Upcoming Webinar: State Strategies to Combat Human Trafficking on Public Transit

By: Mary Wurtz

On Wednesday, June 8, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) The Council of State Governments (CSG) will host a webinar to debut a new CSG report, “Safety Awareness on Public Transit: State Responses.”

The report was developed in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and outlines different strategies states have adopted to combat the use of public transit for human trafficking. In 2020, over 16,000 victims of human trafficking were reported to the U.S. National Trafficking Hotline. According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its subsequent reauthorizations, human trafficking is defined as:

  • Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or
  • The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

While human trafficking incidents occur through many other methods, traffickers often rely on public transit systems to recruit, control and deliver victims to buyers. To explore potential methods for combatting this phenomenon, CSG hosted a virtual learning seminar in 2021 with policymakers and other key stakeholders to discuss possible solutions.

The CSG report to be discussed June 8 outlines the strategies discussed during last year’s virtual discussion. These strategies include:

  1. Raising awareness of human trafficking on public transit;
  2. Engaging key stakeholders;
  3. Considering specific populations affected; and
  4. Considering a broad approach to transit safety options.

In the June 8 webinar, CSG will expand on these four strategies and discuss examples from states that have taken steps to address trafficking on public transit. The webinar will feature presenters Kristen Joyner of the Community Transportation Association of America and Sydney Blodgett of CSG.

Kristen Joyner is the Vice President of the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), a national membership association representing rural, small-urban, specialized and Non-Emergency Medical Transportation providers nationwide. Ms. Joyner has represented the Southwest Transit Assocation on the CTAA Board since 2017. Currently, she serves as an advocate for transit issues and conducts leadership training and certification programs for transportation professionals. From 2012 – 2016, she was a member of the White House Task Force for Transit Leaders. Recently, she spearheaded Operation Veterans in Public Transportation, a project that SWTA developed to acknowledge and support veterans in transportation.

Sydney Blodgett is a Project Manager at The Council of State Governments. Ms. Blodgett has experience in engaging state leaders to discuss policy issues and solutions in a bipartisan and innovative way. Throughout her career, she has researched and analyzed state-level policies in a variety of areas. She disseminates her research through blogs, articles and online platforms. Prior to CSG, Ms. Blodgett worked for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. She earned a B.A. from the University of Louisville and an M.P.A from the University of Kentucky.

Please register for the June 8 webinar here

Information for State Leaders: Study finds communities continue to face mental health challenges that have been exacerbated by the global pandemic

by Bill Swinford

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. A recent survey by the Cleveland Clinic found “37% of respondents ranked their mental health as average or low…Additionally, in the last week alone, 45% of respondents grappled with anxiety, 36% dealt with sadness or depression, and 34% dealt with anger.” 

On May 10 and 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released reports on two manifestations of these continuing challenges to mental wellness in the U.S. exacerbated by the pandemic and impacting every state and region.

On May 10, the CDC reported, “The overall firearm suicide rate remained nearly level between 2019 and 2020, with age-specific rate increases among persons 10 – 44 years old, partially offset by a decrease among those 45 – 64 years old.” According to the report, “Overall, rates were highest at the highest poverty level and lowest at the lowest poverty level.” Approximately 53% of deaths by suicide in the U.S. involve a firearm. While the report does not specify firearm suicide rates by state, overall firearm deaths increased in every region of the U.S. The report does not reach conclusion about the causes of the increase, but notes the “…increased stressors (e.g., economic, social, and psychological) and disruptions in health, social, and emergency services during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition to the impact of human life and their communities, the CDC reports “…in 2019, suicide and nonfatal self-harm cost the nation nearly $490 billion in medical costs, work loss costs, value of statistical life, and quality of life costs.” 

The CDC provides a number of resources for policymakers as they explore approaches to reducing death by suicide. 

