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Texas Funeral Service Commission

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    • Next Review Date: 2030-2031 Review Cycle - 92nd Legislative Session
    • Last Review Date: 2018-2019 Review Cycle - 86th Legislative Session

    Sunset Review Documents for 2018-2019 Review Cycle, 86th Legislative Session

    Legislative Documents

    Final Results from Last Sunset Report

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    • Continue the Texas Funeral Service Commission (TFSC) for 12 years.

    Governance

    • Replace the cemetery owner or operator member of the TFSC commission with a crematory owner or operator member to reflect the growing prevalence of cremation.
    • Authorize TFSC to create advisory committees using stakeholders and members of the public.
    • Update the standard across-the-board requirement related to commission member training.
    • Modify the agency’s biennial reporting requirement to increase transparency.

    Cemeteries

    • Discontinue TFSC’s regulation of the few non-perpetual care cemeteries subject to state oversight.
    • Direct the agency to discontinue its involvement in mediating private cemetery access disputes.  (Management action – nonstatutory)
    • Direct the agency to provide information on nontraditional methods and options for the disposition of a body, such as cremation and green burials.  (Management action – nonstatutory)

    Enforcement

    • Require the agency to inspect licensed funeral establishments and crematories at least once every three years and as a management action, direct the agency to establish a risk-based approach to inspections.
    • Authorize the agency to seek injunctive relief through the attorney general to pursue unlicensed activity, and to take disciplinary action against a licensed funeral establishment, commercial embalming facility, or crematory that assists or allows an individual to engage in unlicensed activity, including practicing funeral directing or embalming without a license.
    • Make complaints and other investigative information confidential and exempt from public disclosure, other than final enforcement actions.  As a management action, direct the agency to maintain complainants’ confidentiality when possible. 
    • Amend Texas Occupations Code, Section 651.401, to clarify a “first call” occurs at the beginning of the relationship between a funeral director and a decedent’s authorized family members or qualified executors or administrators to control the disposition of the decedent’s remains, and to establish clear responsibility for when and how a funeral director directs the pickup or removal of a dead human body.
    • Authorize TFSC to order refunds to consumers.
    • Direct the agency to modify its memorandum of understanding with the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to include sanitation standards for funeral homes and death care businesses, and to coordinate with DSHS to ensure investigators have access to death certificate information.  (Management action – nonstatutory)
    • Direct the agency to adopt rules for informal settlement conferences and to provide more detailed disciplinary information on its website.  (Management action – nonstatutory)

    Licensing

    • Authorize TFSC to determine the criteria for preparation room exemptions.
    • Remove outdated and unused licensure qualifications, and unused authority to provisionally license out-of-state applicants.
    • Authorize TFSC to set license terms in rule and require TFSC to stagger renewals and prorate fees for licenses issued for less than a full term.
    • Authorize TFSC to issue duplicate licenses to license holders for the purpose of meeting the requirement to display their license at each place of business.
    • Provide TFSC general fee-setting authority to fully recover its costs and to set late payment penalty fees in rule.
    • Direct the agency to make the consumer brochure regarding funerals and complaint procedures freely available to licensees online.  (Management action – nonstatutory)
    • Direct the agency to accept all license applications and fee payments online, and to eliminate notarization requirements for its forms.  (Management action – nonstatutory)
    • Direct TFSC to develop standard procedures for evaluating experience for military service members, military veterans, and military spouses.  (Management action – nonstatutory)
    • Direct TFSC to review and evaluate continuing education courses.  (Management action – nonstatutory