FHP troopers, other state employees get small pay raise

- Employees of the state of Florida can expect to see a little more money in their paychecks starting next month.

Gov. Rick signed a state worker pay raise into law on Wednesday, marking the first time in over a decade that all state employees are getting a raise at the same time.

State law enforcement agencies will receive a 5 percent pay increase, bumping the starting pay for a rookie state trooper to just over $36,000 annually, according to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP).

"That's important for us because, of course, this is a competitive field. We have other agencies that frequently reach out to the Highway Patrol to pull the talent that we have for their own agencies," said FHP Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

Highway Patrol has struggled with a shortage of manpower and high turnover rates in recent years due to the starting pay being lower than other county and city law enforcement agencies.

According to the Tampa Police Department website, the starting pay for its police officers is $47,320, more than $10,000 higher than the starting pay for troopers, even after the pay raise.

"It's a step in the right direction," said Gaskins. "This shows the support of our Florida lawmakers, of our Florida governor, realizing and recognizing what we're doing and what we're losing by not retaining good, qualified people, because of pay issues."

The pay raise will benefit all state workers. Employees making $40,000 or less will get a $1,400 raise. Employees making more than $40,000 will get an additional $1,000. A $2,500 raise will be given to most correctional officers.

Judges, state attorneys, and public defenders will see a 10 percent pay increase.

The pay raises take effect July 1, at the start of the state's fiscal year.

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