The House has recommended a $100 million reserve for supplemental payments to providers under Chapter 257 as part of the $3.8 billion Spending Bill, which also includes $500 million in Tax Relief. The $100 million, if included in the Senate version, will bring the total for Chapter 257 this coming year to $330 million.
On May 20, at the Central Mass Providers Conference, we heard House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz stating that House members were discussing further support for our workforce. This news is welcome and gets us closer to an equitable and living wage for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs).
Please reach out to your Senator to ensure they support the funding for Chapter 257 in this Supplemental budget, and please also thank your Representatives in the House.
We also have a clip to share from Governor Baker at a New England Council breakfast in response to a question from Work Inc’s Jim Cassetta regarding the workforce crisis. You can view that clip below. The Governor seems to recognize that there is a need to increase rates so organizations can pay $20/hour to their direct support staff.
Perhaps there will be more good news in the near future. Increased rates for DSPs will allow for vacancies to be filled and for retention of our workforce, which means a return to needed services and supports for individuals. Let’s work together to make it a reality.