Lawmakers, Disability Advocates Call For Wage Hike

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SPRINGFIELD----It is something disability advocates say should happen. And some state lawmakers agree.

Both lawmakers and advocates say workers who care for developmentally disabled residents should get a pay raise to comply with a federal court order. Supporters of legislation that would raise the wage to $15.00 an hour say 34,000 "direct support professionals" make $9.35 currently. Hearings for the legislation from Democratic Representative Robyn Gabel of Evanston and Democratic Senator Heather Stearns of Chicago are scheduled this week.

In January, a monitor said the state was not in compliance with a federal order that Illinois provide better care to developmentally disabled residents. The monitor went on to say the state could not hire enough workers to maintain quality service.

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