FDVA developing report from results to guide legislative agenda
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) has completed the regional assessment phase of the Forward March veterans’ advocacy campaign. The initiative was announced by Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this year and aimed to unite the combined energy and resources of Florida’s state agencies, veteran service organizations, private partners and local communities. The initiative kicked off in Tampa on March 29 at the University of South Florida, with regional meetings in Pensacola, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Ocala, Miami, Port Canaveral and Sarasota concluding in late July.
“I am extremely grateful to all who participated in this monumental initiative. We value your time, dedication and input. Now let’s turn your ideas into action and ensure Florida sets the national standard in veteran service and support.” said Danny Burgess, executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Veterans, elected officials, community leaders, and members of veteran service organizations were invited to attend each event where Director Burgess shared his vision for the state’s standard of service and support for Florida’s 1.5 million veterans and their families. Participants engaged in a series of breakout sessions focusing on topics such as Community Services, Mental Health and Wellness, Benefits and Assistance, Transition and Legal Services and Veterans’ Treatment Courts.
With the feedback gathered from the regional meetings, FDVA will soon issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and Cabinet, as well as members of the Florida Legislature, prior to the start of the 2020 legislative session. The report will identify where Florida needs to reinforce best practices, reduce redundancies and implement solutions to fill gaps.