Florida boosts state-worker salaries

State employees in the Florida Keys will be among workers statewide benefiting from a $183 million fund providing pay raises for the first time in four years.

“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,” Gov. Rick Scott said at a Wednesday signing ceremony in Tallahassee.

State-agency workers making less than $40,000 will receive a $1,400 raise and those making more will receive $1,000.

“Every little bit helps,” Monroe County State Attorney Dennis Ward said of being able to recruit qualified prosecutors and staff. “That would take care of about a half-month’s rent in the Keys.”

“All our officers welcome and appreciate any pay raise,” said Officer Bobby Dube of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in the Keys.

"We want to make sure we keep the most talented and dedicated professional staffers in our state workforce," state Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala said after the bill signing.

Circuit Court judges will see a pay increase to $160,688 and County Court judges will be paid $151,822.

The bill also includes changes in the state retirement plan for new employees.

Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206