Bill Text: VA HB1973 | 2019 | Regular Session | Chaptered

Bill Title: Historical African American cemeteries; adds two cemeteries in Pulaski County.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Passed) 2019-03-05 - Governor: Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0184) [HB1973 Detail]

Download: Virginia-2019-HB1973-Chaptered.html

An Act to amend and reenact §10.1-2211.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to historical African American cemeteries; Pulaski County.
[H 1973]
Approved March 5, 2019


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §10.1-2211.2 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§10.1-2211.2. Disbursement of funds appropriated for caring for historical African American cemeteries and graves.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Historical African American cemetery" means a cemetery that was established prior to January 1, 1900, for interments of African Americans.

"Qualified organization" means a charitable corporation, charitable association, or charitable trust that has been granted tax-exempt status under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and whose primary purpose is the preservation of historical cemeteries and graves or any person or locality that owns a historical African American cemetery.

B. At the direction of the Director, the Comptroller of the Commonwealth shall draw an annual warrant upon the State Treasurer from any sum that may be provided in the general appropriation act in favor of the treasurer of a qualified organization caring for any cemetery set forth in this subsection. Such appropriations shall be allocated on the basis of the number of graves, monuments, and markers in a cemetery of African Americans who lived at any time between January 1, 1800, and January 1, 1900, the dates to be determined by reference to grave markers or, at the discretion of the Director, other historical records. Such number of graves, monuments, and markers, as set forth opposite the cemetery name or as documented by the qualified organization, shall be multiplied by the rate of $5 or the average actual cost of routine maintenance of a grave, monument, or marker, whichever is greater, to determine the amount of the allocation. The Department shall determine the average actual cost of routine maintenance of a grave, monument, or marker in a biennial survey of at least four properly maintained cemeteries, each located in a different geographical region of the Commonwealth.





East End Cemetery




African-American Burial Ground for the Enslaved at Belmont




New River Cemetery


West Dublin Cemetery






Daughters of Zion Cemetery




Mt. Calvary Cemetery




Evergreen Cemetery


C. An organization receiving funds shall expend the funds for the routine maintenance of its historical African American cemetery and its graves and the erection of and caring for markers, memorials, and monuments to the memory of such African Americans.

D. Each qualified organization, through its proper officer, shall after July 1 of each year submit to the Director a certified statement that the funds appropriated to the organization during the preceding fiscal year were or will be expended for the purposes set forth in subsection C. No organization that fails to comply with any of the requirements of this section shall receive moneys allocated under this section for any subsequent fiscal year until the organization fully complies with the requirements.

E. In addition to funds that may be provided pursuant to subsection B, any organization set forth in subsection B may apply to the Director for a grant to perform extraordinary maintenance, renovation, repair, or reconstruction of any of its historical African American cemeteries and graves. Such a grant shall be made from any appropriation made available by the General Assembly for such purpose.

F. Any locality may receive and hold funds drawn pursuant to subsection B on behalf of any qualified organization until such time as the organization is able to receive or utilize such funds. No local matching funds shall be required for any grants made pursuant to this section.

G. The owner of a historical African American cemetery shall reasonably cooperate with a qualified organization that receives funds pursuant to subsection B.