Pay raise for election supervisors going to Scott, but just barely
If it were an election, there would have been a mandatory recount. In one of the closest floor votes all session, the House on Tuesday narrowly passed a bill giving big pay raises to Florida's 67 supervisors of elections, all but one of whom are elected.
The vote to send the bill to Gov. Rick Scott's desk was 58-54, with 46 Republicans and eight Democrats opposing the bill. If two more voting members had changed from yes to no, the bill would have died.
Supporters called the bill "pay parity" for supervisors, a majority of whom are women and who historically have been underpaid compared to other constitutional officers like sheriffs and court clerks. The bill gives them average raises of about $20,000 a year under a formula tied to county population.
Opponents called the bill "politicians feeding politicians," as Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, argued.
Nine lawmakers who voted against the bill are from Tampa Bay. Among those voting no were Republican Reps. Richard Corcoran of Land O'Lakes, Blaise Ingoglia of Spring Hill and Dana Young of Tampa, the House majority leader. One of the seven Democrats who voted no, Rep. Alan Williams of Tallahassee, is a candidate for supervisor of elections in Leon County.
The bill (SB 524), sponsored by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, earlier passed the Senate on a 36-4. Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, a candidate for Lake County supervisor of elections, voted for it, but Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando was among the no votes.