Home Activities Lobbying and Regulatory Meetings Texas Funeral Service Commission (TFSC) Report from President Jim Bates on the TFSC Quarterly Meeting 6/17/08
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Report from President Jim Bates on the TFSC Quarterly Meeting 6/17/08 PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 20 June 2008 01:06

Texas Funeral Service Commission Quarterly Meeting

 

This was the most unusual and drama-filled meeting I have ever been to. Media was there and the room was over capacity.

 

The draw was the issue of landlocked cemeteries where landowners are not allowing access to families, although the law states that reasonable access must be granted. "Reasonable" of course is the pivot word on the issue.

For the first time, we heard the landowners' side. What has happened is that landowners have bought places with old cemeteries on them, then turned the land into lucrative hunting leases, raising trophy bucks that bring $5,000 to $15,000 each when a hunter bags one. This is over and above the typical hunting lease fees. The landowner puts a lot of money into his setup with high fences, deer feeders, etc. to keep "Big Buck Deer" in.  But when reasonable access is granted to these old cemeteries, the families are respectful and careful crossing the property, but it makes it an avenue for poachers to come in and poach the trophy buck, steal the feeders, etc.

So... the issue is at a real tough place to solve.


Another issue covered was the preneed insurance debacle. A funeral home in Corsicana was caught red-handed not sending in the preneed money to the insurance company. They were busted because of the problem with National Prearranged Services that we have been working on, has cast the spotlight wide and far. The FH in Corsicana was not doing business with NPS, but they had misappropriated funds themselves. But... when caught, they paid up to the insurance company as required to hopefully settle the problem. But Banking and Insurance Commissions came down on them with almost a $200,000 in fines and penalties. The funeral home owners were begging forgiveness from the Funeral Commission so that the Funeral Commission would perhaps intervene with Banking and Insurance to reduce the fines.

The body donation project was discussed and there will probably be one more unscheduled meeting in El Paso with Senator Shapleigh because there is a new medical school going in at El Paso, and he wants to know the ropes on getting the body parts, etc, for the new school. He is also a potential ally on the floor when it comes time to do the bill in 2009.

 

Wrap-up

 

This has been kinda wordy, but our point is that the issues for the Texas Funeral Service Commission have exponentially increased in 2008. TFSC desperately needs our help, and mentioned us several times during the meeting as a cooperative ally and resource for the various issues under study, discussion and solution.

 

We are in the right place at the right time.

Our working and networking is doing a great deal for the good.

 

We are a well respected organization.

 

Sincerely,

Jim Bates

 
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