LS 8097 DATE PREPARED: Jan 19, 1999
BILL NUMBER: HB 1602 BILL AMENDED:
SUBJECT: Indigent funeral expenses.
FISCAL ANALYST: Ron Sobecki
PHONE NUMBER: 232-9854
FUNDS AFFECTED: GENERAL IMPACT: State
Summary of Legislation: This bill provides for payment of funeral expenses of certain indigent persons.
The bill establishes the minimum and maximum amounts to be paid for those expenses. It provides for an
annual increase in the maximum amounts based upon the Consumer Price Index.
This bill requires the County Office of Family and Children of the county in which the individual resided
before death, or the county in which the individual died if the county of residence is unknown, to pay the
expenses with reimbursement from the Division of Family and Children (DFC). The bill provides that the
county health officer is responsible for arranging the disposition of a decedent if there is no surviving spouse,
adult child, parent, or personal representative. It allows a funeral director to require the use of an alternative
container, to limit the time for visitation, and to refuse to provide cremation in certain situations. It repeals
current provisions regarding the payment of funeral expenses for certain indigent persons.
Effective Date: July 1, 1999.
Explanation of State Expenditures: This bill requires the County Office of Family and Children of the
county in which the individual resided before death, or the county in which the individual died if the county
of residence in unknown to pay the funeral expenses of indigent persons. The County Office of Family and
Children is to be reimbursed by the Division of Family and Children from funds appropriated to the DFC.
Currently indigent funeral expenses are paid by counties, townships, county coroners, or the County Office
of Family and Children depending on certain circumstances. The bill establishes the minimum and maximum
amounts to be paid for expenses and provides for an annual increase in the maximum amount based on the
Consumer Price Index. The fiscal impact to the state is unknown and is dependant upon the number of
indigent burials in a given year and the costs of the funerals. It is currently unknown how many indigent
burials there are in a given year.
Explanation of State Revenues:
Explanation of Local Expenditures: Under this provision, the funeral expenses of indigent persons that
may currently be paid by counties, townships, and county coroners would be paid by the County Office of
Family and Children from the county Welfare Fund. Amounts paid from the Welfare Fund for this purpose
would be reimbursed by the state, eliminating any additional expense from the county fund.
This bill would reduce county and township expenditures for those counties and townships that currently pay
for the funerals. The expenditure reduction would either allow resources to be utilized for other expenses
or allow a reduction in the property tax levy. The amount of expense reduction depends on each county's
and township's current expenses for indigent funeral services.
Explanation of Local Revenues:
State Agencies Affected: Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Family and Children.
Local Agencies Affected: Counties, townships, county coroner.