parts of Georgia and South Carolina could also see torrential rains and some coastal surge on Saturday. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp preemptively declared an emergency, ordering 500 National Guard troops to stand by as needed.

A bill to cap rent at 4% for retirement homes operated on rented property was approved by the state’s Senate Health, Human Services and Seniors Committee on Thursday.

The passage comes after the Assembly version of the bill, A4336, was brought forward by the Assembly Health Committee at its last meeting on September 15.

The bill aims to limit rent increases by landlords who rent land or property used as a retirement home. If it becomes law, rent increases above 4% could be approved by the New Jersey Superior Court, provided justifiable reasons are presented, such as more funds needed to make necessary renovations or repairs.

Without limiting increases, nursing homes could be forced to pay unnecessarily high rates that could complicate care for tenants, New Jersey long-term care ombudsman Laurie Facciarossa Brewer said at the committee hearing. Assembly Health Bill.

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With amendments, the bill passed the bipartisan Senate committee in a 6-1-1 vote. Sen. Ed Durr, R-Salem, Gloucester, Cumberland, was the only committee member to vote no.

Sen. Holly Schepisi, R-Bergen, did not vote.

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Senator Fred Madden, D-Camden, Gloucester, said he favored the bill because landlords, especially private equity firms that invest in properties, are raising rents by unnecessary amounts. He said these costly increases take money away from profits and care opportunities for nursing facilities.

“Quite frankly, that money is coming out of taxpayers’ pockets,” Madden said during the bill’s hearing on Thursday.

Madden said he supported moving the bill forward, saying he would be open to further amendments.

“To be completely honest with you, I think putting a cap on (the rent) is a great place to start,” said Madden, who is the committee’s vice chairman. “The way of appeal is there.”

Speakers at the bill’s hearing in the House said the 4% cap was baseless, not understanding how lawmakers arrived at the figure.

John Indyk, vice president of the Health Care Association of New Jersey, also said renewing nursing home cost reporting would be the most appropriate course of action. Former Governor Chris Christie deregulated them in 2015, he said.

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By implementing cost reporting, nursing home expenses are leveled against needed Medicare reimbursements, he said.

The New Jersey Legislature’s website says the Assembly’s version was given to the Assembly’s Committee on Aging and Senior Services. This committee has no upcoming meetings.

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Norman D. Briggs