Del. Budget-Writers Boost Rates For Direct Service Professionals

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Direct support professionals who serve Delawareans with intellectual and developmental disabilities would be paid more starting in the new fiscal year.
The Joint Finance Committee has voted to increase state funding by $16.5-million, which would result in the federal government providing an additional $27.5-million in matching funds. The appropriation in the operating budget would allow the state to meet the benchmarks established in the Michael McNesby Act of 2018, a law that required the state to increase the rates paid to DSP’s, with the goal of promoting retention and recruitment.
Funding for direct service professionals was also increased by $17.2-million in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget last year.

“Direct service professionals provide vital services to Delawareans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It’s a very demanding and challenging – and rewarding – job, but this field historically has been underfunded, leading to staffing shortages, which means residents aren’t getting the care they need,” State Representative Ed Osienski, D-Brookside said. “The Joint Finance Committee’s decision to approve this funding is a fulfillment of our commitment to these dedicated professionals and sends a message that we value them and the services they provide. I’m grateful to the committee’s decision, and I look forward to voting on the full budget next month.”

“Direct support professionals have served people with disabilities and other challenges with dedication and distinction throughout the pandemic, often putting the health of their clients before their own,” State Senator Laura Sturgeon, D-Brandywine Hundred-Greenville-Centerville said. “My colleagues and I have been fighting for years to increase the rates paid to service providers to the benchmark. I want to thank my fellow members of the Joint Finance Committee for standing up for these dedicated and essential professionals today and voting to fund their critical work.”

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