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June 24, 1975

The Honorable Reubin O'D. Askew
Governor of Florida
The Capitol
Tallahassee, Florida 32304
Dear Governor Askew;

At its meeting on June 24, 1975, your Advisory Council on Mental Health discussed House Bill 658, which was passed during the last legislative session and directs the Northeast Florida State Hospital at Macdenny to set aside one or more acres of land on or off the grounds of the hospital for the burial of unclaimed bodies of deceased patients of the hospital.

In the opinion of your Advisory Council, this is clearly a discriminatory act. We believe that there is dignity in death, and unclaimed bodies should not be laid to rest isolated from the bodies of others.

We strongly recommend you veto House Bill 658.
(Mrs.) Paul B. Rice, Chairperson Advisory Council on Mental Health

cc: Mr. Emmett S. Roberts
Stuart N. Cahoon, M.D.
Members, Advisory Council on Mental Health


Executive Director
Telephone (904) 678-1814

(Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa Counties)

 January 29, 1974
The Honorable Reubin O'D Askew
Governor of Florida
Capitol Building
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

Dear Governor Askew:
As president of Mental Health District Board 2, I am requesting your support in continued funding of the Baker Act.

Since the implementation of the Baker Act, we have seen a progressive change in attitudes towards and treatment of those with emotional problems.

I must, however, express my personal concern for the lack of controls on this money. I am appalled at the abuse of these funds by professional people from hospital administrative staff to the doctors. We now hospitalize every marginal case since the bill will be paid without question. Per diem rates for hospitals go as high as $80/day, which I feel is excessive. (Example: Shands Teaching Hospital) No standards or maximum rates have been established and really need to be to effectively utilize our tax dollars. These problems must be addressed to curtail this type abuse in future Baker Act funds.

 Donald D. Welton
District Board 2