CHICAGO – Legislators serving on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) voted earlier today to allow the rules necessary for implementing the Cemetery Oversight Act to take effect. Once the rules are published in the Illinois Register, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will quickly move to make applications for licensure available to thousands of cemeteries and their staff across the state.
“These rules strike a balance between protecting Illinois families who bury loved ones in our cemeteries and the economic stability of both large and small cemeteries,” said Brent E. Adams, Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation. “We hope to greatly enhance the peace of mind of cemetery consumers as we move forward in implementing the law.”
The rules were amended during the summer to recognize that some very small cemeteries, maintained primarily by volunteers, would be minimally regulated and their fees for licensing would be waived. Other changes in the regulations clarify which cemetery employees require professional licenses and ensure that cemetery registration can be achieved quickly.
The Department first proposed these rules on April 9, 2010, and, after discussions with legislators, cemetery owners and advocates, amended the rules this summer and resubmitted them in their current form. The licensing and exam process will commence after rules are published. Even without rules, however, the Department has established a statewide consumer hotline, handled almost 1000 consumer and cemetery industry inquiries and implemented the Illinois Cemetery Oversight Database, which, to date, has recorded more than 20,000 burials.