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Cuomo's budget lacks living wage funding for direct care workers

Governor Cuomo's budget does not include funding to help direct care workers achieve a living wage, and that could mean changes at organizations like the Arc of Monroe.

The coalition “bFair2DirectCare” has been pushing for $45 million dollars in funding to raise caregiver pay.

Barbara Wale is CEO and President Arc of Monroe.

She says his budget doesn't include funding for direct support professionals --they assist people with developmental disabilities with activities for daily living.

"They should be making more than fast food workers, more than the minimum wage, and right now it's very difficult to make sure that they can do that," she says.

Wale says they may have to increase efficiencies or even reduce staff if Governor Cuomo's executive budget passes.

"It's very disappointing to us that indeed that we have to be able to find different ways to be able to ensure that we can recruit and retain the best employees," she said. 

Wale says the state Senate supports the increase, but it likely faces opposition in the Assembly.