Yes, I wish the Governor’s 2021 Florida Budget had more included for Veterans

On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis released his proposed 2021 state budget. Which included $25 million for veterans and the military in the state.

And it was… just okay. A little underwhelming.

That’s what $25 million to veterans in the scope of a $96 billion dollar budget is.

There were some good aspects of the announced numbers (in the slide that is pictured) but some issues that I wish would have been more obviously included.

The truth is that the Governor’s slide would not have been as social media friendly if it had included some of the real challenges veterans in Florida are facing right now.

But let’s start with some of the positives.

The National Guard support here is good. We’re including better facilities and more educational opportunities for our bravest here are home, that have recently been asked a lot recently with duties that have included calming civil unrest, the inauguration, and COVID 19 support. This along with the constant threat of sever weather.

Now let’s look at the negatives.

Where are the proposed numbers for veterans suicide prevention? Florida has some of the highest numbers in the nation in that category. It’s both infuriating and sad to see those figures excluded simply because they look bad on the slide. It’s a reality, whether we like it or not.

Then there is the lack of military to civilian transition support. The root of most of the problems of veterans in Florida today stems from that failed connection.

Where are these figures? And ideally, I would like to see the allocations listed out.

The public relations arm of this roll-out, the Florida Department Of Veterans Affairs saluted the number and acknowledged the issues above. But their content cites $350K to save the lives of veterans and list no specifics on transition support.

And that department still doesn’t have an executive director.

I really don’t want to dunk on the Governor for this issue. He’s a vet himself and he’s done the legwork to stay aware of the issues. But with a pandemic and other challenges, he may have just grazed the surface here. And he’s only got the “yes men” to leave out some real problems we are currently facing for the sake of their own preservation. And that’s wrong.

Let’s hope Florida can do better.

And no. We’re not the best state in the country for veterans. That’s offensive and inaccurate. And until we improve, I wish they would stop saying that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.