NYS Budget

On Wednesday, May 4, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed a budget that utterly fails nonprofit direct support professionals (DSPs), the committed caregivers who support and assist people with developmental and intellectual disabilities (I/DD) 24/7.  Forget them getting the salary hike they deserve — they didn’t even get what they need to live.

The $229 billion 2023-2024 budget, one month late (the process isn’t called “The Big Ugly” for nothing) landed on a mere 4% cost of living increase, blatantly and callously ignoring an escalating crisis in the disability community that has seen DSPs jumping ship, group homes closing, and support services and agencies understaffed and overworked.

New York Alliance for Developmental Disabilities had been asking for 12.5% COLA for non-profit service providers (with 8.5% being negotiated in the budget dealings) and a DSP wage enhancement of $8,000 to boost their pay, the latter of which didn’t make it into the budget at all.

The organization called the final budget “a major disappointment for nonprofit provider agencies and the dedicated workforce that supports individuals with I/DD. … Without the needed COLA investment, our crisis will only become more dire.”

In response to the budget, Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright has introduced a bill that would provide a DSP wage enhancement. The bill, according to AmNY.com, would allocate $4,000 per employee to each agency which would then be passed on to the DSPs. The $4,000 would be for just one year, while the industry works on next year’s budget and other legislation, it reports.

Response to the budget from The ARC New York

“We are truly stunned by the inadequate investment in our service system, The Arc New York wrote in a statement. “Nonprofit providers of supports and services for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities will receive a mere 4% cost of living increase. [This] covers less than half the increase in inflation over the past year. It does nothing to reverse our escalating workforce crisis. Most importantly, it does not address the erosion of care and supports for New Yorkers with I/DD.

“Paired with the reality of inflation, a 4% COLA has become essentially a 4.5% cut.

“We called for an 8.5% COLA and a Direct Support Wage Enhancement to meet those needs. The legislature included an 8.5% COLA and no DSWE in their budgets. We advocated fiercely for that compromise to be realized, but the end result is entirely inadequate.”



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