One of the most important services that the Broward County PBA performs is in the area of political involvement. This involvement encompasses both state and local levels of government. Each year in Tallahassee, the PBA lobbies to obtain legislation supporting officers’ rights, working conditions, pension benefits, and other areas of concern that affect our members. In addition, the PBA lobbies local governmental officials, such as City Commissions and the Sheriff, in an effort to secure pay increases, pension benefits, and improved working conditions.
Our aggressive lobbying efforts would not be as successful without our involvement in political campaigns. Each election cycle we conduct extensive political screenings of candidates running for office at all levels of government. We endorse pro-law enforcement candidates and actively support their campaigns to ensure they are elected.
Political Action Committee
To that end, we have established a PAC account, to which a total of $1.00 of each member’s dues every month is deposited for the purpose of contributing to those political candidates and for maintaining a strong political voice with pro-law enforcement legislators at all levels of government.
Support for Law Enforcement-Related Bills and Legislation
The historical timeline of bills below reflects but a small number of the total legislative bills which the PBA as authored and/or assisted in passage or has opposed and subsequently defeated. The list does not include a great deal of law enforcement-related legislation that improved existing statutes, giving law enforcement officers better and more efficient tools with which to perform their duties.
Here’s a look at what we’ve accomplished in the past 25 years.
Increased death benefits for LEOs
Increased health insurance subsidy for FRS retirees
Off-duty work – halts efforts by private security forms to stop off-duty employment
Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (CJS&TC) – mandates that CJS&TC membership must include at least one police and one correctional officer who are not above the rank of sergeant
Passed a local bill giving members of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (deputies) the right to collectively bargain
Increased the FRS multiplier from 2% to 3%
Extended Police Bill of Rights coverage to all Florida deputy sheriffs
CJS&TC – adds two more rank & file members
Survivors of LEOs killed in the line-of-duty – won full health insurance coverage for families of fallen officers
Forced FRS to count salary incentive payments toward your pension
Got the presumption that certain communicable diseases contracted by LEOs are suffered in the line of duty.
Set a statute of limitations and end double jeopardy on disciplinary cases coming before CJS&TC
Alu-O’Hara Public Safety Act – an officer who has a catastrophic injury on duty will receive full payment for health insurance for the officer and family
Deferred Retire Option Program (DROP) – allows FRS members to participate in the DROP plan
Raised health insurance subsidy for FRS
Municipal Police and Firefighters Pension Reform – ensures that 185 money be used for enhanced benefits
Special Risk restoration – those who became FRS members between 1978-1992 were resorted to the 3% multiplier, a 12% increase for retirees
6-year vesting in FRS (lowered from 10 years)
FRS disability – increased disability from 42% to 65%
Bill of Rights – changes allow officers to see statements prior to interrogation
Portal-to-Portal Workers’ Compensation coverage
Doubled existing death benefits for officers killed in the line of duty
Police/Corrections Bill of Rights – allows officers to sue individuals in civil court if complainants lodge false complaints
Law Enforcement Officer’s Fair Defense Act – mandates that the state and local governments pay the legal costs of officers who are charged and found not guilty
CJS&TC – Places another rank and file member on the commission
The Deputy James Weaver Act – places a 180 day limit on the duration of an internal affairs investigation
CJS&TC – creates a six member panel to submit a list to the Governor for any appointment to fill a rank and file vacancy on the CJS&TC
Law Enforcement & Correctional Officers Bill of Rights – requires that the officer be interviewed last
Law Enforcement & Correctional Officers Bill of Rights – requires that the investigator must sign a sworn statement declaring that they are telling the truth