In another example of thinking outside the box, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday a plan that would bring back the Florida State Guard, under direct authority of the governor.
The Florida State Guard is a throwback to the WWII era. It was established in 1941 for protection of the state during a time when Florida National Guard troops were deployed overseas, and has been inactive since 1947.
Gov. DeSantis will propose the 2022 state budget next week to the Florida State Legislature, where he will request $3.5 million for the plan.
DeSantis laid out the plans for training, equipment, and what the duties of the Florida State Guard would entail while visiting the Pensacola National Guard Armory.
“This funding will support the 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. And re-establishing the Florida State Guard will allow civilians from all over the state to be trained in the best emergency-response techniques and have the ability to mobilize very, very quickly.”
Included in DeSantis’ budget for the new year, $87.5 million to beef up current Florida National Guard readiness. Spending proposals would include the building of new armories and upgrading existing ones, and new headquarters for the counter-drug program.
DeSantis is also requesting $5.1 million of the request go to support guard members interested in higher education, and $12.2 million for scholarships for spouses and children os disabled or deceased guard members.
Of course Democrats in the Sunshine State were immediately outraged and clutched their pearls. Democrat gubernatorial candidate Rep. Charlie Crist tweeted, “No Governor should have his own handpicked secret police.”
State Sen. Annette Taddeo, who is also a candidate for Governor, took to Twitter as well, calling DeSantis a “wannabe dictator trying to make his move for his own vigilante militia like we’ve seen in Cuba.”
Democrats also showed off their knowledge of Florida state history.
Ron DeSantis has been a no-nonsense chief executive of his state, standing up to President Joe Biden and the federal government on numerous occasions. Last month, DeSantis went to sign several bills banning vaccine mandates in Florida in the city of Brandon, Florida.
He has also suggested in response to the Biden administration’s flying of planeloads of illegal immigrants from the U.S. southern border to all parts of Florida, that once the planes landed in Florida, he would put all passengers getting off the planes immediately on buses to have them transferred to Biden’s home state of Delaware.
“If they’re going to come here, we’ll provide buses. I will send them to Delaware and do that,” DeSantis commented.
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