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Governor Scott Signs Two Veteran-Related Measures In Pensacola

Dave Dunwoody

Gov. Rick Scott signed two bills ceremoniously in Pensacola Thursday, aimed at making Florida even more military and veteran friendly.

House Bill 7023 qualifies additional service members for an ad valorem tax exemption while deployed overseas. Both that, and Senate Bill 222, were sponsored by Niceville state Sen. Don Gaetz.

“I learned that we had military families had trouble paying their property taxes, when husband or wife was deployed,” Gaetz said. “And when you’ve got somebody who’s deployed, and they’re not making much money anyway, I don’t think it’s right that we should at the same time be extracting property taxes.”

Gov. Rick Scott told the gathering at the National Guard Armory on Grow Drive that such laws help make up for times when veterans were made to feel less than welcome in their own country.

“One of my goals as governor was to make sure when I got elected, that both active military and our veterans were very much appreciated in this state,” said Scott.

Speaking to reporters afterward, the Governor said veteran-friendly measures have been passed since the start of his administration, and that’s likely to continue until he leaves office in January, 2019.

Credit Dave Dunwoody

“I think anything we can be doing for our veterans, we should be doing,” said the Governor.

Following the bill signing ceremony, Scott awarded the Governor’s Veterans Service Award to 120 veterans, and two active-duty National Guardsmen, for their service to Florida and the nation. The wars represented ranged from World War II to the War on Terror.

Al Carter, Deputy Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, said the agency is working on an expansion of the nursing home program.

“Six state veterans’ nursing homes that operate at 100% capacity, we’ve done so for the past four years,” said Carter. “We’re building on additional state nursing home, and we’ve just received authorization to take over a federal veteran nursing home.”

Gov. Rick Scott made two other stops in Pensacola on Thursday, meeting with a couple of economic development agencies: Florida West and Bay Economic Development Alliance.

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.
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