On May 11, the CDC reported “…there were an estimated 107,622 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 2021, an increase of nearly 15% from the 93,655 deaths estimated in 2020.” Every state except Hawaii and Wyoming experienced an increase, with many states experiencing increases of more than 20%. Overdose is among the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. According to the Recovery Research Institute, “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the opioid overdose crisis. As researchers seek to document and explain this impact, theoretical reasons given for increased public health harms include a more dangerous drug supply, disruption of treatment and recovery support services, social isolation, and increased levels of social and economic stress.”

study in 2017 found “The economic cost of the U.S. opioid epidemic in 2017 was estimated at $1,021 billion, including cost of opioid use disorder estimated at $471 billion and cost of fatal opioid overdose estimated at $550 billion.” The report includes a breakdown of costs per capita per state.

The CDC makes available to policymakers a series of resources for combatting the overdose epidemic.

Resource for state leaders to share for those who need help or know someone who does, include:

  • Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
  • Use the online Lifeline Chat

Both are free and confidential. Callers will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in their area.

State Investment of the $26 Billion Opioid Settlement

By Ishara Nanayakkara

In July 2021, four U.S. pharmaceutical corporations agreed to pay $26 billion to settle thousands of civil lawsuits. Multiple state and local governments and tribal nations pursued litigation against these businesses alleging corporate responsibility for the severity of the ongoing opioid crisis. Three drug distributors and one manufacturer agreed to pay $21 billion and $5 billion respectively to provide healthcare, rehabilitation and prevention services to help mitigate the crisis.


States are using these opioid settlement funds for a variety of purposes that assist individuals suffering from substance use disorders (Table 1 below provides a complete list of proposed and enacted legislation). Most commonly, funds are being allocated to create and maintain committees or commissions to make recommendations on how funds should be allocated. These committees also oversee the distribution of resources and ensure they are properly utilized to temper the crisis – and not diverted to unrelated programs. Members are appointed by officials such as governors and attorney generals based on established criteria.

For example, in Colorado, the membership must include at least one medically-certified professional, at least one pharmacist and at least one individual directly impacted by the opioid crisis. In Kentucky, the membership must include representation of crisis victims, law enforcement and the drug treatment and prevention communities.

Examples of newly established committees include Colorado’s Opioid Recovery Crisis Funds Advisory Committee that provides input and recommendations to the Attorney General on [SN1] effective expenditure of settlement funds. The Prescription Opioid Distribution Commission in Delaware ensures funding is used to mitigate the opioid crisis and not diverted. A report regarding the receipt and allocation of funds must be provided annually to the Commission. Kentucky instituted the Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission [SN2] and Illinois created the Opioid Settlement Fund. [SN3] 

In addition to the settlement requirements, states have established additional guidelines for distributing funds. In Florida, funds are only allocated to counties that have an abatement plan and a population of over 300,000 people. Eligible counties must have treatment and prevention programs in place alongside an opioid task force to collect information related to substance abuse disorders and makes recommendations regarding responding to the epidemic.


Several oversight entities incorporate the views and recommendations of affected communities when making funding decisions. Delaware’s Opioid Distribution Commission is one such committee. Counties and municipal governments provide input, and these recommendations are considered when funds are allocated and programs are implemented. Idaho takes on a similar approach by creating a state-directed fund used to support prevention and recovery efforts. The Joint-Finance Appropriations Committee will make take recommendations from the Behavioral Health Council on how to apportion funding.


States are also taking similar approaches to investing funds in response to the opioid crisis emergency. These methods include revamping existing programs as well as creating new ones. Some programs provide direct treatment and rehabilitation services while others provide broader, long-term support to recovering individuals, such as housing assistance and job training.

In Illinois, all opioid settlement-related dollars are deposited in the Opioid Settlement Fund, where resources are allocated to provide access to and ensure availability of effective usage disorder treatment; invest funding in safety nets for substance abuse providers; and maximize the opportunity to draw matching federal resources related to the alleviation of the crisis. It is also mandated that $100,000 be allocated annually to the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association to cover application and testing costs for human services professionals who provide substance use disorder and mental health supports.

