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Get the latest coverage of the 2024 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee.

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill that brings more job opportunities to veterans

A man in a red shirt and vest stands in front of an American flag while wearing a cloth face mask.
Wilfredo Lee
Paul Soles with the Patriot Guard Riders, stands at attention as he holds an American flag, during a Veterans Day celebration and dedication of a memorial, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, in Riviera Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The legislation now awaits a vote from the House floor.

The Florida House is considering a bill (HB 1329) to bring more education and job opportunities to Florida veterans. Miami Republican Rep. Mike Redondo is championing the measure.

He said at a State House Affairs Committee that it would bring more resources to the men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces.

“We have the third largest veteran population as well," Redondo said. The purpose of HB 1329, is to expand the opportunities and services that we provide to veterans and their spouses, for the first time in our state.”

The U.S. flag flies high at a Florida Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Tallahassee, Fl.,November 7, 2023 (WFSU/Anna Jones)
Anna Jones
The U.S. flag flies high at a Florida Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Tallahassee, Fl.,November 7, 2023 (WFSU/Anna Jones)

House Bill 1329 helps out vets who are returning to civilian life and need a job or are looking to attend college.

Under the bill, eligible veterans and their spouses will be able to qualify for additional job training and apply for stipends to pay for certain college courses. The proposal also offers some perks for outdoorsmen. If passed, disabled vets can receive free Florida hunting and fishing licenses as long as they live in the state.

“Veterans are the most important thing we’ve got to defend freedom," Rep. Danny Alvarez, the bill’s co-sponsor said. "I’m proud to say that we’ll never repay their debt."

An amendment was added that requires teachers in Florida to give additional instruction on the history of Florida's veterans and the importance of recognizing them on Veterans and Memorial Day.

The bill is now being presented on the House floor.

Adrian Andrews is a multimedia journalist with WFSU Public Media. He is a Gadsden County native and a first-generation college graduate from Florida A&M University. Adrian is also a military veteran, ending his career as a Florida Army National Guard Non-Comissioned Officer.

Adrian has experience in print writing, digital content creation, documentary, and film production. He has spent the last four years on the staff of several award-winning publications such as The Famuan, Gadsden County News Corp, and Cumulus Media before joining the WFSU news team.