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Florida GI Bill, with tuition breaks for vets, sent to Scott

by John Kennedy | March 11th, 2014

With senators saying they hoped it gives Florida prominence among military veterans, the state Senate approved Tuesday a new Florida GI Bill, which makes veterans eligible for in-state tuition and also provide scholarships for members of the state’s National Guard.

Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, an Army veteran who won a Bronze Star in Vietnam, said the legislation (CS/HB 7015) will help draw military retirees and keep freshly discharged veterans to Florida, bringing fresh skills to the state economy.

“We want to encourage them to make Florida their home over any other state,” Richter said.

Sen. Thad Altman, R-Merritt Island, said, “Let’s all continue…to meet the needs of those who serve our freedom.”

The legislation was unanimously approved last week in the House. The Senate followed suit Tuesday on a 38-0 vote, sending the measure to Gov. Rick Scott  who is expected to sign it into law.

The legislation carries a $21.7 million price tag for the coming year. Most of the cost, $12.5 million, is for renovating armories around the state. The remaining $7.5 million is for the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to acquire land needed near military bases around the state to prevent the encroachment of other businesses or industry.

The DEP dollars are largely aimed at maintaining Florida’s place as a prime state for military installations, supporters of the bill said.

The in-state tuition breaks granted veterans is expected to cost taxpayers $11.7 million in 2013-14.

More than 1.5 million veterans live in Florida, including 61,000 active duty personnel, state officials said. The Florida National Guard has 12,000 active members.

Florida’s military presence has a $73 billion annual economic impact, accounting for some 758,000 jobs and represents the third largest piece of the state’s economy, following agriculture and tourism, officials said.


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8 Responses to “Florida GI Bill, with tuition breaks for vets, sent to Scott”

  1. CheckMyDD214 A-hole Says:

    Only someone like UziDoesIt/ Dogshyt/ MasturbatorAviator/ Obi-1,2,3 et al WHO HATES AND MOCKS VETERANS
    could oppose this bill.

  2. Dogfan2001 Says:

    I am a veteran you POS checkmate, right out of high school. In fact just last year we just interred my WWII veteran father ashes at Barrancas in Pensacola. I respect military personal so much I do not like killing 4000 of them in a needless war in Iraq. Equating these horrible politicians with homered veterans makes me sick to my stomach you piece of garbage. Tea bag coward greedy neo con. Go head and vote for Scott and grab your ankles while your at it. Bich.

  3. CheckMyDD214 A-hole Says:

    Deep breath, dogface
    (that’s a compliment as you’ll know IF you are one).
    What is a “homered veteran”? Ted Williams?
    I am no fan of Skeletor and didn’t “equate” that con man with veterans,… but though he may be pandering for votes, I encourage him to sign that bill introduced by veterans improving veteran benefits and making it easier for them to live, work, and retire in Florida.
    Don’t you?
    Calmer yet?
    My other issue is with a single stalker/troll scumbag who goes by those and other names and thinks he can baselessly incorporate insulting veterans into his posted excreta.

    Are you saying
    1) you are him
    2) you think his doing that is OK
    3) you misunderstood?

    The only acceptable answer is “3″

  4. roger Says:

    Though I applaud this and finally Ricky did something good, I wonder why the Obama regime does not do this but can still give billions to other countries. Billions we borrow from China to give away. I am not an economist, but that still makes no sense to me.

  5. CheckMyDD214 A-hole Says:


    Your rant makes no sense, but that doesn’t bother you even a LITTLE does it?
    Why… HOW… could Our President tell Florida to change its in-state tuition rules and offer more scholarships?
    And as you KNOW but deliberately lie about, things have gotten better for veterans overall since President Obama took office. It’s not easy fixing such a deeply entrenched bureaucracy as VA, especially when two wars are concluding and your right wing politicians are too busy obfuscating to pass many laws. But by almost any measure, the situation for veterans and their families is demonstrably better now than it was under the previous administration.

    There has been real progress on many fronts, including conditions at VA facilities, and the fast-tracking of coverage of a number of health issues resulting from Vietnam War troop exposure to Agent Orange, which the Bush administration ignored.

    And this administration is light years ahead of the previous one in terms of support for veterans with post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and other mental health-related issues, which Bush largely neglected.

    It is disingenuous and transparently political for Bush-era pols to lambast Obama for his treatment of veterans. The VA during the Bush years was a disaster.

    And finally, Woger, consider the alternative:
    Under the Romney-Ryan plan the government would have added $2 trillion in military spending that the Pentagon hadn’t asked for, with no clear way to pay for it, while also pushing a budget plan that would have cut $11 billion from the VA.

    So take your “regime” slur and China bullshyt, shove it into your nearest dark recess, and shout “Thank you Presidents Clinton and Obama for giving Veterans the help they earned by serving… whether or not till military retirement.”

