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Like most other states nationwide, Washington's in a world of hurt financially. Our governor has thus mandated a full review by all agencies of the boards and commissions under their authority. The goal is either elimination or consolidation.
Here in Washington as I've mentioned before we have two boards governing the death care profession. One is the Funeral Directors and Embalmers Board which licenses individuals and establishments, as well as monitoring funeral prearrangement trust activity. The Cemetery Board issues Authorities to Operate a Cemetery and also monitors cemetery prearrangement trusts. Both boards license crematories under equal administrative codes. Most parties have felt the two were apples and oranges.
Over the last decade we've fought off four attempts to merge the two boards. Neither our state funeral directors' association nor the Washington Cemetery & Funeral Association were interested in being monitored by the "other guys". Each attempt has resulted in better understanding between the Department of Licensing (DOL), which administers both our regulatory boards, and the two associations. Each attempt to draft acceptable legislation got closer to what we wanted if we had to accept merger, but we still didn't see the need for it. (P.S. both our boards are self-funded via regulatory fees and our operating funds don't even filter through the state's general funds.)
I imagine similar little political dramas have played out across agencies statewide.
Knowing this governor's mandate was going to force us to talk about merger yet again DOL's staff has drawn up a merger proposal using our input over the years and come up with a proposal we can swallow if we have to.
This morning, a state representative dropped an interesting and subversive bill into the hopper: It eliminates ALL boards and commissions statewide. Tout Finis. You want boards and commissions eliminated? You got it, Babe.
Some of us maliciously kind of secretly hope it happens just for the fun of observing the fallout.