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  • The Pres Says - March 2019
    Updated On: Mar 06, 2019
    STEADMAN STAHL, PBA President

    As we prepare for the upcoming Florida Legislative session, the last couple of months have been quite busy. The Florida PBA, along with the other Chapters and Charters, have been working tirelessly with our State Representatives on improving the working conditions for Public Safety.  

    Last month, Senator Joe Grothers filed Bill SB 784, which, in essence, stops the loss of COLA benefits for employees that were hired prior to July 1, 2011, who continue to lose COLA accrued credit each month. The Bill would set the floor that COLA could not drop below 2% for tier one retirees. Stay tuned as we follow this Bill through the process.

    Additionally, last month, Florida's Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, stopped by and hosted a round table on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). We want to thank CFO Patronis for leading the charge last year in passing Florida's PTSD Bill. This Bill was one of the top Legislative priorities for Patronis after its passage, he issued the following statement, “First Responders show up for us every day without hesitation or questioning our politics.” He said, “Last year, four states, including Texas, increased mental health benefits for First Responders. I'm proud to say that we can now add Florida to that list.” We here at the PBA would like to thank him and all the State Representatives for supporting this Bill. It's the first step in dealing with an issue that was the number one cause of death to law enforcement officers last year in this country. 

    We also spoke to Patronis about the need to add Correctional and Probation Officers to the new law which allows First Responders salary coverage without an accompanying physical injury. Anybody who is feeling depressed and thinking about suicide: we urge you to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. There is nothing that you're going through that can't be worked out and we must get past the stigma that it's not ok to ask for help. It is ok to ask for help. In the next couple of months, we here at the PBA will continue to fight for better working conditions for all those we represent.

    We would also like to congratulate BLE 121 on their recent graduation. We have 38 new crime fighters who are currently working the streets of South Florida and making a difference in our community. 

    As we celebrate St. Patrick's Day this month on March 17th, we will all be Irish for a day regardless of our heritage or bloodline. So, as you enjoy your corn beef and cabbage and, in moderation the green beer, I leave with you this Irish toast. “May you be an in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.” 


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