Representative wants Florida State Guard to help other states

Amendment contradicts comments made by Gov. Ron DeSantis

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Florida state representative has filed an amendment that would allow the Florida State Guard to assist other states in times of emergency.

Rep. Mike Giallomardo, R-Cape Coral, filed an amendment to the bill he authored -- HB 1285 -- late Monday.

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HB 1285 revises the rules and regulations that structure the Florida State Guard.

The House State Affairs Committee approved the amended bill on Tuesday, sending it forward.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced last June that he was reviving the guard after it was disbanded after World War II.

With an original budget last year of $10 million, News 6 uncovered that he is now asking for $98 million in order to purchase vehicles, planes and storage facilities.

DeSantis is also seeking to expand its size from 400 to 1.500 troops.

Under Florida statute, the Florida State Guard would only be permitted to protect the citizens of Florida. In fact, DeSantis repeated that when he announced the state guard revival in 2022.

“The Florida State Guard will be comprised of Floridians, and it will be assigned to assist and help only Floridians,” DeSantis said in a news conference last June. “It will not be subject to be mobilized by the federal government, and the federal government cannot impose policies or penalties on the Florida State Guard.”

Under Giallombardo’s amendment filed on Monday, the guard would be permitted to assist other states.

His amendment reads: “To provide support to other states under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact as provided for in part III of chapter 252.”

According to that section of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, “The purpose of this compact is to provide for mutual assistance between the states entering into this compact in managing any emergency or disaster that is duly declared by the governor of the affected state(s), whether arising from natural disaster, technological hazard, manmade disaster, civil emergency aspects of resource shortages, community disorders, insurgency, or enemy attack.”

News 6 contacted the governor’s office for comment.

“Since this legislation is still subject to the legislative process (and therefore different iterations), the governor will decide on the merits of the bill in final form if and when it passes and is delivered to the governor’s office,” said Deputy Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern.

News 6 also contacted Giallombardo’s office for a comment and is awaiting a response.

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About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.