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CFO Gallagher Lauds Governor’s Signing of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services Act


CONTACT: Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE-Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher said today that Governor Jeb Bush's signing of the Florida Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services Act gives Floridians more choices and more protections when buying funeral and cemetery services. The Legislature named it after the late Sen. Howard E. Futch, whose body had to be relocated because of a cemetery mistake.

"Families have enough on their minds when putting a loved one to rest," said Gallagher, who also oversees the Department of Financial Services, which will now regulate all funeral and cemetery services. "They should not have to worry whether their funeral services provider will make a mistake."

The act requires cemetery operators to survey and plot new grounds, establish minimum grave sizes, and put names on vaults. It also establishes a monument dealer inspection program, allows monument companies to join funeral homes, cemeteries and cremation service companies in the pre-need funeral services industry, and consolidates the regulation of the industry under the department.

Oversight had been divided between the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) and the Department of Banking and Finance (DBF) until January 2003, when DBF merged with the former Department of Insurance to form the Department of Financial Services.

Now, the industry will be regulated under a newly created Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services within the Department of Financial Services and under one new consolidated board of directors. The consolidation will become effective October 1, 2005.

Sen. Ken Pruitt (R-Port St. Lucie) and Rep. Don Brown (R-DeFuniak Springs) sponsored the legislation, which passed as Senate Bill 528.