The Senate and House have released their initial pay raise proposals. The details are:

-The Senate budget includes a pay raise for all state employees on September 30, 2017 ($1,400 for employees earning under $40,000 per year and $1,000 for employees earning over $40,000). This raise is on top of the specific raises for the units listed below.

– Both budgets include a 5% across the board pay raise for the FHP, Law Enforcement Officers and FDLE Special Agents bargaining units (Senate Plan includes the Lottery Law Enforcement Unit, but House left the unit out by mistake).

– Correctional Officers of all classes in the Security Services bargaining unit will receive an additional pay raise (see details below) in the Senate Budget. The House proposal includes a $1,300 across the board pay raise for COs in all bargaining unit classes.

– Correctional Probation Officers (all bargaining unit classes) and Institutional Security Specialists are only included in the across the board raise for all state employees in the Senate and not included in the House proposal (please see below for details).

Correctional Officers Pay Raise in Senate Budget
On July 1, 2017, each correctional officer in all classes of the bargaining unit will receive a minimum of $2,500, or the amount necessary to move the employee to following new base amount:

  • Correctional Officer – $33,500
  • Correctional Officer SGT – $36,850
  • Correctional Officer LT – $40,535
  • Correctional Officer CPT – $44,589

Correctional Probation Officers and Institutional Security Specialists
Obviously, the biggest oversight in both budgets is not including CPOs and ISS. PBA has already been in contact with Secretary Jones and Senate & House budget staff to begin addressing this situation.

The justification for not including the CPOs and ISS centered on turnover and vacancy rates. This issue is incredibly misleading since the CPOs had a three year hiring freeze and then filled the positions over the last two years. Basically, you are being a victim of the agency’s success in hiring in new officers.

The PBA and Secretary Jones strongly disagree with the Legislature’s assessment of the agency’s need and we have asked for the CPOs inclusion. PBA will also work to include ISS into a new proposal.

We have five weeks to fix this oversight and now is not the time to get give up, or lash out. We always anticipated varying levels of funding for pay raises and zero has been a possibility from the beginning. We are fully prepared to address this through our lobbying team. Please do not let this setback cause you or your fellow officers to attack legislators. That is counterproductive to our strategy and it will guarantee that you will not be added to the pay raises plan in the end.

Health Insurance Premiums
No employee premium increase included in either budget and the spousal program stays in effect.

Salary Incentive Proposal
SB 168 by Senator Jack Latvala was amended to allow the doubling of salary incentive dollars for participating officers. The concept was one of the issues that came out of our career development workgroup. The bill passed the Senate Government Oversight & Accountability Committee.

Local Pension Plans
PBA lobbyists continue to monitor the Tampa pension bill HB 1153 by Representative Matt Willhite. It passed the House Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee.

Body Camera Footage Review
HB 305 by Representative Shawn Harrison passed the full Florida House of Representatives (116 -0). This legislation will allow an officer wearing a body camera to review the recorded footage of an incident before making a statement, or writing a report.

The legislation in the Senate has one more committee stop before it will be available to be heard on the Senate floor.

Sheriffs Must Be Elected
SB 134 by Senator Frank Artiles was heard in the Senate Ethics & Elections Committee. The bill will place a constitutional amendment on the 2018 General Election Ballot asking voters to approve the statewide requirement that all sheriffs must be elected. Currently, only Dade County has an appointed public safety director. PBA testified in support of the legislation. The bill passed the committee.

Three PBA Supported Bills Pass the House of Representatives

  • HB 39 by Representative Evan Jenne adds autism awareness training to FDLE’s criminal justice training requirements.
  • HB 111 by Representative Cynthia Stafford creates a two year public record exemption for a witness to a murder.
  • HB 305 by Representative Shawn Harrison allows a law enforcement officer utilizing a body worn camera to review recorded footage from his or her camera before writing a report or making a statement.

Please join me in thanking George Lofton, Jonathan Van Houten, Markus Hughes and Matt Enhoffer for joining us in Tallahassee this week.