Baker opposes nurse staffing mandates on Nov. ballot

Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker says a recent analysis by an independent state agency has convinced him to vote against a proposal that would require strict nurse-to-patient ratios in Massachusetts hospitals.

The study by the Health Policy Commission estimated the cost of implementing Question 1 on the November ballot — should voters approve it — at between $676 million and $949 million.

In announcing Wednesday that he opposes the question, Baker cited those cost estimates along with concerns the proposed law would disproportionately impact smaller, community hospitals around the state.

The governor said he was also surprised to learn that nurse-to-patient ratios in Massachusetts were already above those in California, the only U.S. state with mandated staffing levels.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association, which backs Question 1, strongly disputes the HPC’s findings.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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