senate Bill S1615B

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to the disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of a veteran

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 06, 2014 referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Mar 03, 2014 advanced to third reading
Feb 27, 2014 2nd report cal.
Feb 26, 2014 1st report cal.175
Feb 10, 2014 print number 1615b
amend and recommit to corporations, authorities and commissions
Jan 08, 2014 referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
returned to senate
died in assembly
Jun 04, 2013 referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
delivered to assembly
passed senate
May 20, 2013 amended on third reading 1615a
May 08, 2013 advanced to third reading
May 07, 2013 2nd report cal.
May 06, 2013 1st report cal.535
Jan 09, 2013 referred to corporations, authorities and commissions

Votes

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Feb 26, 2014 - Corporations, Authorities and Commissions committee Vote

S1615B
6
0
committee
6
Aye
0
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show Corporations, Authorities and Commissions committee vote details

Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee Vote: Feb 26, 2014

May 6, 2013 - Corporations, Authorities and Commissions committee Vote

S1615
5
0
committee
5
Aye
0
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
1
Excused
0
Abstained
show committee vote details

Committee Vote: May 6, 2013

excused (1)

Bill Amendments

Original
A
B (Active)
Original
A
B (Active)

Co-Sponsors

S1615 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Assembly Corporations, Authorities And Commissions
Law Section:
Not-for-Profit Corporation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §1517, N-PC L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: A2356, S1469A
2009-2010: A10166, A2356, S6840A

S1615 - Bill Texts

view summary

Allows cemetery corporations to grant qualified veterans' organizations the right to receive the cremains of a veteran which has not been claimed by a relative or friend of the deceased within one hundred twenty days after cremation.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1615

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the not-for-profit corporation law, in relation to
disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of a veteran

PURPOSE:
To ensure the cremains (the remains of a cremated body) of veterans
are Properly and respectfully disposed of if not claimed, allowing
for proper acknowledgement of those who have served our nation.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one re-letters paragraph (j) of section 1517 of the
not-for-profit corporations law to paragraph (k), and a new paragraph
(j) is added. The new paragraph (j) provides that qualified tax
exempt veterans organizations or federally chartered veteran's
service organization will be
given the right to receive and respectfully dispose of the cremated
remains of the unclaimed bodies of veterans, if such remains have not
been claimed by a relative or friend of the deceased within a
designated period after cremation has taken place.

JUSTIFICATION:
Millions of American service men and women have fought for the united
States in two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, the
ongoing wars in Irag and Afghanistan, and numerous other small
conflicts. Those same service men and women have also carried out
humanitarian relief projects on behalf of the limited States in every
comer of the world. Sadly, however, the remains of some of those
heroes sit unclaimed and forgotten on the shelves in funeral homes,
hospitals, prisons, crematories and other facilities. (See, e.g.,
"Abandoned cremains of veterans laid to rest," TEANECK SUBURBANITE,
August 20, 2009.) It is fitting we Provide a way for the remains of
those lost heroes to receive the respectful and honorable interment
they deserve.

In 2009, the states of New Jersey and Illinois enacted laws concerning
the final disposition of the unclaimed remains of veterans' bodies
after cremation. Sadly, New York has not yet adopted a similar policy
to allow the brothers and sisters in service of our fallen heroes the
ability to serve their former comrades one final time. It is time New
York adopts the same policy.

By allowing veteran's organizations to carry out the proper burial
procedures, rather than allow the cremated remains of American
veterans to lay abandoned for decades, we pay due respect to those
who have served to Protect the life and liberty of this nation.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.1469A/A2356A - Passed the Senate; Died in corporations,
authorities and commissions.
2010: S.6480-A Passed Senate A.10166 Referred to Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.


EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect November 11, 2014.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1615

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Corporations,  Authorities
  and Commissions

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  not-for-profit  corporation law, in relation to
  disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of a veteran

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. Paragraph (j) of section 1517 of the not-for-profit corpo-
ration law is relettered paragraph (k) and a new paragraph (j) is  added
to read as follows:
  (J) DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED CREMATED REMAINS OF A VETERAN. (1) PURSU-
ANT  TO  THE  REQUIREMENTS  OF  PARAGRAPH  (I) OF THIS SECTION, IF, UPON
COMPLETION OF THE CREMATION PROCESS, THE CEMETERY  CORPORATION  HAS  NOT
BEEN  INSTRUCTED  TO ARRANGE FOR THE INTERMENT, ENTOMBMENT, INURNMENT OR
SCATTERING OF THE CREMAINS OF AN INDIVIDUAL KNOWN TO BE  A  VETERAN  AND
PROVIDED  A  DILIGENT EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO LOCATE AND NOTIFY THE NEXT
OF KIN OR AUTHORIZING AGENT THAT SIGNED THE CREMATION AUTHORIZATION  FOR
THE DECEASED VETERAN, AFTER A PERIOD OF ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS FROM THE
DATE  OF  THE  CREMATION, WHERE THE AUTHORIZING AGENT HAS NOT INSTRUCTED
THE CEMETERY CORPORATION TO ARRANGE FOR THE  FINAL  DISPOSITION  OF  THE
CREMAINS  OR  CLAIMED  THE  CREMAINS,  THE CEMETERY CORPORATION MAY ALSO
DISPOSE OF THE CREMAINS IN ANY MANNER PERMITTED BY THIS  SECTION  OR  BY
RELINQUISHING  POSSESSION  OF  VETERANS'  CREMAINS  FOR DISPOSITION BY A
VETERANS'  ORGANIZATION  THAT  QUALIFIES  AS  A  SECTION  501(C)(3)   OR
501(C)(19) TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATION UNDER THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, OR A
FEDERALLY  CHARTERED VETERANS' SERVICE ORGANIZATION. THE CEMETERY CORPO-
RATION, HOWEVER, SHALL KEEP A PERMANENT RECORD IDENTIFYING THE VETERANS'
ORGANIZATION RECEIVING THE REMAINS AND THE  SITE  DESIGNATED  FOR  FINAL
DISPOSITION BY THE ORGANIZATION. THE METHOD OF DISPOSITION SHALL BE MADE
PURSUANT  TO  THIS SECTION AND SHALL BE DIRECTED TO A SECTION OF A CEME-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02779-01-3

