Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation Wednesday providing across-the-board pay raises to state employees for the first time since 2013, but remained mum on whether he would also approve a wide-ranging and controversial education bill.
In a ceremony for veterans at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee, Scott signed the compensation legislation (SB 7022), a key priority of Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater.
“With the signing of this bill, our state employees will receive a well-deserved pay raise, and our state law enforcement officers will receive a 5 percent raise for their life-saving work,” Scott said.
The bill includes a complex matrix of raises for different state employees. Employees making $40,000 or less will get a $1,400 boost to their pay, while those making more will get an additional $1,000.
The University of South Florida’s quest to become “preeminent,” an official status that could elevate the school’s prestige and send millions of extra dollars its way, received a positive jolt late Wednesday as Gov. Rick Scott lifted a key barrier.
Scott vetoed a sweeping higher education reform bill that was one of Senate President Joe Negron’s top priorities of the 2017 session, saying that the measure “impedes” the ability of state colleges to provide access to low-cost, quality education.
The bill also included provisions expanding popular financial aid programs that help tens of thousands of college and university students, including Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholars, but Scott said those programs are unharmed by the veto because they were also embedded in the full state budget he signed June 2.
While many younger professionals consider leaving Southwest Florida, a new survey contends this is the place to be for young entrepreneurs.
The Sarasota-Manatee region topped a list of Florida’s best cities for young people to start their own business ventures, according to MoneyRates.com, a personal finance website.
Charlotte County tied for seventh, one of the six Florida communities to make the top 10 list.
The ratings scored high population growth rates, education attainment, young adult affluence and the business tax environment. It did not consider such factors as affordable housing and job opportunities, two often-discussed sore spots among the region’s millennials.
Sarasota-Manatee and Charlotte were cited as places where an entrepreneur’s investment might have the best chance of success.