By James Call Jan 28, 2020
Senate President Bill Galvano is backing up his “It’s on the table” pledge to state workers seeking a pay raise.
Galvano told the Tallahassee Democrat on Tuesday the Senate will include a “meaningful” pay increase for state workers when it begins budget negotiations with the House.
“The Senate budget, scheduled to be released by the end of the week, will include a meaningful investment in across-the-board salary increases for our hardworking state employees,” Galvano said.
Last month, the Bradenton Republican would only commit to having his budget chairs look at the issue.
While an impasse exists in negotiations for a new three-year contract between the state and, for instance, social workers, wildlife officers, clerical and other staff, neither House Speaker Jose Oliva nor Gov. Ron DeSantis has backed a pay raise for all state employees.
This week, committees in the House and Senate are rolling out proposed spending plans for their specific areas of the overall budget.
Galvano’s statement should help frame the discussions when each chamber writes a proposed budget and then negotiates a final budget for DeSantis’ consideration.
The statement also came as crowds of state employees rallied in Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and Tallahassee in support of a pay hike.
“The cost of housing, the cost of health care, the cost of transportation, the cost of educating your children in college, all that has been rising while state employees’ wages have not,” said Rep. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, at the rally at the state Capitol.