|ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.(Jan. 31, 2013) – “Florida Families First” budget for the Florida Department of Military Affairs includes funding that will ensure the department and the Florida National Guard remain ready to support national security objectives, as well as meet the needs of Florida citizens during emergencies.The proposed includes funding to renovate six armories whose average age is more than 35 years old, improves and safeguards Florida National Guard information technology, sustains ongoing community programs, and continues to leverage federal matching funds to benefit our state. “Our National Guardsmen come from the communities throughout the state,” said Adjutant General of Florida Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw, Jr. “This connection is a key strength and an obligation for us to give back to those communities. The Florida Families First Budget enables us to stay connected to our communities by giving us the means to renovate your local armories. The $15 million designated to renovate our armories will bring more than 700 jobs to those communities and have an increasingly positive impact to their economies.”
The funds sent to Florida in our Federal Cooperative Agreement Grants mutually benefit our nation and state. The federal portions of these grants are significant and employ 274 Floridians, which is a 20-person increase in Fiscal Year 2013-14. These agreements add federal support to many of our community programs funded in Florida Families First Budget. One such program is our Youth ChalleNGe Academy, which reaches at-risk youth and promotes values, responsibility and education. Together the state and federal support for Florida’s Youth ChalleNGe is $4.5 million.
“Our Youth ChalleNGe Academy has changed countless lives in our communities,” said Maj. Gen. Titshaw. “Parents and graduates continually approach me about how this program has saved their children. We are pleased to see our state continue to match the federal support for this worthy effort.
Similarly, the Florida Families First budget also includes $2 million in funding to continue support of the community programs About Face and Forward March, which have been successful in finding employment for Florida disadvantaged youth and citizens.
For additional details on Florida’s Families First Budget for Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget, visit: www.floridafamiliesfirst.com.