Today, Assemblyman Joe DeStefano (R,C,I,Ref-Medford) attended the #bfair2DirectCare rally in the New York State Capitol War Room. The rally included many direct-care workers from across the state demanding a living wage. The Assembly Minority Conference has continuously called for an increase in direct-care wages to be included in the final budget. This year, Gov. Cuomo failed to include funding for a raise in direct-care workers wages in his proposed budget. The Assembly budget proposal allocated $57.4 million to direct-care workers starting on Jan. 1, 2020. Following the rally, the governor vowed to restore direct-care funding that was cut from his original budget proposal. However, there is no guarantee it will be restored until the final budget is passed.
Direct-care workers are some of the hardest working men and women in our labor force. They have chosen to dedicate their time to our communitys most vulnerable population, despite being underpaid and having programs that are underfunded, said DeStefano. Direct-care workers are a critical part of our community and it is important that they are able to provide for their families or they may be forced to find alternative employment. I urge the governor and our legislative leaders to deliver this funding so we can give our direct-care workers the pay they so greatly deserve.