General Assembly approves budget amendment to raise the pay for Direct Support Professionals to $15 per hour

May 02, 2023 at 11:01 am by WGNS News

Representative Patsy Hazlewood and Senator Ken Yager

Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) filed FY 2024 budget amendments that secure $16.3 million to increase the pay for Direct Support Professionals, who provide support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The appropriation is a legislative initiative that increases the minimum pay of Direct Support Professionals to $15 per hour. The legislative bodies in both the House and Senate chambers have strongly supported the initiative.

“Direct Support Professionals care for Tennessee’s most fragile citizens. Much is expected from them and these valued professionals exceed expectations,” said Yager. “Over the years, the General Assembly has worked to raise the Direct Support Professional wage from $8 per hour to $15 per hour. In the FY 2024 budget we have achieved our goal! And this is just the beginning. Direct Support Professionals and the Tennesseans they serve deserve no less.”


Direct Support Professionals promote the health, safety and well-being of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Direct Support Professionals serve as their advocate, communicate their needs and goals and ensure they have a quality of life.

“Caring for our state’s most vulnerable citizens comes with a tremendous amount of dedication and personal sacrifice,” said Hazlewood. “We value the difficult job they do, and when we invest in them, we are encouraging career longevity, and attracting more qualified candidates to enter this specialized field of care.  This results in better health outcomes, and improved quality of life for people with disabilities. I appreciate the General Assembly’s support of this increase, and will continue to fight for higher wages for these very deserving professionals as I have for the nine years I’ve been honored to serve in the legislature.” The pay raises will take effect July 1, 2023.

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