The state legislature has voted to block a rule that allowed a wage increase for home health care employees, over a veto by Governor Jay Nixon (D).
The Department of Health and Senior Services created the rule that would have raised the wages of home health employees. Republicans including Jay Barnes (Jefferson City) said the Department exceeded its authority it making that rule, and said the vote was about maintaining the balance between the branches of government.
“[The Department] conceded the facts that showed they didn’t have the authority to promulgate this rule. They made no actual legal defense of the rule and there has been no legal defense of the rule made on this House floor,” said Barnes in arguing for the veto override. “The statute which gives the Department the authority to do this – to set rules – does not give the Department the authority to tell private contractors what
the wage rate for their employees must be.”
Most Democrats including Margo McNeil (D-Florissant) argued the rule should be allowed to stand so those employees could be paid more.
“People in our own districts who are struggling – struggling – to make ends meet as they take care of our loved ones. Our seniors, our disabled, those who can’t help themself,” said McNeil. “How much will this technical vote cost the people of Missouri that are making $7.65 to take care of people in the homes of seniors and disabled?”
The Senate already voted to overturn that veto, so the rule and the wage increase have been blocked.