The direct support workers employed by these community-based agencies typically earn minimum wage for what is often demanding, and sometimes dangerous work. Many communities in California have passed minimum wage laws that exceed state minimum wage, which is the amount covered by state reimbursement to the DD programs. As a consequence, programs in these "super minimum wage" jurisdictions are unable to pay legally-mandated wages to their staff. The result? Unless the state matches the "super minimum wage" these essential, life-saving programs may need to close, leaving countless hundreds or thousands of severely cognitively and functionally disabled adults with no supports.
Fortunately AB 279 could bridge that financial gap. Here's what one service provider told her clients:
"We'd like to share with you recent changes to the law that will have a direct impact on services being rendered to our clients. San Jose minimum wage ordinance went into effect July 1, 2017 to $12.00 per hour. In 6 more months, it will again increase another 15% to $13.50. Unfortunately, Governor Brown killed the bill on his last budget that would have increased the difference in the cost to service providers that the city has mandated. Service providers are set at fixed rates and staff to consumers ratios. Service providers will have little recourse to either reduce services in other areas or even close. An overall 20% increase of payroll cost to direct care services is not sustainable." (Emphasis added)
So PLEASE TODAY FILL OUT THE TWO LETTERS BELOW AND SEND THEM IN. The AB 279 Fact Sheet is also linked below. THANK YOU!
Letter to Lara
Letter to De Leon
AB 279 Fact Sheet
AB 279 Facebook page