Leader Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa)’s bill, House Bill 49 – Abandoned and Historic Cemeteries, unanimously passed its last committee stop this morning and is referred to the House floor for a final vote. HB 49 is a continuation of Leader Driskell’s commitment to addressing abandoned cemeteries in the State of Florida.
HB 49 seeks to codify the 2021 Abandoned African American Cemetery Task Force’s recommendations into law. It creates the Historic Cemeteries Program and the Historic Cemeteries Program Advisory Council within the Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources to support and facilitate abandoned and historic cemetery education and maintenance. It also includes a $1 million appropriation for research on abandoned cemeteries and for grants to help repair, restore, or maintain African American cemeteries. With the passage of this bill, Floridians can be assured that this is a priority of the State.
“I am honored to announce that HB 49 has passed all three of its committee stops with strong bipartisan support. I am grateful for the collaboration and hard work of my colleagues to move this bill forward. As we continue our efforts, I remain committed to a Florida where everyone deserves the freedom to be healthy, prosperous, and safe. Together, we can build a better future for our state,” said Leader Driskell.