Friday, October 3, 2008

Stafford Again Calls for Licensure of Funeral Homes

Rep. Debbie Stafford, D-Aurora, signaled today that she believes the General Assembly should try again in 2009 to impose license requirements on the state's funeral homes.

Stafford, who has pushed similar legislation in recent years, thinks consumers are being bilked by too many "shady" funeral practices.

“I am appalled that Colorado is the only state that does not license Funeral Directors and Cremationists," Stafford said. "Would-be regulators continue to throw Coloradans under the hearse by denying that we have a serious problem and with virtually no one looking over the shoulders of those who serve our families at the time of death.”

“My sources tell me that some funeral homes have not seen a state investigator for over 40 years. Consumers need protection from the shady practices of some mortuaries."

Stafford said she has heard of incidents in which crematoriums have had "unrefrigerated bodies left out for days."

State regulators say there is no licensure law to give them the authority to regulate, but have also opposed bills requiring funeral directors and cremationists to be trained and licensed.

The Attorney General's office filed charges this week against “The Neptune Society,” and Arvada funeral operation, for failure to properly place funds received from over 5,000 pre-need sales into a trust as required by Colorado law. Neptune faces $50,000 in fines and five counts including a violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ritter to Host Drought and Climate Change Conference

Gov. Bill Ritter announced today he will be hosting a 2½-day conference that will examine proactive measures to manage the effects of drought and climate change in Colorado.

Sponsored by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), the Governor’s Conference on Managing Drought and Climate Risk will address drought risk, impacts and preparedness. It will be held Oct. 8-10 at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver.

“Colorado is fortunate to enjoy abundant natural resources, and as a headwater state in a semi-arid environment we constantly face critical water-resource challenges,” Ritter said. “The issues of drought and climate risk are becoming increasingly important. It is imperative that we develop a thorough scientific understanding of climate risk and its potential effects and impacts.

“This conference will help water providers, manager and planners from the public and private sectors prepare for the effects of drought and climate change by sharing the latest research, lessons and best practices.”

The governor will be on hand to help open the conference at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 8.

In addition to drought risk and impacts, experts will address drought early warning, preparedness and mitigation planning, proactive adaptation measures and needed improvements for managing the impacts of climate change.

Colorado’s comprehensive State Drought Plan will also be discussed, said Veva Deheza, section chief of the CWCB’s Office of Conservation and Drought Planning.