  6. CheckMyDD214 A-hole Says:

    I can’t HEAR you, Woger….

  7. William Heino Sr. Says:

    State court violation Separation of Powers DISABLED VETERANS

    The issue is VA medical disability compensation, the property rights of the disabled veteran, in what VA medical doctors, medical professionals have determined a disabled veterans injuries should be compensated for. If, and when the question is a disabled veteran’s VA disability compensation as alimony/support, now that alimony reform has surfaced in many state legislatures, it’s time that disabled veterans voices be heard in a matter that has long concerned them. State court judges continue to ignore the disabled veteran, and the law, 38 USC 5301, 10 USC 1408. “Separation of powers” doctrine is mandated to end this attempt by the state court to manipulate, overlook, and circumvent the law and their disregard of disabled veterans.

    CASE NO. 1D08-5670
    Opinion filed November 30, 2009.

    “United States Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits and unemployment compensation, as defined in chapter 443, are excluded from this definition of income except for purposes of establishing an amount of support.”

    Disabled veteran’s, and the “separation of powers” doctrine, both overlooked, ignored, for years, by Florida and most state court judges, acting like doctors, holding themselves as qualified, as a provider of health care, policy making outside their jurisdiction. Substituting their judgment for the judgment of VA doctors and medical professionals, awarding as alimony, a disabled veteran’s earned VA disability compensation. Acting outside of constitutional boundaries of long held established VA medical protocols, in considering and re-evaluating a disabled veteran’s disability compensation in order to further degrade property rights of the disabled veteran, runs afoul of the “separation of powers” doctrine. Injurious, and an abuse of power to allow what is happening, was this the intent of Congress?

    Realizing laws protecting VA disability compensation as exempt, the courts, therefore are unable, in any legal standing, to secure garnishment of veteran’s disability compensation. The court not satisfied, in a final move, will now consider, an equitable calculation of veteran’s resources, to include…. the very same disability compensation the court recognizes and acknowledges as exempt, in determining, “for purposes of establishing” alimony/support. By court order the use of a veteran’s disability compensation as alimony, or go to jail! As has happened. The mere mention, innuendo, or thought of VA disability compensation to satisfy indemnity obligations as a equitable consideration in any form, thought or calculation of VA disability compensation, suggests interference in matters, identified as exempt, are beyond the courts jurisdiction, under “separation of powers” doctrine. The court has the responsibility and the obligation to uphold the State Constitution’s “separation of powers” doctrine.

    SECTION 3. Branches of government.—“The powers of the state government shall be divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches. No person belonging to one branch shall exercise any powers appertaining to either of the other branches unless expressly provided herein.”

    Forgotten are the rights of the disabled veterans. It is clear the court’s have no legal right to, exercise, determine, consider in any equitable calculation thereof, or divide federal VA disability benefits, in order to further enhance martial property. The improper, intrusive practice by state court judges in administration and governing over VA medical rehabilitative disability compensation. The separation of powers doctrine imposes the assumption that the state court, in attacking the disabled veterans legal right to claim as exempt, his or her VA disability compensation, requires subject matter jurisdiction. The court has the sworn duty and responsibility to enforce federal law. The court’s continued attempt to override VA administered rehabilitative services, of disability compensation is not within the courts purview, legal right or jurisdiction to invade.

    42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil action for deprivation of rights
    “Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or ..causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States …within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges,…secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law,.. or other proper proceeding for redress,..”

    The United State court of appeals, in VETERANS FOR COMMON SENSE, VETERANS UNITED FOR TRUTH, INC., v. ERIC K. SHINSEKI, December 13, 2011, ruled, “As much as we may wish for expeditious improvement in the way the VA handles mental health care and service-related disability compensation, we cannot exceed our jurisdiction to accomplish it,..” As well, Florida is not in any legal position to do so. Bush v. Schiavo, 885 So. 2d 321, (Fla. 2004). Despite the law, it continues.

    “It is well established that disability benefits are a protected property interest and may not be discontinued without due process of law.” See Atkins v. Parker, 472 U.S. 115, 128 (1985); Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 332 (1976)”

    14th Amendment. “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, with due process of law, ..”

    Which leaves the question, ANY alimony reform for disabled veterans when is that going to happen? Support for disabled veterans is all that is needed.

    William Heino Sr.

  8. Oh Cry Me a River Says:

    Hey Bill,

    Maybe if you weren’t a religion-brainwashed misogynist and hadn’t beaten the poor woman so often, cheated on her, and drunk up all your pay, she wouldn’t be working so hard to include your disability pay (apparently for mental illness and hope this causes the VA to review your case and revoke it so some more deserving vet gets it) in her alimony.

    If you dispute any of these assumptions, just tell me where to find the divorce filing and I’ll check it out and issue either an apology or further condemnation afterwards.

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