Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio

"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been Removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Friday, August 17, 2018

Revisiting HB 168 - March 29, 2017 - October 29, 2018 when the law becomes effective

One year and seven months will have gone by when HB 168 takes effect! 
The document is 30 pages in length.  
Below are some excerpts from HB 168:
(132nd General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 168)
To amend sections 1721.21, 1721.211, 4717.03, 4717.13, 4717.14, 4717.36, 4767.01,
4767.02, 4767.03, 4767.04, 4767.05, 4767.06, 4767.07, and 4767.08 and to enact
sections 4767.021, 4767.09, 4767.10, and 4767.11 of the Revised Code to modify duties of the Division of Real Estate in the Department of Commerce regarding cemetery registration, to specify cemetery owners must reasonably maintain
cemeteries, to establish the Cemetery Grant Program, to allow the Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors to review and vote upon certain license suspensions by telephone, to make various other changes to the embalmers, funeral directors, and crematory licensing laws, and to make an appropriation.

Sec. 4767.10 . (A) The cemetery grant fund is created in the state treasury. The division of real estate in the department of commerce shall deposit into the fund one dollar of each two dollars and fifty cents portion of the burial permit fee received under section 3705.17 of the Revised Code. 
The division shall use moneys in the fund to advance grants to cemeteries registered with the division to defray the costs of exceptional cemetery maintenance or training cemetery personnel in the maintenance and operation of cemeteries. The division may not provide a grant to a corporation or
association that operates a cemetery for profit. In each fiscal year, the division may not advance grants totaling more than eighty per cent of the appropriation to the cemetery grant fund for that fiscal year. The division shall advance grants from the fund in accordance with rules adopted by the Ohio cemetery dispute resolution commission under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
(B) The director of commerce may increase, by rule adopted under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, the amount of total grants the division may advance in a fiscal year if the director  determines the total amount of funds generated exceeds the amount of funds the division needs to carry out its powers and duties under this section. If the director determines the increased amount depletes the amount of funds the division needs to carry out its powers and duties under this section,
the director may decrease the amount not below the amount specified in division (A) of this section.
Sec. 4767.11 . Upon receipt of information that the owner or person responsible for the operation of a registered cemetery or a cemetery that was required to be registered has ceased operation of that cemetery, the division of real estate in the department of commerce may investigate for purposes of determining the cemetery's current status.
If the division finds evidence that the cemetery has ceased operation and a municipal corporation or township has not assumed day-to-day management of the cemetery, the division may apply to the court of common pleas of the county in which the cemetery is located for appointment of a temporary receiver or trustee. 
The order appointing the temporary receiver or trustee shall order the trustee or trustees of the endowment care trust of the cemetery to make distributions to the receiver or trustee in accordance with section 1721.21 of the Revised Code.
The receiver shall only be paid from the income of interest and dividends in the endowment
care trust being held pursuant to section 1721.21 of the Revised Code. 

The receiver may not invade the principal or capital gains of the trust.
That existing sections 1721.21, 1721.211, 4717.03, 4717.13, 4717.14, 4717.36,
4767.01, 4767.02, 4767.03, 4767.04, 4767.05, 4767.06, 4767.07, and 4767.08 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
All items in this section are hereby appropriated as designated out of any moneys in the state treasury to the credit of the designated fund. For all appropriations made in this act, those in the first column are for fiscal year 2018 and those in the second column are for fiscal year 2019.
The appropriations made in this act are in addition to any other appropriations made for the FY 2018-FY 2019 biennium.
Dedicated Purpose Fund Group

5SE0 800648 Cemetery Grant Program 
$100,000 $0
TOTAL DPF Dedicated Purpose Fund Group $100,000 $0
$100,000 $0
The foregoing appropriation item 800648, Cemetery Grant Program, shall be used by the Department of Commerce to award grants under section 4767.10 of the Revised Code.
Within the limits set forth in this act, the Director of Budget and Management shall establish accounts indicating the source and amount of funds for each appropriation made in this act,
and shall determine the form and manner in which appropriation accounts shall be maintained.

Expenditures from appropriations contained in this act shall be accounted for as though made in H.B. 49 of the 132nd General Assembly.
The appropriations made in this act are subject to all provisions of H.B. 49 of the 132nd General Assembly that are generally applicable to such appropriations.

**By the way HB 49 is 3,384 pages long! **
For those of us who have concerns about inactive (no burials in the past 25 calendar years) or family cemeteries, sadly nothing has changed meaning nothing has improved legislative-wise through the provisions provided in HB 168 that would benefit these types of cemeteries -- where probably most of our ancestors are buried!
(D) Sections 4767.02 to 4767.04 of the Revised Code do not apply to or affect a family
cemetery or a cemetery in which there have been no interments during the previous twenty-five
calendar years. As used in this division, "family cemetery" means a cemetery containing the human remains of persons, at least three-fourths of whom have a common ancestor or who are the spouse or adopted child of that common ancestor.