Congratulations to Sen. Thomas M. Middleton for standing up for people who work very hard and are a breed above ("Senator says he'll block minimum wage bill until state raises pay for caregivers," March 20).

The direct support staff for individuals with disabilities are people who are caring, supportive and sometimes a voice for the people they care for. I admire and respect direct support workers. They do things that others would turn their nose up to and couldn't handle. They feed, bathe, lift, cook, clean, drive, give vital medications and are pretty much responsible for the quality of life a person with a disability can have.

I have seen direct support workers go above and beyond their job because they love what they do. But I feel if the minimum wage is raised to $10.10 per hour, we will lose a lot of good people because they could make the same amount of money doing less back-breaking hard labor.

Please, Gov. Martin O'Malley, support the bill to raise the direct support wage reimbursement. Direct support workers should not become minimum wage jobs.

Susan A. Plitt, Baltimore

The writer is employed by The Arc Baltimore Inc.

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