"Fight for $15" bill may decrease development disabilities funding

Development Disabilities community fight cuts made in funding
Posted at 11:33 PM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 08:56:54-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The state's measure to increase minimum wage to $15 an hour has passed in the House on Monday.

But, the bill's amendments may cut developmental disabilities funding to 3 percent.

Members of the developmental disabilities community rallied in Annapolis against the cuts being made to funding. They say that level of funding will not keep pace with minimum wage and could ultimately close community services. These services impact thousands of people in Maryland.

"It's really about our direct support workers, the people who work day to day with people with developmental disabilities and unfortunately they're low-wage workers that do incredibly challenging work for low pay," said Laura Howell, Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Services. "So as the minimum wage goes up we have to have an increase funding to raise their wages or otherwise we wont be able to pay their minimum wage."

The hope for the developmental disabilities community is that lawmakers will amend the bill and restore fund.