The Governor of the State of Illinois Pat Quinn has signed the Illinois Cemetery Oversight Act. This was done on the recommendation of the Cemetery Oversight Task Force after public hearings in Illinois in 2009 on the Burr Oak Cemetery Scandal.
This is a leap forward for the Funeral and Cemetery Consumers in the State of Illinois.
The Burr Oak Cemetery Scandal occurred in July 2009. This was a horrific situation in which over 300 graves were desecrated funds were pocketed from consumers. Four people were arrested in this Scandal.
This Act will make Illinois one of the leading pro-consumer states with respect to cemetery oversight,” said Joshua Slocum, Executive Director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance.-via www.illinois.gov
Under the new Law Managers of private,cemeteries(non religious) are required to obtain a license through the state. To obtain the cemetery license, applicants must pass an exam, provide evidence of character, and comply with continuing education requirements.
A “Worker’s Statement,” is require for other Cemetery workers.detailing ones work history and other evidence of character.
The act also requires the creation of a statewide database to keep record of every burial. This will assist future generations in finding the location of a loved one’s remains and will help the state discover unlawful re-burials. It also requires cemeteries to post a sign in their office that contains the IDFPR consumer hotline number and information on how to file a complaint.via www.illinois.gov
Some of the activities the Cemetery Oversight Act prohibits are
charging for services not performed
failure to properly maintain the cemetery grounds.
You can read more on the Historic Regulations of this new law here.
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The law is somewhat limited in it’s scope because it does not apply to religious Cemeteries.