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Senators Eye State Worker Pay Raises

The Florida Senate chambers.
Nick Evans

State workers in Florida haven’t gotten an across-the-board pay raise since before Gov. Rick Scott took office. State senators are looking at how they may be able to fit a pay raise into this year’s budget.

State first responders, correctional officers and Department of Children and Families’ investigators and supervisors are the only state workers to receive pay raises under Governor Rick Scott. Sen. Bill Montford (D-Quincy) says pay during that time has gotten worse for the majority of state workers.

“If you look over the last 10 years our state employees have gotten basically one raise," said Montford. "During that same ten years we changed the policy so that state employees now contribute 3% of their salary to the state retirement. So many of our state employees are going backwards, quite frankly.”

Montford isn’t the only one focusing on state worker salaries. Senate President Bill Galvano says the idea is up for consideration.

"We have also looked at very specific subsets for example people that work within the DOC and other areas. So it’s not off the table to take a look at how we are paying our state workers," he told reporters Tuesday.

When Galvano was asked whether an across-the-board pay raise was still an option, he said it is. The last universal pay raise for state workers was in 2007. Montford says government should be run like a business, and he says successful businesses take care of their workers. Gov. Ron DeSantis has called for teacher pay raises only.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.