Florida Senate - 2023                                     SB 430
       By Senator Powell
       24-01116-23                                            2023430__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to abandoned and historic cemeteries;
    3         creating s. 267.21, F.S.; creating the Historic
    4         Cemeteries Program within the Division of Historical
    5         Resources of the Department of State; designating the
    6         State Historic Preservation Officer as the program’s
    7         director and requiring him or her to hire employees,
    8         subject to legislative appropriation; providing the
    9         duties and responsibilities of the program; requiring
   10         the program to provide grants, subject to legislative
   11         appropriation, to certain entities for certain
   12         purposes; authorizing the division to adopt rules;
   13         creating s. 267.22, F.S.; creating the Historic
   14         Cemeteries Program Advisory Council within the
   15         division; providing for membership, terms, and duties
   16         of the council; providing that members shall serve
   17         without compensation but may be reimbursed for per
   18         diem and travel expenses; amending s. 497.005, F.S.;
   19         revising the definition of the term “legally
   20         authorized person” to include a member of a
   21         representative community organization; amending s.
   22         704.06, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
   23         “conservation easement” to include a right or interest
   24         in real property which is appropriate to retaining the
   25         structural integrity or physical appearance of certain
   26         cemeteries; authorizing certain entities to acquire
   27         conservation easements to preserve certain cemeteries;
   28         amending s. 704.08, F.S.; providing an easement to the
   29         state for certain purposes; providing for an
   30         appropriation; providing an effective date.
   32  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   34         Section 1. Section 267.21, Florida Statutes, is created to
   35  read:
   36         267.21Historic Cemeteries Program.—
   37         (1)The Historic Cemeteries Program is created within the
   38  division. The State Historic Preservation Officer shall serve as
   39  the director of the program and shall, subject to legislative
   40  appropriation, employ three full-time employees to operate the
   41  program. The program shall have the following duties and
   42  responsibilities:
   43         (a)Serve as the organizational center for recording and
   44  updating in the Florida Master Site File records of cemeteries
   45  in this state established at least 50 years ago.
   46         (b)Develop guidelines for use by state agencies, local
   47  governments, and developers in the identification, location, and
   48  maintenance of abandoned and historic cemeteries.
   49         (c)Serve as an interagency governmental liaison to
   50  municipalities, planning departments, colleges and universities,
   51  and community organizations to facilitate collaboration and the
   52  sharing of information relating to abandoned and historic
   53  cemeteries.
   54         (d)Coordinate with the University of South Florida’s Black
   55  Cemetery Network to facilitate the inclusion of abandoned
   56  African-American cemeteries in the Black Cemetery Network.
   57         (e)Research, identify, and record abandoned cemeteries,
   58  with an emphasis on abandoned African-American cemeteries.
   59         (f)When abandoned cemeteries are located, provide
   60  notification and guidance to relevant persons and assist with
   61  efforts to identify relatives and descendants, funeral
   62  directors, religious organizations, qualified nonprofit
   63  organizations, and property owners.
   64         (g)Assist constituents, descendant communities, state and
   65  federal agencies, local governments, and other stakeholders with
   66  inquiries relating to abandoned cemeteries.
   67         (h)In coordination with the Department of Education,
   68  develop a curriculum relating to abandoned and historic
   69  cemeteries, with a focus on citizenship, social responsibility,
   70  and history.
   71         (i)Establish a priority for the placement of historical
   72  markers for erased, forgotten, lost, or abandoned African
   73  American cemeteries.
   74         (2)The Historic Cemeteries Program shall, subject to
   75  legislative appropriation, provide grants to the following
   76  entities:
   77         (a)Research institutions, colleges and universities, and
   78  qualified nonprofit organizations, for the purpose of conducting
   79  genealogical and historical research necessary to identify and
   80  contact the relatives and descendants of persons buried in
   81  abandoned African-American cemeteries.
   82         (b)Local governments and qualified nonprofit
   83  organizations, for the purposes of repairing, restoring, and
   84  maintaining abandoned African-American cemeteries.
   85         (3)The division may adopt rules to implement this section.
   86         Section 2. Section 267.22, Florida Statutes, is created to
   87  read:
   88         267.22Historic Cemeteries Program Advisory Council.—
   89         (1)The Historic Cemeteries Program Advisory Council, an
   90  advisory council as defined in s. 20.03(7), is created within
   91  the division and shall be composed of members appointed by the
   92  Secretary of State after considering the recommendations of the
   93  director of the division. The council shall be composed of an
   94  inclusive group of members who are regionally distributed and
   95  representative of communities throughout this state. Members
   96  shall serve 4-year staggered terms. As soon as practicable after
   97  July 1, 2023, the council shall meet to elect a chair from its
   98  membership. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the
   99  council shall operate in a manner consistent with s. 20.052.
  100         (2)The council shall provide guidance and recommendations
  101  to the division regarding the duties and responsibilities of the
  102  Historic Cemeteries Program created under s. 267.21.
  103         (3)Members of the council shall serve without compensation
  104  but may be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses pursuant
  105  to s. 112.061.
