MO lawmakers block wage hike for in-home caregivers

MO lawmakers block wage hike for in-home caregivers

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - In-home caregivers in Missouri thought they were getting a raise, but some lawmakers took action to stop it.

Both house and senate members voted to block a wage hike, put in place by the Department of Health and Senior Services, saying they should be the ones to make that decision.

In-home care business owner Sherry James said her employees' pay shouldn't be lawmakers' concern.

"This is not what they specialize in," James said. "This is something we do."

James said lawmakers have no business deciding how much home health care workers get paid.

"The caregivers are worth more than minimum wage for what they do," she said. "I pay them as best I can and I give them as many benefits as I can to keep the door open."

The house and senate votes this week would stop a rule that raises the base pay for health care workers, from minimum wage to between $8 and $10 an hour.

James said she keeps her salaries competitive and doesn't want lawmakers stepping in, but she's also against a rule that would force her to pay out more than she can afford.

"I don't want the government involved because I think I can do it better," she said. "More efficiently and more generously than they can or what they insist on."

Now it will be up to Governor Jay Nixon to make the final decision on blocking the wage hike.

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