NY Caring Majority on Gov. Hochul’s State of the State: 'Hochul Took Important First Step Toward Addressing Home Care Crisis'
New York Caring Majority co-director Ilana Berger released the following statement:
"New York faces the worst home care crisis in America - and today Kathy Hochul took an important first step toward addressing this dangerous crisis by committing to raise health care workers' wages.
"For too long, New York State has left countless aging adults and disabled people without essential home care. Because of the home care shortage, our family members and neighbors go without the support they need to live safely and with dignity in the community - and are often forced into dangerous nursing homes. If New York pays home care workers a fair wage, the state could quickly wipe out the home care shortage, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and save the state money by moving home care workers off of social assistance. And our state's home care sector is overwhelmingly women and people of color - so fair wages would create new jobs for historically underpaid communities."
"We thank Governor Kathy Hochul for her commitment to addressing this dangerous crisis, and urge the Governor to include the Fair Pay for Home Care Act in her Executive Budget which would wipe out the state's home care shortage and quickly achieve her goal of growing our health care workforce by 20%. As New York's population ages and the shortage worsens by the day, we can't afford to wait."
- New York faces the worst home care shortage in the nation. The "Fair Pay for Home Care Act," (S5374, A6329) would raise home care wages to 150% of the minimum wage ⎯ allowing home care workers to make at least $35,000 a year on average.
- The Act currently has bipartisan support in both houses, with 79 sponsors in the Assembly and 35 sponsors in the Senate.
- Legislation benefits include:
o End the home care shortage: The Act would wipe out the home care shortage in the next five years.
o Senior Safety: Research has found that recovering Covid patients have fared far better in home care than nursing homes.
o Economic generation: The Act would generate $5.4 billion for New York's state economy through new income and sales tax revenue, economic spillover, and reductions in Medicaid and social assistance.
o Lift workers out of poverty: Currently, median annual earnings for home care workers are currently only $21,300, with 57% of the state's home care workers reliant on social assistance. The Act would lift over 200,000 home care workers out of poverty wages.
o Job creation during Covid: The Act would bring 200,000 new home care workers into the field over the next decade and additionally create 180,000 jobs in other sectors and industries via increased spending and economic activity.
o Jobs for women & people of color: New York's care sector is 91% female and 77% people of color. As the country and state wrestle with historic racial injustice, along with the disproportionate impact of COVID on communities of color, Fair Pay for Home Care is an investment in equity.
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