For 24/7 counsel, call the National Veteran Crisis Hotline at 988, Press 1. You may also call the Florida Veterans Support Line at 1-844-MyFLVet (1-844-693-5838) or dial 211.


Governor DeSantis Signs Six Bills to Support Florida’s Military Families

June 9, 2022

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis signed six bills June 9 to support veterans, military members, and their families in finding employment and educational opportunities in Florida. These pieces of legislation build on funding provided in the Freedom First Budget signed by Governor DeSantis last week to support Florida’s military members and their families.

“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 Gov. 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.”

‎“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.”‎

“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.”

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.

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.

On April 6, Governor DeSantis also signed into law SB 1712, ‎which ‎provides an appropriation ‎of $500,000 to create a pilot program within the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to ‎‎provide Veteran Suicide ‎Prevention Training for County Veteran Service Officers and ‎FDVA ‎Veterans’ Claims Examiners.‎

Hammer at Press Conference