Budget conference: Corrections officers await ruling on pay raises

jobs-recruits corrections ART
Will prison guards see a hike in pay?

The House wants an additional $65 million for the staff at Florida prisons. But the Senate still has that money locked away.

The latest House offer includes almost $60.5 million in its administration funding to give raises for Florida correctional officers. House appropriators get there by pulling $59.7 million in recurring general revenue dollars, and by adding another $765,000 from state trust funds.

But the Senate budgets no raises for corrections officers, and has held that position. That’s a hard line that has made it all the way to budget negotiations between Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner.

Additionally, the House wants to budget $3.4 million for retention pay to keep Florida’s correctional officers stationed here. The lower chamber also budgets $1.2 million to increase the pay for maintenance staff at state prisons.

The House leans entirely on recurring general revenue for these salary moves.

But again, the Senate hasn’t taken a bite, and the Legislative Session is nearing a close.

The chambers are closer than they have been on prison spending.

Notably, the Senate has sought out pay increases at other agencies that the House had yet to agree upon.

The Senate has nearly $109 million budgeted for agency discretion pay increases. The House has money for that as well, but only about $97 million. That leaves a $12 million discrepancy between the chambers on another pay matter.

And while the House has $24.8 million set aside for pay raises in justice administration, the Senate has only $20.9 million budgeted.

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.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Billy the Bamboozler

    May 1, 2023 at 8:49 am

    Need to build modern facilities AND hire more staff. There’s a homicide or suicide every 14 days in Florida prisons. It’s a human rights violation on wheels..a neo nazi death camp. One guy went in there on driving on a suspended license and was killed. He got the death penalty for driving on a suspended license.

  • Elliott Offen

    May 1, 2023 at 9:48 am

    Yeah they got hundreds of people in “open bay dorms” with no AC. Looks like a slave ship in there. No programs, real education opportunities, almost no healthcare, guards corrupt and just as amoral as inmates. A Russian prison is healthier and more humane. Just look up Florida prisons on YouTube and tell we what sort of government we here in this state.

  • David Pakman

    May 1, 2023 at 11:24 am

    Raises? Need to hire additional people. They’re in there butchering it up with razors, bangers, pokers, bone crushers, homemade axes, plexiglass swords, even guns every now and then. Need to build different kinds of prisons or something. It’s like a gd pirate ship.. donkey island in there. It’s a crime against humanity.

  • MaccDaddy

    May 1, 2023 at 6:06 pm

    It’s funny that some comments here state that more staff need to be hired. As if the FDC hasn’t been trying to hire people for the past decade. NO one wants to work under these conditions for the paltry salary being offered. And it is looking like the state’s latest pay increase offer is a joke. At this rate, there will never be adequate staff for Florida’s prisons.

Comments are closed.


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