Elected Officials in Tallahassee Work to Lift Up Florida Veterans
On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced his new initiative in partnership with the Florida Department of Veteran Affairs, “Salute Our Soldiers Military Housing Loan Program”. The initiative, beginning on March 2nd, will provide $8,000,000 to assist Veterans with down payments and closing costs when purchasing a home, as well as offer assistance in securing low-interest mortgages.
With only three weeks left of the 2020 Florida Legislative Session, Committees may end next week and bills are being moved from committees to the House and Senate floors as we wait for conferees to be appointed to begin the budget conference process.
Florida’s 30 local United Ways are supporting two Senate bills that will assist 1.5 million veterans across our state. These include: SB 372 Postsecondary Education for Certain Military Personnel, sponsored by Senator Tom Lee, would standardize the transfer of college credits from military service into college credits for veterans; SB 104 Services for Veterans and Their Families, sponsored by Senator Gayle Harrell, would coordinate services for behavioral health care referrals and care coordination services through Florida’s 211 Network. SB 372 has been temporarily postponed and SB 104 is now in its last committee of reference, Appropriations.
This is the second year that Florida’s United Ways have adopted veteran issues in the Consensus Legislative Agenda in order to support and augment our work to serve Florida veterans through our Mission United programs. Currently, there are seven Mission United initiatives serving our veterans across the state, helping them transition back to civilian life by providing legal and housing assistance, workforce development and education, among other services for those who have served our country.