Rep. Rayfield and Sen. Gelser deserve a round of applause for taking action during the 2019 legislative session to increase wages for Oregon’s direct support professionals (DSPs). The need to invest in these professionals was greater than ever and Rep. Rayfield and Sen. Gelser stepped up to the plate.
There are over 30,000 Oregonians who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities — many right here in our local community. These people rely on DSPs to provide them with residential services that allow them to maintain safe, healthy and independent lives. DSPs perform physically, mentally and emotionally challenging work — yet the average hourly wage was below $14, which resulted in increased turnover rates and an inability for employers to retain and compete for the best employees. It was clear going into 2019 that Oregon’s DSPs needed our legislature to invest in them, and, thankfully, they did!
Rep. Rayfield and Sen. Gelser recognized the value of the services DSPs perform and voted in support of raising their wages. This investment was a tremendous step forward in Oregon’s future ability to provide necessary services.
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I support the well-deserved wage increase for DSPs and thank Rep. Rayfield and Sen. Gelser for voting yes.