Dear Coalition for a DSP Living Wage:

Now that Governor Murphy has delivered his FY22 budget proposal, it is the Legislature’s turn to review the document and make changes. That process is underway right now and we need your help to ensure the nearly $42 million that Governor Murphy is proposing in FY22 to increase DSP wages makes it into the final budget that must be adopted by the Legislature and Governor by June 30, 2021.

The Assembly and Senate Budget Committees are holding hearings this month where members of the public can provide their input on the FY22 Budget.

We are asking members of the coalition to take part in this important process by submitting written testimony sharing why it is important to them that lawmakers continue to raise the wages of Direct Support Professionals in FY22.

Where to send your comments:

Senate Budget Committee: Send an email to SBABudgetHearings@njleg.org or mail your testimony to the Legislative Budget and Finance Office, State House Annex, P.O. Box 068, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0068.
Assembly Budget Committee: Send an email to ABUBudgetHearings@njleg.org or mail your testimony to the Legislative Budget and Finance Office, State House Annex, P.O. Box 068, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0068.

How to Address Your Letter/Email:

Senate Budget Committee: Dear Chairman Sarlo and Honorable Members of the Senate Budget Committee
Assembly Budget Committee: Dear Chairwoman Pintor Marin and Honorable Members of the Assembly Budget Committee

What to Write:

Most importantly, legislators want to hear personal stories and understand why securing competitive wages is important to YOU. Below are some messaging points that you may want to include in your message as well:

Thank legislators for investing in DSP wages in recent budgets and ask that they maintain the $42 million Governor Murphy is proposing in FY22 to continue to bring DSP compensation more in line with the responsibilities, skill, and training required for the job.
Remind them that with New Jersey’s minimum wage set to increase to $15 p/h by 2024 and with many retailers already paying $15-$18 per hour, it is more critical than ever for legislators to continue to invest in DSP wages. Explain how direct support is NOT minimum wage work, detailing the high level of skills needed to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and help them achieve their goals.

Thank you in advance for your participation. Once you’ve emailed your message to the Budget Committees, please FORWARD your message to Libby Vinson at libby@absnj.com. Feel free to direct any questions to Libby as well.

In partnership,
Valerie Sellers
Chair, NJDSP Coalition
CEO, NJACP

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