Aimed at Increasing Retention in the Home Care Workforce, the Bill Raises Wages for Caregivers and Promotes High Care Standards for Consumers
Denver, CO – Senate Bill 238, sponsored by Senators Jessie Danielson and Dominick Moreno and Representatives Chris Kennedy and Monica Duran, is headed to the Governor’s Desk after passing the final House vote 46-19. The bill requires home care agencies to pass on a minimum percentage of their Medicaid reimbursement rate increases over the next two fiscal years directly to caregiver compensation. SB 19-238 also establishes a stakeholder group to create a process for reviewing and enforcing training requirements and ensuring workers are aware of the rights they earned under this bill.
“I’m so proud to stand with home care workers whose work is so often undervalued,” said Senator Danielson. “Colorado’s population is aging more rapidly than the rest of the country, and we need to be ready for increased demand by ensuring caregivers can afford to stay in their jobs. I introduced this bill to accomplish just that and I’m thrilled my fellow legislators recognize this important work.”
The bill improves pay for workers who struggle in an industry plagued by low pay and lack of job stability. To help retain workers dedicated to providing high quality, compassionate care, SB 19-238 requires agencies to apply the entire provider rate increase for FY 19/20 ($1.48/hour) to homecare worker compensation and sets a wage floor for home care workers of $12.41, starting in July 2020. To promote high care standards for consumers, SB 238 establishes a training enforcement workgroup, comprised of various stakeholders in the home care industry including consumers, caregivers, agencies, disability and senior groups, etc.
Studies have shown that almost everyone will either be a caregiver or need care at some point in our lives, which is why Colorado needs to invest in its caring and dedicated workforce to create a reliable, trusted, and well equipped group of care providers.
“Every day, I make a difference for my clients by helping them live independently at home,” said caregiver Loree Lattik. “We get plenty of praise from our clients and their families but now the Colorado legislature has finally recognized our hard work and dedication. I’m grateful lawmakers are giving us this raise so we can take care of our own families.”