A few weeks ago we posted about HB596, the legislative bill that would shake up the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors by replacing two industry members with two public members. Funeral directors worried about that bill will have further cause for concern when they visit the State Board’s membership page. The most recent industry appointments are no longer on the Board. Currently, the Board has three vacancies, and lacks a quorum to transact business. Missouri funeral directors are bound to speculate that there is a conspiracy to get HB596 passed, and then to allow the Governor to fill the open chairs with public members.
The reality is probably that Missouri’s new Governor rescinded interim board and agency appointments in order to give his team an opportunity to vet those individuals. Two of the current State Board vacancies had been filled by interim appointments made by former Governor Nixon. Those appointments included a Republican and a Libertarian, probably with philosophies more in line with the new Governor than the old Governor. The two interim appointments have also exhibited a business oriented approach to Board matters during the two meetings they had served. Consequently, we fully expect the Governor to reappoint them both.
However, until those appointments occur, the Board cannot take official actions. But before Missouri funeral directors jump to the conclusion the Board is out of business, it should be noted that the Board staff continues to operate under the preneed examination procedures and guidelines last approved by the State Board.