NEW CITY, NY– Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) announced that the recently enacted State budget includes a raise for direct service providers who care for developmentally disabled individuals. Many of these workers are employed at not-for-profit agencies, like Jawonio, and are paid largely through government funding. Wages for these positions did not keep pace when New York raised the minimum wage, forcing many caregivers to leave the field creating a negative impact on the quality of care rendered. Carlucci was part of a coalition that advocated for additional funding in the budget and were successful in securing $55.5 million in additional wage compensation for direct care staff in the 2017-18 fiscal year, followed by an additional $90 million starting next year.
"By securing this funding we have given a voice to the more than 128,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities who often cannot speak for themselves. Many of us have worked on this for some time and I am very happy that we are able to provide a foundation of care for so many vulnerable individuals. Local organizations like Jawonio will now have the ability to make competitive offers to caregivers and improve the quality of life for those they care for," Senator Carlucci said.
"Jawonio thanks Senator Carlucci for his strong advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities and special needs. Thanks to his relentless support, and that of Assemblymembers Zebrowski and Jaffee, tens of thousands of staff across the State are moving towards a more competitive salary. We also thank our Governor for responding to the strong voice of the people by including funds in the NYS budget," added Jill Warner, Executive Director & CEO of Jawonio.