Higher wages pitched for Orange County employees

Orange County leaders say they are making a commitment to raise the minimum wage for county employees, setting aside hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure they reach that goal.

Orange County is working on its next budget, saying that they want to pay all their full-time workers at least $15 an hour by the end of 2021.  The county has $650,000 included in the budget to make that happen.  Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says they need to do it to stay competitive, in the labor market.

"We see some challenges in terms of being able to recruit and refill vacancies and to retain staff so we believe that this measured approach to increasing minimum rates of pay for our employees through 2021 is something we have to do," Demings says.

The county is hosting budget work sessions this week.  Right now, the proposed budget stands at $4.7 billion.