senate Bill S3459

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to licensing and registration for funeral directors

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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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to health
Feb 04, 2013 referred to health

S3459 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง3421 & 3429, Pub Health L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S4130

S3459 - Bill Texts

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Relates to licensing and registration for funeral directors; permits persons lawfully admitted to the US to take the licensing exam; provides that accredited schools do not have to get prior approval for continuing education courses.

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BILL NUMBER:S3459

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
licensing and registration for funeral directors

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to allow foreign mortuary students
who are lawfully resident in the United States, but who have not vet
been lawfully admitted for permanent residence, to use their results on
the funeral director licensure examination for the purpose of becoming a
licensed funeral director in New York State.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends section 3421(2)(a) of the Public Health Law to provide
that an applicant for a license as a funeral director shall only need to
have lawful entry in the United States, and that he or she need not have
been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

Section 2 amends section 3429(1) of the Public Health Law by adding a
new paragraph (f), defining "accredited school."

Section 3 amends section 3429(4)(b) of the Public Health Law to exempt
accredited schools for funeral directors, as approved under section 3425
of the Public Health Law, from the requirement to obtain prior approval
of courses offered.

Section 4 establishes the effective date.

EXISTING LAW: Under current law, mortuary students who are not United
States citizens must be lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the
United States to take the funeral directing examination necessary for
licensure as a funeral director in New York State. Current law further
requires providers of continuing education for funeral directors to
obtain prior approval from the Department of Health with regard to the
courses they intend to offer. There is currently no exemption for
accredited schools for funeral directors, which have received certif-
icates of approval under Public Health Law section 3425, from this
requirement.

JUSTIFICATION: Funeral Director Examination Requirement:

An applicants to become a funeral director in New York State must attend
a qualified mortuary school and there complete a strict curriculum of
courses. Upon completion of Mortuary School Education, students take the
National Board Exam, passage of which is recognized by most states and
many foreign countries as sufficient for licensure. After taking and
passing the National Exam, a student in New York State must complete a
year of residency with a funeral home to receive a funeral director's
license.

In order to sit for the National Board Exam, New York State requires
that a person either have United States citizenship or, if an alien, be

lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States. As a
result, qualifying exam results of students from foreign countries on
United States Government issued student and work visas that attend the
mortuary program, and who take the National Exam prior to becoming a
citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent
residence in the United States, are not accepted in New York State once
the student becomes a citizen or attains status as an alien lawfully
admitted for permanent residence.

This system unfairly discriminates against foreign students who, while
in the United States lawfully, have not been admitted for permanent
residence, or who have not attained citizenship. For no other reason
than that they were not citizens of the United States or aliens lawfully
admitted for permanent residence when they took the exam, these foreign
students are. required to retake the exam to be able to operate as a
funeral director in New York State. To ensure equal treatment of these
similarly situated groups, the eligibility rules should be changed to
allow foreign students who have lawfully entered the United States to
also use their qualifying exam for the attaining licensure. This
proposal is supported by the American Academy McAllister Institute of
Funeral Service, an accredited funeral/mortuary school in New York.

Exemption from Prior Approval Requirement:

Section 3 of the bill exempts schools for funeral directors that have
received certificates of approval under Public Health Law section 3425
from the prior approval requirement of Public Health Law section
3429(4)(b), which applies to providers of continuing legal education for
funeral directors. Institutions that receive certificates of approval
under Public Health Law section 3425 undergo extensive vetting to ensure
that the education programs they offer' meet minimum quality standard.
There is no need to further subject such institutions to the additional,
burdensome requirement of obtaining prior approval for every course
offered. This bill eliminates this requirement.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

S.4130 of 2012 - Referred to Health both years

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  3459

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 4, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  GOLDEN -- 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  licensing  and
  registration for funeral directors

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

  Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision  2  of  section  3421  of  the
public  health  law,  as  amended by chapter 534 of the laws of 1983, is
amended to read as follows:
  (a) is a citizen of the United States or [an alien  lawfully  admitted
for permanent residence] HAS LAWFUL ENTRY in the United States;
  S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 3429 of the public health law is amended
by adding a new paragraph (f) to read as follows:
  (F)  "ACCREDITED SCHOOL" MEANS A POSTSECONDARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION
AND PROGRAMS THAT ARE ACCREDITED  BY  AN  ACCREDITING  AGENCY  OR  STATE
APPROVAL  AGENCY  RECOGNIZED BY THE UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
AS A "RELIABLE AUTHORITY AS TO THE QUALITY OF  POSTSECONDARY  EDUCATION"
WITHIN  THE  MEANING  OF  THE  HIGHER  EDUCATION ACT OF 1965, AS AMENDED
(HEA).
  S 3. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 4 of  section  3429  of  the  public
health  law,  as added by chapter 529 of the laws of 2000, is amended to
read as follows:
  (b) A registered provider which is required to obtain  prior  approval
of  courses shall submit to the department a written description of each
course for which approval is requested, at least sixty days prior to the
first date the course is to be  offered.  If  the  department  does  not
disapprove  the proposed course within ninety days of its receipt of the
written description and  request  for  approval,  the  course  shall  be
considered  approved  provisionally  for  six  months. Following the six
months of provisional approval, the department may make a final determi-
nation disapproving  the  course.  Notwithstanding  such  determination,

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08046-01-3

S. 3459                             2

however,  any  individuals  licensed  pursuant to section three thousand
four hundred twenty-eight of this title shall  receive  full  continuing
education  credit  for any course taken during the period of provisional
approval  to  fulfill  the  requirements of this section.  AN ACCREDITED
SCHOOL FOR FUNERAL DIRECTORS APPROVED UNDER SECTION THREE THOUSAND  FOUR
HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE OF THIS TITLE AND REGISTERED AS A PROVIDER ACCORDING
TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM REQUESTING PRIOR APPROVAL OF COURS-
ES OFFERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION.
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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