Funeral Industry representatives urge for more regulation of the industry
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Funeral Industry representatives urge for more regulation of the industry

Date: January 26, 2009
By: Abby Grimmett
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB1

Intro: Representatives from Missouri's funeral industry urged Senators to increase regulation in order to ensure legitimate pre-need contracts.

Abigail Grimmett (GRIMM-it) has more from the State Capitol.

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Legislation was prompted for regulation after 55,000 Missourians lost coverage when the St. Louis based pre-need corporation National Prearranged Services, failed to appropriate funding. No witnesses were present to testify against Senate Bill One, Sponsored by Republican Senator Delbert Scott. Scott said the bill would ensure buyers receive the funeral they purhcased, are able to return or transfer the contract, allow funerals to participate in pre-need contracts and balance paperwork and fees.
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Description: We have heard lots of complaining from funeral homes who complain about fufilling their contract, even though they do it, but it's not very profitable, sometimes its a loss. But it's part of the business as its done in Missouri at this point.

Under current law, Missouri Funeral homes can be responsible for providing funeral services they don't even know about because arrangements were made in a pre-need contract.
Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abigail Grimmett, 1120 KMOX News.   

Intro: After some Missouri funeral home leaders urged Senators to regulate the industry, one senator expressed his concern that it is possible to have too much regulation.

Abigail Grimmett (GRIMM-it) has more from the State Capitol. 

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Last year a reported 55,000  Missourians lost pre-need burial coverage after a St. Louis Based corporation, National Prearranged Services, went bankrupt. Southern Missouri Republican Senator Delbert Scott, who sponsored Senate Bill one, said it would ensure Missourians get what they pay for when entering into these contracts. However, Republican Senator Matt Bartle is reluctant about licensing and registering more industries.
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Description: We just had some people of bad moral character out there. We just got to be cautious when creating licenses. I worry someday you're going to have to have a license to parent your children.

If the bill passes, providers of pre-need contracts have to bee licensed by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and funeral directors.
Other qualifications specified in the bill include having a high school diploma, and having "good moral character."
From the State Capitol, I'm Abigail Grimmett, 1120, KMOX News.
Intro: In response to 50,000 Missourians losing pre-need burial coverage through pre-need contracts, there is now a senate bill to regulate funeral homes and these contracts.

Abigail Grimmett (GRIMM-it) has more from the state capitol.

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OutCue: SOC Under current Missouri law, just about anyone can be a provider of pre-need funeral contracts.
Among several Funeral Directors asking for regulation of the industry was Todd Mann, a member of the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.Mann says licensing will ensure these contracts will be made by trusted third-party individuals.
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Description: Say we work at McDonald's or Dairy Queen or Sonic. They could be working there today and tomorrow they could be selling funeral plans for a home. And, you know, is that what we feel in this state should be happening?

If this bill passes, providers must be licensed by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.Democratic Senator Jeff Smith says the current language of the bill does not necessarily do enough to protect against pre-need contracts becoming unfulfilled like they have in the past.Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abigail Grimmett, 1120, KMOX News.