Florida Senate - 2020                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 220
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability
       (Cruz) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. (1) The Task Force on Abandoned African-American
    6  Cemeteries, a task force as defined in s. 20.03(8), Florida
    7  Statutes, is created adjunct to the Department of State for the
    8  express purpose of studying the extent to which unmarked or
    9  abandoned African-American cemeteries and burial grounds exist
   10  throughout the state and developing and recommending strategies
   11  for identifying and recording cemeteries and burial grounds
   12  while also preserving local history and ensuring dignity and
   13  respect for the deceased. Except as otherwise provided in this
   14  section, the task force shall operate in a manner consistent
   15  with s. 20.052, Florida Statutes. The department shall provide
   16  administrative and staff support relating to the functions of
   17  the task force.
   18         (2) The task force is composed of the following members:
   19         (a) The Secretary of State, or his or her designee, who
   20  shall serve as chair.
   21         (b) A representative of the Bureau of Archaeological
   22  Research of the Division of Historical Resources, appointed by
   23  the Secretary of State.
   24         (c) One person nominated by the President of the Florida
   25  State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement
   26  of Colored People and appointed by the Secretary of State.
   27         (d) One representative of the Florida Council of Churches,
   28  nominated by the executive director of the council and appointed
   29  by the Secretary of State.
   30         (e) One representative of the Florida African American
   31  Heritage Preservation Network, nominated by the executive
   32  director of the network and appointed by the Secretary of State.
   33         (f) One representative of the Florida Public Archaeology
   34  Network, appointed by the Secretary of State.
   35         (g) One representative of the cemetery industry, appointed
   36  by the Secretary of State.
   37         (3) The task force shall hold its first meeting by August
   38  1, 2020. The task force may meet as many times as it deems
   39  necessary to complete the duties prescribed in this section.
   40         (4) The task force shall:
   41         (a) Review the findings and recommendations made by the
   42  Task Force on Abandoned and Neglected Cemeteries created
   43  pursuant to chapter 98-268, Laws of Florida, and any legislative
   44  or administrative action that was taken in response to the task
   45  force’s findings and recommendations.
   46         (b) Examine the adequacy of current practices regarding the
   47  preservation of unmarked and abandoned African-American
   48  cemeteries and burial grounds and identify any challenges unique
   49  to African-American cemeteries and burial grounds.
   50         (c) Identify locations of unmarked and abandoned African
   51  American cemeteries and burial grounds throughout the state and
   52  propose strategies, including any proposed legislation, for the
   53  preservation and evaluation of such sites.
   54         (d) Make recommendations regarding the creation, placement,
   55  and maintenance of a memorial at the sites of the former Zion
   56  Cemetery and the former Ridgewood Cemetery in Tampa.
   57         (5) By March 1, 2021, the task force shall submit a report
   58  detailing its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the
   59  President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
   60  Representatives, the Minority Leader of the Senate, and the
   61  Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
   62         (6) This section expires July 1, 2021.
   63         Section 2. (1)(a) Upon receiving consent of the property
   64  owners at the former Zion Cemetery site in Tampa, the Department
   65  of State shall partner with the University of South Florida, the
   66  Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and the Zion
   67  Cemetery Archaeological Committee formed under the auspices of
   68  the Tampa Housing Authority, to continue an investigation to
   69  determine how many graves remain at the site.
   70         (b) Any historical resource, record, archive, artifact,
   71  public research, or medical record that is recovered through the
   72  course of the investigation by the University of South Florida
   73  or the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University shall
   74  remain in the custody of either university for archiving and
   75  preservation until the Department of State requests custody of
   76  such resource, record, archive, artifact, public research, or
   77  medical record.
   78         (2)(a) The Department of State shall contract with the
   79  University of South Florida and the Florida Agricultural and
   80  Mechanical University for the identification and location of
   81  eligible next of kin of those buried at the site.
   82         (b) No later than January 1, 2021, the universities shall
   83  provide the Department of State with a list of possible
   84  descendants of those buried at the site and, to the extent
   85  possible, their contact information.
   86         (c) For any identification of next of kin occurring on or
   87  after January 1, 2021, the universities must provide contact
   88  information of the next of kin to the Department of State.
   89         (3) The Department of State may adopt rules necessary to
   90  administer this section.
   91         Section 3. A county or municipality may request
   92  reimbursement from the Department of State for any expenses
   93  incurred on or after July 1, 2020, in connection with the
   94  maintenance of historical or abandoned cemeteries. A county or
   95  municipality may only submit a request for reimbursement once
   96  per calendar year, and such expenses must have been incurred
   97  within 1 year before submission of the request. A county or
   98  municipality may only be reimbursed by the department for half
   99  of the expenses that are incurred out of public funds. A county
  100  or municipality may not be reimbursed for any portion of
  101  maintenance expenses which is funded through private funds
  102  solicited by the county or municipality pursuant to s. 497.284,
  103  Florida Statutes. The department may require a county or a
  104  municipality seeking reimbursement to produce any documentation
  105  specifying maintenance costs incurred.
