Sign Up to Receive PHI Alerts

Missouri Legislative Committee Rejects Wage Hike for Home Care Attendants

February 2, 2016

A wage hike for Missouri home care attendants is in further jeopardy after a legislative panel has voted once again to reject it, citing a failure to comply with state rulemaking regulations.

On January 19, the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee (GOAC) voted 7-1 against a rule change that could have potentially raised the wages for thousands of home care attendants in the state’s consumer-directed services program.

The rule change would have allowed consumers to choose to raise their attendant’s hourly wages to as high as $10.15/hour, up from the average hourly wage of $8.58, while keeping the Medicaid reimbursement rate unchanged at $15.56/hour.

The rule change originated in 2014, when the Missouri Home Care Union, working on behalf of Missouri’s home care attendants, ratified a contract that included the wage-hike provision with the Missouri Quality Home Care Council, a state government agency.

But before the contract took effect, Gov. Jay Nixon (D), a supporter of higher wages, insisted that the rule change must first be subjected to the Republican-controlled legislature — a move that advocates for home care attendants described as “unnecessary and unwise.”

The legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules rejected the wage hike in a 7-2 vote last May before the GOAC followed up with a similar rejection in January.

In turning away the wage hike, lawmakers argued that the rule change failed to comply with established legislative procedure. “Rulemaking is not a willy-nilly, anything-goes process,” Rep. Jay Barnes (R) told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on January 19.

The rule change was referred to the state Senate Committee on Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, and Ethics on January 27.

— by Matthew Ozga

Share This

Caring for the Future

Our new policy report takes an extensive look at today's direct care workforce—in five installments.

Workforce Data Center

From wages to employment statistics, find the latest data on the direct care workforce.