The Capitol Report
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Matt Puckett, Executive Director
The Florida Legislature finished the budgeting process last night at midnight. As usual, salaries were one of the last decisions to be made.
Here’s how our bargaining units fared in the final budget.
The Legislature provided a critical market pay additive for the following counties: Lee, Collier, Monroe, Broward and Dade.
The Legislature provided a 5% critical market pay additive for Troopers in the following counties: Hillsborough, Orange, Pinellas, Duval, Marion and Escambia. Also, the previous Cost Area Differential (CAD) dollars in other locations remain in place.
Additionally, a $2,000 pay additive may be provided for the following special duties:
– K-9 handlers;
– Felony Officers;
– Criminal Interdiction Officers;
– Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Officers:
– New recruits background checks and training and technology support officers;
– Drug recognition experts;
– hazardous material squad members;
– compliance investigation squad members;
– motorcycle officers.
The Legislature permanently funded $850,000 for overtime.
Other state agencies:
No pay additives.
Why did the Legislature decide not to fund across the board raises? For those of you following the regular session, you will remember that the Low Income Pool (LIP) funding for the poor caused the session to breakdown. Low income pool funding provides health care dollars for the poor. The federal government is phasing out the LIP funding, but granted Florida an extension of one year at a reduced amount. This created a large shortfall in the operating budget.
All state PBA units:
There were no changes to health insurance premiums for employees and no increases to the employee contribution to the Florida Retirement System.
We also signed off on the status quo policy for the special compensatory leave article in the contract. This means our current contract language remains in place. This issue was at impasse during the regular session. We proposed to create a pay as you system for special compensatory leave and the Department of Management Services provided a counter proposal that we could not accept.
Here’s the major difference in the proposals – We want to be able to keep the existing contractual language allowing up to 240 hours of previously earned special comp and DMS wants that balance on past special comp to be zero. We are working with DMS to reach a solution that does not take away the previous balances, but allows a payout on future special comp earnings. Status quo keeps the balances in place and gives us another year to reach a solution.
The Legislature starts early next year; we are already discussing a pay proposal with the Speaker of House and Senate President. We will keep you informed as soon as the interim committees begin in September.