The Government and Legal Affairs Committee held a series of meetings on Capitol Hill during May 9 and 10, 2018. With the help of ICCFA’s lobbying firm, Dykema, appointments were scheduled with 25 Congressional members. These were almost evenly divided between 13 senators and 12 representatives. Party-wise, the group met with 17 Republicans and 8 Democrats, including three key leadership offices.
Four main subjects dominated the discussions: impacts of tax reform on the death care industry especially installment revenue recognition and trust advisory deductions; the upcoming 2019 FTC Funeral Rule Review; the growing controversy over trafficking in non-transplant tissue/body donation (the proposed LATTS Act); and increasing veterans’ funeral benefits (the proposed BRAVE Act).
ICCFA members also met with Federal Trade Commission staff to discuss the upcoming Funeral Rule review, and the body broker controversy. The FTC will likely propose posting funeral prices online although staff was unclear whether such a requirement would be mandatory or optional. Another development: After several years of ICCFA urging FTC staff to disclose the name of the funeral home employee who failed to provide the GPL according to the Rule, the staff said that they would now provide the identity of the employee on request. This is an important concession to help funeral providers stay in compliance and avoid costly penalties that are now over $40,000 per violation.