Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives to announce a proposal for an increase in pay for state law enforcement agencies to encourage more officers to relocate to Florida, during a news conference at the Florida Highway Patrol Troop D headquarters in Orlando, Fla. Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
UPDATED 12:23 PM PT – Friday, December 3, 2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) seeks to reduce Florida’s reliance on the federal government by resurrecting a World War II civilian force.
In a press conference on Thursday, DeSantis proposed allocating $3.5 million of his budget to reestablishing the Florida State Guard. Unlike the Florida National Guard, the FSG would answer solely to the governor. In addition, there would be no federal deployments, federal missions or federal funding.
“The Florida State Guard will act as a civilian volunteer force that will have the ability to assist the National Guard in state-specific emergencies. This funding will support necessary training, equipment, and other support functions for up to 200 members, who can aid in the response to hurricanes, natural disasters and other state emergencies. We want to be able to have a quick response capability,” said DeSantis.
DeSantis’ proposal comes after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered all National Guard and Reserve service members to be vaccinated earlier this week. If they refuse, they could face loss of pay.
In the meantime, if the FSG is established, Florida would become the 23rd active State Guard in the country.