S. 1615                             2

TERY CORPORATION WHERE VETERANS ARE MEMORIALIZED BY A  VETERAN'S  MARKER
IF  ELIGIBLE,  A VETERANS' SECTION OF A CEMETERY CORPORATION OR A VETER-
ANS' CEMETERY IF THE DECEASED VETERAN IS ELIGIBLE FOR INTERMENT IN  SUCH
A  MANNER.  SUCH  INTERMENT,  ENTOMBMENT, INURNMENT OR SCATTERING OF THE
CREMAINS OF AN INDIVIDUAL KNOWN TO BE A  VETERAN  BY  SUCH  A  VETERANS'
ORGANIZATION  SHALL OCCUR WITHIN SIXTY DAYS. THE AUTHORIZING AGENT SHALL
BE RESPONSIBLE FOR REIMBURSING THE CEMETERY CORPORATION OR THE VETERANS'
ORGANIZATION FOR ALL REASONABLE EXPENSES INCURRED IN  DISPOSING  OF  THE
CREMAINS. UPON DISPOSITION OF THE CREMAINS, THE CEMETERY CORPORATION AND
THE   VETERANS'  ORGANIZATION  AS  DEFINED  IN  THIS  SECTION  SHALL  BE
DISCHARGED  FROM  ANY  LEGAL  OBLIGATION  OR  LIABILITY  CONCERNING  THE
CREMAINS.  EXCEPT WITH THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE AUTHORIZING
AGENT, NO PERSON SHALL:
  (I) DISPOSE OF CREMAINS IN A MANNER OR  IN  A  LOCATION  SO  THAT  THE
CREMAINS  ARE  COMMINGLED WITH THOSE OF ANOTHER PERSON. THIS PROHIBITION
SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE SCATTERING OF CREMAINS AT SEA, BY AIR, OR  IN  AN
AREA  LOCATED IN A CEMETERY AND USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THOSE PURPOSES; AND
(II) PLACE CREMAINS OF MORE  THAN  ONE  PERSON  IN  THE  SAME  TEMPORARY
CONTAINER OR URN.
  (2) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, "DILIGENT EFFORT" SHALL MEAN A
REASONABLE  EFFORT,  AND  INCLUDES  A CERTIFIED LETTER, DELIVERY RECEIPT
REQUESTED, MAILED TO THE NEXT OF KIN OR AUTHORIZING  AGENT  THAT  SIGNED
THE CREMATION AUTHORIZATION.
  S 2. This act shall take effect November 11, 2014.

Co-Sponsors

S1615A - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Assembly Corporations, Authorities And Commissions
Law Section:
Not-for-Profit Corporation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §1517, N-PC L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: A2356, S1469A
2009-2010: A10166, A2356, S6840A

S1615A - Bill Texts

view summary

Allows cemetery corporations to grant qualified veterans' organizations the right to receive the cremains of a veteran which has not been claimed by a relative or friend of the deceased within one hundred twenty days after cremation.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1615A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the not-for-profit corporation law, in
relation to disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of a veteran

PURPOSE:

To ensure the cremains (the remains of a cremated body) of veterans
are Properly and respectfully disposed of if not claimed, allowing for
Proper acknowledgement of those who have served our nation.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Provides that qualified tax exempt veterans organizations or federally
chartered veteran's service organization will be given the right to
receive and respectfully dispose of the cremated remains of the
unclaimed bodies of veterans, if such remains have not been claimed by
a relative or friend of the deceased within a designated period after
cremation has taken place.

JUSTIFICATION:

Millions of American service men and women have fought for the united
States in two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, the
ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and numerous other small
conflicts. Those same service men and women have also carried out
humanitarian relief projects on behalf of the limited States in every
comer of the world. Sadly, however, the remains of some of those
heroes sit unclaimed and forgotten on the shelves in funeral homes,
hospitals, prisons, crematories and other facilities. (See, e.g.,
"Abandoned cremains of veterans laid to rest," TEANECK SUBURBANITE,
August 20, 2009.) It is fitting we provide a way for the remains of
those lost heroes to receive the respectful and honorable interment
they deserve.

In 2009, the states of New Jersey and Illinois enacted laws concerning
the final disposition of the unclaimed remains of veterans' bodies
after cremation. Sadly, New York has not yet adopted a similar policy
to allow the brothers and sisters in service of our fallen heroes the
ability to serve their former comrades one final time. It is time New
York adopts the same policy.

