Monday, April 6, 2009

Push Back

The national group Funeral Consumers Alliance says a bill now being debated in the Colorado General Assembly is really a move by industry groups to protect their profits, but at a cost to consumers.

A bill in the Colorado General Assembly is getting national attention. HB 1202 seeks to regulate those who provide for the final disposition of dead bodies. If the bill passes through Appropriations, it will head to the House floor.

Critics say the bill has confusing and contradictory language, extreme and unreasonable training requirements for embalmers, funeral directors, and cremationists.

Among the provisions in the bill are regulations that require 4,000 hours of interning on embalming bodies. That means almost two years, which critics say is excessive. Another is you want to register as a funeral director, not doing any embalming or cremation, you still would have to learn them and complete the necessary training.

The Boulder Weekly reported that Rep. Nancy Todd admits that she consulted the Colorado Funeral Directors Association for assistance in the drafting of this bill and received input from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, but not any consumer advocacy groups during the process of writing the bill.

The industry response is that bill seeks to protect consumers against untrained, inexperienced providers, and to recognize individuals who have demonstrated commitment to standards and education within the profession.

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