Michael McNesby Act
Michael McNesby Act
Ability Network of Delaware


Contact Gov. Carney.

Please email Governor Carney now to ask him to include funding for the McNesby Act in the FY 2020 budget recommendations that he will present to the General Assembly in January 2019. Tell him:

  • Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) serving some of the most vulnerable citizens in Delaware need the additional pay.

  • Funding for this pay will become available only if the budget includes The Whole 9, which advocates requested earlier this year.

  • These state funds will help stabilize the system of services to adults with I/DD, which is constantly under stress because of 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. 

$4.67 million in State funding was allocated in Fiscal Year 2019 budget, which increases the Division of Developmental Disabilities budget for adult services by 6.6 percent.

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” in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget 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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