Tallahassee, FL-January 22, 2013
Florida's state workers haven't seen a raise in nearly seven years. But a new bill filed in the state house may soon change that.
Under House Bill 289, State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda is proposing to give state workers a 7 percent raise. She says it amounts to a 1 percent pay bump for every year they've been without one.
"I don't know any business that's worth its salt that has stayed in business that hasn't given their folks a raise in six years," said Vasilinda.
Despite the state's multi-billion dollar deficit, Vasilinda says the time is right for state workers to get a raise.
"I do think now is the time. First of all we are growing, second of all, the economy is growing and we will have a surplus this year," said Vasilinda.
She proposes paying for the raise through eliminating certain tax exemptions and adding an Internet sales tax to boost the state's revenue. Vasilinda says the raise will also help make the state's work force more competitive.
At this time, the bill has yet to be assigned to a committee. If the bill does pass, it will take effect on July 1, 2013.
While Florida's Governor Rick Scott says he's for giving state workers a raise, he wants to see it done on a merit-based system.