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Published on June 21, 2024
Florida Governor DeSantis Signs Key Bills in Pasco County to Bolster Veterans' Support and Spousal BenefitsSource: Unsplash/ sydney Rae

In a move celebrated by many veterans and their families, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took a significant step in expanding support for the state's military community by signing House Bill 725 and House Bill 1329 in Pasco County on Thursday.

According to a report by FOX 13 News, House Bill 725 extends the privilege for eligible spouses and surviving spouses to reside at state veterans’ long-term care facilities, beginning July 1; DeSantis, during Thursday’s news event, emphasized the importance of supporting the spouses of those who served saying, "First of all, it’s just the right thing to do, When you have a surviving veteran and a spouse, we want to keep them together," but he also acknowledged the duty to support the spouse in the event of the veteran's passing. WFLA reported that the Governor's Office confirmed the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) operates 1,102 beds in nursing and assisted living across nine facilities, with a new home on the way, signifying growth and broadened provision under the new legislation.

Alongside the expansion in care facility eligibility, House Bill 1329 will entrust Florida’s non-profit, Veterans Florida, with the responsibilities relating to military transition to civilian life, expanding the board of directors and revising the Veterans Employment and Training Services Program, according to information from Florida's official government website.

Additionally, the new laws will provide further tangible benefits such as fee exemptions on hunting and fishing licenses for honorable discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities and mandates instruction in public schools on the history of Veterans Day and Memorial Day, "Florida is committed to remaining the most military- and veteran-friendly state in the nation," DeSantis stated to illustrate the state's staunch backing for veterans and with the new legislation he believes it will not only support service members but also educate future generations about their sacrifices, further details on the various veteran services and benefits can be accessed at FloridaVets.org, ensuring that veterans and their family members have a comprehensive suite of resources at their disposal for an improved transition and quality of life post-military service.