The National Advocacy Campaign (NAC) has released a white paper on minimum wage. The paper makes the case that any minimum wage increase must include adjustments to provider payment rates to ensure that wages paid to direct support professionals (DSPs) are sufficient to attract and retain quality workers. Since the beginning of the year, several states and cities have increased the minimum wage within their jurisdiction, often increasing it to $10.10 per hour to be in line with an executive order that President Obama signed that increases the minimum wage for federal contractors to that rate.
Maryland is one state that recently enacted increased minimum wage legislation. Included in the legislation is a mandated rate increase for community service providers of 3.5% each year from FY 2016 through 2019. This rate increase is expected to ensure that the reimbursement for direct support wage costs stays above the minimum wage. ANCOR calls on federal and state lawmakers to use the Maryland model to help manage the challenge of recruiting and retaining qualified DSPs.