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Advocate

KEY ISSUES/TAKE ACTION

YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED 

AHRC Nassau self-advocates call out for #bFair2DirectCare, a higher living wage for direct support professionals. In New York State
Encouraging steps continue to be taken by Governor Kathy Hochul, who recently presented the 2022-23 New York State Executive Budget. With an April 1 deadline, discussion by legislators will last through March with potential changes on the horizon. Throughout this process, AHRC Nassau will keep you informed of crucial dates of when to share perspectives and personal stories.

Highlights of the 2022-23 New York State Budget Advancing the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities:
Advocacy to reduce the top-tier threshold for Direct Support Professional (DSP) bonuses from 40+ hours to 35 hours has been successful. This change can be found in the governor’s 30-day amendments and updated financial plan. While this is a great victory, there is still more to be done. Here are our adapted budget requests for legislators:

  • Accept the 5.4% COLA for OPWDD voluntary providers.
  • Accept frontline healthcare worker bonus program and modify the bottom-tier requirements to include part-time employees who work at least 15 hours per week on average.
  • Make DSP bonuses permanent in future budgets to aid with recruitment and retention.
  • Accept the 11% COLA for special education provider tuition rates
  • Include a personal income tax credit of up to $5,000 for DSPs
  • Share your support with state legislators.

At the Federal Level and New York State
Legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and New York State Legislature proposes to eliminate the special minimum wage for people with severe disabilities. These provisions allows employers to obtain a special certificate, enabling them to pay wages below New York’s minimum wage for some people with disabilities, which provides access and opportunities for workforce participation.

Work is a valued activity for people with disabilities as it promotes independence, builds self-confidence, allows for the development of lasting friendships, and enables people to participate in the work environment, thus earning a paycheck. Providing people with choice on how they want to spend their day is a central tenant of supports and services. If these provisions become law, people would be forced into programs and activities that they may not find fulfilling or it is not what they desire.

People would be denied the tangible and intangible benefits of work: independence, participation, dignity, self-esteem, and sense of accomplishment, and lasting
friendships in addition to a loss of personal choice.

Make your voice heard! Send a note through https://p2a.co/OiLK4wh and alert your senator, member of congress, state senator and assemblyperson.

*Highlights from the NYS Budget and Explanation of Employment Legislation provided by The Arc New York.

Other Key Issues