Workers who assist people with developmental disabilities in Illinois want the governor to sign a bill that would raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Members of the direct support personnel (DSP) workforce are expected to hold a press conference at the Thompson Center Wednesday morning.
They will be joined by leaders from community agencies as well as state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), who proposed the $15 minimum wage bill for DSPs in the Senate, according to an announcement.
The Ray Graham Association for people with disabilities is among the agencies urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign the bill, HB 5931.
"Rauner should sign HB 5931 to modernize reimbursement rates, enabling agencies to pay a living wage to attract and retain DSPs," the association said in a news release.
There are about 34,000 DSPs working across the state of Illinois, and their average hourly wage is $9.35, according to the agency.
"Agencies contracted by the state of Illinois to provide services and supports for 27,000 people with developmental disabilities are unable to attract and retain DSPs because for eight years the state has not increased the reimbursement rate paid to these agencies," the association noted.
Earlier this year, the DSP "staffing crisis" resulted in a federal monitor finding Illinois to be noncompliant with "the federal Ligas consent decree that ensures individuals with disabilities have the right to choose the appropriate setting in which they wish to receive care," the agency explained.