Burns bill to increase pool of mortuary inspector candidates passes House

HARRISBURG, April 11 – The state Senate has received a bill introduced by state Rep. Frank Burns that would help ensure that funeral homes in the state are operating safely and according to state law.

Burns’ bill would reduce the minimum number of years of experience required from 10 to seven before an actively practicing licensed funeral director could apply to become a mortuary inspector. The current requirement hasn’t changed since the law was enacted in 1952.

“By reducing the number of years required before anyone can apply to become a funeral home inspector, we’re expanding the availability for more funeral directors to apply,” Burns said.

Burns said availability of inspector candidates – a vital role in ensuring funeral homes throughout the state are operating appropriately -- has been a problem in the funeral industry. Recently, an open inspector position in Philadelphia was vacant for more than a year despite multiple job postings, forcing just three inspectors to cover the entire state.

“The state’s mortuary inspectors are on the front lines, ensuring that our loved ones are cared for with the utmost respect and decency when it’s time to lay them to rest and that all health and public safety laws are followed. They’re also responsible for ensuring that those of us who pre-plan and pre-pay our funerals are adequately protected. It’s important that consumer protections are in place and followed appropriately,” he said.

The bill (H.B. 1819) passed the House in a bipartisan vote and is before the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee for review.