By allowing veteran's organizations to carry out the proper burial
procedures, rather than allow the cremated remains of American
veterans to lay abandoned for decades, we pay due respect to those who
have served to Protect the life and liberty of this nation.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.1469A/A2356A --Passed the Senate; Died in corporations,
authorities and commissions.
2010: S.6480-A Passed Senate A.10166 Referred to Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.


EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect November 11, 2014.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 1615--A
    Cal. No. 535

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. PARKER, ADDABBO, SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Corpo-
  rations,  Authorities  and Commissions -- reported favorably from said
  committee, ordered to first and second  report,  ordered  to  a  third
  reading,  amended  and  ordered  reprinted, retaining its place in the
  order of third reading

AN ACT to amend the  not-for-profit  corporation  law,  in  relation  to
  disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of a veteran

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 1517 of  the  not-for-profit  corporation  law,  as
added by chapter 579 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows:
S 1517. Crematory operations.
  Cemetery  corporations that operate a crematory shall have the follow-
ing duties and obligations:
  (a) Maintenance and privacy. (1) A crematory facility shall  be  main-
tained  in  a  clean, orderly, and sanitary manner, with adequate venti-
lation and shall have a temporary storage area available  to  store  the
remains  of  deceased human beings pending disposition by cremation, the
interior of which shall not be accessible to the general public.
  (2) Entrances and windows of the crematory  facility  shall  be  main-
tained  at  all  times  to  secure privacy, including (i) doors shall be
tightly closed and rigid; (ii)  windows  shall  be  covered;  and  (iii)
entrances  shall  be  locked  and  secured when not actively attended by
authorized crematory personnel.
  (b) Cremation process. (1) The cremation process shall be conducted in
privacy. No person except authorized persons shall be admitted into  the
retort  area,  holding facility, or the temporary storage facility while
the remains of deceased human  beings  are  being  cremated.  Authorized
persons,  on  admittance,  shall  comply with all rules of the crematory

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02779-02-3

S. 1615--A                          2

corporation and not infringe upon the privacy of the remains of deceased
human beings.
  (2)  The  following  are  authorized persons: (i) licensed, registered
funeral directors, registered residents, and enrolled students of mortu-
ary science; (ii) officers and trustees  of  the  cemetery  corporation;
(iii)  authorized  employees  or their authorized agents of the cemetery
corporation; (iv) public officers  acting  in  the  discharge  of  their
duties;  (v)  authorized  instructors of funeral directing schools; (vi)
licensed physicians or nurses; and (vii) members of the immediate family
of the deceased and their authorized  agents  and  designated  represen-
tatives.
  (c)  Identification  of  deceased human beings. (1) No crematory shall
cremate the remains of any deceased human being without the accompanying
cremation permit, required pursuant to section four thousand one hundred
forty-five of the  public  health  law  which  permit  shall  constitute
presumptive  evidence  of the identity of the said remains. In addition,
all crematories situated outside the city of New York, must comply  with
paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision two of section four thousand one hundred
forty-five of the public health law pertaining to the  receipt  for  the
deceased  human  being. From the time of such delivery to the crematory,
until the time the crematory delivers  the  cremains  as  directed,  the
crematory  shall  be  responsible  for the remains of the deceased human
being. Further, a cremation authorization form must accompany the permit
required in section four thousand one hundred forty-five of  the  public
health  law.  This  form, provided or approved by the crematory, must be
signed by the next of kin or authorizing agent attesting to the  permis-
sion  for the cremation of the deceased, and disclosing to the crematory
that such body does not contain a battery,  battery  pack,  power  cell,
radioactive implant, or radioactive device, if any, and that these mate-
rials were removed prior to the cremation process.
  (2) Upon good cause being shown rebutting the presumption of the iden-
tity  of such remains, the cremation shall not commence until reasonable
confirmation of the identity of the deceased human being is  made.  This
proof may be in the form of, but not limited to, a signed affidavit from
a  licensed  physician,  a  member  of  the family of the deceased human
being, the authorizing agent or a court order  from  the  state  supreme
court within the county of the cemetery corporation. Such proof shall be
provided by the authorizing agent.
  (3)  The  crematory shall have a written plan to assure that the iden-
tification established by the cremation permit accompanies  the  remains
of  the deceased human being through the cremation process and until the
identity of the deceased is accurately  and  legibly  inscribed  on  the
container in which the cremains are placed.
  (d)  Opening  of  container  holding the remains of the deceased human
being. (1) The casket,  alternative  container,  or  external  wrappings
holding  the  remains  of  the  deceased human being shall not be opened
after delivery to the  crematory  unless  there  exists  good  cause  to
confirm  the  identity of the deceased, or to assure that no material is
enclosed which might cause injury to employees or  damage  to  crematory
property,  or  upon reasonable demand by members of the immediate family
or the authorized agent.
  (2) In such instances in which the casket, alternative  container,  or
wrappings  are opened after delivery to the crematory, such action shall
only be conducted by the licensed funeral director or  registered  resi-
dent  delivering  the  remains of the deceased human being and if neces-
sary, with the assistance of crematory personnel and a record  shall  be

