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.