Bill to fund juvenile prison burials debated

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A sensitive piece of legislation is on the table in Tallahassee.

A house committee is considering a bill that would let the state pay for funerals for juveniles who die in jail.

The state would pay only if the young person's family couldn't afford to.

The bill stems from a controversy this summer when Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater initially refused to
cut a check to the family of 18-year-old Eric Perez, who died July 10 in a West Palm Beach detention center. His
burial bill ran to $7,600.

Supporters say the policy is only fair, especially in cases where the state is found to have played a role in a
youngster's death.