Local Delegates Support Prison Worker Pay Raises

CHIPLEY, Fla. - Rep. Brad Drake (R-Dist.5) and Sen. George Gainer (R-Dist.2) reacted favorably to Rick Scott's plan to give raises to Florida's corrections and probation officers.
Both men spent Monday together, holding legislative delegation meetings in Holmes, Washington, and Jackson County.
Each of those counties has at least one state-run prison.
"I've had conversations with Governor Scott about our state employees, and I commend him for taking the fortitude, for having the fortitude to offer his guidance in seeing that those corrections officers receive a pay raise," said Drake.
Gov. Scott released his plan last Friday, calling for $45 million to meet those pay hikes.
According to Scott's spokesman McKinley Lewis, the plan would raise the entry level prison guards pay from $30,926 to $33,500.
Gainer said the raises will help prevent turn-over in an occupation that can be extremely dangerous.
"I do think that we need to increase this pay, so that we don't keep having this constant turnover," said Gainer.
Most lawmakers believe this year is going to be tight, financially.
But both Drake and Gainer believe this proposal will get a lot of consideration.
"They will work with all of us other legislatures that will provide them input on the things that they need so that they will try to make room for those corrections officers to have an ample pay raise," said Drake.
"Of course we don't want to raise taxes, and the governor will be the first one to tell you that. But we have some appropriations that could be channeled up here, and if we can convince them to do that, then our need is a little better more severe up here than somewhere else, and I think we can get that," added Gainer.
Sen. Gainer and Rep. Drake are also focusing on our roadways.
Tomorrow Governor Scott is expected to release his proposed budget for the upcoming year.

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