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Joe Negron: I'm not the pay-raise king

Sen. Joe Negron wants you to know: He didn't pass out the most raises in the Senate, which voted to cut state-worker pay last year only to later pass out $183,000 in annual pay raises and promotions to some staffers.

In the full story about the pay raises, which is here, the Stuart Republican was identified as the "top raise-giver... who gave $11,292 in pay raises and promotions to three employees. Negron hadn't been elected to office when the Legislature voted on the pay-cut package last year."

The payroll data supplied by the Senate showed that three employees received the raises in the office of "DISTRICT 28, SEN. JOSEPH NEGRON,JR." The raises were instituted after Negron won office, but Negron says he only accounted for $3,072 of the raises for two employees. The balance, $8,220, was given to a staffer by his predecessor, Sen. Ken Pruitt, who quit office early last year.

Pruitt, incidentally, was the former Senate President who instituted the pay plan that Atwater said was the reason for the salary increases. The Pruitt raise was the third-largest in the Senate.