SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Responding to a report of a funeral home mishandling remains, state Rep. Mary Gill, D-Chicago, led passage of a plan to institute new safeguards and stricter chain of custody and identification requirements for funeral homes and crematoriums.

“This proposal comes in the wake of a heartbreaking situation in downstate Carlinville, where it appears a funeral home mishandled remains, lied to families and even gave people the cremated remains of strangers instead of their loved ones,” Gill said. “It’s difficult to imagine what these families have gone through, which is why I wanted to help update our laws to try to prevent similar situations from happening again.”

Under Senate Bill 2643, stricter chain of custody and identification requirements would be in place for funeral homes and crematory authorities. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will be tasked to include these new requirements in its licensing exams, while also being required to inspect the premises of a licensee within 10 business days whenever it receives a complaint relating to the mishandling of human remains or the misidentification of remains.

Presently, funeral homes and crematoriums have to abide by certain rules or risk having their license revoked. Under Gill’s proposal, if they do not follow those rules – such as the situation in Carlinville – they could be subject to criminal penalties.

“Stronger chain of custody requirements, timely inspections and real consequences can help to restore trust in this important field,” Gill said. “This is something that is incredibly personal for families, we have to make sure everything is handled properly with respect.”

Senate Bill 2643 passed the House with bipartisan support and is currently awaiting approval in the Senate.

For more information, please contact RepMaryGill@gmail.com.

Rep. Mary GillRep. Mary Gill

35th District

Springfield Office:
279-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-8200

District Office:
10400 S. Western
Chicago, IL  60643
(773) 445-8128