Chris Jones: Greene Publishing, Inc.
On Wednesday, June 14, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law which will give state workers their first state-wide raise in over a decade. All employees who earn more than $40,000 a year will receive a $1,000 raise, and those making less than $40,000 a year will see a $1,400 raise. The raises take effect on Saturday, July 1, which marks the beginning of the State of Florida's fiscal year.
Additionally, most state law enforcement officers will receive a five percent raise, most correctional officers will receive a $2,500 raise, and judges, elected state attorneys, and public defenders will receive 10 percent raises. State pension plans will default to an 401(k)-style investment plan for all state employees hired after Jan. 1, 2018.
The state-wide raises will cost Florida $183 million. Proponents of the increases say that it is needed to combat the high employee turnover rate which has plagued the State for many years. For instance, over the past seven years, nearly half of the work force of the Florida Highway Patrol has left the agency. Starting pay for rookie troopers has not increased since 2005.