Funeral services; sale of caskets. (HB1828)

Introduced By

Del. Bobby Orrock (R-Thornburg)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Funeral services; sale of caskets. Provides that no person other than a licensed funeral establishment or funeral service licensee shall offer for sale or sell a casket unless such offer or sale is made at-need. The bill provides that the requirement that a funeral service licensee accept a casket provided by a third party applies only in cases in which funeral arrangements are made at-need. When funeral arrangements are made preneed, a funeral service licensee is not required to accept caskets provided by third parties. The bill also clarifies the definition of "next of kin" as it relates to other relatives of blood relationship. Amends § 54.1-2800, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Status

01/11/2019: Awaiting a Vote in the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee

History

DateAction
01/02/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19101662D
01/02/2019Committee
01/02/2019Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions
01/10/2019Impact statement from VDH (HB1828)
01/11/2019Assigned HWI sub: Subcommittee #2

Comments

Sandra Schlaudecker writes:

I am in favor of being able to provide my own, made by a craftsman or purchased on the internet, casket when I die. Only being able to purchase one from a funeral home or director is too restrictive. Most, 49, states allow this. Virginia needs to also allow third party caskets to be part of one's funeral. Captive markets are not good for consumers.

Dianne Rencsok writes:

Funeral homes provide many services to people having to make arrangements for a loved one. Caskets availability is one such service.
However,the caskets they provide are purchased from some retail provider. The funeral home's service is limited to placing the body into the casket. There is no skill or licensing requirement that limits who does this action. In today's world, many people are conscientiously making decisions for their end of life. Sometimes this takes the form of actually personalizing the casket or shroud in which they wish their body buried. There are caskets available for purchase that can be used for storage or as a book case until required for their planned purpose.

Several year's ago, Virginia's Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers had a "Guidance Document" that required caskets be purchased only from Funeral homes. This document was rescinded when the board was provided with information on legal action in another state which had a similar requirement. That legal action resulted in great expense and waste of tax-payer money. The Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to agree to use a casket purchased elsewhere and doesn't allow them to charge a fee for so doing.

This legislation should not waste any more of our legislator's time. It should not proceed any further.

Isabel Berney writes:

This bill is very unfair to consumers. The Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule clearly states that Funeral Homes must accept a casket from a third party, with no restrictions. If I want to construct my own casket and keep it in my basement until it is needed, that should be allowed. Please kill this bill.

Ernie Bentley writes:

I find it ironic that a republican would introduce a bill which limits businesses and removes some freedom of choice from consumers.

Under this bill, consumers who preplan their funerals by prepurchasing caskets will discover that their local funeral home does not have to accept the casket. Funeral homes can only accept caskets from clients which have been purchased after the client has died. And of course the family and mourners have too many other concerns at that time to be able to look for alternative sources of economical caskets.

The only obvious beneficiary to this bill are funeral homes which will have a tighter grip on their market. Consumers will lose the ability to preplan their funerals and purchase caskets at more affordable rates.

Shame on the endorsers for trying to reduce consumers rights and increase the profits of the funeral industry.

Philip Olson writes:

This bill should not pass committee. It is a bill that would only benefit funeral service licensees, without providing any benefit to the citizens of the Commonwealth who would be subject to the law.

The bill's restriction of the FTC Funeral Rule* to "at need" cases places is an arbitrary restriction that would unfairly burden grieving families who would prefer to purchase caskets from wholesalers or retailers other than funeral licensees (even if those grieving families were to choose to pay for the services that funeral service licensees are specially trained to provide).

This bill places severe and unfair restrictions on a growing segment of market actors--namely, casket sellers who are not funeral service licensees--by limiting those actors' participation in marketplace competition to a very specific period of time. The bill also fails to provide a principled basis for limiting casket sales in the manner proposed.

* https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/truth-advertising/funeral-rule

Philip Olson writes:

This bill should not pass committee. The bill would only benefit funeral service licensees, without providing any benefit to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia who would be subject to the law.

The bill's "at need" restriction on the FTC Funeral Rule's provisions regarding casket sales is an arbitrary restriction that would unfairly burden grieving families who do not wish to purchase a casket from funeral service licensees, even if those same grieving families were to choose to hire funeral service licensees to provide other services: namely, the services for which funeral service licensees are specially trained.

The bill severely and unfairly limits a growing segment of market actors by restricting their participation in the marketplace to a specific period of time.

Moreover, the bill fails to provide any principled basis for restricting casket sales in the manner specified in the bill.

Linda Plaut writes:

Please say "No" to this bill. It impacts consumers at their most vulnerable time and adds to what is already unbearable grief.

Karen Hudzinski-Beach writes:

Vote “no” on this bill. Families should have full flexibility to choose the goods and services that best meet their needs without undue restriction and monopolization by licensed funeral service retailerz.

Linda Plaut writes:

This bill is unfair to consumers and should not pass committee.

Linda Plaut writes:

This bill is unfair to consumers, who should have the right to choose a casket for their loved ones.

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