042216 js 0182SPRINGFIELD- Group home workers who care for Illinois residents with developmental disabilities are among the lowest paid workers in the nation, and the agencies are facing employee vacancy rates of nearly 25 percent.  

This week, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 955 that should help solve these problems. Senate Bill 955, supported by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), raises the wages of these workers to $15 an hour.

“Increasing wages of workers that care for the most vulnerable citizens with disabilities is a win for everyone,” Murphy said. “Workers receive a living wage. Employers can attract qualified employees to fill vacancies and patients receive better care.”

Currently, the starting wage for workers is only $9.30 per hour, leading to high turnover rates and making it difficult to attract qualified applicants.

“These workers cook, clean and care for the residents of the group homes. They deserve a living wage to provide for their own families,” Murphy said.

The legislation passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 36-20 and will now head to the Illinois House for consideration.