VeteransFutures



Securing Florida as the Most Military and Veteran Friendly State in the Nation


As a Navy veteran and the son of a World War II veteran, Governor Scott has worked every day to make Florida the most military and veteran-friendly state in the nation. The Governor believes that those who so bravely serve the United States should be offered resources and support to ensure they are successful and able to provide for their families. The Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends $178 million in total funding to support active military, veterans and their families.

Supporting Military and their Families – The Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends more than $18 million for Florida’s military presence and families, which funds the state’s support of military research and development. This includes the following: $2 million for the Florida Defense Support Task Force; $1.6 million for the Defense Infrastructure Program; $3 million for military base protection, including additional security measures for National Guard armories; $1.7 million for armory maintenance; $4.2 million to support Florida National Guardsmen seeking higher education degrees; $5.7 million to support scholarships for children and spouses of deceased or disabled veterans; $70,000 for search and rescue vessels for National Guardsmen to use during storm-related missions and duties; and $130,000 for protective equipment to be used by National Guardsmen during deployment.

State Veteran Nursing Homes
The Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends $7.9 million to begin operations at the Lake Baldwin State Veteran Nursing Home. This funding will allow the Lake Baldwin State Veteran Nursing Home to open to serve more than 110 veterans in the coming year. The Governor’s recommended budget also proposes an additional more than $4 million for capital improvements, updating equipment, essential nursing home staff and start up activities at the Ardie R. Copas State Veteran Nursing Home.

This year, for the first time, all six state veteran nursing homes achieved a Five-Star Quality Rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Connecting Veterans with the Benefits They Deserve
The Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends more than $368,000 to add five additional Veterans’ Claims Examiners at the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans’ Claims Examiners are counselors who are responsible for connecting Florida veterans with the federal Veterans Affairs benefits they are entitled to after so courageously serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Continuing the Crisis Support Services for Veterans Statewide
Last year, Governor Scott recommended and the Legislature funded the statewide Crisis Center Support Line for Veterans. The Securing Florida’s Future budget provides $400,000 to continue the statewide dedicated telephone line (1-844-MYFLVET) that helps veterans in need by connecting them with local call centers where they can receive referrals to community health services and other community resources. This includes employment, financial, legal, transportation, housing and other assistance.

Building Homes for Heroes
The Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends doubling the funding to $2 million for Building Homes for Heroes to build and modify homes for veterans who were severely injured while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Building Homes for Heroes supports neighborhood economic advancement and positively impacts construction growth within 32 communities across Florida. Over the last two years, Building Homes for Heroes built or modified 24 project homes which had a projected value exceeding $4 million.

The Florida Defense Support Task Force
The Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends $2 million for the Florida Defense Support Task Force. The task force is charged with representing the state’s military interests and for strengthening state support for military families and veterans with an emphasis on education, healthcare, employment and family programs.

Veterans Treatment Courts
Veterans Treatment Courts are an important resource in diverting veterans with mental health and substance abuse treatment needs from the criminal justice system and Governor Scott has supported the expansion of these courts throughout the state. The Securing Florida’s Future budget reflects the Governor’s support of Veterans Treatment Courts and recommends $1.4 million to continue funding these courts throughout Florida.

Jobs for Florida’s Veterans
Governor Scott’s work to make Florida the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation means supporting the employment of these brave men and women and providing them with every opportunity to succeed by getting a great job upon returning home. That is why the Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends $2.75 million to support veterans looking to obtain employment, start their own businesses and make Florida their home. This funding includes: $1 million to assist Florida businesses in training and hiring veterans; $750,000 to support universities offering veteran entrepreneur training to create or sustain veteran-owned businesses; and $1 million so that Veterans Florida can market Florida worldwide as the most veteran friendly state in the nation.







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