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State Senator John E. Brooks Secures $55 Million for Direct Care Workers

Senator Brooks has been fighting to provide funding that would allow direct care workers to receive a pay raise.

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Senator John E. Brooks.

Photo by: Office of Senator John E. Brooks.

Albany, NY – March 29, 2017 – With New York State facing staffing shortages of direct care workers for the disabled, Senator John E. Brooks announced an additional $55 million in funding to raise wages for caregivers.
“Since the budget process started in Albany, I have been fighting for an increase in wages for direct care workers to ensure that we maintain safe staffing levels for both caregivers and those in need of their assistance,” said Senator John E. Brooks, a ranking member of the mental health committee.
Outlined in a the tentative agreement is a deal for direct care workers who earn less than the current minimum wage will have their pay raised to the minimum wage level and will also receive a 3.25 percent wage increase in 2018. Direct care workers earning more than the minimum wage will also receive a 6.5 percent pay increase over the next two years.
Along with advocates, Senator Brooks has been fighting to provide funding that would allow direct care workers to receive a pay raise, after last year's state budget included a schedule for increasing the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour. Direct care service workers provide critical services to individuals with disabilities while empowering and enhancing their lives.
Brooks spoke passionately about the need for fair and adequate funding at a mental health budget committee meeting on March 21, 2017.
“Caregivers deserve to earn a fair, equitable wage for their service.  As a longtime advocate for direct care workers I am happy to see this bipartisan effort to secure this 6% increase in the preliminary agreement.” Senator Brooks added.
For Senator Brook’s remarks on the Mental Health Budget Committee, click here.
Senator John E. Brooks is a Long Island native whose family history on Long Island dates back to the 1600s. He represents the South Shore of Long Island in Eastern Nassau and Western Suffolk Counties including: Baldwin Harbor, Bellmore, North Bellmore, Farmingdale, East Farmingdale, Freeport, Massapequa, Massapequa Park, East Massapequa, Merrick, North Merrick, Roosevelt, Seaford, Wantagh, Amityville, North Amityville, North Babylon, West Babylon, and parts of Baldwin, Copiague, Lindenhurst, South Hempstead, Wynandanch, and Wheatley Heights.  Senator Brooks’ legislative priorities include lowering the tax burden facing Long Island families, tackling government corruption, and ensuring that all students receive the highest quality education possible.