STARKE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced millions in funding for Florida military communities and bases Wednesday morning.
The governor said in a news conference at Camp Blanding, a North Florida military base, that $3.4 million will be distributed across the state through the Florida Defense Infrastructure Grant Program. The training center serves the Florida National Guard, according to the base’s website.
DeSantis said this boost will not only benefit the active duty component but also the industrial component.
“We have some phenomenal industrial components that are in Florida. There have been more that have moved from other parts of the country to Florida and those are really good jobs and those obviously play an important mission in maintaining America’s security,” he said.
The communities and bases are mainly in northeast or northwest parts of the state, which is where the majority of the funds will go to due to “heavy installation presence.”
“We do think that if you look around, particularly in Jacksonville and other parts of northeast Florida, you know this will have, of course, benefits for the broader region,” he said. “But of course, some of the money that I dedicated to the city is going to help buttress our efforts and there’s not very many places around the country that could, that could argue with Jacksonville and northeast Florida or rival them in terms of military friendliness.”
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle, who was one of the speakers joining DeSantis, said $2 million will fund operations in northeast Florida.
“We believe having strong active duty components is not only something we’re proud of, just from a patriotic perspective, it’s also good for our communities. When you have strong bases that has a really positive economic impact in the surrounding areas,” DeSantis said.
The governor also announced a proposal he plans to introduce to the Florida legislature that would offer $5,000 signing bonuses to anyone joining a law enforcement department in the state.
“We’re going to do $5,000 bonuses for all police who come from out of state or new folks to law enforcement who are within Florida, and that’s going to have a huge cascading effect that’s really making Florida the place to be for folks who are pursuing that profession,” DeSantis said.