TALLAHASSEE – Governor Ron DeSantis’ Freedom First Budget provides timely and vital support to the state’s 1.5 million Veterans, their families and survivors.
Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Executive Director James S. “Hammer” Hartsell said: “I’m thankful for Governor Ron DeSantis’ steadfast support of FDVA. As a Navy combat deployed Veteran, he and his administration have committed millions of dollars in funding to Florida’s Veteran community over the past three years, helping to ensure a positive future for our nation’s heroes. Together, we’ll ensure Florida continues to be the most Veteran sought-after and Veteran-friendly state in the nation.”
One of the biggest responsibilities within FDVA is its network of award-winning State Veterans’ Homes. The State of Florida boasts six state veterans’ nursing homes and one state veterans’ domiciliary. Additional state veterans’ nursing homes in Port St. Lucie and Orlando are slated to open to residents in 2022.
Governor DeSantis has proposed funding for the completion and staffing of the additional state veterans’ nursing homes in Port St. Lucie and Orlando, and capital improvements and replacement of equipment and furniture for the state’s operational veterans’ nursing homes and domiciliary.
Other state veterans’ home funding includes additional dollars for contract services to cover increased costs and utilization in agency staffing, housekeeping, therapy, medical and pharmacy services. There is also funding to improve the efficiency of veterans’ homes staff by upgrading information technology used to track both facility medical equipment and resident medical needs.
The budget provides $350,000 for continuation of a veteran suicide prevention outreach program. Florida is a role model and leader in the “Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans and their Families,” a national call to action asking state, military and civilian interagency teams to embark on a process of collaborating, planning and implementing suicide prevention best practices and policies for service members, veterans and their families statewide.
The Governor’s Freedom First Budget also continues funding for Florida is for Veterans, Inc. (Veterans Florida). Veterans Florida is a non-profit created by the State of Florida to help military veterans transition to civilian life and to promote Florida’s status as the nation’s most veteran-friendly state.
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