TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez hosted a roundtable discussion regarding SB 174, which would allow veterans’ spouses to qualify to live in state-run long-term care facilities for veterans. The roundtable brought together Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Executive Director Major General James S. “Hammer” Hartsell and State Senator Danny Burgess, who discussed the expanded eligibility which would apply to veterans’ nursing homes known as domiciliary homes or assisted living facilities. Watch the roundtable here.
“Since taking office, we have made meaningful and significant investments for our veterans, active duty servicemembers, and their families,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “With Florida being the most veteran and military friendly state in the nation, we will continue to make good on our promises in fighting for the men and women who fought for us.”
As part of the Lieutenant Governor’s ‘LG on Mission’ initiative, the Lieutenant Governor has traveled throughout the state to highlight Governor DeSantis’ record investments in military and veteran affairs. Florida is the most military-friendly state in the nation and is home to nearly 1.5 million veterans, the third-largest veteran population in the nation.
“Governor DeSantis and Lieutenant Governor Nuñez have made it a priority throughout their administration to serve those who have served our country, as well as their families,” said Senator Danny Burgess. “I applaud and share their commitment to honoring and supporting our state’s heroes in every way possible. This important legislation I have filed will help those veterans living in our state veterans nursing homes by ensuring they are able to remain close to and continue to live with their spouse while receiving the care and assistance they need and deserve.”
“I salute Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez for bringing us together again for her ‘LG On Mission’ initiative,” said Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Executive Director James S. Hartsell. “Today’s roundtable in Tallahassee is a great opportunity to showcase our outstanding State Veterans’ Homes program. Expanding the pool of eligible veterans’ homes residents to include veterans’ spouses is the compassionate thing to do and will be well received in Florida’s veteran community. Growing the number of State Veterans’ Homes from nine to eleven and expanding the long-term care services we provide reinforces that Florida is the most veteran sought-after and veteran-friendly state in the nation.”
Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida is the most military and veteran-friendly state in the nation. In 2023 alone, Governor DeSantis signed eight bills to support Florida’s military members and their families. Governor DeSantis’ Focus on Florida’s Future Budget invests $57 million to the Florida State Guard, $350 million to the Florida National Guard, and an additional $8.9 million to support additional equipment and capital improvements for the State Veterans’ Nursing Homes. The budget also includes $102 million to begin the construction of the ninth State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Collier County upon federal grant approval. Additionally, $2 million is recommended to assist veterans in securing meaningful skills-based employment, provide employers with a skilled talent pipeline, and assist veterans in creating and operating a small business.