The Advisory Commission in Kentucky will reimburse expenses for services provided to individuals in the justice system, support for medication-assisted and abstinence-based treatment programs, investment in recovery and other services provided by community health centers, emergency response services provided by law enforcement and naloxone costs. It will also fund projects that support intervention, treatment and recovery services including medical detoxification, supportive or recovery housing, employment training and transportation to recovery services and programs. Colorado expanded a similar program that provides housing vouchers for those with mental health, behavioral and substance use disorders.

North Carolina also funds housing support programs, including assistance with rent, move-in deposits and utilities as well as recovery housing programs for those receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. This model differs from Colorado by including assistance for individuals who are currently using substances and are not in recovery. Funding goes to programs that offer employment support services such as job training, job placement, interview coaching, resume review, professional attire advice and relevant courses at community colleges or vocational school to people in treatment or currently using. Transportation services and vouchers also are provided. North Carolina also funds evidence-based recovery support services like peer support specialists and care navigators who assist with treatment or recovery in detention facilities, social service offices and local health departments.

The Council of State Governments Justice Center has resources available to states looking for evidence-based strategies to improve outcomes for people with substance abuse disorders. Additionally, the Justice Center provides resources on best practices for successful reentry for people with opioid addictions and screening and assessment for those in the criminal justice system.  

Table 1.

Proposed and enacted legislation regarding the use of opioid settlement funds

(Links included in first column for state opioid settlement websites, as available)

CaliforniaSenate Bill 1282In Progress
ColoradoHouse Bill 19Enacted
ConnecticutHouse Bill 5436In Progress
DelawareSenate Bill 166Enacted
FloridaHouse Bill 5013In Progress
IdahoHouse Bill 315Enacted
IllinoisHouse Resolution 296Enacted
IndianaHouse Bill 1193Enacted
IowaHouse File 2323In Progress
KansasHouse Bill 2412In Progress
KentuckyHouse Bill 427Enacted
LouisianaHouse Bill 1045In Progress
MaineHouse Proposal 1277Enacted
MarylandSenate Bill 419Enacted
MassachusettsHouse 5129Enacted
MichiganHouse Bill 5968In Progress
MinnesotaHouse File 400Enacted
MissouriHouse Bill 2162In Progress
NebraskaLegislative Bill 1124Enacted
New HampshireHouse Bill 1565In Progress
New JerseySenate 783In Progress
NevadaAssembly Bill 374Enacted
New YorkSenate 7194Enacted
North CarolinaSenate Bill 682In Progress
OklahomaHouse Bill 4138Enacted
OregonHouse Bill 4098Enacted
PennsylvaniaHouse Bill 1348Enacted
South CarolinaHouse 5182In Progress
South DakotaHouse Bill 1038Enacted
TennesseeHouse Bill 1132Enacted
TexasSenate Bill 1827Enacted
VermontHouse 711In Progress
VirginiaHouse Bill 2322Enacted
WisconsinAssembly Bill 374Enacted

*Status as of May 4, 2022

Associates in Action: Neurocrine Biosciences Honors Fifth Annual Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) Awareness Week

By: Victor Montgomery

Neurocrine Biosciences, a CSG Associate, recently recognized the fifth annual Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) Awareness Week to help elevate the voices and experiences of people living with tardive dyskinesia. This May, for the first time ever, all 50 states and Washington D.C. joined Neurocrine Biosciences and mental health advocacy organizations nationwide to shine a light on those affected by TD. More than 25 iconic landmarks across the nation – from Niagara Falls to the Portland Morrison Street Bridge to the entire Balboa Park complex – were lit up blue to elevate awareness in the community around TD. By recognizing TD Awareness Week, Neurocrine Biosciences, advocacy organizations, legislators, and the community raised awareness around:

  • The impact TD can have on a person’s physical, emotional and social well-being
  • The signs and symptoms associated with TD
  • The importance of working with one’s doctor to manage the condition, including talking about available treatment options

Tardive dyskinesia is a condition that affects approximately 600,000 people in the United States. The disorder causes uncontrollable movements affecting the face, torso, and/or other body parts and may develop after a few months of taking certain medications (antipsychotics) to treat bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The uncontrollable movements of TD can significantly reduce the quality of life for those affected, impacting daily tasks such as eating, sleeping, drinking and even leaving the house.