S. 1615--A                          3

made,  which  shall include the reason for such action, the signature of
the person authorizing the opening thereof, and the names of the  person
opening  the  container and the witness thereto, which shall be retained
in  the  permanent  file  of the crematory. The opening of the container
shall be conducted in the presence of the witness and shall comply  with
all  rules  and regulations intended to protect the health and safety of
crematory personnel.
  (e) Ceremonial casket cremation  disclosure.  In  those  instances  in
which  the  remains  of  deceased  human beings are to be delivered to a
crematory in a casket that is not to  be  cremated  with  the  deceased,
timely  disclosure thereof must be made by the person making the funeral
arrangements to the crematory that prior to cremation the remains of the
deceased human being shall be transferred to an  alternative  container.
Such  signed  acknowledgement of the authorizing person, that the timely
disclosure has been made, shall be retained  by  the  crematory  in  its
permanent records.
  (f)  Transferring  remains.  (1) The remains of a deceased human being
shall not be removed from the casket, alternative container, or external
wrappings in which it is delivered to  the  crematory  unless  explicit,
signed  authorization  is provided by the person making funeral arrange-
ments or by a public officer discharging  his  or  her  statutory  duty,
which  signed  authorization  shall  be retained by the crematory in its
permanent records.
  (2) When the remains of a deceased human being are to  be  transferred
to  an alternative container, the transfer shall be conducted in privacy
with dignity and respect and by the licensed funeral director or  regis-
tered  resident  who  delivered those remains and if necessary, with the
assistance of crematory  personnel.  The  transferring  operation  shall
comply with all rules and regulations intended to protect the health and
safety of crematory personnel.
  (g)  Commingling  human remains. The cremation of remains of more than
one deceased human being in a retort at any one time is unlawful, except
upon the explicit, signed authorization provided by the  persons  making
funeral  arrangements  and  the  signed approval of the crematory, which
shall be retained by the crematory in its permanent records.
  (h) Processing of cremains. (1) Upon the completion of  the  cremation
of  the  remains  of  a deceased human being, the interior of the retort
shall be thoroughly swept so as to render the retort reasonably free  of
all  matter.  The  contents  thereof  shall be placed into an individual
container and not commingled with other cremains. The  cremation  permit
shall be attached to the individual container preparatory to final proc-
essing.
  (2) A magnet and sieve, or other appropriate method of separation, may
be used to divide the cremains from unrecognizable incidental or foreign
material.
  (3) The incidental and foreign material of the cremation process shall
be  disposed  of  in a safe manner in compliance with all sanitary rules
and regulations as byproducts.
  (4) The cremains shall be  pulverized  until  no  single  fragment  is
recognizable as skeletal tissue.
  (5)  The  pulverized  cremains  shall  be  transferred  to  a sealable
container or containers whose inside dimension shall be of suitable size
to contain the entire cremains of the person who was cremated.
  (6) The prescribed sealable container or containers shall be accurate-
ly and legibly labeled with the identification of the human being  whose

S. 1615--A                          4

cremains  are  contained therein, in a manner acceptable to the division
of cemeteries.
  (i)  Disposition of cremains. The authorizing agent shall be responsi-
ble for the final disposition of the cremains. Cremains must be disposed
of by placing them in a grave, crypt, or niche, by scattering them in  a
designated  scattering  garden or area, or in any manner whatever on the
private property of a consenting owner or by delivery to the authorizing
agent or a person specifically designated by the authorizing agent. Upon
completion of the cremation process, if the cemetery corporation has not
been instructed to arrange for the interment, entombment,  inurnment  or
scattering  of  the cremains, the cemetery corporation shall deliver the
cremains to the individual specified on the cremation authorization form
or the funeral firm of record. The delivery may be made in person or  by
registered  mail. Upon receipt of the cremains, the individual receiving
them may transport them in any manner in the state without a permit, and
may dispose of them in accordance with this section. After delivery, the
cemetery corporation shall be discharged from any  legal  obligation  or
liability  concerning  the  cremains.  If, after a period of one hundred
twenty days from the date of the cremation, the  authorizing  agent  has
not  instructed the cemetery corporation to arrange for the final dispo-
sition of the cremains or claimed the cremains, the cemetery corporation
may dispose of the cremains in any manner permitted by this section. The
cemetery corporation, however, shall keep a permanent record identifying
the site of final disposition. The authorizing agent shall be  responsi-
ble for reimbursing the cemetery corporation for all reasonable expenses
incurred  in  disposing of the cremains. Upon disposing of the cremains,
the cemetery corporation shall be discharged from any  legal  obligation
or  liability  concerning  the cremains. Except with the express written
permission of the authorizing agent, no person shall:
  (1) dispose of cremains in a manner or  in  a  location  so  that  the
cremains  are  commingled with those of another person. This prohibition
shall not apply to the scattering of cremains at sea, by air, or  in  an
area located in a cemetery and used exclusively for those purposes; and
  (2)  place  cremains  of  more  than  one person in the same temporary
container or urn.
  (j) DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED CREMATED REMAINS OF A VETERAN. (1) PURSU-
ANT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH  (I)  OF  THIS  SECTION,  IF,  UPON
COMPLETION  OF  THE  CREMATION PROCESS, THE CEMETERY CORPORATION HAS NOT
BEEN INSTRUCTED TO ARRANGE FOR THE INTERMENT, ENTOMBMENT,  INURNMENT  OR
SCATTERING  OF  THE  CREMAINS OF AN INDIVIDUAL KNOWN TO BE A VETERAN AND
PROVIDED A DILIGENT EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO LOCATE AND NOTIFY  THE  NEXT
OF  KIN OR AUTHORIZING AGENT THAT SIGNED THE CREMATION AUTHORIZATION FOR
THE DECEASED VETERAN, AFTER A PERIOD OF ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS FROM THE
DATE OF THE CREMATION, WHERE THE AUTHORIZING AGENT  HAS  NOT  INSTRUCTED
THE  CEMETERY  CORPORATION  TO  ARRANGE FOR THE FINAL DISPOSITION OF THE
CREMAINS OR CLAIMED THE CREMAINS,  THE  CEMETERY  CORPORATION  MAY  ALSO
DISPOSE  OF  THE  CREMAINS IN ANY MANNER PERMITTED BY THIS SECTION OR BY
RELINQUISHING POSSESSION OF VETERANS'  CREMAINS  FOR  DISPOSITION  BY  A
VETERANS'   ORGANIZATION  THAT  QUALIFIES  AS  A  SECTION  501(C)(3)  OR
501(C)(19) TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATION UNDER THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, OR A
FEDERALLY CHARTERED VETERANS' SERVICE ORGANIZATION. THE CEMETERY  CORPO-
RATION, HOWEVER, SHALL KEEP A PERMANENT RECORD IDENTIFYING THE VETERANS'
ORGANIZATION  RECEIVING  THE  REMAINS  AND THE SITE DESIGNATED FOR FINAL
DISPOSITION BY THE ORGANIZATION. THE METHOD OF DISPOSITION SHALL BE MADE
PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION AND SHALL BE DIRECTED TO A SECTION OF  A  CEME-
TERY  CORPORATION  WHERE VETERANS ARE MEMORIALIZED BY A VETERAN'S MARKER

