HOUSE BILL NO. 210
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 20 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, TO AUTHORIZE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DELAWARE VETERANS CEMETERY, TO PROVIDE FOR THE OPERATION OF THE CEMETERY, AND TO ESTABLISH CRITERIA FOR BURIAL IN THE CEMETERY.
WHEREAS, House Joint Resolution 29 of the 131st General Assembly of the State of Delaware expressed the State's interest in establishing a Delaware Veteran's Cemetery; and
WHEREAS, House Joint Resolution 29 directed the Adjutant General, with the assistance of the Delaware Veterans Affairs Committee, to study the feasibility of establishing such a cemetery and to report its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly; and
WHEREAS, the Adjutant General's Report sets out in detail the requirements for establishing such a cemetery, the cost thereof, and the availability of federal grants for establishing and operating the cemetery and concludes that "A 'State Veterans Cemetery' in Delaware is feasible"; and
WHEREAS, the State is desirous of establishing a lasting and perpetual place for Delaware's veterans to rest with dignity and honor.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Part I of Title 20 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new Chapter 12 to read as follows:
"Chapter 12. Delaware Veterans Cemetery"
§1201. Establishment of Cemetery.
There is hereby created and established a Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery. §1202. Supervision by Department of State; Powers and Duties.
The establishment, operation, and maintenance of the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery shall be under the supervision of the Department of State which shall have the following powers and duties:
a. Select an appropriate site for the cemetery, pursuant to the provisions of §1203 of this Chapter;
b. Acquire, by transfer of title from another state agency, or by purchase, grant, devise or contract, title to such real property as shall be suitable and necessary for the establishment of the cemetery;
c. Apply for, receive, accept and expend any money, materials or other ald granted or otherwise provided by local, state or federal governments or by any source, public or private, in accordance with the terms thereof, for the establishment, operation or maintenance of the cemetery;
d. Appoint and employ such persons as shall be needed for the proper operation and maintenance of the cemetery;
e. Establish criteria for eligibility for burial in the cemetery, and set fees for the burial of family members, pursuant to the provisions of 51204 of this Chapter;
a. Promulgate rules, following public hearing, governing the administration and operation of the cemetery;
a. Advise and consult with the Delaware Veterans Affairs Committee, or its successor, from time to time with respect to the establishment and administration of the cemetery;
b. Prepare an annual report on the operation of the cemetery which shall be presented to the Governor and to the General Assembly;
i. Perform all other powers and functions necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes and policies of this Chapter.
§1203. Selection of Site.
The site of the cemetery shall be determined by the Department with the approval of the Delaware Veterans Affairs Committee or its successor. The site shall be convenient to all veterans of the State and shall meet the necessary standards and guidelines established by the United States Administrator of Veterans Affairs for the location of state owned veterans cemeteries. In selecting the site, preference shall be given to land which is owned by the State. Land for the site may be acquired by purchase only In the event suitable State-owned land is not available.
§1204. Eligibility for Burial.
a. The following persons shall be eligible for burial in the cemetery;
(i) Any veteran or member of the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) who:
I. dies under honorable conditions while serving on active duty in an Armed Force of the United States; or
I. served as an active member of the Armed Forces of the United States whose service was termhiated honorably; and is a resident of Delaware at the time of his death or had previously been a resident of Delaware for at least ten years; provided, the rules promulgated by the Department shall make the provision for waiving the ten year residency requirement for compelling reasons;
(2) Any member of the immediate family of a veteran or Armed Force member who qualifies for burial, subject to such fees as may be established by the Department. The Department shall, by rule, specify members of the Immediate family who shall be eligible for burial in the cemetery;
(3) The bodies of eligible persons previously buried in other locations may be reinterred in the cemetery upon the request of anyone legally entitled to make such request; provided, that no cost shall be borne by the State other than that which would be incurred in an original burial.
b. There shall be no fee charged for any plot and the interment provided to any eligible veteran or member of the Armed Forces of the United States. The Department may establish reasonable fees for burial of members of the immediate family of a veteran or Armed Forces member.
c. Burial in the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery shall be without regard to race, creed, color, sex or national origin.
Section 2. It is the intention of the General Assembly that, in establishing a Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, the State shall apply for a grant from the United States Administrator of Veterans Affairs pursuant to the provisions of Public Law 95-476, 92 Stat. 1504 and the Department is hereby authorized to submit such an application on behalf of the State. If the State falls to qualify for a grant or if the federal program is terminated before the State becomes entitled to receive funds under the program, the State shall be under no obligation to establish a cemetery.
Section 3. It is the intention of the General Assembly to appropriate in the annual Capital Improvements Act for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1984 funds to defray the costs of preparing and submitting an application for a grant from the United States Administrator of Veterans Affairs; locating and selecting a site for the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, including funds for necessary surveys, tests, studies, and environmental impact statements; and the development of preliminary plans for the cemetery.
Approved June 9, 1983