As a proud Navy veteran, Governor Scott is committed to making 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 all available resources and support to ensure they are successful and able to provide for their families. The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget recommends $102 million in total funding to support active military, veterans and their families.
Supporting Military and their Families – The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget recommends $24 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; $3.2 million for the Defense Infrastructure Program; $3 million for military base protection, including additional security measures for National Guard armories; $6 million for National Guard armories $3.4 million for armory maintenance $750,000 to support Florida National Guardsmen seeking higher education degrees; and $5.8 million to support scholarships for children and spouses of deceased or disabled veterans.
Connecting Veterans with the Benefits They Deserve
The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget recommends $768,000 to add 10 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 bravely serving the United States. Last year, Florida’s 74 Veterans’ Claims Examiners secured $269 million in total federal compensation for Florida veterans and their families.
Expanding Crisis Support Services for Veterans Statewide
The Fighting for Florida’s Future budget builds on Florida’s success as the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation by providing more than $350,000 to expand the Crisis Center Support Line for Veterans beyond the Tampa region. This new, statewide dedicated telephone line (1-844-MYFLVET) will help veterans in need who are facing delays at the federal level 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. More than 4,300 veterans in all 67 Florida counties will benefit – an almost fivefold increase over the program’s current capacity. Governor Scott also recommended this funding in his 2016-17 Florida First budget.