NEBRASKA -- The appropriations committee of the Nebraska Legislature was told at a hearing on Monday that the state's long-term care facilities are facing virtually a crisis situation. 

COVID-19 and the great resignation have left Nebraska nursing homes and assisted living facilities critically short of staff and funding, officials said.

Jalene Carpenter of the Nebraska Health and Care association told a panel of state lawmakers that facilities simply cannot hire sufficient staff to keep up with care needs. 

Carpenter noted four nursing homes and five assisted living facilities were forced to close in the state in 2021.

An additional home, in Hooper, recently announced that it would be closing because of an inability to hire enough staff to care for residents. 

Meanwhile, Chairman of Appropriations Committee Senator John Stinner has introduced two bills which together would boost reimbursement to long term care facilities, for the care of residents on Medicaid in the fiscal year beginning July first.