S. 1615--A                          5

IF ELIGIBLE, A VETERANS' SECTION OF A CEMETERY CORPORATION OR  A  VETER-
ANS'  CEMETERY IF THE DECEASED VETERAN IS ELIGIBLE FOR INTERMENT IN SUCH
A MANNER. SUCH INTERMENT, ENTOMBMENT, INURNMENT OR SCATTERING    OF  THE
CREMAINS  OF  AN  INDIVIDUAL  KNOWN  TO BE A VETERAN BY SUCH A VETERANS'
ORGANIZATION SHALL OCCUR WITHIN SIXTY DAYS. THE AUTHORIZING AGENT  SHALL
BE RESPONSIBLE FOR REIMBURSING THE CEMETERY CORPORATION OR THE VETERANS'
ORGANIZATION  FOR  ALL  REASONABLE EXPENSES INCURRED IN DISPOSING OF THE
CREMAINS. UPON DISPOSITION OF THE CREMAINS, THE CEMETERY CORPORATION AND
THE  VETERANS'  ORGANIZATION  AS  DEFINED  IN  THIS  SECTION  SHALL   BE
DISCHARGED  FROM  ANY  LEGAL  OBLIGATION  OR  LIABILITY  CONCERNING  THE
CREMAINS. EXCEPT WITH THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE  AUTHORIZING
AGENT, NO PERSON SHALL:
  (I)  DISPOSE  OF  CREMAINS  IN  A  MANNER OR IN A LOCATION SO THAT THE
CREMAINS ARE COMMINGLED WITH THOSE OF ANOTHER PERSON.  THIS  PROHIBITION
SHALL  NOT  APPLY TO THE SCATTERING OF CREMAINS AT SEA, BY AIR, OR IN AN
AREA LOCATED IN A CEMETERY AND USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THOSE PURPOSES; AND
  (II) PLACE CREMAINS OF MORE THAN ONE  PERSON  IN  THE  SAME  TEMPORARY
CONTAINER OR URN.
  (2) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, "DILIGENT EFFORT" SHALL MEAN A
REASONABLE  EFFORT,  AND  INCLUDES  A CERTIFIED LETTER, DELIVERY RECEIPT
REQUESTED, MAILED TO THE NEXT OF KIN OR AUTHORIZING  AGENT  THAT  SIGNED
THE CREMATION AUTHORIZATION.
  (K)  Crematory  operation  certification.  Any employee of a crematory
whose function is to conduct the daily operations of the cremation proc-
ess shall be certified by an organization approved by  the  division  of
cemeteries.  Proof of such certification must be posted in the crematory
and available for inspection at any time. Any new employees of a  crema-
tory  required  to  be  certified  under this section shall be certified
within one year of  their  employment.  Any  employees  of  a  crematory
required  to  be  certified under this section and retained prior to the
effective date of this paragraph shall be certified within one  year  of
such  effective  date.  Renewal of such certification shall be completed
every five years from the date of certification.
  S 2. This act shall take effect November 11, 2014.

Co-Sponsors

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S1615B (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Assembly Corporations, Authorities And Commissions
Law Section:
Not-for-Profit Corporation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §1517, N-PC L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: A2356, S1469A
2009-2010: A10166, A2356, S6840A

S1615B (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Allows cemetery corporations to grant qualified veterans' organizations the right to receive the cremains of a veteran which has not been claimed by a relative or friend of the deceased within one hundred twenty days after cremation.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1615B

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the not-for-profit corporation law, in
relation to disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of a veteran

PURPOSE:

To ensure the cremains (the remains of a cremated body) of veterans
are Properly and respectfully disposed of if not claimed, allowing for
proper acknowledgement of those who have served our nation.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Provides that qualified tax exempt veterans organizations or federally
chartered veteran's service organization will be given the right to
receive and respectfully dispose of the cremated remains of the
unclaimed bodies of veterans, if such remains have not been claimed by
a relative or friend of the deceased within a designated period after
cremation has taken place.

