Michael McNesby Act
Michael McNesby Act
Ability Network of Delaware
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CALL OR WRITE YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY! ASK FOR A MEETING TO TELL YOUR STORY IN PERSON.

Last week, Delaware’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) voted to approve $4 million for FY 2020 to help close the funding gap for services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

What this Means for DSPs and the People They Care For

The funding passed by the JFC will increase the State’s support for Direct Support Professional (DSP) wages to $9.50 per hour. But this is not enough to give DSPs a living wage.

The study published by the Department of Health and Social Services in January 2019 identified a goal of increasing the State’s support for DSP wages from $9.00/hour to $14.11/hour. While the decision by the JFC takes a small step towards that goal, which is appreciated, increasing these wages to the recommended level would take an additional $38 million every year.

THERE’S STILL TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE

There is still an opportunity for the General Assembly to pass a supplemental appropriation bill before June 30th to direct some of the additional revenue found by DEFAC to ensure that adults with I/DD have the services they need to stay safe and healthy in their local communities. Advocates who support adequate funding for community-based I/DD services urge lawmakers to keep the promise they made in the McNesby Act.

CLICK BELOW TO GET CONTACT INFORMATION AND ADVICE ON WHAT TO SAY. DON’T FORGET TO ASK FOR A METING IN PERSON TO TELL YOUR STORY AND WHY FULL FUNDING MATTERS TO YOU.

About the McNesby Act

The Michael McNesby Full Funding for Adults with I/DD Act will ensure that funding for services is brought up to levels recommended by the Department of Health and Social Services.

 An additional $4.6 million in State funding was allocated in last year’s budget. However, not all Direct Support Professionals (DSP) received wage increases because of the way the funds were distributed. Although residential services received a healthy increase, day programs actually lost ground against inflation, which has resulted in increased staff turnover.

Breaking New Ground Requires Funding

The McNesby Act is the first legislation in the country to make an important commitment to fully fund services to adults with I/DD. However, it was not an appropriation bill, so there was no funding attached to it. Delaware’s Governor, Budget Director, the Joint Finance Committee, and Leadership of the General Assembly must make decisions to put money into the state budget each year until the goal is reached.

Click here to read the bill and why we need to keep advocating to keep the commitment made in the McNesby Act.

About Michael McNesby

Michael McNebsy was born in 1960 with Down syndrome. It was a time when society was unsure of what to do with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Michael’s parents chose inclusion for Michael, and he had a rich, happy life. He passed away on March 26, 2018, surrounded by loved ones. Hundreds of people attended his funeral.

Michael had the luxury of being born into a large family, and after his parents passed, his brothers and sisters were there to support him. Not everyone has this same safety net.

The Michael McNesby Full Funding for Adults with I/DD Act commits the state to fund support for these individuals—and will help adults with I/DD contribute to society and live a life as rewarding as Michael’s.

 

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