LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Outman that would update guidelines and requirements for funeral directors in Michigan.
“The issue was brought to my attention by a constituent who was having some issues with the way the law is currently written,” Outman said. “Rural communities often struggle with everyday issues due to population and geographic limitations. These issues are forcing rural funeral homes into difficult positions; some even risk closing their doors. This legislation is meant to help combat this issue and ensure folks in rural communities have access to such services.”
Currently, funeral directors are prohibited from managing more than one funeral home. Senate Bill 696 would allow a funeral director to manage two funeral homes in certain circumstances.
The legislation would allow an individual to manage one funeral home, while applying for a waiver to manage a second. For an individual to receive a waiver to manage a second home, they must live within 75 miles of each home; the homes must be within 90 miles of one another and in the same or adjacent counties; and the population density in both counties must be less than that of the state of Michigan.
“We wrestled with different ideas, but I believe the final product is a commonsense reform that will lend a great deal of help to funeral homes in my district and in rural communities across Michigan,” Outman said. “I am happy to see support from my colleagues and look forward to working with the members of the House to get this to Governor Whitmer’s desk.”
SB 696 will now go to the Michigan House of Representatives for consideration.