DeSantis signs bills benefiting veterans at Pasco County nursing home

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis presided over a momentous news conference on Thursday at the Baldomero Lopez State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Land O’ Lakes, where he affixed his signature to two significant bills. The first bill, HB 725, known as “Veterans’ Long-term Care Facilities Admissions,” and the second bill, HB 1329, titled simply as “Veterans,” were both signed into law during this historic event.

HB 725, a legislative piece that modifies state statutes pertaining to resident eligibility in Florida veterans’ nursing homes, now includes provisions for veterans’ spouses or surviving spouses. This amendment represents a critical advancement in ensuring comprehensive care and support for the families of those who served our nation with valor.

On the other hand, HB 1329 introduces a multitude of revisions aimed at further uplifting and honoring veterans. One of the key components of this bill is the establishment of the Major John Leroy Haynes Florida Veterans’ History Program within the Department of State’s Division of Arts and Culture. This program is designed to preserve and showcase the rich tapestry of stories and experiences of Florida’s veterans, highlighting the state’s profound military contributions throughout history.

Moreover, HB 1329 mandates educational instruction for public middle and high school students on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, with the objective of fostering patriotism among the younger generation. Additionally, the bill redefines the role of Florida Is For Veterans, Inc., emphasizing its mission to facilitate military transition assistance, promote veteran-friendly employment opportunities, and advocate for the hiring of veterans and their spouses by the business community.

Furthermore, the bill expands the Veterans Employment and Training Services Program within the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, aiming to connect service members with resources for entrepreneurship, education, and training to empower the growth of veteran-owned businesses. The legislation also augments the advisory council on brain and spinal cord injuries within the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, elevating its membership to 18 individuals to ensure comprehensive representation and support for veterans with neurological conditions.

In a final gesture of support, certain disabled veterans will now receive free hunting and fishing licenses, underscoring the state’s commitment to honoring and assisting those who have sacrificed in service to our country. Both bills are set to go into effect on July 1, marking a significant milestone in Florida’s ongoing efforts to prioritize and support its veteran community.

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