TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday began rolling out his budget proposals for next year's legislative session, unveiling a plan to boost pay for law-enforcement officers by 5 percent. Scott said the pay raise, for the spending year that begins July 1, would affect about 4,000 officers and cost $11.7 million.
"This year, Florida's state law enforcement officers were put to the test like never before," Scott said, underscoring the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and two hurricanes that hit the state. " ... Through these times of adversity, our state law enforcement fearlessly answered the call and put themselves in harm's way -- standing strong in the face of danger."
Sworn officers would be eligible for the raises if they work in agencies including the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Department of Financial Services, the Florida Lottery, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Florida Department of Legal Affairs and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam quickly backed Scott's request.
"Florida's law enforcement officers put it all on the line for us, and I wholeheartedly support Governor Scott's budget that puts them first," Putnam said.
Scott is expected to continue releasing pieces of his budget proposal until close to the beginning of the legislative session, which opens March 7. Lawmakers will consider Scott's proposals as they negotiate a final budget.
News Service of Florida