JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Republican Adam Putnam traveled to one of Florida's top military cities to announce policy proposals for veterans if elected Florida governor.
The Friday announcement at the Five Star Veterans Center in Jacksonville also happens to be just north of the district represented by U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, a former Navy officer and Putnam's opponent for the GOP nomination.
Putnam released a four-page policy paper on proposals for veterans and to help military bases in Florida.
They include expanding nursing home beds, keeping development from encroaching on bases and more than doubling the number of veteran courts, which provide diversion programs for veterans charged with crimes and help them with mental health and drug abuse treatment.
“So often, veterans who are suffering from PTSD and substance abuse -- and often those two things are often intertwined -- they end up in the criminal justice system when they really should be in the type of setting that is going to get them the help they deserve for all they’ve done for our country," Putnam said.
Other proposals including creating new programs to reimburse veterans for college entrance exam preparation and to let them assign any unused tuition benefits to their children.
DeSantis, a Navy veteran who’s running heavily on his military record, has been endorsed by President Trump. News4Jax asked Putnam about the endorsement and the upcoming primary. He said he’s focused on his campaign.
“If you want to be Florida Governor, you need to know Florida, you need to know our problems, and you have to have specific ideas how to solve those, Putnam said.
News4Jax reached out to the DeSantis campagin for comment on Putnam's agenda. The campaign had not responded by Friday night.