Decades of underfunding for IDD services has turned most direct support professional (DSP) careers into minimum wage jobs. The current process for adjusting rates when the state minimum wage rises is burdensome at best and inaccessible at worst. Providers serving the most populous cities and counties in the state cannot use this funding mechanism at all due to local minimum wages or high cost-of-living. Low wages and increased strain on already tight operations make it increasingly difficult for providers to recruit and retain high-quality DSPs.

The direct support profession is too critical a service to be paid based on minimum wage. CDSA, in collaboration with coalition partners, developed a new process for adjusting rates that would allow providers in every community to raise wages in alignment with the spirit of state minimum wage increases. Not only does our proposal simplify the process, eliminating administrative burden for providers and the state, but it will put California back on the path of recognizing and compensating DSPs as the professionals they are.