Focus on House Bill 2457: Direct Support Professional Wage Standards
HB 2457 ties average DSP wages to 150% of minimum wage. The bill also includes funding to cover new costs associated with this service. This bill is a priority for the Coalition Oregon DD for two important reasons.
First and foremost, we see the incredible reach of the workforce crisis that leaves people with IDD without the consistent, quality support they need to live their lives. People struggle to keep jobs, maintain personal care, attend medical appointments, and so much more because of the lack of people willing to work for inequitable direct support service wages. People with IDD, their families, their case managers, and the agencies who employ DSPs all deserve the stability that comes with adequate funding.
Second, our legislators and advocacy community deserve a proactive and logical way to build in wage growth for these services. As the economy shifts, it should be no surprise that DSP wages must shift, too, or be left behind. By tying the funding for these wages to minimum wage, we assure that DSP funding will keep current with the rest of society. By locking it in at 150% of (or, one and one-half times) minimum wage, we acknowledge that this is difficult, important, rewarding work that both sustains and affirms lives.