Overview of SB18-234

With just 3 days left in the legislative session there is still a lot of work to do. The General Assembly is still working on finalizing fixes to PERA and transportation funding. A number of the bills I’m sponsoring are also finishing up their journey through the legislative process in the waning days of 2018. Today, I’d like to focus on 1 bill that I introduced later in the session to address a need that I was recently made aware of.

I am not happy to bring this bill, especially this late in the session, but it is badly needed. SB18-234 is the first step in addressing a grisly problem that several Colorado families brought to my attention.

We have faith that when we entrust the remains of our recently deceased loved ones to a funeral services company that our wishes, and the wishes of the deceased, will be respected and honored. Unfortunately, a recent FBI investigation—and subsequent raid—revealed that a Montrose funeral home had been selling human body parts for profit without the consent of families. This is horrendous and unacceptable. SB18-234, which passed the House earlier today, will prohibit funeral services operators from owning an ownership interest in a nontransplant tissue bank.

I would like to thank the Espinoza family for making the long trip to the capitol building to testify in front of the House Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee earlier this week. Their testimony gave a human face to the effects of this practice and will hopefully prevent other families from having to endure this pain. Thank you.

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