TD can also have emotional and social consequences. Data from the RE-KINECT study, the largest real-world screening study of patients with clinically confirmed possible TD, demonstrated that 75% of the 204 participants affirmed feeling self-conscious or embarrassed about involuntary movements caused by TD. By acknowledging and recognizing these symptoms as part of a real, chronic condition, TD Awareness Week provides important education and encouragement to connect patients with necessary support and potential treatment.

TD Awareness Week kicks off the first full week of May, otherwise known as Mental Health Awareness Month – an initiative established in 1949 by the National Association for Mental Health. Mental Health Awareness Month acknowledges the one in five U.S. adults living with a mental illness and who may be at highest risk of developing TD.

Neurocrine Biosciences is a neuroscience-focused biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and delivering life-changing treatments for people with under-addressed neurological, endocrine and psychiatric disorders. For nearly three decades, Neurocrine Biosciences has specialized in targeting and interrupting disease-causing mechanisms involving the interconnected pathways of the nervous and endocrine systems.

For more information on TD Awareness Week, please visit: TalkAboutTD.com

Broadband Expansion Initiatives

On Monday, President Biden announced “…commitments from 20 leading internet providers — covering more than 80% of the U.S. population across urban, suburban, and rural areas — to either increase speeds or cut prices, making sure they all offer ACP-eligible households high-speed, high-quality internet plans for no more than $30/month.” The announcement is a component of the Affordable Connectivity Program, established as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, enacted last November. 

The pandemic dramatically accelerated societal dependence on internet access for success at work, school and access to services including physical and mental health care. However, even as broadband infrastructure has expanded substantially, inequalities remain. For example, according to the Pew Research Center, 92% of households with an average income of $75,000 or higher have broadband access at home; for those making $30,000 or less annually, that figure drops to 57%.

The infrastructure act includes a $65 billion investment in broadband expansion and access support, with $14.2 billion designated specifically for the Affordable Connectivity Program. Among the components of the $14.2 billion allocation strategy is $30/month in benefits to qualifying low-income households with approximately 11.5 million individuals enrolled. The commitment announced Monday from internet providers, along with the $30 subsidy to households already in place through the Affordable Connectivity Program, means eligible households will have access to no cost internet plans. 

Meanwhile, the infrastructure bill also directs state governments to require private companies to offer a “low-cost option” to qualify for federal funds designated for broadband expansion to underserved areas. The legislation does not provide clarification on the meaning of “low-cost” and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (Department of Commerce) has the authority under the infrastructure act to reject proposed plans for not meeting the requirement. Conflicts between providers and consumer advocate organizations have risen across the states as policymakers navigate the uncertain terrain.

Left unsaid in Monday’s announcement is what impact, if any, the national agreement with providers will have on the mandate that state governments ensure “low-cost option” plans.

For more federal resources for state and local government broadband expansion efforts, click here.

SCOTUS to Decide Post-Conviction DNA Testing Statute of Limitations Case

In Reed v. Goertz the U.S. Supreme Court will decide when the statute of limitations begins to run on a claim seeking post-conviction DNA testing of crime scene evidence. All fifty states and the District of Columbia allow postconviction DNA testing in some circumstances.

Rodney Reed was convicted of capital murder in 1998. Stacey Stites’ body and some personal items were found in one location; the truck she shared with her fiancé and other personal items were found at another location. The medical examiner concluded Stites had likely been sexually assaulted prior to being killed. A DNA profile of the sperm found matched with Reed. Reed claims he and Stites were having a consensual affair and that he is innocent.

In 2014 Reed asked the state court to test Stites’ personal items found at both locations pursuant to Texas’s post-conviction DNA testing law. In November 2014 the trial court denied the order. Reed’s unsuccessful appeals ended in October 2017.

