Florida Senate - 2016 PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE Bill No. CS for SB 708 Ì726460ÂÎ726460 576-03402-16 Proposed Committee Substitute by the Committee on Appropriations (Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development) 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Arthur G. Dozier School for 3 Boys; requiring certain historical resources, records, 4 archives, artifacts, researches, medical records, and 5 human remains to remain in the custody of the 6 University of South Florida; providing exceptions; 7 requiring the Department of State to contract with the 8 university for the identification and location of 9 eligible next of kin of certain children; requiring 10 the department to notify the next of kin of certain 11 payment or reimbursement provisions; requiring the 12 department to reimburse the next of kin of children 13 whose bodies are buried and exhumed at the Dozier 14 School or to pay directly to a provider for the costs 15 associated with funeral services, reinterment, and 16 grave marker expenses; providing a process for 17 reimbursement or payment by the department; providing 18 that a charitable donation made toward funeral, 19 reinterment, and grave marker expenses is not eligible 20 for reimbursement; requiring the department to submit 21 a report; establishing a task force to make 22 recommendations regarding a memorial and a location of 23 a site for the reinterment of unidentified or 24 unclaimed remains; providing membership of the task 25 force; requiring the task force to submit its 26 recommendation to the department by a certain date; 27 requiring the task force to submit its recommendations 28 to the Governor and Cabinet and to the Legislature; 29 authorizing the department to adopt rules; providing 30 appropriations; providing an effective date. 31 32 WHEREAS, the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, or the 33 Dozier School for Boys, operated from 1900 until it was closed 34 in 2011 after allegations of abuse were confirmed in separate 35 investigations by the Department of Law Enforcement in 2010 and 36 the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of 37 Justice in 2011, and 38 WHEREAS, official records indicated that 31 graves had been 39 dug at the facility between 1914 and 1952, and 40 WHEREAS, a forensic investigation by the University of 41 South Florida found that there are no records of where children 42 who died at the Dozier School for Boys are buried and that 43 families were often notified after the child was buried or 44 denied access to their remains at the time of burial, and 45 WHEREAS, exhumations of bodies began in August 2013, and 46 the excavations yielded 55 burial sites, 24 more sites than 47 reported in official records, and 48 WHEREAS, one of the bodies exhumed during the forensic 49 investigation was of a child reported missing since 1940, and 50 WHEREAS, nearly 100 deaths were recorded at the school and 51 51 sets of remains were exhumed from burials, and additional 52 victims of a fatal fire in 1914 are still buried with the fire 53 debris on site, and 54 WHEREAS, many families of children whose bodies have been 55 exhumed lack the resources to properly reinter those children at 56 a suitable location, and 57 WHEREAS, the State of Florida recognizes an obligation to 58 help the families of children formerly buried at the Dozier 59 School for Boys reinter the bodies of those children, NOW, 60 THEREFORE, 61 62 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 63 64 Section 1. (1)(a) Any historical resource, record, archive, 65 artifact, public research, or medical record that was recovered 66 from the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys by the University of 67 South Florida shall remain in the custody of the university for 68 archival and preservation until the Department of State requests 69 custody of such resource, record, archive, artifact, public 70 research, or medical record. 71 (b) Any human remains exhumed from the Arthur G. Dozier 72 School for Boys by the University of South Florida shall remain 73 in the custody of the university for identification purposes 74 until the remains are returned to the next of kin or reburied 75 pursuant to this act. 76 (2)(a) The Department of State shall contract with the 77 University of South Florida for the identification and location 78 of eligible next of kin for such children and the update of 79 information on associated artifacts and materials. 80 (b) No later than July 1, 2016, the University of South 81 Florida must provide the Department of State with contact 82 information for the next of kin for each set of human remains 83 which has been returned to a next to kin. 84 (c) For any identification of next of kin occurring on or 85 after July 1, 2016, the University of South Florida must provide 86 location information of the next of kin to the Department of 87 State at least 5 days before returning the human remains to the 88 next of kin. 89 (d) Beginning July 1, 2016, the Department of State must 90 notify the next of kin responsible for a set of human remains 91 about the payment or reimbursement provisions under subsection 92 (3). Such notification must be made within 15 business days 93 after the department’s receipt of the location information of 94 the next of kin. 95 (3) The Department of State shall reimburse the next of kin 96 or pay directly to the provider up to $7,500 for funeral, 97 reinterment, and grave marker expenses for each child whose body 98 was buried at and exhumed, or otherwise recovered, from the 99 Dozier School for Boys. 100 (a) In order to receive reimbursement, the next of kin must 101 submit to the department receipts for, or documentation of, 102 expenses. Reimbursement shall be made pursuant to s. 215.422, 103 Florida Statutes. 104 (b) If expenses are to be paid directly to the provider, 105 the funeral home or other similar entity must submit an invoice 106 to the department for the cost of the child’s funeral, 107 reinterment, and grave marker expenses. Payment shall be made 108 pursuant to s. 215.422, Florida Statutes. 109 (c) A charitable donation made toward funeral, reinterment, 110 and grave marker expenses is not eligible for reimbursement. 111 (4) By February 1, 2018, the Department of State shall 112 submit a report to the Governor and Cabinet, the President of 113 the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives 114 regarding any payments and reimbursements made pursuant to this 115 section. 116 (5) The department may adopt rules necessary to administer 117 this section. 118 Section 2. (1) A task force is established adjunct to the 119 Department of State to advise the department and, except as 120 otherwise provided in this section, shall operate consistent 121 with s. 20.052, Florida Statutes. The task force shall be known 122 as the “Dozier Task Force.” The Department of State shall 123 provide administrative and staff support services relating to 124 the functions of the task force. 125 (2)(a) The task force shall consist of the following 126 members: 127 1. The Secretary of State, or his or her designee, who 128 shall serve as the chair. 129 2. One person appointed by the President of the Florida 130 State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement 131 of Colored People. 132 3. One representative of the Florida Council of Churches, 133 appointed by the executive director of the council. 134 4. A next of kin of a deceased ward buried at the Dozier 135 School for Boys appointed by the Attorney General. 136 5. One representative who promotes the welfare of people 137 who are former wards of the Dozier School for Boys appointed by 138 the Chief Financial Officer. 139 6. One person appointed by the President of the Senate. 140 7. One person appointed by the Speaker of the House of 141 Representatives. 142 8. One person appointed by the Jackson County Board of 143 County Commissioners. 144 (b) By October 1, 2016, the task force shall submit its 145 recommendations to the Department of State regarding the 146 creation and maintenance of a memorial and the location of a 147 site for the reinterment of unidentified or unclaimed remains. 148 The recommendations shall also be submitted to the Governor and 149 Cabinet, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House 150 of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the Senate, and the 151 Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. 152 (3) This section is repealed December 31, 2016. 153 Section 3. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the sum of 154 $500,000 in nonrecurring funds is appropriated from the General 155 Revenue Fund to the Department of State for the purpose of 156 implementing this act. Funds remaining unexpended or 157 unencumbered from this appropriation as of July 1, 2017, shall 158 revert and be reappropriated for the same purpose in the 2017 159 2018 fiscal year. 160 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.