“Florida is the most military friendly state in the nation, and I am proud to continue that commitment to our military members and their families by signing these pieces of legislation,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Providing military families with the resources they need to receive a high-quality education and find good jobs is the best way that we as a state can show our appreciation for the sacrifices that they make.”
The six bills signed by the Governor will support education opportunities for veterans and children of active-duty military as well as expand access to employment opportunities by removing barriers to licensure and postsecondary education requirements. Those bills are:
- House Bill (HB) 45 provides educational opportunities for disabled veterans by providing additional assistance to achieve a 100 percent award for tuition and fees.
- Senate Bill (SB) 430 reenacts the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children which ensures a smooth transition for children of active-duty military families by enabling seamless school placement, enrollment, records transfers, and verification of graduation requirements.
- SB 514 allows state agencies to substitute work experience, including military experience, for postsecondary education to allow veterans to use on the job experience to apply for civilian jobs.
- SB 896 will help veterans access jobs in education by allowing their military service to count toward the requirement for a temporary educator certificate under the mentorship of a certified teacher.
- SB 562 requires the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to expedite license applications of active-duty military spouses.
- SB 438 updates Florida’s definition of Uniformed Service to include the United States Space Force and updates military base names.
“I’d like to thank the Legislature and Governor DeSantis for all they’ve done for the Soldiers and Airmen of the Florida National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Eifert, The Adjutant General of Florida. “These bills will go a long way to help our Citizen Soldiers and their spouses have opportunities for meaningful employment. Solid career opportunities lead to a well-rounded and ready force, and a stable home environment prepares our Guardsmen and their families for deployments, to include disaster response.”
“Governor DeSantis continues to deliver on his promise to provide a work-ready, high-quality postsecondary education for our veterans and service-members,” said Senior Chancellor Henry Mack. “Today’s new laws guarantee our state and technical colleges stand ready and equipped to remove all educational barriers for our military families.”
“We’re very appreciative of Governor DeSantis’ unwavering support of Florida’s 1.5 million veterans, their families, and survivors. As a Navy combat deployed veteran, he appreciates the importance of expanding earned benefit eligibility to our active-duty members, our veterans, and their family members,” said retired Marine Corps Major General James S. “Hammer” Hartsell, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “Working together to offer enhanced educational and workforce opportunities for our nation’s heroes, we’ll ensure Florida continues to be the most sought-after state by veterans in the nation.”
“Governor DeSantis has prioritized Florida’s military communities, and DEO is proud to support his efforts through innovative and dynamic opportunities,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle. “Projects funded through DEO’s military grant programs promote economic growth and diversification in military communities and enhance the lives of all Floridians.”
“I enlisted in the Air Force when I was 18 years old. I used the GI Bill and an ROTC scholarship to get a commission,” said Nate Vannatter, Owner, Props Brewery and Grill. “10 years after that commission, my partners and I used a VA/SBA loan to start our business right here in Fort Walton Beach. I thank the Governor for his support of these veteran bills. As these men and women depart the armed forces and go into the next phase of their life, these bills are really going to mean something.”
The Governor also announced that CareerSource Florida and state workforce agencies will dedicate $20 million in targeted workforce training supports for Florida’s veterans. This funding will focus on high demand industries including aviation, aerospace, and defense.