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Joyce supports measure to raise wages for direct support personnel

Illinois Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is supporting a measure to ensure that direct support personnel (DSP) are fairly compensated for the assistance they provide to individuals with developmental disabilities.

“Support workers care for residents who rely on them to do basic day-to-day tasks that many of us do without thinking. It’s vital that these workers are taken care of and paid a fair wage,” Joyce said.

DSPs are vital in community residential settings where they help residents with daily personal care, like eating and hygiene, as well as teaching life skills and attending to complex medical needs. While funding for these services has increased over recent years, starting wages remain barely above minimum wage, and vacancies remain high. According to Joyce, this disparity is because the state does not always require community agencies to pass wage increases through to the workers.

Senate Bill 3607 would raise the reimbursement rate for DSPs by $3.50 an hour to ensure these employees are the ones seeing a wage increase.

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“The workers who care for our most vulnerable residents have my full support in their effort to earn a living wage,” Joyce said.

SB 3607 awaits committee assignment in the Senate.

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