Florida Senate - 2023                              CS for SB 430
       By the Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability;
       and Senator Powell
       585-02614-23                                           2023430c1
    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         providing an effective date.
   30  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   32         Section 1. Section 267.21, Florida Statutes, is created to
   33  read:
   34         267.21Historic Cemeteries Program.—
   35         (1)The Historic Cemeteries Program is created within the
   36  division. The State Historic Preservation Officer shall serve as
   37  the director of the program and shall, subject to legislative
   38  appropriation, employ three full-time employees to operate the
   39  program. The program shall have the following duties and
   40  responsibilities:
   41         (a)Serve as the organizational center for recording and
   42  updating in the Florida Master Site File records of cemeteries
   43  in this state established at least 50 years ago.
   44         (b)Develop guidelines for use by state agencies, local
   45  governments, and developers in the identification, location, and
   46  maintenance of abandoned and historic cemeteries.
   47         (c)Serve as an interagency governmental liaison to
   48  municipalities, planning departments, colleges and universities,
   49  and community organizations to facilitate collaboration and the
   50  sharing of information relating to abandoned and historic
   51  cemeteries.
   52         (d)Coordinate with the University of South Florida’s Black
   53  Cemetery Network to facilitate the inclusion of abandoned
   54  African-American cemeteries in the Black Cemetery Network.
   55         (e)Research, identify, and record abandoned cemeteries,
   56  with an emphasis on abandoned African-American cemeteries.
   57         (f)When abandoned cemeteries are located, provide
   58  notification and guidance to relevant persons and assist with
   59  efforts to identify relatives and descendants, funeral
   60  directors, religious organizations, qualified nonprofit
   61  organizations, and property owners.
   62         (g)Assist constituents, descendant communities, state and
   63  federal agencies, local governments, and other stakeholders with
   64  inquiries relating to abandoned cemeteries.
   65         (h)In coordination with the Department of Education,
   66  develop a curriculum relating to abandoned and historic
   67  cemeteries, with a focus on citizenship, social responsibility,
   68  and history.
   69         (i)Establish a priority for the placement of historical
   70  markers for erased, forgotten, lost, or abandoned African
   71  American cemeteries.
   72         (2)The Historic Cemeteries Program shall, subject to
   73  legislative appropriation, provide grants to the following
   74  entities:
   75         (a)Research institutions, colleges and universities, and
   76  qualified nonprofit organizations, for the purpose of conducting
   77  genealogical and historical research necessary to identify and
   78  contact the relatives and descendants of persons buried in
   79  abandoned African-American cemeteries.
   80         (b)Local governments and qualified nonprofit
   81  organizations, for the purposes of repairing, restoring, and
   82  maintaining abandoned African-American cemeteries.
   83         (3)The division may adopt rules to implement this section.
   84         Section 2. Section 267.22, Florida Statutes, is created to
   85  read:
   86         267.22Historic Cemeteries Program Advisory Council.—
   87         (1)The Historic Cemeteries Program Advisory Council, an
   88  advisory council as defined in s. 20.03(7), is created within
   89  the division and shall be composed of members appointed by the
   90  Secretary of State after considering the recommendations of the
   91  director of the division. The council shall be composed of an
   92  inclusive group of members who are regionally distributed and
   93  representative of communities throughout this state. Members
   94  shall serve 4-year terms; however for the purpose of providing
   95  staggered terms, half of the appointees shall initially be
   96  appointed to 2-year terms, while the other half shall initially
   97  be appointed to 4-year terms. All subsequent appointments shall
   98  be for 4-year terms. As soon as practicable after July 1, 2023,
   99  the council shall meet to elect a chair from its membership.
  100  Except as otherwise provided in this section, the council shall
  101  operate in a manner consistent with s. 20.052.
  102         (2)The council shall provide guidance and recommendations
  103  to the division regarding the duties and responsibilities of the
  104  Historic Cemeteries Program created under s. 267.21.
  105         (3)Members of the council shall serve without compensation
  106  but may be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses pursuant
  107  to s. 112.061.
