DeSantis signs series of bills to provide relief to military veterans and families
Governor Ron DeSantis On Thursday, signed a series of six bills aimed at providing benefits and quality of life improvements to military veterans and their families.
The six bills signed by the governor will support educational opportunities for veterans and children of active-duty military members and expand access to employment opportunities by removing barriers to licensing and post-secondary education requirements.
“Florida is the most military-friendly state in the nation, and I’m proud to continue that commitment to our military members and their families by signing these laws,” DeSantis said. “Providing military families with the resources they need to receive a high-quality education and find good jobs is the best way for us as a state to show our appreciation for the sacrifices they make.”
DeSantis included provisions in the recently signed state budget, including nearly $14 million to support scholarships for children and spouses of disabled or deceased veterans in Florida, $5.1 million to dollars for National Guard members seeking higher education degrees and implementing the Hometown Heroes Housing program, an investment of more than $100 million that allows people who serve as military officers to get buyer-friendly loans to buy property in the state.
“We are so grateful for Governor DeSantis’ unwavering support of Florida’s 1.5 million veterans, their families and survivors. As a combat deployed veteran in the Navy, he appreciates the importance of expand eligibility for earned benefits to our active duty members, veterans and their family members,” the retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. said. James S. Hartsell, executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. “By working together to provide better educational and workforce opportunities for our nation’s heroes, we will ensure that Florida continues to be the nation’s most sought-after state for veterans.”
The bills are in addition to special state benefits currently available to service members, veterans and their families, including homestead tax exemptions, state employment preferences and assistance. education and tuition fees. A sizable portion of the Florida state legislature is made up of former military personnel, including DeSantis himself.
Today’s signed invoices include:
HB 45: Provides educational opportunities for veterans with disabilities by providing additional assistance to obtain a 100% tuition and fee award.
SB 430: Reinstates the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, which provides a smooth transition for children of active-duty military families by enabling school placement, enrollment, record transfers, and requirements verification of obtaining the diploma in the event of relocation.
SB 514: Allows state agencies to substitute work experience, including military experience, for post-secondary education to allow veterans to use field experience to apply for civilian jobs.
SB 896: Helps veterans access education jobs by allowing their military service to count towards the requirement for a temporary educator certificate under the mentorship of a certified teacher.
SB 562: Requires the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to expedite licensing applications for spouses of active duty military personnel.
SB 438: Updates Florida’s uniformed service definition to include the United States Space Force and updates military base names.
In November, DeSantis also pledged to invest $8.6 million in career and workforce training opportunities for military veterans and their spouses. A series of grants under the Pledge includes a twelve county partnership in North Florida and begging to connect veterans and spouses with career opportunities, expanded job training for veterans with disabilities and a partnership with CareerSource Broward to further engage homeless veterans in training and certification programs.