Governor’s Budget Includes $211.2 Million in Wage Increases for Workers Who Care for Vulnerable Residents

Plan Boosts Wages for Those Who Care for Individuals with Disabilities, Older Residents & Children; and Mental Health and Substance Use Providers

May 10, 2022

(TRENTON) –  Demonstrating continued support for the frontline workers vital to the health and safety of many New Jerseyans, Governor Murphy’s budget proposal includes wage increases for critical workers who care for some of New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents.

The budget plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 includes about $211.2 million for wage increases for direct support professionals, home health aides also known as personal care assistants, child care workers, nursing home workers, private duty nurses, community-based mental health and substance use disorder providers, and homeless shelter staff.

“For the fifth consecutive year, Governor Murphy’s budget plan makes critical investments by increasing wages for the workforce that supports New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents,” Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman said.  “This workforce is the backbone of our state’s care economy and we’re grateful for their commitment to supporting individuals and families each and every day.  Ensuring New Jersey has a strong provider community and workforce is a top priority.”

The Governor’s proposed budget includes:

  • $83.4 million to support direct support professionals who care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in group homes and community-based programsFunding includes $41.7 million in state resources and an equal amount in federal matching funds;
  • $39 million for an across-the-board wage increase for all direct care staff for community-based mental health and substance use disorder providers;
  • $34.8 million to support personal care assistants serving NJ FamilyCare. Funding includes $17.4 million in both state and federal funding;
  • $157,000 to raise the wages of home health aides serving seniors in the Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving program, and an additional $270,000 for home health aides in the Personal Assistance Services Program, which provides critical home health care services to adults with permanent, physical disabilities;
  • $30 million for wage increases for nursing home workers, split evenly among federal and state funding;
  • $12.8 million to support the child care workforce.New Jersey's Child Care Subsidy Program provides full- and part-time child care assistance to families with low-incomes and working families with incomes less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. This increase for licensed center-based child care providers that accept subsidy payments will help these providers meet new minimum wage increases’
  • $7.8 million for a wage increase for private duty nurses, split evenly among federal and state funding; and
  • $3 million to support wage increases at homeless shelters. 

“Governor Murphy’s budget plan continues to recognize the important work being accomplished on the front lines, caring for vulnerable individuals and children,” Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said.  “These dedicated workers care for some of our most at-risk individuals. Their efforts are supported and valued.”