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The proposal, according to the governor’s office, aims to increase salaries for law enforcement officers, correctional officers and special risk firefighters.
For the second year in a row, DeSantis also proposed a $1,000 bonus for first responders — including law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and firefighters.
“While other states have turned their backs on law enforcement, even calling to ‘defund the police,’ in Florida we continue to support the men and women in law enforcement,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I am proud to propose larger and longer-lasting measures to help our state recruit and retain the best law enforcement officers in the nation and to provide $1,000 bonuses for first responders and law enforcement officers for the second year in a row.”
The proposal offered by DeSantis would provide $73 million to increase the minimum pay for entry-level state law enforcement officers by 20%, and increase veteran officer salaries by 25%. The proposal includes $135 million to increase the base pay of correctional officers and Department of Juvenile Justice officers, while another $1.4 million would go toward salary increases for special risk firefighter salaries by up to $2,500 each.
In addition, DeSantis’ proposal included $5,000 signing bonuses for new local and state law enforcement officers.
DeSantis announced the proposal in Orlando on Monday at the Florida Highway Patrol station, saying it “is probably the most robust package that’s been proposed probably anywhere in the country.”
The governor added that he believes his proposal will not only appeal to Florida residents but “also some of the best throughout the country who are looking for greener pastures.”
The proposal will be up for consideration during the 2022 Florida Legislative Session, which is slated to begin on Jan. 11 and conclude on March 11 next year.