Funeral Consumers Alliance of Maryland and Environs

News & Publications

FCA of Maryland and Environs Newsletters

2015 Mortuary Price Survey

Fall 2016 Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter.  This issue has articles on Jewish funeral practices and determining who gets to decide on one’s final arrangements.  It also includes a suggested template for how an individual can describe what final arrangements he/she wants

Spring 2016 Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter. This issue has articles on how to manage a home funeral and on legislative proposals that FCAME testified on at the Maryland General Assembly 2016 session.

Fall 2015 Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter.  This issue has articles on pre-need contracts to pay funeral expenses, and how to dispose of unneeded cemetery plots.

Summer 2015 Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter. This issue describes funeral-related legislation that FCAME supported or opposed in the Maryland General Assembly this year. There also is an article on green burials, and which cemeteries offer them within driving distance of the DC Metro area.

Winter 2015 Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter. This issue focuses on a topic that is disturbing to some people – handling dead bodies. One article discusses myths regarding embalming and cosmetic restoration, and another explains how those processes are done. A third article reviews a recent book by a mortician who discusses in a candid, irreverent manner what she saw working in a crematory.

Fall 2014 Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter. The lead article describes resources that are available to help with the final expenses of veterans and others who qualify. Another article provides a simple 4-step approach to planning your funeral.

Summer 2014 Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter. It includes articles on funeral and cemetery-related legislation the Maryland General Assembly considered this year, what you need to know about caskets and urns, and how mortuary transport services will be regulated in Maryland.

Spring 2014 Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter. It includes articles on crematory regulations just enacted in Maryland, the merger of the two largest owners of funeral homes and cemeteries in North America, and how your donations to FCAME are spent.

Fall 2013 “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter”. It includes articles on how to shop for cemetery monuments and markers, how to select a funeral home, and new voting rules the FCAME Board is proposing for consideration by FCAME members.

Spring 2013, “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter” includes articles on funeral and cemetery-related legislation considered by the Maryland General Assembly, troubling facts revealed during testimony, Maryland’s Family Security Trust Fund, and consumer loss of prepaid funeral expenses.

Fall 2012, “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter” includes articles on death certificates, answers to common questions about death care planning, and proposed regulations in Maryland.

Summer 2012, “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter” includes articles about the legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly that will strengthen consumer protections relating to funeral homes and cemeteries.

Spring 2012, “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter” includes articles on home funerals, consumer tips for when purchasing cemetery goods and services, and FCAME activity at the Maryland General Assembly.

Fall 2011, “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter” includes articles on how consumer complaints and funeral home inspections are handled by the Maryland Board of Morticians and Funeral Directors.

Summer 2011, “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter” includes articles on cremation, Islamic burials, and proposals to loosen cemetery regulation in Maryland.

Winter 2011, “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter” includes articles on planning your own after-death care, ways to prepay for a funeral, and green burial.

Fall 2010, “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter” includes 12 ways to avoid overpaying on funerals.

Spring 2010, “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter” includes a story on the new Family Security Trust Fund, as well as helpful information on body donation in our area.

Fall 2009, “Plain Talk – the FCAME Newsletter” includes “After I’m Gone – A Planning Checklist,” updates on burial benefits for veterans and regulation of cemeteries in Maryland, a summary of what FCAME has been up to in the last year, and an article on FCA asking Congress for nationwide standards to regulate cemeteries.

FCAME Testimony Before the Maryland Legislature

FCAME testimony in March 2016 on SB 721 that would prohibit purchase or sale of human remains or a body part removed from a living or deceased person. FCAME supported; bill was defeated.

FCAME testimony in February 2016 on HB 553 / SB 535 that would weaken the requirement for cemeteries to prove their financial stability to the State Office of Cemetery Oversight.  FCAME opposed; bills were defeated.

FCAME testimony in February 2016 on HB 949 / SB 897 that would authorize a loan against a cemetery perpetual care trust fund.  FCAME opposed; bills were defeated.

FCAME testimony in April 2015 on SB 391 to require applicants for a license have a criminal history records check and require the Board of Morticians to also consider applicant’s subsequent work history and references. FCAME had bill introduced; bill was passed.

FCAME testimony in April 2015 on HB 491 to establish requirements for conservation cemeteries. FCAME supported; bill was defeated.

FCAME testimony in April 2015 on HB 127 to advance dates for sunset evaluation of Board of Morticians. FCAME opposed; bill was defeated.

FCAME testimony in March 2015 on SB 160 / HB 729 to authorize cease and desist orders to stop unlicensed practice. FCAME had bill introduced; bill was passed.

