By April Remedies
Forest Park Cemetery & Funeral Home
Shreveport, LA

The end of yet another historical Presidential election and the involvement of voters and politicians in determining our nation’s path have brought awareness of the need to become and continue to be active in the legislative aspects regarding their businesses and their future success. Within the death care industry, we continue to be faced with overcoming antiquated rulings that hinder success and growth, rules that no longer address the trends of consumers and the seeking of additional, unnecessary federal regulation by legislators. The need to become active and aware is not just a concern that should be at the forefront of small business owner’s minds but should also be a concern for associations and its membership. This legislative year proved to be a success in addressing a number of these concerns.

This year legislative matters spanned from a continuation of the lawsuit involving intra-state sales of caskets, assessment of drainage fees on cemeteries, the ability for cemeteries to charge documentation fees and the strengthening of trusting laws to ensure future consumer protection. While the gamut of items is far spread, it goes without saying that we as an industry have a number of items that we are facing that will need continued observation and action.

In addition to the numerous items that the industry continues to address for business growth, there is a continuance of issues regarding a push for increased regulatory control on a federal level. The ICCFA developed 28 model guidelines, several years ago, for state laws and regulations. These 28 model guidelines combine a level of sensitivity to consumer protection issues with the need for all industry members to conduct operations according to sound business practices. In an effort to continue to keep increased federal regulation at bay, the ICCFA is urging all industry members to be proactive in adopting these recommendations.

In a time where there are so many uncertainties facing the death care industry, it is an opportune time for industry members and associations to join together to address the issues and concerns in a consolidated manner. Likewise, it is an opportune time to increase association membership by advising those in our markets / regions of the many benefits of industry associations.