On January 19, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation that will impose new regulations on cemeteries.

House Bill 1188 (PA 96-0863) was introduced in response to the scandal at Burr Oak Cemetery in Chicago. Cemetery workers are currently awaiting trial on felony charges that they dug up bodies and then resold burial plots.

Though religious and government cemeteries have been partially exempted from the legislation, approximately 12 percent of the cemetery industry will be fully regulated under the new law.

Republicans and several downstate Democrats opposed the measure. I understand the desire to ensure Illinois’ cemeteries are operating appropriately, but the legislation was rushed, and lacks specific information on new fees and licensure and education requirements, or how much they will cost.

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