House hears bill passed by Senate
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House hears bill passed by Senate

Date: March 4, 2009
By: Nathan Higgins
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 853, SS SB1

Intro: The Senate already passed a measure which would regulate the pre-need burial industry but a House committee proposed stricter protections for consumers. 

Nathan Higgins has more from Jefferson City.

RunTime:0:45
OutCue: SOC

The proposed regulation comes after 55,000 Missourians lost money for their pre-paid funerals when National Prearranged services failed.

The version revised by the House Professional Committee would give back every dollar invested by consumers instead of eighty-five percent under the Senate bill.

Missouri Funeral Trust Director Don Otto says the bill would also create transparent regulation.

 

Actuality:  OTTO.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: "It's regular and random auditing. We want both regular audits so that people know they can't sneak under the radar and nobody will know what they're doing. They know every so often somebody will be knocking at the door. And, we want random audits so they won't know when that'll happen."

Opponents of the bill are fine with regulation but said consumers should receive less money back on their investments.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Nathan Higgins.


Intro: The Senate already passed the bill but one funeral home owner called on House members Wednesday to get rid of pre-paid funeral contracts.

Nathan Higgins has more from Jefferson City.

RunTime:0:39
OutCue: SOC

In the House Professional Committee hearing, Blue Springs funeral director Marty Meyers said pre-paid burial contracts make it hard to compete with larger homes.

Meyers said pre-need coverage hurt his company for nearly fifty years and regulation won't help small funeral homes.

 

Actuality:  MEYERS.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: "Somebody's going to find a way to steal no matter what they do. Whether they make it eighty percent, ninety percent, or a hundred percent there's going to be somebody who will find a way to do it. So if you don't have it, people use you when they need you. So, just get rid of pre-need."

A member of the Missouri Funeral Directors Trust said regulation will ensure funeral homes no longer lose money over lost coverage.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Nathan Higgins.
 


Intro: National Prearranged Services lost 55,000 Missourians' pre-need funeral coverage but one funeral home owner said Wednesday that he wants the current law to stay the same.

Nathan Higgins has more from Jefferson City.

RunTime:0:41
OutCue: SOC

At the House Professional Committee hearing, St. Louis funeral home owner George Cline says the bill regulating the pre-need burial industry is unnecessary.

Cline said the government should have prevented the N-P-S bankruptcy.

 

Actuality:  CLINE2.WAV
Run Time: 00:10
Description: "The government and its departments had the ability to stop this N-P-S situation with the laws that are presently in effect and nobody-it's an issue of governance."

Cline said he blames N-P-S for failing consumers and the new regulations would have a negative effect on funeral homes and trusts. 

Bill sponsor Republican Delbert Scott said the regulation makes the industry safer and more legitimate for consumers.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Nathan Higgins.