Gov. Rick Scott announced that he will propose $178 million to support active military, veterans and their families in Florida as part of his 2018-2019 recommended budget, according to a Monday press release.
“He also announced his support for a proposal being considered by the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) to provide free tuition to the families of fallen first responders, state law enforcement officers and military members who have lost their lives in the line of duty,” it said.
If passed by the CRC, the proposal will be on the ballot in 2018 and would require approval of 60 percent of Florida voters.
The proposal was filed by Commissioner Emery Gainey, a 25-year veteran of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and now Attorney General Pam Bondi‘s Director of Law Enforcement Relations, Victim Services & Criminal Justice Programs.
Scott said, “We will never be able to repay our fallen officers or service members who have bravely given their lives, but it is our duty to ensure that their families are supported as if they were our own.”
His $178 million investment for Florida’s active military, veterans and their families includes:
— $200,000 for search and rescue vessels and protective equipment for our National Guardsmen to use during deployment;
— Nearly $8 million to begin operations at the Lake Baldwin State Veteran Nursing Home, which will allow this facility to serve more than 110 veterans in the coming year;
— $2 million for Building Homes for Heroes to build and modify homes for veterans who were severely injured while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan;
— $2 million for the Florida Defense Support Task Force, which helps support our military and defense communities and the many families who rely on them; and
— $2.7 million to support veterans looking to obtain employment, start their own businesses and make Florida their home, including $1 million for Veterans Florida to continue their mission of helping veterans find great jobs at Florida businesses.
For the full press release, click here. The governor is expected to release his proposed 2018-19 state budget in Jacksonville on Tuesday morning.