Massachusetts — An initiative to increase funding for Massachusetts nursing homes is closer to being on the ballot in 2020. 

About 87,000 locally certified voters signed in support of the ballot initiative, which aims to increase funding rates paid by the state government to nursing facilities. 

The signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office in December to compel ballot consideration. The proposal needed about 80,200 signatures to stay alive.

The signatures were awaiting clearance from the Secretary of State’s Office before moving forward as of press time. 

A November analysis found that 25% of nursing homes in Massachusetts were at risk of closing and cited Medicaid underfunding as a key contributor to the financial instability of the state’s nursing home sector. 

The Massachusetts Senior Care Association said it planned to address how the state funds nursing homes with lawmakers.