The Florida Capitol. Credit: Michael Moline
With the 2022 legislative session coming to an end, lawmakers still haven’t come to an agreement on pay hikes for state workers and certain health care and school personnel.
At issue is a minimum wage increase of $15-an-hour pushed by the Senate compared to a 5.38 percent salary increase in the House, to address rising inflation. Those increases would be for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
State lawmakers are continuing negotiations on the state budget for Floridians, and there’s only a few more days to wrap up the final figures. The legislative session is scheduled to end March 11.
Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson had pushed the $15 an hour increase for state workers and a broader pool of employees.
A spokeswoman for the state House told the Florida Phoenix on Monday that lawmakers are “still in conference” negotiating on pay issues. It’s unclear if the 5.38 percent initiative will still be in the state budget by the end of session. Also not clear: pay increases for staffers such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers at local school districts.
But there has been some progress. Just last week, Health Care Appropriations chair Bryan Avila said that the House has agreed to the Senate’s offer on the $15 minimum wage increases related to certain health programs.
As of Friday, House Appropriations Committee Chair Jay Trumbull told reporters in the Capitol that “we will sit down, have a conversation about what that looks like, $15 minimum wage vs. the 5.38 percent increase,” said Trumbull, a Republican representing part of Bay County in the Panhandle.
Once the House and Senate approves the final state budget, it will go to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has the authority to veto parts of the budget.
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