TallahasseeVoices: State Workers, Leon Co. Citizens on State Budget

By: TallahasseeVoices; Eyewitness News
By: TallahasseeVoices; Eyewitness News

Tallahassee, Florida - Feb. 22, 2012 -

Study Objective: To determine which options related to state government & employees Leon County residents preferred for reducing the state budget deficit.

Findings: State employees and other Leon County residents differ significantly on what needs to happen to close the state budget deficit.

State employees have a different perspective on what should be done to reduce the state budget deficit. State employees prefer to:

- Take furloughs (unpaid leave) for 2 weeks
- Reduce their health insurance benefits, and
- Reduce their salaries by 1% across the board.

Leon County residents (who do NOT work for the state) want to:

- Require all state employees to pay 6% rather than 3% of their pension contribution
- Combine annual leave days and sick days to reduce the number of paid days off for state employees
- Reduce the number of paid leave days state employees can roll over from1 year to the next

See the full survey by clicking on the PowerPoint tab above.

TallahasseeVoices is a pro bono internet survey panel sponsored by Kerr & Downs Research with special media support of WCTV. Survey was conducted February 4th to 25th, 2011. 402 of the 5,000 panel members responded. Results are weighted to reflect the demographics of the 90%+ local residents who have access to the internet at home, work, or school.

TallahasseeVoices – brought to you by:
Kerr & Downs Research
Phillip Downs. Ph.D., Senior Partner

