senate Bill S3295

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides alternative pricing methods in the sale and offering of funeral merchandise and services; provides for the repeal after one year

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • 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
Jan 08, 2014 referred to health
Jan 31, 2013 referred to health

S3295 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A623
Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง3440-a, Pub Health L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S5627, A8132

S3295 - Bill Texts

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Provides alternative pricing methods in the sale and offering of funeral merchandise and services; provides for repeal after one year; mandates a report by the consumer protection division on the effectiveness of alternative pricing methods.

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BILL NUMBER:S3295

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
the alternative pricing methods in the sale and offering of funeral
merchandise and services; and providing for the repeal of such
provisions upon the expiration thereof

PURPOSE: The purpose of this legislation is to enact a one-year study
for package pricing methods for funerals and funeral services and
require the Consumer Protection Board to submit a report to the Governor
and Legislature regarding the implementation of package pricing in New
York State.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill would enact a one-year study that
would amend the public health law to authorize funeral directors to
provide price information to consumers in a package format in addition
to the current required item pricing list. Monuments and memorials as
defined in paragraph (b) of section 454 of the General Business Law
would be exempt from the provisions of this act.

Additionally, the Consumer Protection Board shall, within one year,
study the effectiveness of this act and present its findings in a report
to the Governor and the Legislature.

JUSTIFICATION: Forty-nine states and the Federal Trade Commission
recognize and allow funeral directors to offer package funeral services
to all consumers. Only New York State restricts pricing information
solely to an itemized list for consumers other than members of not-for-
profit corporations.

This bill would enact a one-year study of package pricing in New York
State. The Consumer Protection Board would be required to review any
complaints or issues relating to the implementation of package pricing
and report the findings to the Governor and the Legislature within one
year.

This legislation would also direct the Health Commissioner to develop
and implement rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of
package pricing. Under this proposal a consumer would be allowed to
choose from a list of itemized services or from a package of services.

This bill would simply allow consumers to have an opportunity to choose
only the specific itemized services they need or desire or to choose
additional services at a package price. Consumer protection would be
maintained as any funeral home that would offer package pricing must
also provide customers the option to purchase goods and services on an
itemized basis. Monuments and memorials would be exempt from this Act.

All regulations of the Department of Health as well as the Federal Trade
Commission regarding consumer protection would be maintained.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Similar legislation introduced in 2004
A.10986/S.7237.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE: 60 days after enactment and shall be repealed in one
year.

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

                                  3295

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 31, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  O'MARA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Health

AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation  to  the  alternative
  pricing  methods  in  the sale and offering of funeral merchandise and
  services; and providing for the repeal of  such  provisions  upon  the
  expiration thereof

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

  Section 1. Section 3440-a of the public  health  law,  as  amended  by
chapter 534 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows:
  S  3440-a.  Statement  to  be  furnished  by certain licensed persons,
funeral directors and funeral firms when funeral arrangements are  made.
1.  Every  person  licensed  pursuant to this article, including funeral
directors and funeral firms, shall furnish at the time funeral  arrange-
ments  are  made  for the care and disposition of the body of a deceased
person, a written statement showing thereon the price  of  the  funeral,
which  shall include an itemized list of the services and merchandise to
be furnished for such price and a statement of  the  cash  advances  and
expenditures to be advanced.
  2.  NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION,
FUNERAL FIRMS MAY OFFER PACKAGES OF GOODS AND SERVICES, AS LONG AS  THEY
ARE  OFFERED  IN ADDITION TO, AND NOT IN PLACE OF, ITEMIZED PRICES. IF A
PACKAGE OFFERING IS SELECTED BY THE PERSON MAKING FUNERAL  ARRANGEMENTS,
THE  CHARGES MUST BE LISTED AND PROVIDED TO THE PERSON ON AN ITEMIZATION
STATEMENT. PACKAGE PRICES MUST BE BROKEN DOWN AND LISTED BY THEIR COMPO-
NENT PARTS ON SUCH ITEMIZATION STATEMENT, EXCEPT FOR DIRECT  CREMATIONS,
DIRECT  BURIALS,  FORWARDING  OF  REMAINS  AND RECEIVING OF REMAINS. THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY MEMORIALS  AS  DEFINED
IN  PARAGRAPH  (B) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR
OF THE GENERAL BUSINESS LAW.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03855-01-3

S. 3295                             2

  S 2. The consumer protection division shall  cause  a  review  of  the
effectiveness  of  the  provisions of subdivision 2 of section 3440-a of
the public health law. Such review shall be presented in the form  of  a
report.  A  copy of the report shall be submitted on or before the three
hundred  sixty-fifth  day  after this act shall have become a law to the
governor, the temporary president of the  senate,  the  speaker  of  the
assembly,  the minority leader of the senate, and the minority leader of
the assembly. Such report shall contain, at a minimum,  any  legislative
recommendations  to  improve  the  effectiveness  of  the  provisions of
section 3440-a of the public health law.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
have become a law and shall expire and be deemed repealed one year after
such  effective  date.  Effective  immediately,  the addition, amendment
and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation
of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made
and completed on or before such effective date.

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