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Funeral Legislation Introduced in 2017

Read more about these bills here.



Assembly Bill 967 (Gloria). Passed both houses and was signed by the Governor.  This law, commencing July 1, 2020, requires the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau to license and regulate hydrolysis facilities and hydrolysis facility managers, and would enact requirements applicable to hydrolysis facilities substantially similar to those applicable to crematoria.


Assembly Bill 242 (Arambula and Petterson) was signed by the Governor on September 11, 2017. It requires the Dept. of Public Health to require the person completing the death certificate to record whether the decedent was ever in the Armed Forces of the U.S. It also requires the Department to compile a report on veteran suicides in California, beginning Jan. 1, 2019 for the California legislature and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.


Senate Bill 547 (Hill), Approved by Governor on Oct. 2, 2017. Amends Sec. 7635 of Bus. & Prof. Code to require anyone employed by licensed funeral or cemetery establishment who consults with families of deceased to arrange services should  have documented training once every three years about federal and state laws, rules and regulations, coroner, anatomical gifts, etc.  It became effective Jan. 1, 2018.


Assembly Bill 356 (Bigelow). If human remains are found within 50 miles of the California border and the preferred funeral home is within 30 miles of the border in the adjacent state, the remains are released to that funeral establishment if the Coroner has no forensic interest. The Coroner with jurisdiction over the area in which the remains were found who releases the remains to such an out-of-state funeral establishment shall, within 72 hours after the remains were found, file a death certificate with the local registrar. Governor signed Sept. 1, 2017.


Senate Bill 89 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), This Human Services bill was approved by  the Governor on June 27, 2017. It amends Section 11212 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and deals with paying for the cost of burial plots and funeral expenses incurred by foster children who were receiving AFDC-FC or Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Program payments at the time of death. The state, through the county welfare department, will pay the plot owner and funeral home directly for costs incurred. The foster parents or the funeral home/cemetery has to ask the welfare department,  It also pays expenses if the child’s death was due to alleged criminal negligence or criminal action on the part of the foster parents.


Senate Bill 926 (Skinner) concerns Cemetery Endowment Funds. If a cemetery authority establishes an endowment care fund, it could automatically use a net income distribution method for distribution of funds. This amendment would also authorize the authority to use either the net income distribution method or unitrust distribution method after Jan. 1, 2020.  Cemetery and Funeral Bureau will monitor the new method to see if it meets the conditions and report on its effectiveness. Governor signed law Oct. 13, 2017.


Assembly Bill 1516 (Cunningham) under Maintenance of the Codes amended Chapter 561, Sec. 27521 of the Government Code regarding performance of postmortem examinations  upon an unidentified body by a coroner, medical examiner, or other agency. It went into effect Jan. 1, 2018.


Assembly Bill 1381 (Obernolte). Governor signed July 31, 2017.  Amends laws about training of apprentice embalmers. They can now be under the tutelage of a self-employed trade embalmer as well as an experienced embalmer employed at an approved funeral establishment.


Assembly B ill 900 (Fletcher). Amended Victims of Crime laws to allow compensation to the victims equal to loss of income or support that a victim incurs as a direct result of the victim’s deprivation of liberty during the crime. Enrolled Aug. 31, 2018.


Senate Bill 432 (Pan). About Emergency Medical Services. In the event of the death of a person with a reportable communicative disease or condition, the health facility or county health officer shall notify the funeral director charged with removing the decent from the health facility of the reportable disease immediately prior to the release. Amends Section 1797.188 of the Health and Safety Code.  Approved by Governor on Oct. 2, 2017.



BILLS NOT PASSED 2017 or 2018


Senate Bill 247 introduced by Sen. Moorlach on Feb 6, 2017 and amended in the Senate in March and April of 2017, but died in committee. Reconsideration granted. It was intended to reduce barriers to entry into occupations that do not pose a significant risk to public health and safety.   It would have removed the registration requirement for cremated remains disposers by the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau.  They  still would  have had to dispose of remains within 60 days, provided address and phone of the storage facility for the cremated remains, free from exposure to the elements. Also submit to random inspections of the facilities.

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