2007 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Gollott, Hewes
AN ACT TO REQUIRE CEMETERIES TO BE REGISTERED AND TO PROVIDE THE NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF THE OWNERS; TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE BOARD OF FUNERAL SERVICE TO MAINTAIN REGISTER OF CEMETERIES; TO AMEND SECTIONS 73-11-49 AND 73-11-63, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) All cemeteries in the state shall register with the Mississippi State Board of Funeral Service. The registration shall contain the following information:
(a) The name of the cemetery, the date of incorporation, if incorporated, and the location and boundaries of the cemetery.
(b) The name and addresses of the owners of the cemetery, or the officers and directors of the corporation.
(2) No later than thirty (30) days prior to the sale or transfer of any cemetery required to be registered, or the sale or transfer of the controlling interest in a cemetery corporation, the transferor shall notify the board and submit such information as may be required by the board.
(3) Any change in the addresses of the owners, officers or directors shall be reported to the board within ten (10) days of such change.
SECTION 2. Section 73-11-49, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-11-49. (1) The board is authorized to select from its own membership a chairman, vice chairman and secretary-treasurer. Election of officers shall be held at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the fiscal year.
(2) All members of the board shall be reimbursed for their necessary traveling expenses and mileage incident to their attendance upon the business of the board, as provided in Section 25-3-41, and shall receive a per diem as provided in Section 25-3-69 for every day actually spent upon the business of the board, not to exceed twenty (20) days per year unless authorized by a majority vote of the board.
(3) All monies received by the board shall be paid into a special fund in the State Treasury to the credit of the board and shall be used by the board for paying the traveling and necessary expenses and per diem of the members of the board while on board business, and for paying other expenses necessary for the operation of the board in carrying out and involving the provisions of this chapter.
(4) The board shall employ an administrator of the board, who shall have complete supervision and be held responsible for the direction of the office of the board, shall have supervision over field inspections and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, shall have such other duties as may be assigned by the board, shall be responsible and answerable to the board. The board may employ such other clerical assistants and employees as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, and the terms and conditions of such employment shall be determined by the board in accordance with applicable state law and rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board.
(5) The board, when it shall deem necessary, shall be represented by an assistant attorney general duly appointed by the Attorney General of this state, and may also request and receive the assistance of other state agencies and county and district attorneys, all of whom are authorized to provide the assistance requested.
(6) The board shall have subpoena power in enforcing the provisions of this chapter.
(7) The board shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for the transaction of its business in accordance with the provisions of the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law (Section 25-43-1 et seq.). No rule or regulation promulgated by the board affecting any person or agency outside the board shall be adopted, amended or repealed without a public hearing on the proposed action. The board shall give written notice at least thirty (30) days in advance of any meeting with respect to any proposed adoption, amendment or repeal of a rule or regulation of the board, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, as well as notifying the duly elected presidents and secretaries of the Mississippi Funeral Directors Association and the Mississippi Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, or their successors.
(8) The board may designate the administrator to perform inspections under this chapter, may employ an individual to perform such inspections or may contract with any other individual or entity to perform such inspections. Any individual or entity that performs such inspections shall have the right of entry into any place in which the business or practice of funeral service and/or funeral directing is carried on or advertised as being carried on, for the purpose of inspection, for the investigation of complaints coming before the board and for such other matters as the board may direct.
(9) The board shall not adopt any rule or regulation pertaining to the transportation of dead bodies, and shall not adopt any rule or regulation requiring dead bodies to be embalmed except as required by the State Department of Health's Rule 43 or any subsequent rule adopted by the department.
(10) The board shall keep a register of cemeteries in this state and the names and addresses of the owners, officers or directors of each cemetery. The board may adopt rules and regulations to implement the registration program and may assess a registration fee not to exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
SECTION 3. Section 73-11-63, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-11-63. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize the regulation or licensing of cemeteries or cemetery chapels by the board, except the registration program of cemeteries and except the regulation or licensing of any funeral establishment operated by a cemetery. In addition, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent or interfere with the ceremonies, customs, religious rites or religion of any people, denomination, or sect, or to prevent or interfere with any religious denomination, sect or anybody composed of persons of a denomination, or to prevent or interfere with any church or synagogue from having its committee or committees prepare human bodies for burial or the families, friends or neighbors of deceased persons who prepare and bury their dead without charge.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.