Support Funding to Stabilize the DSP workforce and IDD Services Contact Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee Members TODAY!
Support Funding to Stabilize the DSP workforce and IDD Services
Contact Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee Members TODAY!
The Maine State Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee is moving quickly to consider
the recommendation from the Health and Human Services Committee to add funding to the Governor’s supplemental budget to help stabilize programs and the essential frontline DSP workforce caring for adult Mainers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
IDD community members (consumers, parents, guardians, DSPs, and providers alike) who understand the vital role that DSPs have in keeping vulnerable and high-risk Mainers supported and safe through the pandemic are needed to connect with committee members today!
Sample message and contact information for committee members follow below.
What would the funding do?
Funding in the supplemental budget will support:
SAMPLE MESSAGES (see below for contact information)
Please add your personal or professional perspective.
SAMPLE PHONE MESSAGE
Hello, my name is _________, I’m calling to ask for your support for short term emergency funding in the supplemental budget to help stabilize programs and the frontline DSP workforce caring for Mainers with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is important now because….
YOUR PERSONAL/PROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVE.
Thank you for your consideration. (Leave your call back number xxx-xxxx)
SAMPLE EMAIL MESSAGE
Subject Line: Support Funding to Stabilize the DSP workforce and IDD Services in the Supplemental Budget
Dear (Representative or Senator):
I am writing to ask that you support funding in the supplemental budget to help stabilize the 10,000+ direct support professional workforce workers so they can continue to provide care and support for the thousands of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
The pandemic has compounded the state’s pre-existing rate and workforce shortage crisis in the IDD community. State Medicaid reimbursement rates for residential service wages remain below minimum wage. For providers in Portland, the emergency wage ordinance has only deepened this crisis and providers are having to cut staff hours and quality of care in order to pay the newly required $18/hr wage.
---your personal or professional perspective---
Fatigued and underpaid DSPs who risk their safety, and in turn, the safety of their families, to provide daily support and care to some of Maine's most vulnerable, medically fragile, and high-risk individuals, continue to leave their jobs for lower risk and higher-paying positions, jeopardizing the quality of care and access to services that people with I/DD need and deserve.
MACSP reports an estimated 16% of DSPs have left the workforce. Providers also report an increase in the resignation of skilled and valued veteran staff due to the current challenges, as well as few new applicants, and high overtime rates for the remaining staff just to keep the most basic supports in place.
Additionally, medically necessary center-based Community Supports programs for these same adults have been closed since the fall following the surge of COVID cases and Department guidance. The ongoing loss of revenue continues to grow.
There are simply not enough funds to stabilize staff with the hero pay they deserve, to defray the costs of the pandemic, and to hold up the costs of maintaining community support programs so that these frontline staff and programs are still there for the Mainers who need and depend on them once this public health emergency ends.
The State’s temporary 3-month rate increases ended last May, and unlike other healthcare organizations and providers, the combination of federal and state grant and loan programs has simply not benefited this sector as policymakers imagine.
Short-term financial support now, during the height of this pandemic, is critically needed. These frontline hidden heroes, and the thousands of vulnerable Mainers they care for, need your support!
Please support funding the supplemental budget to stabilize the DSP workforce and IDD services.
Thank you for your consideration.
Your name/ organization
Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee Members
Senator Cathy Breen of Cumberland - Chair D - Senate District 25
15 Falmouth Ridges Drive Falmouth, ME 04105
Phone: 207-329-6142, e-mail: Cathy.Breen@legislature.maine.gov
Senator Donna Bailey of York D - Senate District 31
7 Scrimshaw Lane Saco, ME 04072
Phone: 207-284-9962, e-mail: Donna.Bailey@Legislature.Maine.gov
Senator Paul Davis of Piscataquis R - Senate District 4
36 Townhouse Road Sangerville, ME 04479
Phone:207-343-0258, e-mail: Paul.Davis@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Teresa Pierce of Falmouth- Chair D - House District 44
6 Waites Landing Road Falmouth, ME 04105
Phone: 207-415-8631, e-mail: Teresa.Pierce@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Amy Arata of New Gloucester R - House District 65
607 Bald Hill Road New Gloucester, ME 04260
Phone:207-333-1817, e-mail: Amy.Arata@Legislature.Maine.gov
Representative Barbara Cardone of Bangor D - House District 127
39 Harthorn Avenue Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: N/A, e-mail: Barbara.Cardone@Legislature.Maine.gov
Representative Kristen Cloutier of Lewiston D - House District 60
33 Charles Street Lewiston, ME 04240
Phone: N/A, e-mail: Kristen.Cloutier@Legislature.Maine.gov
Representative Patrick Corey of Windham R - House District 25
353 River RoadWindham, ME 04062
Phone: 207-749-1336, e-mail: Patrick.Corey@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Jessica Fay of Raymond D - House District 66
141 Spiller Hill RoadRaymond, ME 04071
Phone: N/A, e-mail: Jessica.Fay@Legislature.Maine.gov
Representative Justin Fecteau of Augusta R - House District 86
7 Davis Street Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: 207-428-7183, e-mail: Justin.Fecteau@Legislature.Maine.gov
Representative Patty Hymanson of York D - House District 4
34 High Pine RoadYork, ME 03909
Phone: 207-363-8353, e-mail:Patricia.Hymanson@legislature.maine.gov
Representative John Martin of Eagle Lake D - House District 151
PO Box 250 Eagle Lake, ME 04739
Phone: 207-444-5556, e-mail: John.Martin@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Sawin Millett of Waterford R - House District 71
37 Golden Guernsey Drive Waterford, ME 04088
Phone: 207-592-5398, e-mail: Sawin.Millett@legislature.maine.gov