In Skinner v. Switzer (2011) the Supreme Court held that state prisoners denied post-conviction DNA testing of crime-scene evidence may bring 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuits seeking “to show that the governing state law denies [them] procedural due process.” Section 1983 is a federal statute which allows government officials and entities to be sued for money damages for constitutional violations.

In August 2019 Reed brought a Section 1983 claim challenging the constitutionality of Texas’s post-conviction DNA testing law. The Fifth Circuit held it was barred by the statute of limitations which began running as soon as the state trial court denied the DNA testing in November 2014.

Texas has a 2-year statute of limitations that applies to Section 1983 cases so filing the Section 1983 action in August 2019 was too late. 

Per Fifth Circuit precedent the statute of limitations begins to run on Section 1983 cases “the moment the plaintiff becomes aware . . . he has suffered an injury or has sufficient information to know that he has been injured.”

According to the Fifth Circuit: “Here, Reed first became aware that his right to access that evidence was allegedly being violated when the trial court denied his . . . .motion [for post-conviction DNA testing] in November 2014. Reed had the necessary information to know that his rights were allegedly being violated as soon as the trial court denied his motion for post-conviction relief.”

In his petition asking the Court to hear his case Reed argues that the statute of limitations to bring challenges to post-conviction DNA statutes shouldn’t begin running until the end of state-court litigation denying DNA testing, including any appeals. According to Reed: “Before the state appellate court interprets the statute, a movant cannot know definitively what the statute means and whether it is adequate to protect his constitutional rights.”

State Initiatives to Combat Human Trafficking: New York

By Matthew George

Human trafficking is a prominent issue in all 50 states. The COVID-19 pandemic coincided with an increase in trafficking victims, escalating from 11,500 situations in 2019 to 16,658 the following year.[i]  Many states have proposed legislation to increase criminal penalties for traffickers and protections and civil remedies for those victimized by trafficking. Some states have taken steps to increase funding provided to survivors, increase public awareness and coordinate efforts across state agencies, including transit agencies.

During state legislative sessions in 2021-22, 944 bills were introduced across the U.S. In New York, 55 bills were introduced with 25 enacted. One of those bills, Assembly Bill 3331, requires law enforcement and district attorney offices to advise human trafficking victims of the availability of social and legal services[ii]. Agencies will offer voluntary services, providing an opportunity to connect victims with program providers. This program amends a bill enacted in 2020 enabling the Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together (START) Act, providing greater protection for survivors of human trafficking, including clearing records of past convictions resulting from exploitation.[iii] NYN Media reports over 100 organizations in support of the bill, additionally reporting that “race, poverty, gender identity, sexual orientation, and immigration status” contribute to those criminalized by traffickers. Additionally, criminal records worsen barriers to “housing, education, employment, childcare, and healthcare.” [iv] In a statement from state Senate sponsor Jessica Ramos, she says the bill will increase the “visibility around the structural challenges experienced by trans and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers” and the START Act gives “survivors of trafficking a fresh start,” prompting new opportunities for employment, access to legal remedies and “break cycles of trauma for thousands of survivors” across the state.

In addition, New York policymakers recently introduced two bills designed to improve recognition technology and criminal rights for those engaging in human trafficking. Senate Bill 736 would require all employees of private transportation services to undergo a standardized human-trafficking recognition program established by the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Both departments work in consultation with the Department of Transportation and the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking.[v] The bill is sponsored by Alessandra Biaggi and has bipartisan support in the Assembly and Senate. It was referred to the Social Services Committee January 5, 2022.

Senate Bill 6821 “Directs the commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to establish a sex trafficking awareness and prevention program to provide education and awareness literature and educational materials to all drivers with a commercial motor vehicle license.”[vi] The bill was assigned to the Transportation Committee January 5, 2022.

Senator Persaud, who is Chair of the Senate Social Services Committee of New York State, says “The State of New York continues to have a significantly high number of human trafficking cases reported. S.6821 was drafted to reflect the critical role of New York’s motor vehicle and transport regulators, and the broader transport sector, in combatting trafficking.” New York is an example of how states are attempting to address human trafficking.

