Adam Putnam “disappointed” with firefighter pay raise veto

firefighters veto scott

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam expressed disapproval that Florida state firefighters are among the losers in Gov. Rick Scott’s recently signed $78.7 billion state budget.

In a private ceremony Tuesday morning, Scott vetoed $1.6 million in the state budget set aside for 606 Forest Service firefighters to get $2,000 a year in pay raises each. The cuts were among $461.4 million in spending slashed from the new state budget set to go in effect July 1.

“I am profoundly disappointed,” Putnam said in a statement, first reported by Jeremy Wallace of the Tampa Bay Times. “Our forest firefighter put their lives on the line. They are demonstratively underpaid relative to peers.”

State firefighters have battled 1,440 fires so far this year, covering more than 30,000 acres, as well as 90 currently active wildfires, Putnam noted. Areas now under high fire threats including the Florida Panhandle, North Florida and the state’s Atlantic Coast.

Wallace writes that Putnam pointed to a lack of consistency in the governor’s vetoes, particularly when other government employees in less dangerous jobs – like those “helpful people who take your driver’s license photo” – will get a bump in pay.

“And our forest firefighters, who put their lives on the line, were not,” he added.

Both Scott’s signature and vetoes came promptly. The Legislature passed the budget last Friday, 37-0 in the Senate and 96-17 in the House, two months later than expected because of a protracted political dispute over health care.

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected]


  • Grfg8r

    June 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Not showing up to vote or voting for candidate that supported them has come back and bit them in the butt!

  • Grfg8r

    June 23, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Excuse me….Did Not support them.

Comments are closed.


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