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April 17, 2024

Bill to Regulate Colorado’s Funeral Homes and Crematories Passes House

DENVER, CO – The House today passed legislation to regulate Colorado’s funeral homes and crematories. HB24-1335 would extend and expand regulations of the Mortuary Science Code to ensure Colorado’s funeral homes and crematories are regularly inspected by a state agency. HB24-1335 passed by a vote of 57 to 3. 

“We need to ensure our state’s funeral homes and crematories are safe, well-maintained and following the law,” said Rep. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada. “This bipartisan legislation would expand and extend the Department of Regulatory Agencies’ ability to inspect funeral homes and crematories. Colorado has been at the center of many egregious instances of fabricated cremation records and the mishandling of bodies. We need to ensure our funeral homes and crematories are operating within the law – our public health and safety depends upon it and our loved ones deserve it.” 

HB24-1335, also sponsored by Representative Matt Soper, would require regular, state-operated inspection of funeral homes and crematories. This bill expands and continues certain portions of the Mortuary Science Code in the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), which is scheduled to be repealed on July 1, 2024. The bill also makes the following changes to the program:

  • Requires inspection of funeral homes and crematories on a routine basis, including after businesses have ceased operations

  • Allows inspections to occur outside business hours

  • Expands rulemaking authority for DORA

  • Adds failure to respond to complaints as a grounds for discipline 

  • Authorizes DORA to suspend the registration for persons who do not comply with orders following a complaint or investigation

This legislation would extend the regulation of portions of the Mortuary Science Code for five years, until September 1, 2029. 

In addition to HB24-1335, another bill moving through the legislature (SB24-173) would require a license to work as a funeral director, a mortuary science practitioner, an embalmer, a cremationist, or a natural reductionist. 

In recent years, several funeral homes and operators in Colorado have been at the root of disturbing instances of mishandling human remains and bodies. These bills aim to add consistent regulation of Colorado’s funeral home industry to ensure public health and safety.

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