Florida Senate - 2016              PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE
       Bill No. CS for SB 708
       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.
   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,
   62  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.