(WHTM) — It is budget season in Harrisburg and groups are asking for plenty of money from the state legislature. That includes nursing homes and long-term care facilities, which were ravaged by COVID.

The places that care for the elderly and nursing homes are having a hard time not being able to hire enough workers. Early in the pandemic, an outsized number of pandemic death occurred in these group settings.

Matt Yarnell, President of SEIU Healthcare PA, said, “With Pennsylvania’s senior population growing rapidly and more people needing extended care services, we must build a long term care system that allows people to receive quality care in the setting of their choice. With a budget surplus and ARPA money still available, Pennsylvania is in a position to make meaningful, significant movement toward solving this crisis and reforming the nursing home industry.”

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Long-term care facilities are asking lawmakers for an additional $290 million in Medicaid reimbursements. They promise it will go to front-line workers and make those nursing homes safer.

“Every dollar of this funding would empower our long-term care providers. It would empower them to invest in their staff in wages bonuses and benefits. It would empower them to recruit more workers to the front lines and retain those workers, and it would empower those providers to meet the operational demands that this environment demands right now” President and CEO of Pennsylvania Health Care Association Zach Shamberg said.

Shamberg is the guest on This Week in Pennsylvania. You can see the full discussion and all the political headlines on abc27 on Sunday at 10 a.m.