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Direct care workers to receive $15 an hour beginning Jan. 1

The initial increase will be funded through federal money provided through the American Rescue Plan Act.

COLORADO, USA — Starting in January, the minimum wage for direct care workers in Colorado will be raised to $15 an hour, under a plan approved in September.

Direct care workers funded with any state dollars working in-home and community-based settings will begin receiving the new wage next year.

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The wage increase targeted workers who currently receive the lowest rate of pay, yet provide the vast majority of hands-on care to older adults and individuals with disabilities within our state, according to a release from the Governor's office.

“Every Coloradan should be able to live and enjoy the Colorado we love, and I’m proud that we’re taking care of those who take care of our loved ones. Colorado has one of the fastest-growing aging populations in the country, so making sure we can hire and retain caregivers is important for today and for years to come. In Colorado, we value our workers, so I fully support moving to a $15 minimum wage for caregivers,” said Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado).

The Medicaid rate increase needed to achieve the new wage will initially be funded through federal American Rescue Plan Act funds dedicated to Home and Community-Based Services.

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“Direct care workers are the unsung heroes of Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their hands-on work with Coloradans who are aging, or have disabilities and need care has saved lives and sustained communities. However, these workers are essential personnel even when our state is not responding to a pandemic. Raising wages is one way we can thank these workers and attract more people to this rewarding and critically important field,” said Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera.

The Joint Budget Committee voted in favor of the plan on Sept. 21 in a vote of 5-1.

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