Governor Rick Scott, Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford will join military and civilian leaders Monday morning in Panama City to sign Florida’s GI Bill into law. The ceremony will be held at the National Guard Armory, 3121 Lisenby Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405, at 9:30 a.m. CST.
The legislation is designed to make Florida the most military friendly state in the nation. The GI Bill is modeled after the historic law that welcomed veterans home after World War II and educated a generation of young Americans.
The Florida GI Bill is the joint initiative of Speaker Weatherford and President Gaetz who intend for Florida to become the “welcome home state” for America’s military missions and military families.
Key provisions include:
- Appropriates an additional $22.2 million to support our military community through education, technical training, base buffering, and modernizing the state’s armories.
- Establishes the Congressman C.W. Bill Young Veteran Tuition Waiver Program which will waive out-of-state tuition fees for honorably discharged veterans enrolled in Florida colleges, universities, and career centers.
- Creates Florida is for Veterans, Inc., and the VETS program through which veterans will have a place to get information about the benefits of living in Florida, to seek out veteran specific workforce training, and connect with employers who value a strong, military skill set.
- Promotes Florida to veteran and military communities around the country as the most veteran-friendly state in the country through Florida is for Veterans, Inc., and Visit Florida.
Gaetz and Weatherford insured that the bill was passed by the House of Representatives on the first day of the 2014 session and by the Senate soon thereafter.
“Governor Scott expressed his support immediately and said he would sign the bill into law,” Gaetz said. “The Speaker and I are very grateful to him and I’m especially delighted he would sign the bill here in Northwest Florida where military families and veterans mean so much to us.”
Joining Scott and the two presiding officers are Senator Garrett Richter, Senate President Pro Tempore, Senator Thad Altman, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and bill sponsor, and Representative Jimmy Smith, the House bill sponsor.
For more information on the Florida GI Bill, click here, http://www.flsenate.gov/Media/PressReleases/Show/1734.