News from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb
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Leader Kolb Receives “Champion Award” for Continued Efforts to Assist Disability Community

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) was presented with the “Champion Award” by the #bFair2DirectCare coalition for his work advocating to ensure direct-care professionals are given the respect and compensation they deserve.

Leader Kolb has continually supported members of the #bFair2DirectCare coalition as they fight for a living wage. Members of the coalition are asking for a modest 3.25 percent salary increase that would amount to a fraction of the proposed budget, yet no such funding was included in the governor’s executive proposal. Even basic cost-of-living adjustments being discussed would not take effect until 2020.

“Direct-care professionals have chosen a career path that requires an enormous time and energy commitment in order to support those who struggle to care for themselves. The needs of direct-care workers are continually ignored,” said Leader Kolb. “This pattern of neglect must come to an end. I will continue to advocate for these incredible professionals as budget negotiations proceed through the April 1 deadline and thereafter.”

By making other, less demanding work comparably compensated, the industry is at risk of shedding its existing workforce and faces a major uphill recruitment battle. The Assembly Minority Conference pushed hard for a $90 million restoration in the 2013-2014 budget, which helped alleviate mounting pressure on the industry. As a result of a concerted effort on the part of advocates, that funding was ultimately included. In 2017, we pushed for a $55 million commitment for the 2018-2019 budget, which also became law.

“Direct-care professionals provide critical care for our most vulnerable population. Quite frankly, they deserve a level of respect they simply aren’t getting. There’s no reason we continue to turn a blind eye to this reeling industry. Let’s give these individuals the money they deserve to make ends meet, and make sure those who need their services are adequately cared for.”