  108         Section 3. Subsection (43) of section 497.005, Florida
  109  Statutes, is amended to read:
  110         497.005 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  111         (43) “Legally authorized person” means, in the priority
  112  listed:
  113         (a) The decedent, when written inter vivos authorizations
  114  and directions are provided by the decedent;
  115         (b) The person designated by the decedent as authorized to
  116  direct disposition pursuant to Pub. L. No. 109-163, s. 564, as
  117  listed on the decedent’s United States Department of Defense
  118  Record of Emergency Data, DD Form 93, or its successor form, if
  119  the decedent died while in military service as described in 10
  120  U.S.C. s. 1481(a)(1)-(8) in any branch of the United States
  121  Armed Forces, United States Reserve Forces, or National Guard;
  122         (c) The surviving spouse, unless the spouse has been
  123  arrested for committing against the deceased an act of domestic
  124  violence as defined in s. 741.28 that resulted in or contributed
  125  to the death of the deceased;
  126         (d) A son or daughter who is 18 years of age or older;
  127         (e) A parent;
  128         (f) A brother or sister who is 18 years of age or older;
  129         (g) A grandchild who is 18 years of age or older;
  130         (h) A grandparent; or
  131         (i) Any person in the next degree of kinship.
  133  In addition, the term may include, if no family member exists or
  134  is available, the guardian of the dead person at the time of
  135  death; the personal representative of the deceased; the attorney
  136  in fact of the dead person at the time of death; the health
  137  surrogate of the dead person at the time of death; a public
  138  health officer; the medical examiner, county commission, or
  139  administrator acting under part II of chapter 406 or other
  140  public administrator; a representative of a nursing home or
  141  other health care institution in charge of final disposition; or
  142  a friend or other person, including a member of a representative
  143  community organization, not listed in this subsection who is
  144  willing to assume the responsibility as the legally authorized
  145  person. Where there is a person in any priority class listed in
  146  this subsection, the funeral establishment shall rely upon the
  147  authorization of any one legally authorized person of that class
  148  if that person represents that she or he is not aware of any
  149  objection to the cremation of the deceased’s human remains by
  150  others in the same class of the person making the representation
  151  or of any person in a higher priority class.
  152         Section 4. Subsections (1) and (3) of section 704.06,
  153  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  154         704.06 Conservation easements; creation; acquisition;
  155  enforcement.—
  156         (1) As used in this section, “conservation easement” means
  157  a right or interest in real property which is appropriate to
  158  retaining land or water areas predominantly in their natural,
  159  scenic, open, agricultural, or wooded condition; retaining such
  160  areas as suitable habitat for fish, plants, or wildlife;
  161  retaining the structural integrity or physical appearance of
  162  sites or properties of historical, architectural,
  163  archaeological, or cultural significance, including abandoned
  164  and neglected cemeteries that are at least 50 years old; or
  165  maintaining existing land uses and which prohibits or limits any
  166  or all of the following:
  167         (a) Construction or placing of buildings, roads, signs,
  168  billboards or other advertising, utilities, or other structures
  169  on or above the ground.
  170         (b) Dumping or placing of soil or other substance or
  171  material as landfill or dumping or placing of trash, waste, or
  172  unsightly or offensive materials.
  173         (c) Removal or destruction of trees, shrubs, or other
  174  vegetation.
  175         (d) Excavation, dredging, or removal of loam, peat, gravel,
  176  soil, rock, or other material substance in such manner as to
  177  affect the surface.
  178         (e) Surface use except for purposes that permit the land or
  179  water area to remain predominantly in its natural condition.
  180         (f) Activities detrimental to drainage, flood control,
  181  water conservation, erosion control, soil conservation, or fish
  182  and wildlife habitat preservation.
  183         (g) Acts or uses detrimental to such retention of land or
  184  water areas.
  185         (h) Acts or uses detrimental to the preservation of the
  186  structural integrity or physical appearance of sites or
  187  properties of historical, architectural, archaeological, or
  188  cultural significance, including abandoned and neglected
  189  cemeteries that are at least 50 years old.
  190         (3) Conservation easements may be acquired by any
  191  governmental body or agency or by a charitable corporation or
  192  trust whose purposes include protecting natural, scenic, or open
  193  space values of real property, assuring its availability for
  194  agricultural, forest, recreational, or open space use,
  195  protecting natural resources, maintaining or enhancing air or
  196  water quality, or preserving sites or properties of historical,
  197  architectural, archaeological, or cultural significance,
  198  including abandoned and neglected cemeteries that are at least
  199  50 years old.
  200         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.