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Florida's new budget supports military veterans, governor says

Budget includes $28 million for Florida’s military presence and families
Posted at 11:30 AM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 11:30:57-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday highlighted how Florida's newly passed budget is helping military veterans and their families.

"Florida is here to stand with the men and women who've stood by us," DeSantis said during a news conference in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The $101.5 billion budget, which DeSantis signed on Wednesday, includes $28 million for Florida’s military presence and their families.

Here's a breakdown of the military spending in the fiscal year 2021/22 budget:

  • $2 million for the Florida Defense Support Task Force
  • $1.75 million for the Defense Infrastructure Program
  • $7.2 million for armory maintenance
  • $2 million for military base protection, including additional security measures for National Guard armories
  • $4.1 million to support Florida National Guardsmen seeking higher education degrees
  • $11 million to support scholarships for children and spouses of deceased or disabled veterans

"We are gonna be able to use these funds to do a lot of stuff to help veterans," DeSantis said. "Housing assistance, financial counseling, access to military benefits, mental health and substance abuse counseling, transportation, and child care services."

The budget also includes up to $50 million to construct two new National Guard armories in Immokalee and Zephyrhills.

The governor on Friday also signed a bill into law that helps match retiring servicemembers from Florida's 21 military installations with career opportunities throughout the state.

"This creates a statewide awareness and employment program," DeSantis said. "Whose purpose is to attract and retain veterans and their families by connecting them to employment, training, and educational opportunities."

According to DeSantis, Florida is home to 65,000 military personnel and 1.5 million veterans.

You can read more highlights from the newly passed Florida budget by clicking here.