The First Month Of The 2020 Legislative Session Is Complete

We completed the fourth week of the 2020 Legislative Session.

The big moves of the week were the official passage of the two chambers’ General Appropriation Acts. Each chamber presented the budget proposals to their respective Appropriations Committees. Those committees approved the proposals which now travel to the Senate and House floors for approval. The budgets do not match up which is by design. Once the two chambers pass their separate budget proposals, the Legislature will form budget conference committees to negotiate a final budget compromise. This final budget will decide pay proposals and other appropriation issues.

We also supported our reform to the Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers’ Bill of Rights (HB 453 by Representative Wyman Duggan) during the House Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee. The legislation includes part time officers under the bill of rights and redefines the 180 day limitation for length of investigations to apply to both internal and external complaints. The legislation was supported by the State FOP, Florida Police Chiefs and the Florida PBA. The bill passed unanimously.

Our COLA legislation received a new impact analysis which now allows our sponsor Senator Joe Gruters to present the bill (SB 858) next Monday during the Senate Government Oversight & Accountability Committee.

Finally and tragically, we lost another brave officer on Wednesday when Trooper Joseph Bullock was killed in the line of duty. Trooper Bullock was a 19 year member of the Florida Highway Patrol and a veteran of the United States Air Force. The violence against Trooper Bullock was beyond senseless and my words are totally inadequate to express the disbelief we all feel. You can read more here. We ask that you please keep his family and all the members of the Florida Highway Patrol in your prayers.

Issues We Continue To Lobby For

Pay Raises for Florida PBA’s State Bargaining Units:
Florida PBA is the exclusive collective bargaining representative the State Law Enforcement Officers, Florida Highway Patrol, Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Security Services (Correctional Officers, Correctional Probation Officers, and Institutional Security Specialist) and Lottery Law Enforcement Officers. The Senate and House released separate pay raise proposals at the end of the week. An agreement on wages must be reached before March 13th.

Florida Retirement System:
Request relief from the FRS COLA suspension for Special Risk Members hired prior to July 1, 2011 and to roll back the years of service/age requirements for FRS members hired after July 1, 2011. We will also begin exploring ways to increase the employers’ contribution rate for members in the investment plan.

Our COLA legislation is being sponsored once again by Representative Chuck Clemons (HB 425) and Senator Joe Gruters (SB 858).

Peer to Peer Legislation:
We are working with a large coalition of law enforcement, corrections and firefighting organizations to create Florida’s first ever “Peer to Peer” support legislation to assist first responders’ with mental health needs. This legislation will provide properly trained peer support in conjunction with other agency resources such as the Employee Assistance Program.

SB 160 by Senator Keith Perry & Representative Joseph Casello (HB 573) are our sponsors.

If you are experiencing signs of depression, or if you are struggling a mental health issue please visit JonsChallenge.org.

Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights:
The PBA and FOP are teaming up to address the Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights. A court decision split the definition of a complaint into “internal” and “external” which was never the intention of the statute. We are also extending the bill of rights to part-time officers. Our joint proposal will restore the original definition of complaint in the law.

Our sponsors for this legislation are Representative Wymann Duggan (HB 453) and Senator Ed Hooper (SB 884).

Week Three Of The 2020 Legislative Session Comes To A Close

The third week of the 2020 Legislative Session has come to a close as the PBA’s lobbying team concentrated on the mental health legislation this week. The Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee unanimously passed SB 1586 (by Senators Ed Hooper and Ben Albritton) which creates a task force consisting of Florida PBA, FOP, Florida Professional Firefighters, Florida Sheriffs’ Association, Florida Police Chiefs’ Association, and Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association to examine officer mental health and suicide. This task force will provide prevention recommendations to the 2021 Florida Legislature and Governor.

Additionally, HB 573 by Representative Joe Casallo creates peer to peer provisions in state law. The peer to peer counseling system has shown success at suicide prevention when properly implemented. The bill passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee unanimously.

Florida PBA lobbyists supported both proposals during committee.

