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SB24-173

Regulate Mortuary Science Occupations

Concerning the regulation of persons providing mortuary science services, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Session:
2024 Regular Session
Subject:
Professions & Occupations
Bill Summary

The bill requires an individual to obtain a license to practice as a funeral director, a mortuary science practitioner, an embalmer, a cremationist, or a natural reductionist (mortuary science professional). The director of the division of professions and occupations (director) will promulgate rules on licensing mortuary science professionals. To be licensed, an individual must submit an application, pay an application fee, obtain a fingerprint-based criminal history record check, not have been subject to discipline in another state or convicted of a disqualifying crime, and meet the following qualifications:

  • For a funeral director, the applicant must have graduated from an approved mortuary science school, have successfully passed the arts section of the national board examination, and have served an apprenticeship of one year or longer;
  • For a mortuary science practitioner, the applicant must have graduated from an approved mortuary science school, have successfully passed both the arts and science sections of the national board examination, and have served an apprenticeship of one year or longer;
  • For an embalmer, the applicant must have graduated from an approved mortuary science school, have successfully passed the science section of the national board examination, and have served an apprenticeship of one year or longer; and
  • For a cremationist or natural reductionist, the applicant must have received official certification as a crematory operator from the Cremation Association of North America, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, or a successor organization.

The bill grants an applicant who is a current practitioner a provisional license if the applicant does not meet these requirements. To obtain a provisional license, the applicant must have obtained at least 6,500 hours of work experience, have served an apprenticeship of one year or longer, and pass a fingerprint-based criminal history record check. If an individual holds a provisional license at least 24 months without being subject to discipline, the person qualifies for full licensure.

Administrative procedures for license renewal and fees are established. A license holder must obtain 6 hours of continuing education to renew a license. The continuing education must include:

  • One hour covering the applicable law;
  • One hour covering applicable ethics; and
  • One hour covering public health requirements.

The current law covering title protection is updated to require a person to hold the appropriate license to use the title "funeral director", "mortuary science practitioner", "embalmer", "cremationist", or " natural reductionist".

The director may investigate and discipline license holders. The bill establishes grounds for disciplining an applicant or license holder and authorizes the director to take the following disciplinary actions against an applicant or a license holder:

  • Refuse to issue a license or impose conditions on a license;
  • Suspend or revoke a license;
  • Issue a letter of admonition;
  • Issue a confidential letter of concern;
  • Require additional training; or
  • Impose a fine not to exceed $5,000 per violation.

The director may seek an injunction to stop violations of the bill. An employer of a mortuary science professional must report to the director any termination, disciplinary action, or resignation if any of these actions were taken for conduct that violates the bill. The director may bring an action for the enforcement of an order of the director.

The regulation of the practice of a mortuary science professional sunsets on September 1, 2031. Before the repeal, the regulation will undergo a sunset review and report.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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Bill Text

Sponsors

Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Sen. B. Gardner, Sen. D. Roberts
Rep. M. Soper, Rep. B. Titone

Sponsor

Sen. N. Hinrichsen, Sen. J. Marchman

Co-sponsor

Upcoming Schedule

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The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details