Dear Coalition for a DSP Living Wage:
Thanks to your advocacy efforts, the NJ Legislature passed its budget last night with $20 million in increased funding for Direct Support Professionals. Although the Coalition advocated solely for funds to go through the Department of Human Services, the Legislature ultimately decided to include the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development in the appropriation. However, unlike last year, the Coalition was able to change the budget language and if the money remains in the final FY19 Budget, the DHS funds this time around will go into the rates. With that in mind, We need YOUR help to ensure Governor Murphy keeps this $20 million for DSPs in the Final FY2019 Budget. Please take two minutes to send him an email today. Instructions and messaging are provided below. The importance of your outreach cannot be overstated!
How to Send an E-mail to Governor Murphy:
1). Click on link
2). Select Development Disabilities on E-mail Topic Drop Down Menu
3). Insert Personal Contact Info on Online Form
4). In Email Subject Line Write: Please Include $20 Million in Final FY19 Budget to Raise DSP Wages
5). Cut and Paste Message Below in Text Box (please personalize as needed)
Dear Governor Murphy:
Please keep the $20 million in increased funding for Direct Support Professional (DSPs) wages that was added in by the Legislature in the Final FY19 Budget.
DSPs provide the hands-on supports that enable people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to live as integrated members of New Jersey’s communities. The problem is that the starting wage for a DSP is only $10.50 an hour which makes it very challenging to hire and retain staff. After many years without an increase, the community-based, disability service delivery system is now in crisis with 20% vacancy and 44% turnover rates among DSPs.
If DSP wages aren’t increased in the FY19 Budget, then individuals with I/DD and their families will not have the staff they need. Without staff, there will be no services.
Please keep the $20 million in increased funding for DSP wages in the final FY2019 budget. Thank you.