Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday proposed ‘reviving’ a state guard that he can direct without interference from the federal government to protect the state from emergencies and has provoked a barrage of criticism from left-leaning Democrats.
A state law had been drafted during World War II authorizing a State Guard in the State of Florida which was created at the time to replace National Guard troops that had moved overseas to fight, but was disbanded in 1947 after the war ended, according to Florida Phoenix.
DeSantis’ proposal plans to use $3.5 million from the armed forces budget for the creation of a Florida State Guard that would allow the training of personnel to attend emergency situations that arise in the state such as a hurricane, natural disasters and other state emergencies.
DeSantis said during a press conference at the Pensacola National Guard Armory, Dec. 2, 202, that he will ask the state Legislature to approve the funds during its regular session in January.
“”We want to be able to have a quick response capability,” the governor stated.
Some of DeSantis’ critics, alleged that the Florida governor is trying to establish his own paramilitary force, one of them was the state’s Democratic gubernatorial representative candidate, Charlie Christ, who wrote on Twitter:
“No governor should have his own hand-picked secret police.”
Nikki Fried, another Democratic gubernatorial candidate said, “Can’t believe I have to say this, but Florida doesn’t need a paramilitary force that only answers to @RonDeSantisFL.”
She added, “Millions of Floridians know what it’s like to live under regimes like this—and came to our state to escape them. This must be stopped.”
Meanwhile Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ spokeswoman, explained in a tweet, that state law allows the governor to maintain and organize any military force he sees fit to help “maintaining law and order,” though the State Guard in Florida will be for the purpose of assisting the state in emergencies.
“We are proud of our veterans and active-duty military members and proud of what our communities do to support them,” DeSantis said as reported by the Washington Examiner. “Florida is one of the most veteran-friendly states, and I think there are very few places that you would rather be on duty than in the state of Florida.”
“As a veteran, I really appreciate what everyone who wears the uniform does in our state and am excited about these proposals — they will go a long way and have a meaningful impact,” the governor added. “In Florida, we are going to continue our momentum of supporting our military, supporting our veterans, and being good stewards of our military installations.”