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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 14, 2020 10:27 AM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Wage Expansion for Direct Service Workers
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that will provide for much needed funding for the programs supporting our most vulnerable populations and will address a state shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  I have heard from individuals, families, and providers about the need for funding to improve the pay of their direct care staff. Employees across these systems work tirelessly to support individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, while receiving wages far below a living wage. 

This legislation would include language about shifting from the current federal Health Insurer Fee on health insurance plans to a state fee, raising an estimated $462 million each year for these program areas and individual policy holders’ reinsurance cost.  This revenue would be available to the state budget on a one-time basis for the first 12 months of enactment. After the first 12 months, it would establish sustainable revenue to fund the workforces and increase direct care wages to as close to $15 dollars per hour.   Staff members dedicated to the wellbeing of the individuals they serve are undercompensated for the emotional and physical strain placed on their lives.

The Direct Care Workforce Stability Fund would lift the lives of thousands of workers and ensure that some of our commonwealth’s most vulnerable adults and children, as well as their families, will receive the lifesaving services and care they need.

Please consider co-sponsoring this important legislation to provide funding and sustained support for those that dutifully care for our most vulnerable populations and their families.