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Caring Across Generations Statement on Gov. Kemp’s Removal of the Legislature-Approved Direct Care Worker Wage Increase in 2024 Budget
Lack of family-sustaining wages and benefits for direct care workers create barriers for people seeking aging and disability care in their own homes and communities
ATLANTA, Ga. – On Friday, Governor Brian Kemp removed the legislature’s bipartisan approval of the Department of Behavioral Health and Human Services $6/hour wage increase recommendation for direct care workers supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the final FY 2024 budget.
Vanessa Faraj, senior campaigns manager in Georgia for Caring Across Generations, released the following statement in response to Gov. Kemp’s action:
“While it’s very important to see the additional 250 waiver slots for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities added to Governor Brian Kemp’s FY 2024 budget, the final budget still falls short of addressing the heart of Georgia’s urgent care needs: investment in access to direct care services and good jobs for direct care workforce.
“It’s disappointing the recommendation to increase pay from $10.63 to $16.70 per hour was disregarded because Georgia’s direct care worker shortage, caused by the lack of family-sustaining wages and benefits, harms everyone in the state — especially disabled people and older adults seeking to live and age in own homes and communities and family caregivers taking time out of the paid workforce to support the health and well-being of their family members.
“Care work is the work that makes all other work possible. These workers enable families across this state to thrive. It’s beyond time that Georgia’s elected officials not only make care jobs good, living-wage jobs to fix the deepening staffing crisis but also work to uproot the structural racism, sexism, and ableism that keeps care work undervalued.
“It is time to make permanent investments to strengthen Georgia’s care infrastructure for our working families, loved ones, the economy, and our future.”
Caring Across Generations is a national organization of family caregivers, care workers, disabled people, and aging adults working to transform the way we care in this country so that care is accessible, affordable and equitable— and our systems of care enable everyone to live and age with dignity.
To achieve our vision, we transform cultural norms and narratives about aging, disability and care; win federal and state-level policies; and build power amongst the people touched by care. For more information, visit caringacross.org.