Certain states have been more actively engaged in programs and initiatives focused on military veteran support than others, with local governments and state legislatures stepping up to the challenges seen in this fight. In the past couple of weeks, there have been several stories regarding the actions of Florida, New Mexico and Maryland to expand certain services to veterans, provide them opportunities to have a strong quality of life and access to exceptional care.
Florida governor's move
WGCU recently reported that Governor Rick Scott and his colleagues are looking to raise more funds to contribute to the completion of a project involving the construction of a new nursing home for veterans. Unfortunately, the source pointed out that the state's financial planning was complicated by an issue with federal guidelines that ended up pushing the price estimate about $20 million over budget. It was originally forecast to be $39.7 million and is now $60 million.
The source reported that the governor and VA executive for Florida Mike Prendergast are not only looking to find the funds to complete the project with this new budget forecast, but are also lobbying in Washington to try to get the problematic requirements waved in this instance. WGCU noted that this nursing home, when completed, will be named after Ardie Copas, a Vietnam War veteran who gave his life in service and received the Medal of Honor.
New Mexico's exceptional performance
Las Cruces Sun-News recently reported that New Mexico has achieved the greatest stature in the country with respect to its programs that support veteran-run businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration bestowed the award on the state. The Veterans Business Outreach Center was hailed by the SBA and acting Governor Susana Martinez for its impeccable performance in the past few years.
"I'm proud of the staff at our Veterans Business Outreach Center," Governor Martinez explained, according to Las Cruces Sun-News. "This is a job well done. Because of their hard work, veterans are learning the ins and outs of starting and managing a business of their own. This is a well-deserved recognition, and I have no doubt that our team at the outreach center will continue the great work they are doing for our brave men and women who served our country."
Maryland targets veteran unemployment
My Eastern Shore MD explained that Maryland is currently looking to sign a new bill into law that passed overwhelmingly in the state House of Delegates back in February that would work in favor of veterans looking for jobs. The source affirmed that Maryland has an above-average veteran unemployment rate at 8.5 percent compared to the national average of just over 5 percent, which is likely what caused this bill to move quickly through the state's government agencies.
This particular bill would allow businesses to hire veterans in a preferential fashion, and hopefully reduce the number of servicemembers who do not have a job.