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Lawmakers considering ban on building nursing homes

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana lawmakers are advancing a proposal that would place a three-year moratorium on construction of most new nursing homes around the state.

The House Public Health Committee voted 8-2 Monday to endorse the bill, a version of which won Senate approval last month.

A similar proposal failed in 2014 after last-minute private lobbying by a senior Republican lawmaker whose family business faced losing millions of dollars under a moratorium.

House health committee Chairman Ed Clere of New Albany says he believes the moratorium is needed because many new facilities are being built even as the state has about a 24 percent vacancy among its nursing homes.

Opponents of the measure include developers and construction unions, who say it would cost the state jobs and violate free-market principles.