Republicans push for pay raises

Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.

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Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In what some see as classic election year politics, Florida’s ruling Republicans are wrestling with a rare, almost billion-dollar issue – pay raises for two of the state Democratic Party’s biggest allies, teachers and state workers.

Democrats and union officials say the GOP’s motives may be to deflect campaign criticism this fall, or even to sow dissent among labor groups jostling over the size of a rare pay hike.

But many welcome being central to state budget talks as the Legislature nears its midpoint. It’s an unfamiliar place for both.

“Republican leaders think this will take away a page from our playbook – that we can’t say they haven’t done enough for teachers or state workers,” said Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach. “But I’m happy they are finally seeing value in our hard-working public workers.”

Two boys with the same disability tried to get help:The rich student got it quickly. The poor student did not.

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