Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2985
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Full Text of HB2985  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title; references to Act.
5    (a) Short title. This Act may be cited as the Murdered
6Children Funeral and Burial Assistance Act.
7    (b) References to Act. This Act may be referred to as the
8Mychal Moultry, Jr. Funeral and Burial Assistance Act.
9    Section 5. Purpose; findings.
10    (a) Gun violence is the leading cause of death for
11children and teenagers in Illinois.
12    (b) Parents and guardians who experience the death of a
13child by gun violence face the painful process of bereavement
14while also bearing the responsibilities of planning a funeral
15and paying for funeral and burial expenses, usually through
16some form of debt.
17    (c) While the State assists the families of murdered
18children with funeral and burial expenses, assistance is
19primarily in the form of a reimbursement to the family after a
20formal application is submitted. After submission, the
21application undergoes a lengthy evaluation process by a review
22committee and a subsequent hearing before an administrative
23court. The process takes months, even years, before a final



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1decision is rendered, during which time the victim's family
2can incur an overwhelming amount of debt.
3    (d) This debt is particularly burdensome for low-income
4families, who struggle to repay the debt while continuing to
5provide for the family's basic needs. Many families rely on
6in-kind donations to support their basic needs while they work
7to pay off funeral and burial expenses.
8    (e) It is the intent of this Act to assist the families of
9children murdered in Illinois with funeral and burial expenses
10by having the State issue direct payments to funeral
11establishments and cemetery authorities instead of having the
12victim's family struggle to pay the cost and wait for
13reimbursement. Direct payments will enable families to secure
14burial rights and funeral and burial services and merchandise
15without enduring significant financial hardship and debt.
16    (f) This Act provides for expedited processing and payment
17of all disbursement requests for child victim funeral and
18burial expenses.
19    Section 10. Definitions. In this Act:
20    "Burial rights" means rights of internment, inurnment, or
22    "Cemetery authority" means any individual or legal entity
23that owns or controls cemetery lands or property that provides
24burial rights and burial services and merchandise to a child
25victim consistent with the Cemetery Oversight Act.



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1    "Child victim" means a person under 17 years of age killed
2in this State by a firearm as a result of first degree murder,
3second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter of an unborn
4child, involuntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter
5of an unborn child.
6    "Department" means the Department of Human Services.
7    "Eligible survivor" means the parent or guardian of a
8child victim, or anyone living in the household of a child
9victim in a relationship with the victim that is substantially
10similar to that of a parent, who has a household income of less
11than 150% of the federal poverty level, qualifies for payment
12of funeral and burial expenses under this Act, and has or
13shares the authority to direct the disposition of the remains
14of the victim pursuant to the Disposition of Remains Act.
15    "Funeral and burial expenses" means expenses that include,
16but are not limited to, the transport of deceased human
17remains to a funeral establishment; the preparation of
18deceased human remains for burial, including cleaning,
19disinfecting, and embalming; the preparation, direction, and
20supervision of the burial, cremation, or other disposition of
21deceased human remains, including furnishing a casket, vault,
22mausoleum, columbarium, or urn; the administration of funeral
23arrangements, including providing printed materials, providing
24transportation of the deceased human remains to the burial
25site, and furnishing necessary facilities and equipment; and
26any other service related to the carrying out of funeral or



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1burial services that the Department may allow, if consistent
2with the law, up to the total allowable amount of disbursement
3under Section 40.
4    "Funeral establishment" means a State-licensed funeral
5home, funeral chapel, funeral parlor, or other business that
6provides funeral and burial services to a child victim.
7    Section 15. Felon as victim or survivor. An eligible
8survivor's or child victim's criminal history or felony status
9shall not automatically prevent an award for payment of the
10child victim's funeral and burial expenses.
11    Section 20. Additional powers; Department of Human
12Services. In addition to other powers and duties set forth in
13this Act and other powers exercised by the Department, the
14Department shall conduct a review of disbursement requests
15submitted by a funeral establishment or cemetery authority,
16which includes verification of the eligible survivor's
17household income, verification of the child victim's death
18certificate, and a review of the statement of goods and
19services provided by the funeral establishment or cemetery
20authority. Upon conclusion of the review, the Department shall
21provide the funeral establishment or cemetery authority with a
22payment determination letter. The Department shall disburse
23payment to a funeral establishment or cemetery authority.



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1    Section 25. Right to disbursement.
2    (a) With respect to the provision of burial rights and
3funeral and burial services and merchandise within the
4applicable scope of practice, a funeral establishment or
5cemetery authority is entitled to a disbursement under this
6Act if within one year of the occurrence of the crime upon
7which a disbursement request is made, the funeral
8establishment or cemetery authority submits the request to the
9Department on a form prescribed in accordance with Section 30
10as furnished by the Department.
11    (b) The Department may accept a request presented after
12the period provided in subsection (a) if it determines that
13the funeral establishment or cemetery authority had a good
14cause for a delay.
15    Section 30. Disbursement request requirements.
16    (a) A disbursement request shall include:
17        (1) the name and address of the eligible survivor and
18    his or her relationship to the child victim;
19        (2) the date and nature of the crime on which the
20    disbursement request is based;
21        (3) the nature and extent of the injuries sustained by
22    the child victim, and the names and addresses of those
23    giving any medical and hospitalization treatment to the
24    child victim;
25        (4) a copy of the child victim's death certificate;