  106         Section 4. The Division of Historical Resources of the
  107  Department of State shall ensure that any abandoned African
  108  American cemetery identified by the Task Force on Abandoned
  109  African-American Cemeteries is listed in the Florida Master Site
  110  File. Upon such a cemetery’s listing in the Florida Master Site
  111  File and in lieu of the normal application process for
  112  historical markers, the division must seek placement of an
  113  Official Florida Historical Marker at a site so long as the
  114  approval of the owner of the property where the marker will be
  115  placed has been obtained. A person or an organization affiliated
  116  with an abandoned cemetery may assist the division in
  117  researching the history of such a site in the preparation of a
  118  historical marker’s creation and placement. The costs for the
  119  creation and placement of a historical marker authorized
  120  pursuant to this section shall be borne by the division.
  121         Section 5. For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the sum of
  122  $500,000 in nonrecurring funds is appropriated from the General
  123  Revenue Fund to the Department of State for the purpose of
  124  implementing this act. Of such sum, $50,000 shall be allocated
  125  for the creation, placement, and maintenance of a memorial at
  126  the site of the former Zion Cemetery in Tampa; $50,000 shall be
  127  allocated for the creation, placement, and maintenance of a
  128  memorial at the site of the former Ridgewood Cemetery at C. Leon
  129  King High School in Tampa; and $400,000 shall be allocated to
  130  fund research associated with findings made by the Task Force on
  131  Abandoned African-American Cemeteries. Any funds remaining
  132  unexpended or unencumbered from this appropriation as of July 1,
  133  2021, revert and shall be reappropriated for the same purpose,
  134  or for the creation and placement of memorials or historical
  135  markers at additional cemetery sites that are identified by the
  136  Task Force on Abandoned African-American Cemeteries, in the
  137  2021-2022 fiscal year.
  138         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.
  140  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  141  And the title is amended as follows:
  142         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  143  and insert:
  144                        A bill to be entitled                      
  145         An act relating to abandoned cemeteries; creating the
  146         Task Force on Abandoned African-American Cemeteries;
  147         specifying the purpose of the task force; requiring
  148         the Department of State to provide administrative and
  149         staff support; specifying the composition of the task
  150         force; providing meeting requirements; prescribing
  151         duties of the task force; requiring the task force to
  152         submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature by
  153         a specified date; providing for expiration of the task
  154         force; requiring the department to partner with
  155         specified entities to undertake an investigation of
  156         the former Zion Cemetery site; specifying custody of
  157         certain historical resources, records, archives,
  158         artifacts, research, and medical records; requiring
  159         the department to contract with the University of
  160         South Florida and the Florida Agricultural and
  161         Mechanical University for the identification and
  162         location of eligible next of kin; requiring the
  163         universities to provide certain information regarding
  164         descendants to the department by a specified date;
  165         authorizing the department to adopt rules; authorizing
  166         counties and municipalities to seek reimbursement for
  167         expenses related to the maintenance of abandoned
  168         cemeteries; specifying requirements, limitations, and
  169         conditions for such reimbursements; directing the
  170         Division of Historical Resources of the department to
  171         ensure the listing of certain cemeteries in the
  172         Florida Master Site File; requiring the division to
  173         seek placement of historical markers at certain
  174         abandoned cemeteries, subject to certain limitations;
  175         authorizing certain persons and organizations to
  176         assist the division in researching the history of such
  177         cemeteries; specifying that costs associated with the
  178         creation and placement of such historical markers be
  179         borne by the division; providing appropriations;
  180         providing an effective date.
  182         WHEREAS, until the conclusion of the Civil War, millions of
  183  African Americans in the United States, including Florida, were
  184  enslaved, and
  185         WHEREAS, following the end of slavery, African Americans
  186  continued to be subject to various discriminatory practices,
  187  including restrictions on burying the dead which resulted in
  188  segregated cemeteries and burial grounds, and
  189         WHEREAS, unlike predominantly white cemeteries and burial
  190  grounds, African-American cemeteries and burial grounds were not
  191  subject to regulations and recordkeeping necessary to protect
  192  the dignity of the deceased, and
  193         WHEREAS, as a result, many abandoned African-American
  194  cemeteries and burial grounds have been inadvertently discovered
  195  following years of disrepair and neglect when land is being
  196  redeveloped or has been sold, and
  197         WHEREAS, to this day, abandoned African-American cemeteries
  198  throughout this state continue to be uncovered, as evidenced by
  199  recent reports regarding the former Zion Cemetery site in the
  200  Tampa Heights neighborhood and the former Ridgewood Cemetery on
  201  the grounds of C. Leon King High School, both in the City of
  202  Tampa, and
  203         WHEREAS, the State of Florida recognizes its obligation to
  204  identify and properly record abandoned African-American
  205  cemeteries and burial grounds in order to preserve history,
  206  better inform development decisions, and ensure dignity and
  207  respect for the deceased, NOW, THEREFORE,