News 12 employees

February 09, 2021 at 5:53 pm EST

Updated on:February 09, 2021 at 5:53 pm EST

Legislators are calling for home health workers’ wages to be raised after a report found greater demand for them.

Westchester-based Geri Mariano has diastrophic dwarfism and spoke to News 12 from her bed because she cannot get up and take care of herself after losing one of her domestic servants. She says it’s hard to find one because the job doesn’t pay well.

A state report shows that there is now greater demand for home care workers to keep patients out of nursing homes due to COVID-19.

In Westchester, they are paid the minimum wage of $ 14 an hour. That makes them poor – with an income of around $ 28,000 a year.

Some state and local officials announced Tuesday that they were launching a “Fair Pay For Home Care” campaign to address shortages of home care workers and pass new laws to help them earn higher wages.

“If we don’t take care of it, this economy will never grow and never thrive again and never develop,” said Rep Jamaal Bowman.

“This is an opportunity to make sure we pay people fairly and incentivize them that this is a job that people can choose,” says Sen. Shelley Mayer.

The new “law” would raise the annual income of home care workers in the area to $ 35,000 a year.

The legislature hopes to be able to introduce this legislation in the next two weeks.