Advocacy Update: September 13 Stakeholder Meeting Recap

Yesterday, September 13th, was the kick off of stake holder meeting discussions surrounding the Arizona State Board of Funeral Directors & Embalmers and a regulation model.

This first meeting’s intent was to hear from the private sector, meaning funeral professionals, as well as other interested parties concerning regulation in the state of Arizona. We are thankful to those who came to represent our profession today, Donna Backhaus Program Director at CGCC Mortuary Science Program; Al Asta, President of Whitney Murphy; Sabrina Messinger, Owner of Messinger Funeral Homes; Jim Ahearne, CEO of Messinger Funeral Homes; Brad Hansen Owner/CEO of Hansen Mortuaries; Chris Owen, General Manager of Hansen Mortuaries and Karoline Davidson, Director of Community Care at Bunkers Family Funeral HOmes.

Also at this meeting was representation from SCI, policy advisors to both the house and senate, Representative Kaiser, and representation from both the Goldwater Institute and the Institute for Justice.

Our approach was one of hearing what the legislators are hoping to achieve, as well as educate those who are not in our profession on what it means to be a funeral professional.

The question that was asked of us is “How do we want to be regulated?”

There was discussion around different models within Arizona as well as nationally, and we offered our input on what we felt would work for us and what absolutely would not. At this time, this was just an informative session. There is no indication of a formal direction or official changes that will be made.

The next step is for us to create a high-level, bullet point list of the type of regulation we are looking for, what we feel is the most important aspects of current model to maintain, what can be altered and what can be eliminated.

The next meeting will invite back yesterday’s stakeholders, bring in the staff and members of the Arizona State Board, and then other potential state agencies that could potentially house our regulatory model.

If you have any questions or would like to share your ideas of what good, functioning regulation would look like to you, please do not hesitate to reach out.

As always, we have our members best interests in mind and we are dedicated to encourage education in our profession, promoting high ethical standards and advocate for our members & the families we serve.