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Nursing Home Care Standards One Step Closer to Being on Statewide Ballot

wheelchair on hallway of medical facility
A proposed constitutional amendment called "Nursing Facility Patients' Bill of Rights" that would set minimum staffing levels for patient care in nursing homes in Ohio could be on the ballot in 2022.

A proposed constitutional amendment that would establish minimum staffing levels for care for Ohio’s nursing homes is one step closer to making the ballot. 

Backers say their “Nursing Facility Patients’ Bill of Rights” would require the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Board of Nursing to establish minimum care standards for patients at skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers.

The Attorney General’s office has determined the summary of the issue for the petitions they’d circulate is OK. If the Ballot Board gives its blessing, backers must collect nearly 443,000 signatures from half of Ohio’s counties. There wouldn’t be enough time for it to be on this fall’s ballot, but it could be on the ballot next year. 

Cleveland area real estate agent Jesse Ruffin Jr. has been spearheading the effort to get statewide standards for these care facilities. In 2014, his wife became ill and was put in a nursing facility. Ruffin said the staff that was responsible for her care were taking care of too many patients at one time and were often working 12-hour shifts. His wife has since passed away. He has continued his effort to make changes in nursing home care standards. If the issue makes it on the ballot, and Ohio voters pass it, the law would be named, "Carolyn's Law."
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.