TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A proposal that would provide bonuses and other assistance to try to draw law-enforcement officers to Florida is ready to go before the full House.
The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unanimously backed the proposal (HB 3), which would establish a program to provide one-time payments of up to $5,000 to newly employed law-enforcement officers in the state, along with bonuses for officers who adopt children.
It also would set up a Florida Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship Program to cover basic-training tuition and fees.
"This bill is a small sacrifice to show our appreciation," bill sponsor Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, said.
Under the proposal, the state Department of Economic Opportunity would develop minimum eligibility requirements for newly employed officers to get bonus payments.
The bill would make available $1,000 awards to cover training costs for people who are recruited.
Also, officers could draw $10,000 for adopting through the state child welfare system, with the benefit growing to $25,000 for adopting children with special needs.
The bill also would increase the base salary for each county sheriff by $5,000.
The House's proposed $105.3 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes more than $40 million to cover different aspects of the bill, according to a staff analysis.
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