Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Legislative Package to Support Florida’s Military Members and Their Families
The Floridant/10232743

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ~ Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed eight bills to support Florida's military members and their families. With nearly 1.5 million veterans, the third largest veteran population in the country, Florida is the most military-friendly state in the nation. The bills signed by Governor DeSantis will provide veteran education and training opportunities, expand veteran benefits, and strengthen long-term care for Florida's veterans and their families.

"Florida is the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation and through this legislation, we are further supporting our military, veterans and their families with the resources they need while they are serving and after they have fulfilled their duty," said Governor Ron DeSantis.

Senate Bill (SB) 732 establishes the Collegiate Purple Star Campuses Program to support military members, veterans, and their families while attending a college or university in Florida. The program requires institutions to designate a staff member as a military liaison; maintain a webpage on the institution's website with resources for military students and families; maintain a student-led transition program that assists military students in transitioning into the institution; offer staff members professional development training opportunities; and provide priority course registration for military students.

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SB 274 creates the "Pathway for Military Combat Medics Act" which will give postsecondary course credit for combat medic training to be used toward a nursing education program. This will allow veterans to earn their nursing education degree more quickly and at a lower cost.

House Bill (HB) 139 establishes an Office of Veteran Licensure Services within the Department of Health to provide information and assistance with health care licensure processes for all veterans and their spouses. Additionally, Veterans Florida will assist veterans and their spouses with access, training, education, and employment in Florida's health care professions.

HB 485 creates a Division of Long-term Care within the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) to oversee operations of veterans' adult day health care programs as well as expands eligibility requirements for those wishing to enter an adult day health care program. The bill also names November 11th of each year as "Veterans Week."

HB 635 creates a Veterans Dental Care Grant Program within FDVA to provide dental care grants to eligible nonprofits that provide dental care services to veterans in Florida. Currently only 15% of veterans are eligible for dental services through VA so this program will help fill that gap.

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SB 574 supports servicemembers living in Florida who receive orders to live in government quarters by defining "government quarters" as including privately owned military housing which allows servicemembers to early terminate private rental agreements if they become eligible for privatized housing.

HB 621 establishes a uniform death benefit of $75,000 for active duty servicemembers killed while performing official duties while HB 1285 establishes the Florida State Guard as a permanent component in Florida's state militia with $108 million appropriated from General Appropriations Act funds.

Governor Ron DeSantis commented on these bills saying: "Through this legislation we are further supporting our military, veterans and their families with the resources they need while they are serving and after they have fulfilled their duty." With these eight bills signed into law today it is clear that Governor DeSantis is committed to providing support for those who have served our country so bravely throughout its history.

Filed Under: Government, State

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