Executives from Broadway Mortuary in Wichita, KS, made history with professional colleagues from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) and the National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association (NFD&MA) by presenting a united front on key federal issues affecting funeral service during NFDA's Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C., March 8-10. For the first time, members from three major national funeral service associations met face-to-face with their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill to discuss issues of critical importance to the funeral service profession and the families and communities they serve.
Broadway Mortuary's involvement in this unprecedented collaborative event has the power to positively influence legislation that will have a direct impact on the way in which they serve families and their business.
Issues that representatives from Broadway Mortuary and other Summit attendees discussed with members of the U.S. House and Senate included: Ensuring taxpayers who set aside money for their funeral and burial trusts are not penalized for planning ahead by having this money counted as an asset in determining eligibility for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program; urging passage of the "Bereaved Consumer's Bill of Rights Act of 2009," (H.R. 3655), introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., which would require the Federal Trade Commission to develop a separate rule, similar to the Funeral Rule, that would cover cemeteries and all other sellers of funeral or burial goods or services; easing the tax burden for family-owned funeral homes through reduction or elimination of the federal estate tax.
"It's important our voices, and those of our colleagues, are heard in Washington, D.C., so we can make a difference and advance the key issues that affect our business and, more importantly, those we serve," said Ashley Cozine, President of Broadway Mortuary. "We have an unwavering commitment to the families and community we serve. That's why we advocate for greater consumer protection legislation, such as Rep. Rush's bill and other bills that would have a positive impact on those we serve."
NFDA is the world's leading funeral service association, serving 19,000 individual members who represent more than 10,200 funeral homes in the United States and internationally. From its headquarters in Brookfield, Wis., and its Advocacy office in Washington, D.C., NFDA informs, educates and advocates to help members enhance the quality of service they provide to families.