Commissioner Fried declines pay raise, asks Gov. DeSantis and other state employees to do same

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8 On Your Side political host Evan Donovan sits down with Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried

TAMPA (WFLA) – Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is asking Governor Ron DeSantis to decline passing as 3% pay raise for state employees.

Fried issued a full statement on the matter Thursday night:

As you know, in March the Florida Legislature passed HB 5001, which in part enacts a 3 percent pay increase for state employees in the 2020-21 fiscal year budget. This pay increase is long-awaited and long-deserved by the tens of thousands of hardworking Florida state employees, serving for over a decade without a raise.

However, economic instability from the COVID-19 pandemic has created a looming $5.4 billion state budget shortfall, prompting conversations about difficult state financial decisions to come. Floridians are no strangers to these conversations, with 1.4 million unemployed Floridians struggling to make ends meet.

Given these historic challenges and our state’s dire economic forecast, I write today to inform you that I will decline the 3 percent increase to my state salary. Our Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Commissioners, and Deputy Chiefs of Staff will also decline the increase to their salaries. The salary data submitted by our Division of Administration will reflect this decision.

Commissioner Fried also encouraged Gov. DeSantis, his senior leadership, and senior agency leadership under his purview to join her in this effort.

“Given the unprecedented challenges Florida faces, we who share the opportunity and responsibility to lead our state must make difficult choices together. I trust that you will join us in this decision of fiscal responsibility and accountability to the people of Florida.”

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