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1        (5) an affidavit of facts of death;
2        (6) documentation verifying an eligible survivor's
3    household income;
4        (7) a copy of the invoice detailing funeral and burial
5    expenses, including any applicable taxes, surcharges, and
6    fees;
7        (8) releases authorizing the surrender to the
8    Department of reports, documents and other information
9    relating to matters specified under this Act and rules
10    adopted in accordance with this Act; and
11        (9) such other information as the Department
12    reasonably requires.
13    (b) The Department may require that materials
14substantiating the facts stated in the disbursement request be
15submitted with that request.
16    (c) A funeral establishment or cemetery authority, on its
17own volition, may file an amended request or additional
18substantiating materials to correct inadvertent errors or
19omissions at any time before the original request has been
20disposed of by the Department. In either case, the filing of
21additional information or of an amended request shall be
22considered for the purpose of this Act to have been filed at
23the same time as the original request.
24    Section 35. Additional materials requested. If a funeral
25establishment or cemetery authority does not submit all



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1materials substantiating its disbursement request as requested
2by the Department, the Department shall notify the
3establishment in writing of the specific additional items of
4information or materials required and that it has 30 days in
5which to furnish those items to the Department. No
6disbursement shall be made for any portion of the request from
7a funeral establishment or cemetery authority that is not
8substantiated by the establishment or authority. An
9establishment or authority may request an extension of time
10from the Department prior to the expiration of the 30-day
12    Section 40. Amount of disbursement.
13    (a) The total amount of disbursement for funeral and
14burial expenses for a child victim shall be no more than
15$10,000, to be apportioned between the funeral establishment
16and cemetery authority by those eligible survivors authorized
17to direct the disposition of remains pursuant to the
18Disposition of Remains Act.
19    (b) Upon submitting a disbursement request to the
20Department, and upon the Department's review of such request
21verifying that a survivor is an eligible survivor, a funeral
22establishment and cemetery authority shall each receive
23disbursement from the Department in the amount of the total
24cost of burial rights and funeral services and merchandise
25provided, up to the allocation amount. The Department shall



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1process all payment vouchers within 30 days of submission of a
2complete disbursement request, and shall pay all such vouchers
3within 30 days of receipt. All disbursement requests that are
4not paid within 60 days shall thereafter accrue interest at
5the rate set by the Prompt Payment Act.
6    (c) Beginning on July 1, 2024, the maximum allowable
7disbursement amount shall be increased each year by an amount
8equal to any increase in the general inflation, as determined
9by the index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the
10United States Department of Labor that measures the average
11change in prices of goods and services purchased by all urban
12consumers, United States city average, all items, 1982-84 =
14    Section 45. Prohibition against double payment;
15recordkeeping; payment recapture.
16    (a) If any funeral and burial expenses are paid under this
17Act, no award for such assistance shall be granted to any party
18in relation to funeral and burial expenses for the same child
19victim under the Crime Victims Compensation Act or the
20Department of Human Services Funeral and Burial Benefits
22    (b) No person or entity receiving assistance under this
23Act shall receive or retain a duplicate award for funeral and
24burial expenses for a child victim from any State agency or
25agencies. For the purposes of this Section, a duplicate award



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1is one that results in a total award from the State for the
2cost of funeral and burial expenses for a child victim in
3excess of that authorized by the Department. To prevent such
4duplicate awards, the Department shall maintain an electronic
5record of each disbursement to a funeral establishment or
6cemetery authority and provide access to such records to any
7State agency providing funeral or burial assistance to
8Illinois residents.
9    (c) The Department is authorized to contract with
10third-party entities to conduct payment recapture audits to
11detect and recapture payments made in error or as a result of
12fraud or abuse. A payment recapture audit shall include the
13process of identifying improper payments paid to a funeral
14establishment or cemetery authority or to an eligible survivor
15whereby accounting specialists examine payment records and
16uncover duplicate payments, payments for services not
17rendered, overpayments, payments for unauthorized services,
18and fictitious vendors. This audit may include the use of
19professional and specialized auditors on a contingency basis,
20with compensation tied to the identification of misspent
22    Section 50. Notice to public of available assistance.
23    (a) The Department shall develop a brochure informing the
24public of the existence of funeral and burial assistance for
25the families of murdered children under this Act and make the



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1brochure available on its website.
2    (b) Any law enforcement agency that investigates an
3offense committed in this State shall inform the parent or
4guardian of the child victim concerning the availability of
5assistance for funeral and burial expenses under this Act and
6advise such persons that any information concerning this Act
7may be obtained from the Department.
8    Section 900. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by
9adding Section 12-4.11-5 as follows:
10    (305 ILCS 5/12-4.11-5 new)
11    Sec. 12-4.11-5. Murdered Children Funeral and Burial
12Assistance Program. The Department of Human Services shall by
13rule administer the Murdered Children Funeral and Burial
14Assistance Program. Eligibility for the Murdered Children
15Funeral and Burial Assistance Program shall be limited to
16those individuals as described in the Murdered Children
17Funeral and Burial Assistance Act.
18    Beginning July 1, 2023, the Department of Human Services
19shall make eligibility determinations for the Murdered
20Children Funeral and Burial Assistance Program and, subject to
21appropriation, shall make disbursements for eligible cases to
22a funeral establishment or cemetery authority as provided
23under the Murdered Children Funeral and Burial Assistance Act.
24    Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon



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1becoming law.