JUSTIFICATION:

Millions of American service men and women have fought for the united
States in two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, the
ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and numerous other small
conflicts. Those same service men and women have also carried out
humanitarian relief projects on behalf of the limited States in every
comer of the world. Sadly, however, the remains of some of those
heroes sit unclaimed and forgotten on the shelves in funeral homes,
hospitals, prisons, crematories and other facilities. (See, e.g.,
"Abandoned cremains of veterans laid to rest," TEANECK SUBURBANITE,
August 20, 2009.) It is fitting we provide a way for the remains of
those lost heroes to receive the respectful and honorable interment
they deserve.

In 2009, the states of New Jersey and Illinois enacted laws concerning
the final disposition of the unclaimed remains of veterans' bodies
after cremation. Sadly, New York has not yet adopted a similar policy
to allow the brothers and sisters in service of our fallen heroes the
ability to serve their former comrades one final time. It is time New
York adopts the same policy.

By allowing veteran's organizations to carry out the proper burial
procedures, rather than allow the cremated remains of American
veterans to lay abandoned for decades, we pay due respect to those who
have served to Protect the life and liberty of this nation.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.1469A/A2356A --Passed the Senate; Died in corporations,
authorities and commissions.
2010: S.6480-A Passed Senate A.10166 Referred to Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.


EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect November 11, 2015.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 1615--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. PARKER, ADDABBO, BRESLIN, LATIMER, SAMPSON, SQUADRON
  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to
  the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions -- reported
  favorably  from  said  committee,  ordered to first and second report,
  ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered  reprinted,  retaining
  its  place in the order of third reading -- recommitted to the Commit-
  tee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions  in  accordance  with
  Senate  Rule  6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
  reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the  not-for-profit  corporation  law,  in  relation  to
  disposition of unclaimed cremated remains of a veteran

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 1517 of  the  not-for-profit  corporation  law,  as
added by chapter 579 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows:
S 1517. Crematory operations.
  Cemetery  corporations that operate a crematory shall have the follow-
ing duties and obligations:
  (a) Maintenance and privacy. (1) A crematory facility shall  be  main-
tained  in  a  clean, orderly, and sanitary manner, with adequate venti-
lation and shall have a temporary storage area available  to  store  the
remains  of  deceased human beings pending disposition by cremation, the
interior of which shall not be accessible to the general public.
  (2) Entrances and windows of the crematory  facility  shall  be  main-
tained  at  all  times  to  secure privacy, including (i) doors shall be
tightly closed and rigid; (ii)  windows  shall  be  covered;  and  (iii)
entrances  shall  be  locked  and  secured when not actively attended by
authorized crematory personnel.
  (b) Cremation process. (1) The cremation process shall be conducted in
privacy. No person except authorized persons shall be admitted into  the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02779-03-4

S. 1615--B                          2

retort  area,  holding facility, or the temporary storage facility while
the remains of deceased human  beings  are  being  cremated.  Authorized
persons,  on  admittance,  shall  comply with all rules of the crematory
corporation and not infringe upon the privacy of the remains of deceased
human beings.
  (2)  The  following  are  authorized persons: (i) licensed, registered
funeral directors, registered residents, and enrolled students of mortu-
ary science; (ii) officers and trustees  of  the  cemetery  corporation;
(iii)  authorized  employees  or their authorized agents of the cemetery
corporation; (iv) public officers  acting  in  the  discharge  of  their
duties;  (v)  authorized  instructors of funeral directing schools; (vi)
licensed physicians or nurses; and (vii) members of the immediate family
of the deceased and their authorized  agents  and  designated  represen-
tatives.
  (c)  Identification  of  deceased human beings. (1) No crematory shall
cremate the remains of any deceased human being without the accompanying
cremation permit, required pursuant to section four thousand one hundred
forty-five of the  public  health  law  which  permit  shall  constitute
presumptive  evidence  of the identity of the said remains. In addition,
all crematories situated outside the city of New York, must comply  with
paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision two of section four thousand one hundred
forty-five of the public health law pertaining to the  receipt  for  the
deceased  human  being. From the time of such delivery to the crematory,
until the time the crematory delivers  the  cremains  as  directed,  the
crematory  shall  be  responsible  for the remains of the deceased human
being. Further, a cremation authorization form must accompany the permit
required in section four thousand one hundred forty-five of  the  public
health  law.  This  form, provided or approved by the crematory, must be
signed by the next of kin or authorizing agent attesting to the  permis-
sion  for the cremation of the deceased, and disclosing to the crematory
that such body does not contain a battery,  battery  pack,  power  cell,
radioactive implant, or radioactive device, if any, and that these mate-
rials were removed prior to the cremation process.
  (2) Upon good cause being shown rebutting the presumption of the iden-
tity  of such remains, the cremation shall not commence until reasonable
confirmation of the identity of the deceased human being is  made.  This
proof may be in the form of, but not limited to, a signed affidavit from
a  licensed  physician,  a  member  of  the family of the deceased human
being, the authorizing agent or a court order  from  the  state  supreme
court within the county of the cemetery corporation. Such proof shall be
provided by the authorizing agent.
  (3)  The  crematory shall have a written plan to assure that the iden-
tification established by the cremation permit accompanies  the  remains
of  the deceased human being through the cremation process and until the
identity of the deceased is accurately  and  legibly  inscribed  on  the
container in which the cremains are placed.
  (d)  Opening  of  container  holding the remains of the deceased human
being. (1) The casket,  alternative  container,  or  external  wrappings
holding  the  remains  of  the  deceased human being shall not be opened
after delivery to the  crematory  unless  there  exists  good  cause  to
confirm  the  identity of the deceased, or to assure that no material is
enclosed which might cause injury to employees or  damage  to  crematory
property,  or  upon reasonable demand by members of the immediate family
or the authorized agent.
  (2) In such instances in which the casket, alternative  container,  or
wrappings  are opened after delivery to the crematory, such action shall

