The Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals with Disabilities has been following discussions on how to best serve the needs of individuals with disabilities that are at 60% productivity or lower. Lawmakers, employers, and society have acknowledged the value of integration of individuals with disabilities into settings that give them better opportunities to move up in pay, or above the minimum wage. While many positive changes have taken place, “shelter workshops” providing 14c jobs have gradually fallen out of favor, creating job loss for some individuals.

We well know that the demand for jobs outstrips the supply, with about 64 percent of individuals with disabilities not working. The Mayor’s Committee exists for the purpose of changing these statistics and helping to create better opportunities that support the highest good for all individuals with disabilities in a work world where they do have options.

Most advocates for individuals with disabilities, and the individuals themselves, would like to see jobs that pay at least minimum wage, with potential for growth and increased income, to jobs for individuals with disabilities who prefer specialized workplaces, to programs with daytime activities that include art, recreation and some work-related activities.

According to The Signal Newspaper, a new bill, proposed by State Assemblyman Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita, would, “…bridge the gap between minimum wage for 100% productivity, to a discounted minimum wage for less productivity. ‘Gap’ payments would be in the form of tax credits.”

The bill is called “Assembly Bill 3127.” Under this bill, employers can pay a full wage to their employees with developmental disabilities and receive a limited tax write-off for the difference in productivity. According to Acosta, the intention of the bill is to help remove obstacles and barriers to full employment for individuals with disabilities.

Assemblyman Acosta’s bill can be viewed at this link: AB 3127-Developmental Disability Employer Tax Credit

We appreciate the work of Assemblyman Acosta, and will be continuing our efforts with businesses and community organizations to help clear the way for individuals with all levels of disabilities to enjoy being productive in the work world.