Bill to Protect Graves from Desecration Wins Initial House OK

March 23, 2012

(Denver) – The House advanced a bill today to protect graves from desecration, defeating the Republican leadership’s attempt to gut the bill.

HB12-1068, sponsored by Rep. Wes McKinley (D-Cokedale), would require the board of directors of a nonprofit cemetery to include at least one owner of a burial space in that cemetery. The bill also gives owners the right to inspect the cemetery’s financial records and attend board meetings.

The bill was prompted by numerous reports of vandalism and neglect of grave sites at cemeteries in southeastern Colorado.

The House Republican leadership first let the bill gather dust on the calendar since January, then tried  to amend it to postpone implementation and remove the state attorney general’s office from cemetery oversight. The amendment failed and the bill passed its second-reading voice vote.

“After a long delay and with bipartisan support, we’ve done the decent thing here today,” Rep. McKinley said.

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