Michael McNesby Act
Michael McNesby Act
Ability Network of Delaware

Thank you,

Gov. Carney.

Gov. Carney and Delaware’s Office of Management and Budget announced $2 million in additional funding for services for intellectual and developmental disabilities in FY 2020. On behalf of the community and the service providers we represent, we’d like to express our gratitude to the governor and his administration.

The additional $2 million is very helpful, but more is needed. We look forward to working with the governor and the legislature to secure “The Whole 9”— the $9 million in State funding needed to keep the system healthy. Fully funding the McNesby Act will ensure:

  • Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) serving some of the most vulnerable citizens in Delaware can earn a living wage.

  • The system of services for adults with I/DD becomes more stable by minimizing staff turnover.

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 $2 million in State funding was allocated in Fiscal Year 2020 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. The State of Delaware needs to include the “Whole 9” to shore up services until the rest of the funding becomes available in subsequent years.

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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