The Democratic-led state Assembly is expected to endorse a higher pay raise for workers who care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as the state budget negotiations are poised to enter a new phase.
The Assembly's budget resolution, due to be released on Monday, will likely include an 8.5% pay raise for direct care workers, who aides who provide services and support for some of the state's most vulnerable residents, according to Democratic Assemblyman Phil Steck.
The proposed raise is one that has been called for by advocates for people with disabilities and their organizations as they seek to staunch a loss of workers that has accelerated in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
Gov. Kathy Hochul's proposed $227 billion budget included a 2.5% pay hike for those workers. But advocates for people with disabilities want a higher pay raise and one that keeps pace with the rate of inflation.
Senate Disabilities Committee Chairman John Mannion has previously called for a significant pay raise as well, telling Spectrum News 1 in February the governor's proposal is a "starting point" in the talks.
The state budget is due to pass by April 1, the start of New York's fiscal year.
Legislative backing of a higher pay raise was also cheered by advocates this week.
"We feel very good about that," Arc New York CEO Erik Geizer on Wednesday. "Obviously there's negotiations that take place. We certainly support their position and appreciate it them putting into the resolution."
But Geizer added advocates are also calling "wage enhancement" provisions that would make pay more competitive for direct care workers.