23 May Gov. Scott: Proud of the Uniform
As Memorial Day approaches, Gov. Scott shares how his Navy service helped shape his priorities as Florida’s governor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Memorial Day approaches, Governor Rick Scott is taking time to reflect on his work to make Florida the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation. Governor Scott, who was in the U.S. Navy and served aboard the USS Glover, often saw military members and veterans treated poorly and without gratitude for their service during and after the Vietnam War. Since being elected governor, Governor Scott has committed to doing all he can to make sure that every man and woman who has served our country can wear their uniform with pride in a state that appreciates and recognizes their sacrifice. Watch Governor Scott’s video above or click HERE.
Governor has awarded more than 14,500 veterans with the Governor’s Veterans Service Medal since 2013 and has championed important legislation and funding to support Florida’s military members and veterans, including a few examples below…
Governor Scott signed legislation authorizing the constitutional amendment approved by Florida voters to cut property taxes for deployed service members. This legislation provided an additional homestead exemption for those on active duty outside the U.S. within the previous year. The Governor also signed legislation to create the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame at the Florida State Capitol Building to honor the legacy of Florida’s veterans.
Governor Scott launched the Hiring Florida’s Heroes campaign, a joint effort between the Department of Economic Opportunity, the state’s Regional Workforce Boards, the Florida National Guard, the state Department of Military Affairs and the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, to introduce returning National Guardsmen and other veterans with job openings across the state.
Governor Scott launched the annual Paychecks for Patriots Day in Florida, which allows the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the Florida National Guard to partner with dozens of private Florida employers to connect Florida’s veterans and their families with immediate career opportunities through hiring events across the state. The Paychecks for Patriots career fairs have help facilitate employment for hundreds of veterans statewide every year.
Governor Scott signed legislation and secured funding to support to members of the Florida National Guard as they continue their education by assisting them with tuition assistance and book fees, as well as allowing out-of-state student veterans to receive in-state tuition rates through the Congressman C.W. Bill Young Veteran Tuition Waiver Program. The Governor also secured funding for a seventh State Veterans’ Nursing Home, which is now in construction in St. Luci County.
Governor Scott signed legislation that provides out-of-state tuition fee waivers to eligible spouses and dependents of veterans who live in Florida. The Governor also signed a bill requiring all United States and state flags purchased by the state of Florida to be made entirely from domestically grown materials in appreciation of the brave men and women of the U.S. military.
Governor Scott secured funding to enhance National Guard Armories after Governor Scott’s Executive Order to increase security following the tragic shooting at a Tennessee National Guard Armory. This investment in armories has improved their ability to maintain their units to keep guardsmen and women safe and increased readiness during any emergency.
Governor Scott signed legislation cutting taxes for businesses owned by veterans and their spouses, non-remarried surviving spouses of such veterans, spouses of certain active duty military service members, to make it easier for these service members to succeed and create jobs in Florida. The Governor also secured funding for tuition assistance for National Guard members seeking degrees and certifications from Florida higher education institutions.
Governor Scott secured funding for search and rescue vessels for National Guardsmen to use during storm-related missions and duties, as well as funding for protective equipment to be used by National Guardsmen during deployment. This followed the Governor deploying the Florida National Guard across the state in response to Hurricane Irma, and to Puerto Rico to assist with response and recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. The Governor also signed legislation that authorized state colleges to waive student fees for active duty military service members to make it easier for these service members to continue their education in Florida. Additionally, Governor Scott supported and fought to secure a proposal on the November ballot that will 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. If approved by Florida voters, the proposal will provide 120 credit hours per family at a Florida state college, university or participating technical school.