Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety and security of Floridians against any unforeseen public emergencies. He is increasing funding for the Florida National Guard and seeking to reestablish the Florida State Guard.
The governor spoke at the Pensacola National Guard Armory on Thursday, where he announced his request of more than $100 million for the Florida National Guard’s budget next year.
“The 20 military installations we have throughout Florida is an almost $100 billion impact supporting about 100 million jobs,” DeSantis said. “I’ve been making some announcements of what’s going to be in our budget, which we will roll out very soon. And I’m proud to say that this budget is going to have major investments to support Florida’s National Guard, in fact we’re recommending more than $100 million to support our national guard to ensure they have the means to carry out their missions, whether that be the federal functions that they can do overseas.”
The governor also announced that he is seeking to reestablish the Florida State Guard to support the state’s emergency efforts.
“The establishment of the Florida State Guard will further support those emergency response efforts in the event of a hurricane, natural disasters and other state emergencies,” the Florida Governor announced. “The $3.5 million to establish the Florida State Guard will enable civilians to be trained in the best emergency response techniques. By establishing the Florida State Guard, Florida will become the 23rd state with a state guard recognized by the federal government.”
DeSantis also lauded the state’s veterans and active-duty military members.
“We are proud of our veterans and active-duty military members and proud of what our communities do to support them,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida is one of the most veteran friendly states and I think there are very few places that you would rather be on duty than in the state of Florida. As a veteran, I really appreciate what everyone who wears the uniform does in our state and am excited about these proposals – they will go a long way and have a meaningful impact.”
“In Florida, we are going to continue our momentum of supporting our military, supporting our veterans and being good stewards of our military installations,” he added.
The relationship between state national guards and the Department of Defense has been complicated by the federal vaccine mandates being issued by the Biden administration. As reported in mid-November, the Pentagon pushed back against the State of Oklahoma after it announced that the national guard would not be enforcing the military vaccine mandate.
Florida’s governor seeking recognition of a state national guard will provide an indication of the Biden administration’s posture towards red states at the moment. The Florida State Guard would be subject only to the executive authority of the state governor.
The motto of the Florida State Guard: “Let Us Alone.”
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.