Nurses’ Safe Staffing Bill is Voted “ought to pass” Out of Maine State Labor Committee


One of Many Signs at Informational Picket During a Shift Change at Maine Medical Center, Portland, Last Year.

Today, the Joint Standing Committee on Labor and Housing of the Maine State Legislature voted (6 – 3) to support LD 1639, the Maine quality Care Act and send it to the full Legislature, announced Maine State Nurses Association.  The Labor and Housing Committee voted to endorse this bill as “ought to pass.”

If passed by the full State Legislature, the Act will set enforceable nurse-to-patient ratios in Maine’s hospitals.  The bill covers the following health care facilities, privately owned or privately operated hospitals (including acute care, specialty, and psychiatric hospitals) freestanding emergency departments and ambulatory surgical facilities.

Senator Stacy Brenner (D-Scarborough), the lead sponsor said:  “I am so proud that my colleagues in the Labor and Housing Committee are standing with bedside nurses across the state of Maine.  This bill will not only protect patients and nurses, but will bring nurses back to the bedside where they are desparately needed.”  Senator Brenner is a registered nurse and a nurse midwife.

With its passage, the Act will make Maine the second state in the country to pass legally enforceable nurse-to-patient ratios.  In 1999, California enacted its safe staffing law.