HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Thursday that will allow people visitation rights at privately owned cemeteries.
The bill was created in response to an ongoing dispute involving a cemetery in Berks County.
The owners of land that included Rock Cemetery in Caernarvon Township posted signs banning people from visiting their loved ones.
"This was a moral issue and we took action to correct something that was inherently wrong, said state Rep. Mark Gillen, a Berks County Republican, who wrote the measure.
The law, which will take effect in 60 days, will grant people "reasonable access" to visit grave sites.
"I'm so pleased to be able to tell these local families their right to visit their loved ones' final resting place is now cemented in state law," Gillen said. "It is unfortunate, but in some unique situations a law is necessary to compensate for a lack of human decency, morality or considerate behavior."
Cemetery owners are able to establish reasonable access procedures,a s well as designate the frequency, hours, and duration of cemetery visits, Gillen said.
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