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House Approves Legislation Updating Ohio's Cemetery Laws

October 24, 2017
Dick Stein News

Press Release Poster

State Representative Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) today applauded the passage of legislation he sponsored that updates Ohio law relating to cemeteries in an effort to reflect current practices and relieve some upkeep and maintenance costs for local governments.

The Cemetery Restoration and Improvement Act, House Bill 168, primarily establishes a cemetery grant program, codifying recommendations presented by the Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force Report and Recommendations in 2014. Supported by the Department of Commerce, and the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing, the bill provides an opportunity for local cemeteries to renovate and restore their properties through funds from burial permits issued in the state. The grant program would provide relief to local governments, such as townships, which are required to maintain and operate not-for-profit cemeteries.

“I am pleased that today the House passed House Bill 168 and that it will be sent over to the Senate for consideration,” Rep. Stein said. “This bill will help local governments better manage and maintain their cemeteries. If the bill becomes law, funds will be available for improvements that will honor the passing of all those held within their gates.”

House Bill 168 also allows cemetery trust funds to be bonded or insured through an appropriate policy in accordance with the Ohio Uniform Prudent Investor Act.

Additional provisions in the bill include:

  • Allowing the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing to investigate a cemetery that has ceased operation in order to appoint a temporary receiver or trustee
  • Requiring a cemetery to maintain electronic or paper records about interment, entombment, or inurnment right owners and records indicating a deceased's name, place of death, and date and location of interment, entombment, or inurnment

Supported by the Ohio Township Association, the Ohio Cemetery Association, the Ohio Funeral Directors Association and the Catholic Conference, the legislation will help Ohio’s townships maintain the more than 2,400 cemeteries in the state.

House Bill 168 will now go to the Senate for further consideration.