By Associated Press - Tuesday, April 12, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Lawmakers and advocates say workers who care for developmentally disabled residents should get a pay raise to comply with a federal court order.

Supporters of legislation raising the wage to $15 per hour say 34,000 “direct support professionals” make $9.35 currently.

A monitor declared in January that the state was out of compliance with a federal order that the state provide better care to developmentally disabled residents. The monitor said the state could not hire enough workers to maintain quality service.

It would cost $350 million to increase the wage to $15. There is a 50 percent federal match for each state dollar.

Democratic Rep. Robyn Gabel of Evanston and Democratic Sen. Heather Steans (STAINZ’) of Chicago say their legislation will have hearings this week.

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