CHICAGO – September 15, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn accepted the final report of the Cemetery Oversight Task Force, which provided recommendations to ensure rigorous oversight and regulation of Illinois’ for-profit cemeteries. Governor Quinn signed an Executive Order earlier this summer forming the task force in the aftermath of the tragedy uncovered at Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip.
“I want thank the Cemetery Oversight Task Force members for their dedication and hard work. Amid a time of crisis and confusion they came to the aid of our community,” said Governor Pat Quinn. “I look forward to evaluating their recommendations to protect bereaved Illinois families from corrupt cemeteries, funeral directors and embalmers.”
Chaired by Patricia Brown Holmes, a partner with law firm Schiff Hardin LLP, the task force was charged with bolstering industry regulations and proposing needed consumer protections.
Among the Cemetery Oversight Task Force recommendations:
- Consolidate regulatory authority of funeral and burial practices into the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
- Enact the Cemetery Oversight Act, which will ensure that only qualified persons can own, operate or work in a cemetery in Illinois.
- Amend and consolidate existing statutes to strengthen industry regulation and enforcement.
The Task Force heard testimony from families with loved ones buried at Burr Oak, other cemetery and law enforcement experts, industry professionals, and government officials. Each provided insight into the type of laws, regulations and oversight needed to protect the dignity of loved ones after death.
The Cemetery Oversight Task Force and the ex officio members of the General Assembly who participated in the hearings are a diverse group of individuals with expertise and experience in both the private and public sectors.
To read the full report, please visit Illinois.gov/gov.