Budget conference: Lawmakers bump pay rates for medical, mental health providers working in juvenile justice

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Gov. Ron DeSantis included the pay increase in his proposed budget.

Legislators have agreed to spend an additional $17.2 million to bump the pay rates for contracted Department of Juvenile Justice providers that offer direct care, support, medical and mental health services within the Department’s residential programs.

The funds will increase pay rates to an average of $19 an hour for contracted staff at secure and non-secure facilities.

In agreeing to the $17.2 million increase, the chambers are providing the same level of funding Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed for in his proposed legislative budget request.

The agreement is the result of a Senate budget offer from the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Committee Monday.

The most recent budget offer from the committee includes substantially more for services to those residing in Florida’s prison system. The Senate budget offer has the chamber slotting $140 million more for improving the health and education of Florida inmates.

Budget conference subcommittees will meet throughout the week to resolve differences in each area. When remaining issues reach an impasse, they will be “bumped” to the full budget conference committee.

Lawmakers must reach an agreement on a final spending plan by May 2 to meet the 72-hour “cooling off” period required by the state constitution before they can vote on the budget to avoid pushing the Regular Session past its scheduled May 5 end date.

Staff Reports


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