Nursing Minimum Wage: Senate approves project to help states and municipalities, but continues to debate legalization of gambling in Brazil
Photo: Agência Brasil

The Senate approved on Tuesday, 4, a complementary bill (PLP) that allows states and municipalities to reallocate, until the end of 2023, to other programs in the health segment, resources initially received to combat covid-19. The proposal returned as a way of paying for the new minimum wage of nursing, which ended up suspended injunction by the Federal Supreme Court (STF).

According to the proposal’s rapporteur, Senator Marcelo Castro (MDB-PI), the matter will allow governors and mayors to reallocate R$ 34 billion. “It has no fiscal impact. We did the same in the pandemic, we will just repeat it. The [Luiz Carlos] Heinze project was dated December 31, 2022 and we will put December 31, 2023. We believe that, for the States and municipalities, that’s enough”.

“The calculation today is that there are 34 billion reais in funds, part of which is not being used and part is. It is possible to guarantee important aid”, he added.

There are conflicts over the final balance that could relieve the states’ cash flow. The author of the text, Senator Luiz Carlos Heinze (PP-RS), estimates that the project could reallocate: R$ 17 billion from the municipalities and R$ 10 billion from the States.

According to Castro, these amounts cannot be used to spend on personnel, however, the intention is that the governors apply the funds for other purposes and, thus, preserve values ​​that could pay for the new nursing minimum wage.

“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”, he pondered. “Municipalities can use these resources for other expenses and, with that, have other resources to pay the floor. But this money cannot be used to pay civil servants,” he added.

The rapporteur admitted that this measure only solves the situation of states and municipalities. “We’re going to sit down with all the people involved in this issue and we’re going to look for alternatives to private hospitals, to philanthropic ones, to holy houses. And, of course, we’re going to find a more permanent solution,” Castro said.

Gaming regulation in Brazil could be the solution

Therefore, senators should continue debating 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

The latter should have as rapporteur Senator Davi Alcolumbre (União-AP), former president of the Senate. “Gambling is another thing that is being discussed, I’m in favor of it. It needs to be regulated urgently. In the beginning, there was [a prejudice] religious, not today,” said Alcolumbre.

Nursing minimum wage

The new nursing minimum wage was recently approved by the National Congress and provides for a minimum initial payment for nurses in the amount of R$ 4,750, to be paid nationally by public and private health services. But a few weeks ago, Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), suspended the new law in an injunction.