Florida National Guard to begin furloughs due to sequester

rick scott

Governor Rick Scott

Governor Scott has repeatedly called for an end to the National Guard furloughs (forced leave without pay), which start Monday, July 8th. The Governor offered the state’s budget experts to assist the Department of Defense in finding ways to save federal money that do not result in a loss of pay for National Guard military families or jeopardize state preparedness and response capabilities during hurricane season.

In a letter, Governor Scott points out that the National Guard offered to take funding reductions from other areas in their budget that would not impact personnel. The Guard also requested to take reductions before or after hurricane season so as to not affect emergency response capabilities. Unfortunately, both requests were denied by the federal government. Now, Florida National Guard members will begin taking leave without pay beginning Monday, July 8, 2013.

Florida Today reports, “Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio say there’s nothing they can do right now. Congress agreed to the across-the-board sequestration cuts as part of a 2011 deal to raise the nation’s debt limit. They affect almost every area of the budget, including defense programs that help coordinate National Guard activity in every state.”

Videos of Governor Scott calling for the National Guard furloughs to end during a press conference at the state’s emergency operations center a few weeks ago are here and here.

Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon sent a letter to U.S. Senator Bill Nelson on the effects of the National Guard furloughs. The letter is available here.

In an email to WDW – FL a retired veteran writes, “This has impacted our son, a special agent for the FBI. This year he will loose 10% of his pay with a daughter who will start college this fall. Nice. He is working on a top priority investigation (all secret, of course) but can not get any exemption from the unpaid days off. Our overall security is on the decline!”

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