FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis signed six bills June 9 to support veterans, military members, and their families in finding employment and educational opportunities in Florida. These pieces of legislation build on funding provided in the Freedom First Budget signed by Governor DeSantis last week to support Florida’s military members and their families.
“Florida is the most military friendly state in the nation, and I am proud to continue that commitment to our military members and their families by signing these pieces of legislation,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Providing military families with the resources they need to receive a high-quality education and find good jobs is the best way that we as a state can show our appreciation for the sacrifices that they make.”
“We’re very appreciative of Governor DeSantis’ unwavering support of Florida’s 1.5 million veterans, their families, and survivors. As a Navy combat deployed veteran, he appreciates the importance of expanding earned benefit eligibility to our active-duty members, our veterans, and their family members,” said retired Marine Corps Major General James S. “Hammer” Hartsell, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “Working together to offer enhanced educational and workforce opportunities for our nation’s heroes, we’ll ensure Florida continues to be the most sought-after state by veterans in the nation.”
“I’d like to thank the Legislature and Governor DeSantis for all they’ve done for the Soldiers and Airmen of the Florida National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Eifert, The Adjutant General of Florida. “These bills will go a long way to help our Citizen Soldiers and their spouses have opportunities for meaningful employment. Solid career opportunities lead to a well-rounded and ready force, and a stable home environment prepares our Guardsmen and their families for deployments, to include disaster response.”
The six bills signed by the Governor will support education opportunities for veterans and children of active-duty military as well as expand access to employment opportunities by removing barriers to licensure and postsecondary education requirements. Those bills are:
The Governor also announced that CareerSource Florida and state workforce agencies will dedicate $20 million in targeted workforce training supports for Florida’s veterans. This funding will focus on high demand industries including aviation, aerospace, and defense.
On April 6, Governor DeSantis also signed into law SB 1712, which provides an appropriation of $500,000 to create a pilot program within the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide Veteran Suicide Prevention Training for County Veteran Service Officers and FDVA Veterans’ Claims Examiners.