Our lobbyists also met with other law enforcement groups to try to reach agreement on our changes to the Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights legislation. We are confident that an agreement can be reached.

Pay Raises for Florida PBA’s State Bargaining Units:
Florida PBA is the exclusive collective bargaining representative the State Law Enforcement Officers, Florida Highway Patrol, Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Security Services (Correctional Officers, Correctional Probation Officers, and Institutional Security Specialist) and Lottery Law Enforcement Officers. The Senate and House released separate pay raise proposals at the end of the week. An agreement on wages must be reached before March 13th.

Florida Retirement System:
Request relief from the FRS COLA suspension for Special Risk Members hired prior to July 1, 2011 and to roll back the years of service/age requirements for FRS members hired after July 1, 2011. We will also begin exploring ways to increase the employers’ contribution rate for members in the investment plan.

Our COLA legislation is being sponsored once again by Representative Chuck Clemons (HB 425) and Senator Joe Gruters (SB 858).

Peer to Peer Legislation:
We are working with a large coalition of law enforcement, corrections and firefighting organizations to create Florida’s first ever “Peer to Peer” support legislation to assist first responders’ with mental health needs. This legislation will provide properly trained peer support in conjunction with other agency resources such as the Employee Assistance Program.

SB 160 by Senator Keith Perry & Representative Joseph Casello (HB 573) are our sponsors.

If you are experiencing signs of depression, or if you are struggling a mental health issue please visit JonsChallenge.org.

Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights:
The PBA and FOP are teaming up to address the Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights. A court decision split the definition of a complaint into “internal” and “external” which was never the intention of the statute. We are also extending the bill of rights to part-time officers. Our joint proposal will restore the original definition of complaint in the law.

Our sponsors for this legislation are Representative Wymann Duggan (HB 453) and Senator Ed Hooper (SB 884).

Broward County PBA Names Michael White Associate General Counsel

The Broward County Police Benevolent Association, the voice of law enforcement in Broward County, announced today the naming of Michael White, P.A. as the organization’s Associate General Counsel.

White joins the Broward County PBA after spending the last two years as an Assistant State Attorney for the 17th Judicial Circuit. In his new role, White will assist General Counsel Michael Braverman in the PBA’s expanded legal department, which incorporates PBA-affiliated attorneys from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties as well.

“We are very happy to announce the hiring of attorney Michael White as our new Associate General Counsel,” Broward County PBA President Rod Skirvin said. “Michael spent the last two years in the State Attorney’s Office, and he was very friendly to the law enforcement officers of Broward County. We look forward to introducing Michael to our membership.”

While serving in the State Attorney’s Office, White was responsible for investigating and prosecuting hundreds of cases across numerous divisions, including jury trials, motions to suppress, pretrial motions and non-jury trials. In 2018, he was nominated by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) for Prosecutor of the Year for the state of Florida. In addition to his experience as a prosecutor, White worked in the financial sector, serving as an analyst/associate for Davis Selected Advisors, Deutsche Bank and Nomura Securities. He also co-founded a bespoke dog food company called Hudson’s Chow, LLC.

White graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in History from Tulane University in 1999 and earned his J.D. with Honors from the George Washington University School of Law in 2003.

Week Two Of The 2020 Legislative Session Is Complete

We completed the second week of the 2020 Legislative Session.

Our time consisted of multiple face to face meetings with key legislators, or their staff to lobby for our pay raises, suicide prevention for Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers, and the Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights. Each of these issues continues to gain support as the session progresses.

We spoke before the Joint Select Committee on Collective Bargaining to ask for pay raises for all of our bargaining units and discuss a few other issues at impasse with the Department of Management Services. You can click here to watch the video. The Chairman, Senator Ed Hooper, proposed to draft a letter from the full committee to the Senate President and House Speaker requesting pay raises for all state employees. A big thank to the joint committee for the strong support.