S. 1615--B                          3

only be conducted by the licensed funeral director or  registered  resi-
dent  delivering  the  remains of the deceased human being and if neces-
sary, with the assistance of crematory personnel and a record  shall  be
made,  which  shall include the reason for such action, the signature of
the person authorizing the opening thereof, and the names of the  person
opening  the  container and the witness thereto, which shall be retained
in the permanent file of the crematory. The  opening  of  the  container
shall  be conducted in the presence of the witness and shall comply with
all rules and regulations intended to protect the health and  safety  of
crematory personnel.
  (e)  Ceremonial  casket  cremation  disclosure.  In those instances in
which the remains of deceased human beings are  to  be  delivered  to  a
crematory  in  a  casket  that  is not to be cremated with the deceased,
timely disclosure thereof must be made by the person making the  funeral
arrangements to the crematory that prior to cremation the remains of the
deceased  human  being shall be transferred to an alternative container.
Such signed acknowledgement of the authorizing person, that  the  timely
disclosure  has  been  made,  shall  be retained by the crematory in its
permanent records.
  (f) Transferring remains. (1) The remains of a  deceased  human  being
shall not be removed from the casket, alternative container, or external
wrappings  in  which  it  is delivered to the crematory unless explicit,
signed authorization is provided by the person making  funeral  arrange-
ments  or  by  a  public  officer discharging his or her statutory duty,
which signed authorization shall be retained by  the  crematory  in  its
permanent records.
  (2)  When  the remains of a deceased human being are to be transferred
to an alternative container, the transfer shall be conducted in  privacy
with  dignity and respect and by the licensed funeral director or regis-
tered resident who delivered those remains and if  necessary,  with  the
assistance  of  crematory  personnel.  The  transferring operation shall
comply with all rules and regulations intended to protect the health and
safety of crematory personnel.
  (g) Commingling human remains. The cremation of remains of  more  than
one deceased human being in a retort at any one time is unlawful, except
upon  the  explicit, signed authorization provided by the persons making
funeral arrangements and the signed approval  of  the  crematory,  which
shall be retained by the crematory in its permanent records.
  (h)  Processing  of cremains. (1) Upon the completion of the cremation
of the remains of a deceased human being, the  interior  of  the  retort
shall  be thoroughly swept so as to render the retort reasonably free of
all matter. The contents thereof shall  be  placed  into  an  individual
container  and  not commingled with other cremains. The cremation permit
shall be attached to the individual container preparatory to final proc-
essing.
  (2) A magnet and sieve, or other appropriate method of separation, may
be used to divide the cremains from unrecognizable incidental or foreign
material.
  (3) The incidental and foreign material of the cremation process shall
be disposed of in a safe manner in compliance with  all  sanitary  rules
and regulations as byproducts.
  (4)  The  cremains  shall  be  pulverized  until no single fragment is
recognizable as skeletal tissue.
  (5) The  pulverized  cremains  shall  be  transferred  to  a  sealable
container or containers whose inside dimension shall be of suitable size
to contain the entire cremains of the person who was cremated.

