Albany, NY – Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Wheatley Heights) today announced legislation (S7643/A9200A) to establish a personal income tax credit for direct support professionals (DSPs) and direct care workers employed by provider agencies to stabilize services for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The tax credit for direct support professionals and direct care workers will help to stop the workforce crisis that has long plagued New York’s I/DD sector.
"Direct Support Professionals are on the frontlines working tirelessly to provide care and support to our intellectual and developmental disability community every single day, but chronic underfunding for this vital sector poses a grave threat to our ability to meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre. “This legislation will provide a much-needed boost in pay to these essential workers and help bolster the DSP workforce across New York State, and I am looking forward to working with our provider associations and my colleagues in the Legislature to see it through to fruition."
“Our workforce, the Direct Support Professionals, are like everyone else. They need the same things that we all need, a living wage and stability. Our current funding system calls DPSs essential workers, but it fails to provide them with their essential needs. For over a decade, New York State has not provided any support to account for the impacts the changing labor force has had on DSPs and the direct care workforce,” said Tom McAlvanah, President of the New York Disability Advocates and Executive Director of the InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies. “Assembly member Jean-Pierre’s leadership to establish a personal income tax credit for DSPs is the right step needed to address this chronic underfunding. By recognizing the hard work that DPSs do day in and day out and accurately compensating them for it will not only help retain our current DPSs but incentivize recruitment efforts for a care workforce that has been severely depleted.”
“Our Affiliates have felt the pain of underfunding and staff shortages for far too long.This workforce crisis affects threatens the care we provide for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Mike Alvaro, President and Executive Director of Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State. “On behalf of our Affiliates and the people they serve, I commend Assemblymember Jean-Pierre for her advocacy and her efforts to address our workforce crisis.”
“A new, refundable tax credit that’s unique for staff in the disabilities sector is a welcome tool to help with recruiting new staff into the field and assist with retaining the valuable workforce.The NY Alliance supports this type of investment in the people who work in these unique jobs supporting people with disabilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in communities across our state,” said Michael Seereiter, President/CEO of the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation.
“The I/DD community has been experiencing a workforce crisis that has grown over the last ten years and we have reached a tipping point. DSPs are our support infrastructure, and years of underfunding has led that infrastructure to be pushed to its absolute limits,” said Seth Stein, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Alliance of Long Island Agencies. “Our sector cannot do this alone. We need support from the State to bolster provider agencies and our Direct Support Professionals. Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre’s call to establish a personal income tax credit for DSPs is the critical first step that our community needs to address this decades-long crisis. We look forward to working with the Assemblywoman, Governor Hochul and the entire State legislature to ensure that our DSPs are recognized and compensated for the selfless work they do in caring for New York’s vulnerable residents.”
“This tax credit for Direct Support Professionals (DSP) will not only benefit them economically, but it will benefit the communities they live in and the entire state,” said Rhonda Frederick, President of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of western New York (DDAWNY). “When the thousands of DSP’s that live in WNY buying power is increased, businesses from Niagara Falls to the Finger Lakes will realize the ripple effect.”
“We commend Assemblymember Jean-Pierre for introducing this important legislation. A tax credit for Direct Support Professionals is one of the multi-pronged solutions we have advocated for in addressing our escalating workforce crisis. This legislation would help further establish the DSP as a professional career, incentivize prospective candidates, and encourage retention of our skilled staff,” said Erik Geizer, CEO of The Arc New York. “It is absolutely critical that the legislature include the proposed funding in this budget. We must begin to compensate our DPSs commensurate with their ability, experience, and performance to ensure quality care and opportunities for New Yorkers with I/DD.”
“DSPs are the backbone of the I/DD community’s support structure. The work they do, day in and day out, are critical for individuals with I/DD to live happy and fulfilling lives. It is time that they are recognized and compensated accordingly,” said Yvette Watts, Executive Director of the New York Association of Emerging & Multicultural Providers. “The personal income tax credit proposed by Assemblymember Jean-Pierre is exactly what DPSs and provider services have been looking for to begin solving the workforce crisis caused by a decade of underfunding. We also thank Governor Hochul for recognizing our sector with her proposed funding in the Executive budget, because DSPs care for some of New York’s most vulnerable residents and it is high time that New York gives back to them.”