TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A bill filed in the Florida Senate would require the state and its political subdivisions to give promotional preference to certain veterans or their relatives.

SB 578, filed by Senator Bobby Powell (D-Palm Beach), says “The Department of Veterans’ Affairs shall adopt rules to ensure that veterans are given special consideration in the employing agency’s selection, promotion, and retention processes.”

The bill, if passed, would be an expansion of Florida Statute 295.07, which gives preference in appointment and retention to some disabled veterans. As written, the bill would add promotions to the list of favorable treatments for Florida veterans. It would go into effect on July 1, 2023.

So, who qualifies?

Disabled veterans who served at least one day of active duty in any branch during a wartime period, received an honorable discharge, or are receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pensions via the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The spouse of a person who has a permanent total disability resulting from service, cannot qualify for employment, is captured in the line of duty, or is missing in action would also qualify.

The protections don’t end there.

The mother, father, legal guardian, or widow or widower, who hasn’t remarried, of a soldier who died in the line of duty under combat-related conditions would receive promotion preference. An identical bill, H 687, was simultaneously filed in the Florida House.