5 percent raise proposed for Florida law enforcement members

Gov. Rick Scott to announce proposal in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants the state's highway patrol troopers, wildlife officers and state law enforcement agents to get a 5 percent pay raise next year.

Scott will announce the proposal Thursday during a visit to a Florida Highway Patrol station in Orlando.

The governor said in a statement that the state's nearly 4,000 sworn law enforcement officers deserve the pay raise for their work in the past year, which included responding to two hurricanes and to the Pulse Nightclub shootings this summer.

"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," Scott said in a statement. "It is thanks to their hard work and sacrifice that Florida persevered through these difficult times and has achieved a 45-year crime low – and I am humbled by their service, dedication and fortitude.”

Scott will include the $11.7 million request in budget recommendations he'll give state legislators early next year. Employees with 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 Blind are also included in the proposal.

Officials with the considered organizations released statements applauding Scott's efforts.

"Our troopers work tirelessly to patrol Florida’s roadways and respond to the needs of the tens of millions of motorists that travel our roads each year,"  Florida Highway Patrol Director Colonel Gene Spaulding said.
"The continued support of Gov. Scott is keeping our roads and communities safe."

The Florida Legislature will consider the pay raise during the regular session that starts in March. Scott hasn't made a final decision on whether to recommend pay raises for other state workers.