[i]    Polaris. (2022, January 11).  Myths, facts, and Statistics. Polaris Project., from https://polarisproject.org/myths-facts-and-statistics/

[ii] NY State Assembly Bill 3331. (2022, January 22). NY State Assembly. Retrieved from https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/A3331

[iii]Willbanks, D. (2021, November 22). New York State becomes a national leader in providing survivors of trafficking real justice. Citizen Action of New York. Retrieved from https://citizenactionny.org/2021/11/16/new-york-state-becomes-a-national-leader-in-providing-survivors-of-trafficking-real-justice/

[iv] Ortega, R. R. (2021, November 18). New law allows human trafficking survivors to clear their records. NYN Media. Retrieved, from https://nynmedia.com/content/new-law-allows-human-trafficking-survivors-clear-their-records

[v] NY State Senate Bill 736. (2022, January 6). NY State Senate. Retrieved from https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/S736

[vi] NY State Senate Bill 6821. (2022, January 6). NY State Senate. Retrieved from https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/S6821

Associates in Action: Western Governors University and North Dakota Community Colleges Formalize Partnership for Affordable Education

Western Governors University (WGU), a non-profit online university and CSG Associate, signed a memorandum of understanding on March 17 with the North Dakota University System’s five community colleges. The agreement will provide graduates and staff of Bismarck State College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Lake Region State College, North Dakota State College of Science and Williston State College with an affordable pathway to earning their bachelor’s or master’s degrees through WGU. The institution offers over 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering business, IT, K-12 teacher education and health professions including nursing.

In addition, students transferring from North Dakota community colleges to WGU will now be eligible to apply for scholarships including WGU’s Community College Partner Scholarship Program and Online Access Scholarship. The Community College Scholarship Program is valued at up to $2,500 and is applied to WGU’s low, flat-rate tuition of about $3,800 per six-month term – making educational expenses even more accessible. Meanwhile, applicants in need who lack access to affordable, high-speed internet can receive a stipend for internet installation, monthly internet access costs for the duration of study and devices.

“We are delighted to provide continuing education options to the graduates and staff of North Dakota Community Colleges,” said Dr. Angie Besendorfer, Regional Vice President of Western Governors University. “WGU values the important role community colleges play in upskilling the workforce and is pleased to provide North Dakota residents with pathways to higher education and career advancement.”

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum first announced the memorandum of understanding between North Dakota Community Colleges’ five presidents and WGU during his 2022 State of the State Address. During his speech, Governor Burgum highlighted the crucial need to provide North Dakotans with access to high-quality education to prepare for in-demand careers that will strengthen and diversify the state’s economy.

“In North Dakota, we’re focused on ensuring that every resident can thrive in the 21st century economy and reach their fullest potential,” Governor Burgum said. “To be successful, we must be better at aligning our degree offerings with the needs of North Dakota businesses. This new partnership with Western Governors University will provide North Dakotans with seamless access to one of the nation’s most innovative higher education institutions to continue their education as they pursue their career goals and pathways to opportunity.”

WGU’s connection to North Dakota stretches back to the university’s founding in 1997, when then-Governor Ed Shafer joined 18 other U.S. governors in a mission to expand access to exceptional, affordable higher education by signing WGU’s charter. Since then, WGU has become the leading national competency-based university, making it possible for students to accelerate degree progress on subjects they know well to save both time and money. The university now serves more than 131,000 students nationwide and has more than 257,000 graduates in all 50 states as a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy.

More information on the partnership between WGU and North Dakota Community Colleges can be found at: www.wgu.edu/ndcc.

Supreme Court to Decide Significant Spending Clause Case

In Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County, Indiana v. Talevski the U.S. Supreme may decide two questions. First, it may review its holding that Spending Clause legislation allows private parties to bring lawsuits for money damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Section 1983). Assuming the Court doesn’t overturn this holding it will decide whether such claims may be brought under the Federal Nursing Home Amendments Act (FNHRA) transfer and medication rules.

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