Nursing Minimum Wage: Senate authorizes scheme to aid states and municipalities, but debate over Brazil’s legalization of gaming continues
October 11, 2022

On Tuesday, April 4, the Senate gave its approval to a complementary bill (PLP) that extends the period of time until the end of 2023 during which states and municipalities are permitted to reallocate resources that were initially received to combat covid-19 to other programs within the health sector. The concept was brought up again as a potential method of financing the increased nursing minimum wage, but it was ultimately halted by an order issued by the Federal Supreme Court (STF).

According to Senator Marcelo Castro (MDB-PI), who served as the proposal’s rapporteur, the issue would make it possible for governors and mayors to reallocate a total of R$ 34 billion. It does not have any effect on the budget. We followed the same protocol during the epidemic, and we will proceed to do so again. The deadline for the project led by [Luiz Carlos] Heinze was originally set for December 31, 2022, but we will now use December 31, 2023. According to our estimation, that should be plenty for the various states and municipalities.

“According to our most recent calculations, there are 34 billion reais in funds, of which some of it is being utilized and some of it is not. It is conceivable to guarantee significant assistance,” he went on to say.

There are disagreements on the ultimate balance, which has the potential to improve the financial flow of the states. According to the author of the document, Senator Luiz Carlos Heinze (PP-RS), the proposal has the potential to reallocate a total of R$ 27 billion, of which R$ 10 billion would come from the states and R$ 17 billion would come from the municipalities.

According to Castro, these sums cannot be utilized to spend on employees; nonetheless, it is the objective that the governors apply the money for other reasons and, as a result, conserve values that may pay for the newly established nursing minimum wage.

He pondered, “We are now saying that governors and mayors have complete freedom to spend [the resources] on whatever they want and save on their own state and municipal resources to face this impact of nursing.” This is what we mean when we say “we are now saying that governors and mayors have complete freedom to spend [the resources] on whatever they want.” “Municipalities have the ability to employ these resources for other costs, and as a result, they will have additional resources with which to pay the floor. However, we are unable to use these funds to compensate our public personnel,” he continued.

The person in charge of the report recognized that the problem with this approach is that it only helps states and municipalities. “We are going to meet down with all of the people concerned in this subject, and together we are going to seek for alternatives to private hospitals, charity institutions, and holy homes. “And of course, we’re going to find a solution that’s more long-term,” Castro added.

The solution may lie in Brazil’s need for more gaming regulation

Therefore, senators should continue debating and discussing other financing options for the nursing floor, such as exemption from the payroll of private hospitals and also the regulation of the gaming market in Brazil, including casinos, bingos, Jogo do Bicho, and sports betting. These are some examples of the types of options that could be considered.

The latter should have Senator Davi Alcolumbre (Unio-AP), who served as president of the Senate previously, serving as the rapporteur. “Gambling is another topic that’s up for debate, and personally, I think it should be legalized.” Urgent action is required in order to implement the regulation. “In the beginning, there was religious discrimination; however, it does not exist anymore,” remarked Alcolumbre.

Nursing minimum wage

The new nursing minimum salary was only recently passed and adopted by the National Congress. It stipulates a minimum first payment for nurses in the amount of R$ 4,750, which is to be paid countrywide by both public and private health services. However, just a few weeks ago, Minister Luis Roberto Barroso of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) issued an order that temporarily halted the implementation of the new law.