FCAME testimony in March 2015 on SB 433 to authorize unclaimed cremains of veterans to be buried. FCAME supported; bill was passed.

FCAME testimony in March 2015 on SB 70 / HB 98 to prohibit stays of summary suspension. FCAME supported; bill was defeated.

FCAME testimony in March 2015 on SB 159 / HB 321 to require reporting and audits of prepaid funeral contracts. FCAME had bill introduced; bill was defeated.

FCAME testimony in March 2015 on HB 1062 to specify requirements for care and custody of human remains. FCAME supported; bill was defeated.

FCAME testimony in March 2015 on HB 190 to prohibit licensing and permit fees for crematory operators FCAME opposed; bill was defeated.

FCAME testimony in March 2015 on HB 193 / SB 446 to authorize changes regarding the Executive Director of the Board of Morticians. FCAME opposed; bill was defeated.

FCAME testimony in March 2015 on HB 561 regarding filling of vacancies on the Board of Morticians. FCAME opposed original bill; bill was passed after troublesome half of it was removed.

FCAME testimony in March 2014 on HB 1031 / SB 586 to allow immediate access to funeral home preparation rooms for unannounced inspections. FCAME supported; bills were passed.

FCAME testimony in March 2014 on HB 1042 / SB 648 to create a reasonable process for handling the obligations of a deceased single owner of a funeral home. FCAME supported; bills were passed.

FCAME testimony in March 2014 on HB 1239 / SB 775 to require pre-need contracts be reported to the State & audited when their owners have a concern. FCAME supported; bills were defeated.

FCAME testimony in March 2014 on HB 593 / SB 415 to require disclosure in pre-need contracts on which items have guaranteed prices and which don’t. FCAME supported; bills were passed.

FCAME testimony in March 2014 on HB 1303 / SB 751 to allow consumers’ pre-need funds to be invested in securities. FCAME opposed; bills were defeated.

FCAME testimony in February 2014 on HB 1187 to prohibit trafficking in human organs. FCAME supported; bill was defeated.

FCAME testimony in February 2014 on SB 835 to exempt a 150 year old cemetery from regulation. FCAME opposed; bill was defeated.

FCAME testimony in January 2014 on HB 13 to clarify how perpetual care trusts and pre-need trust accounts can be used. FCAME supported; bill was passed in both House & Senate.

FCAME testimony in March 2013 on HB 906 to repeal the law regarding care of bodies transported out of state (FCAME opposed; the bill was defeated).

FCAME testimony in March 2013 on HB 905 / SB 335 to allow funeral homes to not have a holding room (FCAME opposed but bills were passed)

FCAME testimony in March 2013 on HB 1221 to remove naming requirements for funeral establishments (FCAME opposed; the bill was defeated).

FCAME testimony in March 2013 on HB 349 to increase penalties for violating cemetery laws (FCAME supported; bill was passed).

FCAME testimony in February 2013 on HB 314 / SB 358 to authorize discipline of funeral establishment licensees (FCAME supported; bills were passed).

FCAME testimony in February 2013 on HB 529 / SB 463 to increase requirements for apprentice sponsors and supervising morticians (FCAME supported; bills were passed).

FCAME testimony in February 2013 on HB 313 / SB 357 to provide immediate access to inspect funeral homes (FCAME supported but bills were defeated).

FCAME testimony in February 2013 on HB 712 / SB 372 to authorize health occupation boards to require criminal background checks of applicants for licensure (FCAME supported but bills were defeated).

FCAME Comments in November 2012 to Maryland’s Office of Cemetery Oversight on their proposed regulation of crematories.

FCAME Testimony in October 2012 on a proposed regulation in Maryland on requirements for apprenticeship.

FCAME Testimony in March 2012 on HB 1150 / SB 850 on qualifications for licensure in mortuary science or funeral direction

FCAME Testimony in March 2012 on HB 753 / SB 895 on requiring permits to remove and transport human remains

FCAME Testimony in February 2012 on HB 540 / SB 415 – Handling Human Remains with Dignity Act of 2012

FCAME Testimony in February 2012 on HB 394 / SB 282 on reauthorizing and changing the Office of Cemetery Oversight

FCAME Testimony in February 2012 on HB 71 / SB 332 on exempting Family Security Trust Fund from transferring interest to General Fund

FCAME Testimony in January 2012 on HB 70 / SB 14 on requiring mental or physical examinations of morticians and funeral directors

FCAME Testimony in December 2011 recommending changes to Maryland’s Office of Cemetery Oversight.

FCAME Testimony on Maryland HB 556 – March 2011

FCAME Testimony on Maryland SB 245 and 352 – February 2011