Clifton-Fine Hospital Proposal Makes Slow Progress

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Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush says he's optimistic about the fate of Clifton-Fine Hospital.

That's despite the lack of agreement Tuesday to change the hospital to a nonprofit organization.

Blankenbush said bill moved from one Assembly committee to another, which is more progress than he's seen in the past year.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate earlier this year.

The hospital could close in two or three years because of its debt, Blankenbush said.

Becoming a nonprofit organization would allow the hospital to save money by not paying into the state's costly pension system.

The employees would instead switch to a 401k-type retirement plan.

The state comptroller's report said the hospital lost $1.5 million over the past three years.

If it makes the change to nonprofit status, officials say the hospital could be making money again by next year.

Friday, July 25, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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