Gov. Cuomo says he won’t sign budget without increase in wages for direct care workers

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a few rare appearances Tuesday outside of his office as budget negotiations continue.

The governor made a promise to those who care for the most-vulnerable population.

Hundreds from the disability community returned to the Capitol to urge lawmakers to increase the funds for the workers that take care of the most vulnerable population.

Governor Cuomo stepped out of his office to assure them, he’s on it. He promised he won’t sign a budget, without an increase for direct care workers.

Originally the governor’s budget called for $45 million for the industry, but on Tuesday called for an additional $10 million to help offset the increases in the state’s minimum wage.

It was an exciting announcement for non-profits.

“We’re very happy that the governor heard our demand for Be Fair 2 Direct Care, this is a great first step to paying the people who provide the services to people with developmental disabilities and for the governor to come out and say this now, we really believe this is going to happen in the final budget,” John Drexelius, Developmentally Disability Alliance of Western New York, said.

The governor says the increase in funding means direct care workers’ wages would meet the statewide minimum wage plus three percent over a two-year period.

Most currently make around $11 an hour, less than the minimum wage in New York City.

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