You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Florida governor approves pay raises for state workers

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation Wednesday providing across-the-board pay raises to state employees for the first time since 2013, but remained mum on whether he would also approve a wide-ranging and controversial education bill.

In a ceremony for veterans at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee, Scott signed the compensation legislation (SB 7022), a key priority of Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater.

RELATED: Read The Post’s Florida Legislature coverage

“With the signing of this bill, our state employees will receive a well-deserved pay raise, and our state law enforcement officers will receive a 5 percent raise for their life-saving work,” Scott said.

The bill includes a complex matrix of raises for different state employees. Employees making $40,000 or less will get a $1,400 boost to their pay, while those making more will get an additional $1,000.

State law enforcement officers will get a 5 percent hike, while most current correctional officers will get an extra $2,500 a year. There will also be $1,000 hiring bonuses for some prisons.

State corrections officials have pushed for higher pay to try to retain quality workers in response to a string of reports of inmate deaths and brutality by prison guards, allegations of cover-ups and corruption and low morale.

Judges, state attorneys and public defenders will see 10 percent raises. There are also different increases for a handful of other positions in state government, mostly in the legal field or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

“We want to make sure we keep the most talented and dedicated professional staffers in our state workforce,” Latvala said in a statement issued after Scott’s action. “These employees guard our prisons, protect our highways, care for abused and neglected children, and perform hundreds of other tasks that are in many cases thankless or unnoticed by many Floridians.”

The legislation also includes changes to health insurance and retirement plans for state employees. For example, it includes a change long sought by House Republicans that would put state employees into a 401(k)-style retirement plan unless they specifically opt for the state’s traditional pension system. Currently, workers “default” into the pension plan.

State workers and some Democrats have opposed those changes, saying they undermine the current pension system and could harm new state employees. But business groups support the overhaul.

Scott signed 28 other bills Wednesday and vetoed a higher-education measure (SB 374) that was a priority of Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart.

But after the ceremony, Scott brushed off a question about whether he will sign a broad public education bill (HB 7069) that includes provisions on charter schools, teacher bonuses, state testing, recess and more.

Supporters have said the bill will help improve the state’s education system, while critics have lambasted it as a step towards privatizing public schools. Critics also say it was cobbled together behind closed doors in the final days of the regular legislative session.

Rumors have spread that Scott will sign the bill, perhaps as soon as Thursday. But the governor didn’t reveal his plan to reporters.

“I’m going to be careful in reviewing the bill and I’m going to act in the best interest of all of the students and the parents in our state,” he said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Palm Beach County sprays mosquitos, Martin aims for Wednesday
Palm Beach County sprays mosquitos, Martin aims for Wednesday

If you get buzzed and bitten a little less in the next few days, that could be because Palm Beach County resumed aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes Sunday night. Environmental Resource Management Director Rob Robbins said about 90 percent of the county was sprayed, with additional spraying expected in the Glades Monday night. Residents in the western...
Medical pot, drone and 5G wireless laws among 38 signed by Scott
Medical pot, drone and 5G wireless laws among 38 signed by Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed 38 bills Friday from the 2017 regular legislative session and special session. The highest-profile bill (SB 8A) provides rules for implementing the November constitutional amendment that broadened the legal use of medical marijuana in Florida, while others range in issues from setting guidelines for the use of aerial...
Panhandle ally Jimmy Patronis gets Scott nod for Florida CFO
Panhandle ally Jimmy Patronis gets Scott nod for Florida CFO

Florida’s next chief financial officer will be one of Gov. Rick Scott’s original political allies. Scott on Monday turned to former state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, 45, to complete the term of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who will leave the elected Cabinet office Friday for a job at Florida Atlantic University. RELATED: Read The Post&rsquo...
Conservative blogger Javier Manjarres considers challenging Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch
Conservative blogger Javier Manjarres considers challenging Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch

Javier Manjarres, managing editor of The Shark Tank website. Fort Lauderdale-based conservative blogger Javier Manjarres says he’s exploring a run for the Democrat-leaning seat of U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton. U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, speaking to Florida delegates at the 2016 Democratic Naitonal Convention...
Can Trump destroy Obama’s legacy?
Can Trump destroy Obama’s legacy?

When the judgment of history comes, former President Barack Obama might have figured he would have plenty to talk about. Among other things, he assumed he could point to his health care program, his sweeping trade deal with Asia, his global climate change accord and his diplomatic opening to Cuba. That was then. Five months after leaving office, Obama...
More Stories