Funeral service establishments; defines 'manager of record.' (SB1424)

Introduced By

Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Funeral service establishments; manager of record. Defines "manager of record" as a person who manages and handles all operations of a licensed funeral service establishment and sets out the conditions under which a funeral service licensee or a funeral director may serve as a manager of record. The bill requires that funeral service establishments employ a full-time manager of record. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/13/2021Presented and ordered printed 21102527D
01/13/2021Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
01/15/2021Impact statement from DPB (SB1424)
01/20/2021Senate committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
01/27/2021Passed by indefinitely in General Laws and Technology (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)


Dianne Rencsok writes:

The Embalmer's expertise is specialized and separate from the skills needed for management. The need for recruiting new practitioners for an aging population recognizes the benefit of offering the Embalmer as a separate profession. There are laws and standards specifically applicable to embalming which negate the need for administrative management. Additionally the Funeral Directors Board conducts inspections and has an extensive list of requirements that assure the Embalmer and the needed facilities are in compliance with those laws and standards.

There is no reason to restrict a Funeral Director from becoming a manager of record for a funeral service establishment. The regulations created by the Funeral Directors and Embalmers board describe the duties of a manager of record as administrative and do not include the scientific aspects required by an embalmers.

The regulation states
" 18VAC65-20-171. Responsibilities of the Manager of Record.
A. Every funeral establishment shall have a manager of record who is employed full time by and in charge of the establishment.
B. The manager shall be fully accountable for the operation of the establishment as it pertains to the laws and regulations governing the practice of funeral services, to include but not be limited to:
1. Maintenance of the facility within standards established in this chapter;
2. Retention of reports and documents as prescribed by the board in 18VAC65-20-700 during the period in which he serves as manager of record; and
3. Reporting to the board of any changes in information as required by 18VAC65-20-60"

Passing this legislation would further limit application for a profession whose importance has been made self-evident in the past year.

Isabel Berney writes:

There is no need for this bill. A funeral home should be able to contract embalming services and not even have an embalmer on its staff. The manager of record just needs administrative skills. There should be two separate licenses: one for funeral director, one for embalmers.

This bill should be killed.

Philip Olson writes:

I am the son, grandson, and great-grandson of funeral directors who ran a successful family funeral business for nearly 100 years.

It is not in the public good to require funeral home managers to be skilled at embalming. Embalming is a highly specialized, technical and scientific skill that is not essentially related to the management of a funeral home, or to a funeral director's capacity to provide the wide range of funeral service options that do not include embalming.

Passing this proposed legislation would place unreasonable limits (or requirements) on professionals whose important work has become all the clearer during the course of the present pandemic.

Please say No to SB1424. Let funeral professionals serve the public without requiring training in a skill that has been decreasing in demand for many years.

Phil Olsoon

Gene Gardner writes:

My wife of 48 years passed away in September 2020. During the arrangements, I had an opportunity to speak with the funeral director about the challenges to his business in general (such as an aging population) and in the new Covid-19 environment.

They are facing a shortage of available staff to serve their clients and have had to rely on other funeral homes to take on some of the workload. Making arrangements has to happen in a very timely fashion after death. Anything that would restrict the number of businesses or available staff would only make things worse.

SB1424 requires that funeral directors can only serve as a manager of record if they also have certification as an embalmer. There is no reason for this other than to help larger establishments that have a combination director/embalmer reduce competition from other firms. There is nothing that uniquely qualifies embalmers to better oversee the business, comply with state regulation, or serve clients.

My wife was cremated (no embalming). Embalming is a declining choice for consumers. There is no valid reason to prop up practices seeking prestige for outdated and increasingly irrelevant practices. What your constituents in this current climate need are more alternative choices and lower prices.

These families (like me) do not need some kind of occupation licensing restrictions to cause shortages and rising costs in their time of grief.

Sandra Schlaudecker writes:

I am writing in opposition of SB 1424, proposing licensed funeral directors who want to open a funeral home will also have to get an embalmers license. Embalming is expertise that has no bearing on a funeral director’s capacity to provide a wide range of funeral service options other than embalming. And having an embalmer’s skill is not necessary for hiring and managing employees who are trained embalmers. Funeral homes should be able to contract embalming services, if they so choose, without being required to have an embalmer on staff. Embalming’s popularity has been declining steadily for decades, partially due to the horrible, toxic chemicals used. Roughly half of Virginia’s residents now choose cremation where embalming is not required. Certain religions prohibit embalming. Funeral homes that cater to these religions will never require embalming so should not be required to have an embalmer on staff. Please do not pass SB 1424.

Ben Crawford writes:

I respectfully ask that SB 1424 be defeated. This is a classic example of the too many rules, regulations and laws that hold business back, particularly small business. It restricts their development, increases their --and our costs, diminishes entrepreneurship, and creates more (and unnecessary) government. Some new laws ae needed and necessary but this one is definitely not in that category. There is more related information in the last two chapters of my recent book on volunteerism and leadership.