A pair of bills recently filed in the Florida House could go a long way in bringing attention to preventing veterans suicides, and helping military spouses shore up the financial needs of their families.
House Bill 63 (HB 63) urges congress to recognize the suicide epidemic among veterans and pushes to fully fund suicide prevention efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs. While efforts to prevent suicide is an easy agreement between parties, reporting of data, and delivery of counseling services continued to be fumbled in the process. Another alarm is as projected numbers are expected to increase when pandemic era statistics arrive. This bill is sponsored by State Representative David Smith and co sponsored by State Representative Christine Hunschofsky in a bipartisan effort to stop this devastating trend.
And Hunschofsky is the primary sponsor of HB 559, Occupational Licensure of Military Spouses, in a measure that would expedite professional license applications of active duty spouses. During deployments military spouses will often return home to Florida while they’re spouses are away to be closer to families that can help care for children and offer further emotional support. Getting them licensed faster could help financially, and alleviate any difficulties that could happen during a deployment. Florida is also home to many important military installations and a rising cost of living. Any support to help military families thrive in Florida under these harsh economic conditions would go a long way in improving their quality of life.
We need both of these bills to advance in the upcoming legislative session which begins in January. Tell your state lawmakers to support HB63 and HB 559!
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