Michael McNesby Act
Michael McNesby Act
Ability Network of Delaware


Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide tireless care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Delaware. However, they are an endangered workforce.

Unfortunately, the lack of adequate state funding means it’s impossible for them to earn a living wage. Frequently, they must leave the jobs they love for higher paying jobs in other industries and other states.

Fully funding the McNesby Act within the next 3 years will help get DSPs the wages they deserve and ensure better care for the people they serve. We're asking Delaware to fulfill the promise by starting with $14 million in funding for FY 2020.

$14 million is roughly a third of the $42.3 million needed to close the funding gap. It will help to fulfill the promise of the McNesby Act. It enables the professionals serving people with I/DD the ability to earn a living wage. It ensures that provider organizations can keep their doors open and help Delaware meet federal requirements for community-based services.

Decisions on the Fiscal Year 2020 budget are being made this week. The time is now to tell Governor Carney and your legislators that #14IsFairforDirectCare.

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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