Governor Rick Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget invests more than $67 million for the men and women of the Florida National Guard to remain ready and able to support their national, state and community missions. This funding includes providing ready military units and personnel to support national security and protect the State of Florida. The Securing Florida’s Future budget also makes investments for maintenance and security enhancements at armories throughout the state, community based programs for youth and adults, and support for Guardsmen pursuing higher education.
Governor Rick Scott said, “This year, more than 7,700 members of our Florida National Guard stepped up to protect our families and communities during and after Hurricane Irma. These brave men and women continually support our state, and we must do all we can to invest in resources that support them and their families. These investments will not only recognize the continued selfless work of our military heroes, but will also help ensure Florida remains the most military friendly state in the nation for years to come.”
“Governor Scott has always been a tremendous advocate for the Florida National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun, the Adjutant General of Florida. “We are grateful for his ongoing support, which enables us to remain fully prepared to serve our citizens, state and nation when we are called upon.”
The Securing Florida’s Future budget includes:
Governor Scott’s recommended budget includes $1.7 million to maintain and repair armories which have been revitalized by the Florida Armory Revitalization Program (FARP). This investment will ensure that the updated facilities continue to enable Florida Guardsmen to be trained and ready to react when the state or nation calls upon them.
In addition to armory maintenance and repair, the Securing Florida’s Future budget provides $2 million to improve armory security. This investment will provide security enhancements to Florida National Guard Armories in order to protect the soldiers and civilians that use them daily.
The budget also provides more than $5.3 million for the Florida Youth Challenge Academy, a 17 ½ month voluntary program geared toward Florida’s 16-to-18-year old at-risk youth. The program consists of a five-and-a-half-month residential phase and a 12-month post-residential phase. More than 4,000 young people have graduated from this program since its inception. For more information, please visit www.floridayouthchallengeacademy.org.
The Securing Florida’s Future budget also includes $4.2 million for Education Dollars for Duty. This program reimburses Florida National Guard service members for education expenses incurred in pursuit of technical certificates and/or associate’s, baccalaureate or master’s degrees from public or private institutions located here in Florida.
The budget also includes $200,000 for search and rescue vessels and protective equipment to be used by the Florida National Guard during deployment. This fall, Governor Scott deployed more than 7,700 members of the Florida National Guard to prepare and respond to Hurricane Irma, the largest storm to impact the State of Florida in recent history. This investment is crucial to ensuring Florida Guardsmen have the resources they need to keep families and communities safe during emergencies.