March 30, 2022 Advocacy Update: Striker Bill Introduced

After many months of asking for a continuation bill for the Arizona Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, today we received the language for the Board’s proposed continuation bill. Important pieces to note:

  • Legislatures would like to move the Funeral Board to a similar model like Colorado.
  • They do not agree with the overreach and licensing the Board imposes on the industry and want to move away from licensure and more to registration and certification.
  • As it stands now, there is no continuation bill and the agency would sunset at the end of June and have 6 months to close out the office.
  • What legislatures would like to do is draft a continuation bill for the agency that would continue the Board until next April with the understanding that the Board would no longer exist (Board staff would remain and be retained) to review licensure applications or complaints.  The structure would shift to registrations and certificates and all complaints would be investigated by staff and determined by OAH.
  • The continuation of the agency would be used for the Board and Board staff to work with legislation to see how the agency can be restructured – It is still not determined what agency the industry would be placed under.

Senator Vince Leach, in Legislative District 11, is using house engrossed HB2123 (currently titled “adult workforce diploma program”) as a striker bill in order to sunset the Arizona State Board of Funeral Directors and embalmers.

View Proposed Continuation Bill

This bill is on the agenda tomorrow, March 31, 2022 to vote to strike everything. The hearing is at 10:30 AM at the State Capitol in room SHR109

In our messaging, it is important that we communicate that we want to:

  • Protect the interests and status of previously “licensed” practitioners, as well as Recognize funeral directors as “licensed” professionals
  • Continue to elevate professional standards within the practice
  • Maintain a positive public image of the funeral service profession
  • Ensure the continuance of funeral service as a business
  • Protect our standards of practice to maintain health and safety
  • Promote fairness in competitive business practices
  • Give a voice to consumers to file complaints as necessary and avoid civil suits
    • Better public safety and consumer protection
  • Enforcement and disciplinary action for violation of laws, ethics
  • Elevates funeral service as a “Profession” vs. Occupation – extensive training and specialized knowledge vs. hands-on training and learned skills
  •  Recognition as a “licensed professional” carries prestige, status within community
  • Competency for potential employees – higher standard for entry into the profession, mortuary college, examination, apprenticeship
  •  Higher wages for licensed professionals – consistent with cost of living
  •  Career longevity and dedication to the funeral service profession
  •  Working with death cases across state lines – other state(s) do not recognize “unlicensed” personnel
  •  Levels the playing field with competitors – fairness among businesses
  • Professionalism “erodes” without licensing