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The North Dakota Senate unanimously passed a bill that would update an antiquated state law that allows nursing homes to sue children for their parents' unpaid bills.

Senate Bill 2225, whose primary sponsor is Sen. Dick Dever, R-Bismarck, passed in by a margin of 46-0 on Friday.

The bill would amend the state's filial support law, which requires children to support their indigent parents.

Shelly Peterson, president of the North Dakota Long Term Care Association, and several nursing home representatives gave testimony in support of the bill last week.

Peterson testified that, in the past decade, more nursing homes are using statute against children in response to federal regulation changes that have made it harder for the elderly and disabled for Medicaid.

The bill is now headed to the House for review.

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(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or


Education and Health Reporter