South Dakota lawmakers have approved millions of dollars of new funding for nursing homes experiencing a financial crisis that's led to five closures over the last three years.

Advocates say the significant 10 percent inflationary funding increase for nursing homes included in the state budget is a step in the right direction.

The Legislature passed the spending plan Wednesday just days after a facility in Huron announced that it would shut down by May because of a lack of funding.

Mark B. Deak, executive director of the South Dakota Health Care Association, says the new inflationary increase will hopefully prevent some potential nursing home closures. He credited lawmakers and Gov. Kristi Noem for taking a "very good step," but he says advocates plan to keep pushing for future funding hikes.

The budget for the upcoming 2020 budget year starting July 1 includes roughly $1.7 billion in general state spending, about $59 million over the current budget year.

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