DeSantis proposes raises, bonuses for first responders

Gov. DeSantis spoke at Orlando's FHP office about his proposal to boost law enforcement pay. (WKMG, Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will include raises and bonuses for law enforcement when he announces his overall state budget proposal next week, he said at a news conference Monday.

DeSantis is proposing repeating the $1,000 bonuses law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical technicians received this year.

He also wants $73 million to raise the minimum salary for entry-level state law enforcement officers by 20% and give existing state law enforcement officers a 25% raise.

“Increasing salaries for state law enforcement by 20 and 25% respectively is going to make a real difference for those officers, it will make a real difference for the families, it will help retain a lot of the talented people we have as well as recruit new people,” DeSantis said while surrounded law enforcement officers at a Florida Highway Patrol station in Orlando.

The Legislature is still weeks away from releasing its budget proposals, and lawmakers do not have to follow the governor’s recommendations. But the House and Senate are dominated by Republicans and the chambers’ leaders have helped DeSantis pass previous budget priorities.

And this is DeSantis’ final budget before the November election, which gives Republicans more incentive to let him tout legislative victories.