GENEVA, NY- Senator Pam Helming today announced that she is co-sponsoring legislation that establishes an independent, bi-partisan commission to fully investigate the deaths of the New Yorkers who died from COVID-19 in state-regulated nursing homes.
“From the beginning of this pandemic, the Governor and Commissioner of Health acknowledged nursing homes as Ground Zero for COVID-19. Yet, little still has been done to protect the vulnerable residents living in these facilities or the staff who care for these residents. An independent investigation needs to be conducted so we may understand where the state went wrong in order to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future,” Senator Helming said.
The bi-partisan Commission would consist of five members: one each appointed by the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, the Assembly Speaker, and Assembly Minority Leader, and chaired by an appointee of the New York State Attorney General. The Commission would be funded through the existing state budget for investigators and have subpoena power.
“While it is too late for the many families that have lost loved ones, it is not too late to protect those who are still with us. We must demand nothing less than transparency and accountability. In the meantime, as the state looks to make budget adjustments, it is absolutely critical that these facilities receive adequate reimbursement rates and fair funding so they may provide the best level of care that is desperately needed,” said Senator Helming.