Florida Senate Candidate Agenda Analysis: Patrick Murphy


Economy, Transportation, and Infrastructure

Equal Pay: “[Murphy will] fight for equal pay for equal work for women…” (source)

Cost per year: $3 million ($15 million over five years)

Notes: Related legislation has been introduced in the form of H.R. 1619/S. 862, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would enhance regulations pertaining to equal pay. The text of the bill authorizes $15 million for compliance training, a grant program for negotiation skills training for girls and women, research, education, and outreach. NTUF assumes the outlays would occur over five years.

Paid Leave - Earned Leave: “[Murphy will] fight for… paid sick leave.” (source)

Cost per year: $3 million ($17 million over five years)

Notes: Murphy is a sponsor of H.R. 932, the Healthy Families Act, that would require certain employers to permit their employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. The bill would require the Commissioner of Labor Statistics and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report on the use of paid leave. In 2007, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the reporting requirements would increase outlays by $17 million over five years.

Minimum Wage: “A meaningful increase in our minimum wage, gradually reaching $15 per hour, would mean bigger paychecks for working families and more customers for small businesses.” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: Related legislation was introduced during the 113th Congress in the form of S. 2223, the Minimum Wage Fairness Act. That bill would have gradually increased the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and indexed it to inflation in years thereafter. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined that the bill would not significantly impact federal outlays and it is unclear if this proposal would be scored similarly. In a related 2014 report, CBO noted that a minimum wage increase to $10.10 would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers across the country. It is unclear whether this would impact outlays for unemployment benefits or other welfare programs.


Education, Science, and Research

Community Colleges & Technical Schools: “We should invest in our community colleges and technical schools…” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: It is unclear what level of funding Murphy would support for community colleges and technical schools.

Teacher Pay: “[Murphy]  also knows to recruit the best teachers in the world, we must treat them as such. Increasing teacher pay will help public schools recruit and retain top talent … .” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: It is unclear what level of federal funding he would support.

Universal Pre-Kindergarten: “Patrick supports universal pre-kindergarten…” (source)

Cost per year: $10.3 billion ($51.5 billion over five years)

Notes: The Obama Administration’s FY 2017 budget included a proposal to establish a Preschool for All program for four-year-olds at an estimated cost of $66.042 billion over ten years.


Energy and the Environment

Renewable Energy Research: “Patrick believes we must… expand investment into new clean energy research.” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: It is unclear whether Murphy would use tax credits as incentives to expand private investment or if he would support federal spending.


Government Reform

Campaign Finance Reform: “Patrick will act to end unlimited, unaccountable money in our elections by working to pass comprehensive campaign finance reform in the U.S. Senate.” (source)

Cost per Year: Indeterminate

Notes: It is unclear what this reform would include and if it would require an increase in spending.


Homeland Security and Law Enforcement

Immigration Reform: “Patrick is committed to working across party lines to pass comprehensive immigration reform.” (source)

Cost per year: $20.2 billion ($110 billion over 5 years)

Notes: During the 113th Congress, the Senate passed S. 744, which would have overhauled the federal immigration system by providing a path to legal status for many current illegal aliens, and authorizing additional funding for border security measures. A CBO estimate of the bill as passed by the Senate indicated it would increase mandatory spending by $89 billion over the first five years and discretionary spending by $12 billion in that same time. NTUF assumes that Murphy would support similar legislation.


Social Security

Caretaker Credit:  “Patrick also believes that Social Security should stop penalizing a parent who temporarily leaves the workforce to raise an infant, which is why he introduced a bill to directly address this issue.” (source)

Cost per year: $5.4 billion ($54.025 billion over ten years)

Notes: H.R. 4529, or the Social Security Parent Penalty Repeal Act, would direct the Social Security Administration (SSA) to remove a maximum of two years per child from the number of working years the SSA uses to calculate benefits. Currently, the Social Security Administration takes the average of a person’s highest 35 years of earnings (with zeros inserted if a person works for less than 35 years).

A related proposal, known as a Caregiver Credit, would provide a new Social Security benefit for individuals who leave the workforce to care for an ailing family member or to raise their children. A 2009 analysis by the Urban Institute estimated that establishing a caregiver credit would increase Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) outlays by 0.5 percent over the first ten years.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that outlays under OASDI will total $10.81 trillion from FY 2017-2026. A 0.5 percent increase would boost outlays by $54.03 billion over ten years, or $5.4 billion on average per year.

A more recent analysis of a comprehensive caregiver credit is unavailable. In 2015, the Office of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration estimated that a proposal (listed in the report as B7.3) to provide a credit to parents with a child under six for earnings up to five years would increase the long-range actuarial balance for OASDI by 0.23 percent.


Incentives for Hiring Veterans: “Developing incentives for hiring veterans will improve our civilian workforce and further respect the service of our returning heroes.” (source)

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: The government currently offers tax credits of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans and $9,600 for hiring disabled veterans. It is unclear whether Murphy would expand these credits or develop additional hiring incentives.

Mental Health: “Patrick supports improving and coordinating mental health and suicide prevention [for veterans].”

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: A cost estimate is indeterminate. In FY 2016, the budget authorized a total of $5.436 billion to go towards mental health care for veterans.

Military Skills Certification: “Patrick believes in creating specialized certification to transfer military skills to the civilian workforce and increasing opportunities for veteran-owned businesses.”

Cost per year: Indeterminate

Notes: Programs similar to the specialized certification program currently exist and are helping veterans. It is unclear how or if Murphy wishes to expand these programs.