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The Florida Senate

CS/HB 873 — Military Affairs

by Local Administration and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee and Representative Giallombardo and others (SB 770 by Senator Burgess)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee (MS)

CS/HB 873 revises several provisions relating to courts-martial of the Florida National Guard (FLNG), modifies the minimum prior-service requirement for a candidate for Adjutant General or Assistant Adjutant General, and specifies that the Adjutant General is the commanding general of the FLNG with authority to convene a general or special courts-martial.

Regarding courts-martial, the bill provides:

  • The Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Manual for Courts-Martial, together with ch. 250, F.S., is to be referred to as the Florida Code of Military Justice (FCMJ).
  • Members of the FLNG are subject to discipline under the FCMJ while in civilian status; under current law, members are subject to discipline only for offenses committed during military status.
  • A court-martial has subject matter jurisdiction over an offense if a nexus exists between an offense and the state military force, regardless of whether the offense is an offense under military law.
  • A civilian court has jurisdiction over a nonmilitary offense of both the FCMJ and local criminal law.
  • The military judge in a general or special court-martial must be qualified by attendance at Judge Advocate General school or be certified as qualified by the Adjutant General—current law requires both.
  • Increased possible punishments in a general court-martial.
  • Modified punishment options in special and summary courts-martial.

Additionally, the bill provides more nonjudicial punishment options, greater specificity for existing punishment options, and authorization for a commander to suspend punishment.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2021.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 118-0