Governor Mike Parsons vetos MO Coroner Bill HB 447

Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care Association has worked for a number of years to pass legislation to allow hospices in Missouri to pronounce without contacting the coroner for a hospice death. The hospice medical director would sign the death certificate and send it to the proper authorities. This law would allow coroners to make calls that are necessary and not be tied up going to patients that are receiving hospice care.

During the 2019 State Legislative session, the Missouri House and Missouri Senate overwhelmingly approved House Bill 447. Champions in the House were Rep. Jim Neely (RCameron) and Rep. Dan Houx (R-Warrensburg) and in the Senate Senator Jeanie Riddle (RFulton). MHPCA was extremely proud of the hard work our members made to get the bill passed.

Several other issues relating to deaths and coroners were amended on to the legislation in the Senate. As the bill moved to the Governor for his signature, MHPCA learned that the Governor had issues with one particular part of the bill. A section of the legislation allowed for outdoor cremations. On July 12, 2019, the Governor vetoed the bill, and in his veto letter, he stated his opposition to that section only. Many of our hospices and their staff contacted the Governor’s office prior to his veto hoping that he would reconsider.

MHPCA is committed to working with our bill sponsors and Governor next session to pass this legislation and have it signed in to law. We are all very disappointed the bill did not become law this year. MHPCA is asking for your continued support to get the death investigation legislation across the finish line next session. Please keep your State Representatives and State Senators informed of the importance of this legislation.

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