Equilibrium IT Solutions recently donated 14 Herman Miller cubical workstations to help NorthPointe Resources furnish its offices, allowing staff to continue their important mission of helping service adults with disabilities.
“EQ is proud to support such a terrific organization that is really making a difference in people’s lives! EQ has been very fortunate over the last 12 years, you could even say blessed! It seemed wrong to keep such nice furniture in storage. It felt very right to give it away so it could be used by such deserving folks. Our two organizations being connected by a Craig’s List ad posting, followed by a quick visit to inspect the furniture and in short order everything worked out so well!” -Glen Hampton
It’s been an historic week in the Statehouse as committees in the General Assembly have approved identical bills that establish a living wage for Direct Support Professionals working in community-based agencies serving children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
The coalition of statewide organizations pushing for a living wage for DSPs hosted a press conference at the Statehouse on Tuesday at 11:30 am. During this press conference, the Coalition released its report “Value the Work – Value Their Lives” which is a comprehensive document outlining the nature of the DSP workforce crisis and what the State needs to do to address it. Representative Robyn Gabel (D-18), who has sponsored Coalition legislation for the last three years, did an incredible job outlining the critical importance of addressing the workforce crisis. “To me this is an incredibly important issue. People who work hard deserve to be paid a fair wage. There is no reason people should be working in our country and not be able to support their family” stated Representative Gabel.
Later in the day, Senator Heather Steans (D-7) brought SB 2952 to the Senate Human Services Committee for discussion and a vote on the bill. The panel of powerful statements, backed by 3,531 witness slips in support of the bill, lead to the Committee passing the bill to the full Senate floor by a vote of 6-1-0.
The energy of Tuesday’s successful advocacy and Senate Committee outcome carried over to proceedings in the House Appropriations on Wednesday morning’s Human Services Committee. Representative Gabel brought HB 5931 (identical to SB 2952), backed by 2,492 witness slips in support of the bill, to the Committee for discussion and a vote. Similar to the outcome in the Senate, HB 5931 was approved by the Committee by a vote of 11-8-0.
In an historic week Association staff are very excited to now report to members there is now legislation on the floor in both chambers of the General Assembly that seek to establish a living wage for DSPs – a first to our knowledge! Association staff are currently conferring with our colleagues in the Coalition and our legislative sponsors to discuss the potential next step of calling the bills for a vote on the floor. Stay tuned on this part!
THANK YOU TO STAFF, FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND THOSE SERVED IN THE COMMUNITY FOR YOUR SUPPORT ON ADDRESSING THE WORKFORCE CRISIS ̶ YOUR ADVOCACY WILL BE NEEDED TO KEEP US MOVING FORWARD!