Pay Raises for Florida PBA’s State Bargaining Units:
Florida PBA is the exclusive collective bargaining representative the State Law Enforcement Officers, Florida Highway Patrol, Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Security Services (Correctional Officers, Correctional Probation Officers, and Institutional Security Specialist) and Lottery Law Enforcement Officers. Each bargaining team has presented a pay proposal to the state for consideration.

Florida Retirement System:
Request relief from the FRS COLA suspension for Special Risk Members hired prior to July 1, 2011 and to roll back the years of service/age requirements for FRS members hired after July 1, 2011. We will also begin exploring ways to increase the employers’ contribution rate for members in the investment plan.

Our COLA legislation is being sponsored once again by Representative Chuck Clemons (HB 425) and Senator Joe Gruters (SB 858).

Peer to Peer Legislation:
We are working with a large coalition of law enforcement, corrections and firefighting organizations to create Florida’s first ever “Peer to Peer” support legislation to assist first responders’ with mental health needs. This legislation will provide properly trained peer support in conjunction with other agency resources such as the Employee Assistance Program.

SB 160 by Senator Keith Perry & Representative Joseph Casello (HB 573) are our sponsors.

If you are experiencing signs of depression, or if you are struggling a mental health issue please visit JonsChallenge.org.

Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights:
The PBA and FOP are teaming up to address the Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights. A court decision split the definition of a complaint into “internal” and “external” which was never the intention of the statute. We are also extending the bill of rights to part-time officers. Our joint proposal will restore the original definition of complaint in the law.

Our sponsors for this legislation are Representative Wymann Duggan (HB 453) and Senator Ed Hooper (SB 884).

Week One Of The 2020 Legislative Session Is In The Books

We completed the first week of the 2020 Legislative Session.

Our Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights Legislation (SB 884) received a hearing on the first day of session in the Senate Criminal Justice committee. This bill will restore the 180 day rule to apply to both internal and external complaints. Currently, an agency has to complete an investigation within 180 days if the complaint was externally generated, but there is no time limit on internally generated complaints. This is inconsistent with the original intent of the law. The bill will also include part time officers under the full bill of rights which is long overdue.

We thank our sponsor Senator Ed Hooper for presenting the legislation before the committee along with committee chairman Senator Keith Perry (also a co-sponsor) for scheduling the hearing. The bill passed unanimously.

We continue to lobby for the following important issues:

Pay Raises for Florida PBA’s State Bargaining Units
Florida PBA is the exclusive collective bargaining representative the State Law Enforcement Officers, Florida Highway Patrol, Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Security Services (Correctional Officers, Correctional Probation Officers, and Institutional Security Specialist) and Lottery Law Enforcement Officers. Each bargaining team has presented a pay proposal to the state for consideration. The state has already declared impasse over pay since the Legislature is the deciding body on appropriation issues. Impasse hearing is scheduled for next Thursday.

Florida Retirement System
Request relief from the FRS COLA suspension for Special Risk Members hired prior to July 1, 2011 and to roll back the years of service/age requirements for FRS members hired after July 1, 2011. We will also begin exploring ways to increase the employers’ contribution rate for members in the investment plan.

Our COLA legislation is being sponsored once again by Representative Chuck Clemons (HB 425) and Senator Joe Gruters (SB 858).

Peer to Peer Legislation
We are working with a large coalition of law enforcement, corrections and firefighting organizations to create Florida’s first ever “Peer to Peer” support legislation to assist first responders’ with mental health needs. This legislation will provide properly trained peer support in conjunction with other agency resources such as the Employee Assistance Program.

SB 160 by Senator Keith Perry & Representative Joseph Casello (HB 573) are our sponsors.

If you are experiencing signs of depression, or if you are struggling a mental health issue please visit JonsChallenge.org.

Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights
The PBA and FOP are teaming up to address the Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers Bill of Rights. A court decision split the definition of a complaint into “internal” and “external” which was never the intention of the statute. We are also extending the bill of rights to part-time officers. Our joint proposal will restore the original definition of complaint in the law.

Our sponsors for this legislation are Representative Wymann Duggan (HB 453) and Senator Ed Hooper (SB 884).