Executive Order 23-11

Declaration of Nursing Home Emergency

WHEREAS since January of 2020, 400,000 nursing home and assisted living employees have resigned nationally due to pandemic exhaustion and low pay;

WHEREAS, Rhode Island nursing homes have lost over 2,000 employees since December of 2019, and Rhode Island nursing homes have lost 20% of their workforce since 2020;

WHEREAS, since 2012, Rhode Island nursing homes have lost more than $50 million in funding annually;

WHEREAS, since 2020, six Rhode Island nursing homes have closed due in part to an unprecedented labor crisis;

WHEREAS three Rhode Island nursing homes have been placed into receivership in the last several months;

WHEREAS, since 2020, over 100 Rhode Island residents have been forced to relocate to different nursing facilities due to closures;

WHEREAS, in 2021, the General Assembly passed R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-17.5-33, assessing penalties for nursing homes that fail to meet certain minimum staffing requirements (“Minimum Staffing Law”); and

WHEREAS, the estimated net costs of enforcing the minimum staffing level compliance and enforcement program pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-17.5-33 would be approximately $60 million, further straining nursing home resources and potentially resulting in additional closures, and forcing the relocation of residents.          

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Daniel J. McKee, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island, pursuant to Article IX of the Rhode Island Constitution and the Rhode Island General Laws, including, but not limited to, Title 30, Chapter 15, do hereby order and direct the following:

  1. The monetary penalties under the Minimum Staffing Law, R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-17.5-33, are suspended.

This Order shall take effect immediately.

So Ordered:

Daniel J. McKee