S. 1615--B                          4

  (6) The prescribed sealable container or containers shall be accurate-
ly  and legibly labeled with the identification of the human being whose
cremains are contained therein, in a manner acceptable to  the  division
of cemeteries.
  (i)  Disposition of cremains. The authorizing agent shall be responsi-
ble for the final disposition of the cremains. Cremains must be disposed
of by placing them in a grave, crypt, or niche, by scattering them in  a
designated  scattering  garden or area, or in any manner whatever on the
private property of a consenting owner or by delivery to the authorizing
agent or a person specifically designated by the authorizing agent. Upon
completion of the cremation process, if the cemetery corporation has not
been instructed to arrange for the interment, entombment,  inurnment  or
scattering  of  the cremains, the cemetery corporation shall deliver the
cremains to the individual specified on the cremation authorization form
or the funeral firm of record. The delivery may be made in person or  by
registered  mail. Upon receipt of the cremains, the individual receiving
them may transport them in any manner in the state without a permit, and
may dispose of them in accordance with this section. After delivery, the
cemetery corporation shall be discharged from any  legal  obligation  or
liability  concerning  the  cremains.  If, after a period of one hundred
twenty days from the date of the cremation, the  authorizing  agent  has
not  instructed the cemetery corporation to arrange for the final dispo-
sition of the cremains or claimed the cremains, the cemetery corporation
may dispose of the cremains in any manner permitted by this section. The
cemetery corporation, however, shall keep a permanent record identifying
the site of final disposition. The authorizing agent shall be  responsi-
ble for reimbursing the cemetery corporation for all reasonable expenses
incurred  in  disposing of the cremains. Upon disposing of the cremains,
the cemetery corporation shall be discharged from any  legal  obligation
or  liability  concerning  the cremains. Except with the express written
permission of the authorizing agent, no person shall:
  (1) dispose of cremains in a manner or  in  a  location  so  that  the
cremains  are  commingled with those of another person. This prohibition
shall not apply to the scattering of cremains at sea, by air, or  in  an
area located in a cemetery and used exclusively for those purposes; and
  (2)  place  cremains  of  more  than  one person in the same temporary
container or urn.
  (j) DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED CREMATED REMAINS OF A VETERAN. (1) PURSU-
ANT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH  (I)  OF  THIS  SECTION,  IF,  UPON
COMPLETION  OF  THE  CREMATION PROCESS, THE CEMETERY CORPORATION HAS NOT
BEEN INSTRUCTED TO ARRANGE FOR THE INTERMENT, ENTOMBMENT,  INURNMENT  OR
SCATTERING  OF  THE  CREMAINS OF AN INDIVIDUAL KNOWN TO BE A VETERAN AND
PROVIDED A DILIGENT EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO LOCATE AND NOTIFY  THE  NEXT
OF  KIN OR AUTHORIZING AGENT THAT SIGNED THE CREMATION AUTHORIZATION FOR
THE DECEASED VETERAN, AFTER A PERIOD OF ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS FROM THE
DATE OF THE CREMATION, WHERE THE AUTHORIZING AGENT  HAS  NOT  INSTRUCTED
THE  CEMETERY  CORPORATION  TO  ARRANGE FOR THE FINAL DISPOSITION OF THE
CREMAINS OR CLAIMED THE CREMAINS,  THE  CEMETERY  CORPORATION  MAY  ALSO
DISPOSE  OF  THE  CREMAINS IN ANY MANNER PERMITTED BY THIS SECTION OR BY
RELINQUISHING POSSESSION OF VETERANS'  CREMAINS  FOR  DISPOSITION  BY  A
VETERANS'   ORGANIZATION  THAT  QUALIFIES  AS  A  SECTION  501(C)(3)  OR
501(C)(19) TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATION UNDER THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, OR A
FEDERALLY CHARTERED VETERANS' SERVICE ORGANIZATION. THE CEMETERY  CORPO-
RATION, HOWEVER, SHALL KEEP A PERMANENT RECORD IDENTIFYING THE VETERANS'
ORGANIZATION  RECEIVING  THE  REMAINS  AND THE SITE DESIGNATED FOR FINAL
DISPOSITION BY THE ORGANIZATION. THE METHOD OF DISPOSITION SHALL BE MADE

S. 1615--B                          5

PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION AND SHALL BE DIRECTED TO A SECTION OF  A  CEME-
TERY  CORPORATION  WHERE VETERANS ARE MEMORIALIZED BY A VETERAN'S MARKER
IF ELIGIBLE, A VETERANS' SECTION OF A CEMETERY CORPORATION OR  A  VETER-
ANS'  CEMETERY IF THE DECEASED VETERAN IS ELIGIBLE FOR INTERMENT IN SUCH
A MANNER. SUCH INTERMENT, ENTOMBMENT, INURNMENT OR SCATTERING    OF  THE
CREMAINS  OF  AN  INDIVIDUAL  KNOWN  TO BE A VETERAN BY SUCH A VETERANS'
ORGANIZATION SHALL OCCUR WITHIN SIXTY DAYS. THE AUTHORIZING AGENT  SHALL
BE RESPONSIBLE FOR REIMBURSING THE CEMETERY CORPORATION OR THE VETERANS'
ORGANIZATION  FOR  ALL  REASONABLE EXPENSES INCURRED IN DISPOSING OF THE
CREMAINS. UPON DISPOSITION OF THE CREMAINS, THE CEMETERY CORPORATION AND
THE  VETERANS'  ORGANIZATION  AS  DEFINED  IN  THIS  SECTION  SHALL   BE
DISCHARGED  FROM  ANY  LEGAL  OBLIGATION  OR  LIABILITY  CONCERNING  THE
CREMAINS. EXCEPT WITH THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE  AUTHORIZING
AGENT, NO PERSON SHALL:
  (I)  DISPOSE  OF  CREMAINS  IN  A  MANNER OR IN A LOCATION SO THAT THE
CREMAINS ARE COMMINGLED WITH THOSE OF ANOTHER PERSON.  THIS  PROHIBITION
SHALL  NOT  APPLY TO THE SCATTERING OF CREMAINS AT SEA, BY AIR, OR IN AN
AREA LOCATED IN A CEMETERY AND USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THOSE PURPOSES; AND
  (II) PLACE CREMAINS OF MORE THAN ONE  PERSON  IN  THE  SAME  TEMPORARY
CONTAINER OR URN.
  (2) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, "DILIGENT EFFORT" SHALL MEAN A
REASONABLE  EFFORT,  AND  INCLUDES  A CERTIFIED LETTER, DELIVERY RECEIPT
REQUESTED, MAILED TO THE NEXT OF KIN OR AUTHORIZING  AGENT  THAT  SIGNED
THE CREMATION AUTHORIZATION.
  (K)  Crematory  operation  certification.  Any employee of a crematory
whose function is to conduct the daily operations of the cremation proc-
ess shall be certified by an organization approved by  the  division  of
cemeteries.  Proof of such certification must be posted in the crematory
and available for inspection at any time. Any new employees of a  crema-
tory  required  to  be  certified  under this section shall be certified
within one year of  their  employment.  Any  employees  of  a  crematory
required  to  be  certified under this section and retained prior to the
effective date of this paragraph shall be certified within one  year  of
such  effective  date.  Renewal of such certification shall be completed
every five years from the date of certification.
  S 2. This act shall take effect November 11, 2015.

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