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Pay Raises, Bonuses In Store For Corrections Officers In Gov. Scott's Proposed Budget

Florida Channel

If Governor Rick Scott gets his way, Florida’s correctional and probation officers will receive a pay bump.

Back in December, Governor Rick Scott announced his budget proposal includes more than $11 million dollars for sworn law enforcement officers. Now, Scott has announced $38 million will go toward raising the minimum salaries for corrections and probation officers. It also includes another $5 million for a one-time $1,000 signing bonuses for correctional officers hired at institutions with high vacancy rates.

“We’ve got raises for Department of Corrections,” said Scott, speaking to reporters at the AP's annual Legislative Planning Session. “We’ve got raises for sworn officers. We’ve basically got bonuses—it’s similar to what I’ve done in the past with regard to bonuses. I mean the legislature will go through that. Look, we have great state workers. You really have to thank people for what they do. The people who work in state government are on a mission. They really try to do their job really well. So, I think we’ve got to make sure we pay them well.”

$2.5 million will also go toward raising the base rate of pay for mental health correctional officers. Meanwhile, the Senate’s budget is still slated to include a pay bump for all state workers.

“I would expect to see a pay raise for state employees in the Senate budget,” said Senate President Joe Negron. “The amount of that to be determined by the people responsible for that decision. But, I think the Senate budget will contain a pay raise, due to Senator [Jack] Latvala—the Appropriations chair—making that a top priority for him.”

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.