JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers want to impose more oversight on the funeral industry.
Legislation that could be debated next week in the Senate would subject funeral contract sellers to regular and random state audits. It also would require them to keep larger amounts of money in trust and to ensure consumers greater refunds if they cancel their contracts.
The bill was prompted by the collapse of St. Louis-based National Prearranged Services and its affiliated Texas-based insurance companies. Those companies are now being investigated by the FBI.
Funeral homes want a stronger law to protect both their reputation and their customers. But the legislation has prompted division among funeral directors. Some say the bill isn't tough enough; others fear it's too strict.