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bob Location: TLH on Feb 24, 2012 at 04:38 AM
    Heres the answer to your question on how to cut spending in Fl!Fl has about twice as many people as Ga but our budjet is twice as much (4 times) take a look to the north to see how. PS drive dont fly.
  • by Jones Location: Perry on Feb 24, 2012 at 03:55 AM
    I think the state work force needs to be drastically reduced. A good start would be FWC. Their budget has to be huge. Too many rabbit sheriffs out there in their $50,000 airboats, $40,000 trucks, 3-4 million dollar helicopters, harassing decent folks for anything and everything from having a few too many scallops, a fish that's half an inch too long or too short, or not having a whistle in your boat (whistles are important, anchors not so much), or not having a fishing license, or forgetting to lower your dive flag while underway, or gigging a crab, or picking up an artifact on state property, or driving down the wrong road on state (taxpayers) land, or any number of other absolutely stupid prohibitions the nanny state has imposed on the citizens. And try to find one when you really need one. I won't even mention how much the FDEP and water management districts cost us every year.
  • by We are broke! on Feb 23, 2012 at 02:47 PM
    Legislators need to take a cut as well
  • by Anonymous on Feb 23, 2012 at 11:23 AM
    We should drug test everyone. Anyone in the service industry. I'm pretty sure EVERYONE at tropical smoothie is high. Every cop,Fireman and ambulance driver. All doctors and Nurses. EVERYONE. then watch how fast unemployment jumps. Make sure you buy stock in the testing companies first. you know the ones rick scotts wife is heavly involved in.
    • reply
      by We are broke! on Feb 23, 2012 at 02:43 PM in reply to
      If you want to pay for it go a head, the only one that will profit from that is the lab that gets the state contract
  • by joe state employee on Feb 23, 2012 at 07:54 AM
    Does anyone really believe that cutting the salary of 131,000 state employees is going to balance the budget? The only reason there is more outlay than income in the state of Florida coffers is that we quit collecting income from the rich when Florida quit collecting the intangible tax a few years back. We lost about a billion dollars of tax income that year and every year since. Beating down the already poorly paid state employees further is NOT the answer.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 23, 2012 at 11:52 AM in reply to joe state employee
      The revenue over the last few years has changed little. It's not the income, it's the out-flow. The bis problem is medicare/medicaid which has increased substantially over the past few years and so the budget has to be cut in other areas to keep meeting the medicare/medicaid requirements without increasing taxes. It's easy to say cut the budget, but what really needs to be cut(medicare/medicaid) can't be cut.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 23, 2012 at 02:45 PM in reply to joe state employee
      There is all kinds of ways to get more money. Raising taxes is not the answer. You want more money stop spending, try doing some cutting and yes i think the lawmakers salaries and benefits should be cut too
  • by the emperor has no clothes Location: Tallahassee on Feb 22, 2012 at 07:42 PM
    State workers of Florida have an enormous amount of skill and loyalty keeping this state’s infrastructure running smoothly, and most of the more responsible jobs require a college degree. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find someone smart enough to have a degree, honest enough to pass the background check, and stupid enough to work for what Florida pays? Our state workers are the lowest paid and most over-worked in the nation, so Scott knows to cut waste instead of workers, right? That’s why we needed the talent of a CEO after all. I wonder why the Secretary of DMS (and his Chief of Staff), and the General Counsel quit today? I think they could no longer stand doing the bidding of the Dark Lord and quit out of disgust, leaving their $140,000 jobs behind, knowing what’s about to happen. It’s going to take several years to undo the damage Scott is doing to Florida (after we are finally rid of him), but at least we can be rid of a lot of his lapdogs this year.
    • reply
      by C on Feb 22, 2012 at 10:22 PM in reply to the emperor has no clothes
      Here is the problem with arguing with people that bash state workers. They are the ones that are very ignorant of the facts and even with your facts presented well as you have done they will just attack the messenger or out of hand dismiss the facts as made up no matter the sources you quote or how true they are. These are the same types that will work and spend during good times and not worry about saving. But once they are hit hard they must find someone to take their emotional baggage onto, and because state workers are "stealing" their money, in their opinion. This despite that the florida tax payer barely puts anything toward state employee pay. Again facts confuse them.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 23, 2012 at 11:53 AM in reply to the emperor has no clothes
      It seems like there are so many of them willing to work, that we have had to get rid of some already.
      • reply
        by the emperor has no clothes on Feb 23, 2012 at 06:44 PM in reply to
        Do you really believe such dismal working conditions are going to leave a high quality workforce to serve Florida? Really?
  • by Sleepless in Tallahassee Location: Leon on Feb 22, 2012 at 06:11 PM
    I'm a county worker and know all too well the thankless jobs we do for the citizens of Tallahassee/Leon County in the name of public Service. I'm curious to know how many of you are against the drug testing policy that has passed? Don't get me wrong, I'm for drug testing employees no problem, I can test everyday and still have my job. The problem I have is them putting us in the same class as the welfare recipients. Is this how we are viewed??? We need to test the State/Gov't workers and those on welfare. Isn't this just grand. The citizens need to know that most of us "Government" workers do care, do work for change and not high dollars, do work overtime without pay, without thanks because its what we do. To all Government workers, "THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO" and hope your still able to keep the shirt on your back when they get done with us.
    • reply
      by DD on Feb 22, 2012 at 10:25 PM in reply to Sleepless in Tallahassee
      I am not against the idea of drug testing. I will just cost money because of the law suits and like with welfare it will be a major waste of money. Like the welfare if you only catch 2% on drugs and end up costing yourself twice than what you would save having them off the pay check then don't waste the money.
  • by just saying Location: land of broken promises on Feb 22, 2012 at 06:08 PM
    I work for the state and have seen elected officials ask the public to vote for the things they want, these include term limits,class size amendments,property tax cuts, sentencing guidelines,85% to name a few.Now the public can't fund the wants so now we have increased gas tax,fire fees,solid waste fees.and tuition, ALL want education,safety and security but we cannot afford it.
  • by MaryAnn Location: Tallahassee on Feb 22, 2012 at 04:52 PM
    I am a state employee and I took this survey and I surely didn't answer this way. I question the validity of this article and the results.
  • by Anonymous Location: Everywhere on Feb 22, 2012 at 04:52 PM
    when the comp time is deleted or you max out, you are working for free...apparently you missed the point. Many state workers work over 40 hours per week and are suppose to get comp time however they are unable to use the comp time and end up giving that time to the state. Not to mention purchasing your own supplies and bringing them to work with you because the state does not hae the money to buy them. I can guarantee that most of the negative comments on this section are made by people who have no clue what the actual average state employee makes, what their job requires, how dedicated they are to the the citixens of this state and the troubles that we have. Do the research and become informed before you critize the people that provide the service.
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