Happy Direct Support Professional Recognition Week! Learn more about our DSPs here.

Blog

June 9: Legislative Day of Action for Direct Support Wages

ASNC and a coalition of groups across IDD, aging, and home and community-based health services will be rallying at the General Assembly on June 9 in support of increased wages for direct support workers.  

Legislators have heard our decade of advocacy for increased access to services, and we expect to see more waiver slots in the upcoming budget. Access to waivers must go hand in hand with competitive wages for direct care staff – or there will be no one to provide the service. Read more about direct care and our coalition here. 

House Bill 914 Support Our Direct Care Workforce would increase the wages of direct support staff across a variety of Medicaid services including Innovations and other home and community-based waivers, personal care services, ICFs, home health, nursing homes and other behavioral health residential facilities. Medicaid providers would be required to certify that 80% of the increase in provider rates would go directly to increases DSP wages. This increased rate is intended to make sure that people who qualify for services have the direct support workforce they need. Increased rates mean providers can pay competitive wagesretain experienced DSPs, and people with autism do not go without DSP staff.  

 

Advocate for services and competitive wages! 

Rally in Person: Come to the General Assembly and talk with legislators in person to advocate for waivers and increased DSP wages. 

  • Call your legislators’ offices and ask for aappointment on Wednesday, June 9.
  • Can’t get an appointment? Come to the NCGA, pick up the talking points in the 1300 quadrant of the Legislative Building on 16 West Jones Street (look for our rally volunteers in t-shirts in the 1300 quadrant for copies and help with directions), and drop them off at your legislators’ offices. You may be able to catch your legislators for a chat if they are in their office. 
  • Attend the press conference for the bill Wednesday, June 9 at 9:30 AM in the press room at the NCGA at 16 West Jones Street. (Can’t attend in person? You can listen to the press conference online at https://www.ncleg.gov/Audio/press) 
  • Please let Jennifer Mahan know if you plan to attend in person by emailing jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org or calling 919-865-5068.
  • If you plan to visit the NCGA, please check out this guide to parking and visiting the building, including prohibited items. Note that there are security checkpoints at building entrances; please be prepared to have belongings scanned/checked and to wait as people go through metal detector scans. 

 

 

Rally From Home: If you cannot come to Raleigh in person, make your voice heard in other ways!  Legislators need to hear about autism, the need for services, and the need for a strong direct support workforce. If you have services, you can explain the importance of high-quality, consistent, caring staff and your support for HB 914. If you do not have services, talk about what it would mean for you get them. 

  • Email or call your NCGA members as well as the key committee members below. Prepare a short statement using our Advocacy Tips Sheet or Advocacy 101 Toolkit. Be brief and respectful.
  • Record a short video telling your story and post the video on your social media accounts. Tag your elected officials and the Autism Society of North Carolina so that we can re-post.
  • Contact your elected officials on social media, expressing your support of HB 914 with the hashtag #invisibleheroes.  

 

The NCGA website will help you identify who represents you. Be sure to check the circles at the top of the map for “NC House” and “NC Senate” to see who represents you in the NC General Assembly.  

 

Reach out to the legislators that represent you but please also contact these key legislators who make budget decisions:

Senator Jim Perry (Lenoir and Wayne)
Office Phone: (919) 733-5621 | Email: Jim.Perry@ncleg.gov  

Senator Joyce Krawiec (Forsyth and Davie) 
Office Phone: (919) 733-7850 | Email: Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.gov  

Senator Jim Burgin (Harnett, Johnston and Lee) 
Office Phone: (919) 733-5748 | Email: Jim.Burgin@ncleg.gov  

Senator Deanna Ballard (Alleghany, Ashe, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes) 
Office Phone: (919) 733-5742 | Email: Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.gov  

Senator Steve Jarvis (Davidson and Montgomery) 
Office Phone: (919) 733-5743 | Email: Steve.Jarvis@ncleg.gov  

Senator Kathy Harrington (Gaston) 
Office Phone: (919) 733-5734 | Email: Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.gov  

Senator Ralph Hise (Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Yancey) 
Office Phone: (919) 733-3460 | Email: Ralph.Hise@ncleg.gov  

Senator Brent Jackson (Sampson, Duplin, Johnston) 
Office Phone: (919) 733-5705 | Email: Brent.Jackson@ncleg.gov  

Representative Kim Baker (Cabarrus) 
Office Phone: 919-733-5861 | Email: Kristin.Baker@ncleg.gov  

Representative Larry Potts (Davidson) 
Office Phone: 919-715-0873 | Email: Larry.Potts@ncleg.gov  

Representative Wayne Sasser (Stanly, Cabarrus, Rowan) 
Office Phone: 704-982-8003 | Email: Wayne.Sasser@ncleg.gov  

Representative Donna White (Johnson) 
Office Phone: 919-889-1239 | Email: Donna.White@ncleg.gov  

Representative Donny Lambeth (Forsyth) 
Office Phone: 919-733-5747 | Email: Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.gov

Representative Jason Saine (Lincoln) 
Office Phone: 919-733-5782 | Email: Jason.Saine@ncleg.gov 

Representative Dean Arc (Union) 
Office Phone: 704-282-0418 | Email: Dean.Arp@ncleg.gov  

 

If you want more information about how to help, contact Jennifer Mahan, ASNC Director of Public Policy, at jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org. You can also sign up for our Policy Pulse emails.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.