  106         Section 3. Subsection (43) of section 497.005, Florida
  107  Statutes, is amended to read:
  108         497.005 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  109         (43) “Legally authorized person” means, in the priority
  110  listed:
  111         (a) The decedent, when written inter vivos authorizations
  112  and directions are provided by the decedent;
  113         (b) The person designated by the decedent as authorized to
  114  direct disposition pursuant to Pub. L. No. 109-163, s. 564, as
  115  listed on the decedent’s United States Department of Defense
  116  Record of Emergency Data, DD Form 93, or its successor form, if
  117  the decedent died while in military service as described in 10
  118  U.S.C. s. 1481(a)(1)-(8) in any branch of the United States
  119  Armed Forces, United States Reserve Forces, or National Guard;
  120         (c) The surviving spouse, unless the spouse has been
  121  arrested for committing against the deceased an act of domestic
  122  violence as defined in s. 741.28 that resulted in or contributed
  123  to the death of the deceased;
  124         (d) A son or daughter who is 18 years of age or older;
  125         (e) A parent;
  126         (f) A brother or sister who is 18 years of age or older;
  127         (g) A grandchild who is 18 years of age or older;
  128         (h) A grandparent; or
  129         (i) Any person in the next degree of kinship.
  131  In addition, the term may include, if no family member exists or
  132  is available, the guardian of the dead person at the time of
  133  death; the personal representative of the deceased; the attorney
  134  in fact of the dead person at the time of death; the health
  135  surrogate of the dead person at the time of death; a public
  136  health officer; the medical examiner, county commission, or
  137  administrator acting under part II of chapter 406 or other
  138  public administrator; a representative of a nursing home or
  139  other health care institution in charge of final disposition; or
  140  a friend or other person, including a member of a representative
  141  community organization, not listed in this subsection who is
  142  willing to assume the responsibility as the legally authorized
  143  person. Where there is a person in any priority class listed in
  144  this subsection, the funeral establishment shall rely upon the
  145  authorization of any one legally authorized person of that class
  146  if that person represents that she or he is not aware of any
  147  objection to the cremation of the deceased’s human remains by
  148  others in the same class of the person making the representation
  149  or of any person in a higher priority class.
  150         Section 4. Subsections (1) and (3) of section 704.06,
  151  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  152         704.06 Conservation easements; creation; acquisition;
  153  enforcement.—
  154         (1) As used in this section, “conservation easement” means
  155  a right or interest in real property which is appropriate to
  156  retaining land or water areas predominantly in their natural,
  157  scenic, open, agricultural, or wooded condition; retaining such
  158  areas as suitable habitat for fish, plants, or wildlife;
  159  retaining the structural integrity or physical appearance of
  160  sites or properties of historical, architectural,
  161  archaeological, or cultural significance, including abandoned
  162  and neglected cemeteries that are at least 50 years old; or
  163  maintaining existing land uses and which prohibits or limits any
  164  or all of the following:
  165         (a) Construction or placing of buildings, roads, signs,
  166  billboards or other advertising, utilities, or other structures
  167  on or above the ground.
  168         (b) Dumping or placing of soil or other substance or
  169  material as landfill or dumping or placing of trash, waste, or
  170  unsightly or offensive materials.
  171         (c) Removal or destruction of trees, shrubs, or other
  172  vegetation.
  173         (d) Excavation, dredging, or removal of loam, peat, gravel,
  174  soil, rock, or other material substance in such manner as to
  175  affect the surface.
  176         (e) Surface use except for purposes that permit the land or
  177  water area to remain predominantly in its natural condition.
  178         (f) Activities detrimental to drainage, flood control,
  179  water conservation, erosion control, soil conservation, or fish
  180  and wildlife habitat preservation.
  181         (g) Acts or uses detrimental to such retention of land or
  182  water areas.
  183         (h) Acts or uses detrimental to the preservation of the
  184  structural integrity or physical appearance of sites or
  185  properties of historical, architectural, archaeological, or
  186  cultural significance, including abandoned and neglected
  187  cemeteries that are at least 50 years old.
  188         (3) Conservation easements may be acquired by any
  189  governmental body or agency or by a charitable corporation or
  190  trust whose purposes include protecting natural, scenic, or open
  191  space values of real property, assuring its availability for
  192  agricultural, forest, recreational, or open space use,
  193  protecting natural resources, maintaining or enhancing air or
  194  water quality, or preserving sites or properties of historical,
  195  architectural, archaeological, or cultural significance,
  196  including abandoned and neglected cemeteries that are at least
  197  50 years old.
  198         Section 5. Section 704.08, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  199  read:
  200         704.08 Cemeteries; right of ingress and egress for visiting
  201  or maintenance.—
  202         (1) The relatives and descendants of any person buried in a
  203  cemetery shall have an easement for ingress and egress for the
  204  purpose of visiting the cemetery at reasonable times and in a
  205  reasonable manner. The owner of the land may designate the
  206  easement. If the cemetery is abandoned or otherwise not being
  207  maintained, such relatives and descendants may request the owner
  208  to provide for reasonable maintenance of the cemetery, and, if
  209  the owner refuses or fails to maintain the cemetery, the
  210  relatives and descendants shall have the right to maintain the
  211  cemetery.
  212         (2)If credible evidence supports a determination that
  213  there is an abandoned cemetery located on, underneath, or
  214  adjacent to land owned by a private owner, the state must have
  215  an easement for ingress and egress for the purpose of
  216  maintaining and conducting research and noninvasive searches at
  217  such cemetery at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner
  218  after providing the owner with reasonable notice.
  219         Section 6. The Legislature shall appropriate funds for the
  220  purpose of including abandoned African-American cemeteries in
  221  this state in the University of South Florida’s Black Cemetery
  222  Network.
  223         Section 7. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.