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Public Act 102-0754


 

Public Act 0754 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 102-0754
 
HB2985 EnrolledLRB102 13837 RJF 19188 b

    AN ACT concerning State government.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 1. Short title; references to Act.
    (a) Short title. This Act may be cited as the Murdered
Children Funeral and Burial Assistance Act.
    (b) References to Act. This Act may be referred to as the
Mychal Moultry, Jr. Funeral and Burial Assistance Act.
 
    Section 5. Purpose; findings.
    (a) Gun violence is the leading cause of death for
children and teenagers in Illinois.
    (b) Parents and guardians who experience the death of a
child by gun violence face the painful process of bereavement
while also bearing the responsibilities of planning a funeral
and paying for funeral and burial expenses, usually through
some form of debt.
    (c) While the State assists the families of murdered
children with funeral and burial expenses, assistance is
primarily in the form of a reimbursement to the family after a
formal application is submitted. After submission, the
application undergoes a lengthy evaluation process by a review
committee and a subsequent hearing before an administrative
court. The process takes months, even years, before a final
decision is rendered, during which time the victim's family
can incur an overwhelming amount of debt.
    (d) This debt is particularly burdensome for low-income
families, who struggle to repay the debt while continuing to
provide for the family's basic needs. Many families rely on
in-kind donations to support their basic needs while they work
to pay off funeral and burial expenses.
    (e) It is the intent of this Act to assist the families of
children murdered in Illinois with funeral and burial expenses
by having the State issue direct payments to funeral
establishments and cemetery authorities instead of having the
victim's family struggle to pay the cost and wait for
reimbursement. Direct payments will enable families to secure
burial rights and funeral and burial services and merchandise
without enduring significant financial hardship and debt.
    (f) This Act provides for expedited processing and payment
of all disbursement requests for child victim funeral and
burial expenses.
 
    Section 10. Definitions. In this Act:
    "Burial rights" means rights of internment, inurnment, or
entombment.
    "Cemetery authority" means any individual or legal entity
that owns or controls cemetery lands or property that provides
burial rights and burial services and merchandise to a child
victim consistent with the Cemetery Oversight Act.
    "Child victim" means a person under 17 years of age killed
in this State by a firearm as a result of first degree murder,
second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter of an unborn
child, involuntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter
of an unborn child.
    "Department" means the Department of Human Services.
    "Eligible survivor" means the parent or guardian of a
child victim, or anyone living in the household of a child
victim in a relationship with the victim that is substantially
similar to that of a parent, who has a household income of less
than 150% of the federal poverty level, qualifies for payment
of funeral and burial expenses under this Act, and has or
shares the authority to direct the disposition of the remains
of the victim pursuant to the Disposition of Remains Act.
    "Funeral and burial expenses" means expenses that include,
but are not limited to, the transport of deceased human
remains to a funeral establishment; the preparation of
deceased human remains for burial, including cleaning,
disinfecting, and embalming; the preparation, direction, and
supervision of the burial, cremation, or other disposition of
deceased human remains, including furnishing a casket, vault,
mausoleum, columbarium, or urn; the administration of funeral
arrangements, including providing printed materials, providing
transportation of the deceased human remains to the burial
site, and furnishing necessary facilities and equipment; and
any other service related to the carrying out of funeral or
burial services that the Department may allow, if consistent
with the law, up to the total allowable amount of disbursement
under Section 40.
    "Funeral establishment" means a State-licensed funeral
home, funeral chapel, funeral parlor, or other business that
provides funeral and burial services to a child victim.
 
    Section 15. Felon as victim or survivor. An eligible
survivor's or child victim's criminal history or felony status
shall not automatically prevent an award for payment of the
child victim's funeral and burial expenses.
 
    Section 20. Additional powers; Department of Human
Services. In addition to other powers and duties set forth in
this Act and other powers exercised by the Department, the
Department shall conduct a review of disbursement requests
submitted by a funeral establishment or cemetery authority,
which includes verification of the eligible survivor's
household income, verification of the child victim's death
certificate, and a review of the statement of goods and
services provided by the funeral establishment or cemetery
authority. Upon conclusion of the review, the Department shall
provide the funeral establishment or cemetery authority with a
payment determination letter. The Department shall disburse
payment to a funeral establishment or cemetery authority.
 
    Section 25. Right to disbursement.
    (a) With respect to the provision of burial rights and
funeral and burial services and merchandise within the
applicable scope of practice, a funeral establishment or
cemetery authority is entitled to a disbursement under this
Act if within one year of the occurrence of the crime upon
which a disbursement request is made, the funeral
establishment or cemetery authority submits the request to the
Department on a form prescribed in accordance with Section 30
as furnished by the Department.
    (b) The Department may accept a request presented after
the period provided in subsection (a) if it determines that
the funeral establishment or cemetery authority had a good
cause for a delay.
 
    Section 30. Disbursement request requirements.
    (a) A disbursement request shall include:
        (1) the name and address of the eligible survivor and
    his or her relationship to the child victim;
        (2) the date and nature of the crime on which the
    disbursement request is based;
        (3) the nature and extent of the injuries sustained by
    the child victim, and the names and addresses of those
    giving any medical and hospitalization treatment to the
    child victim;
        (4) a copy of the child victim's death certificate;
        (5) an affidavit of facts of death;
        (6) documentation verifying an eligible survivor's
    household income;
        (7) a copy of the invoice detailing funeral and burial
    expenses, including any applicable taxes, surcharges, and
    fees;
        (8) releases authorizing the surrender to the
    Department of reports, documents and other information
    relating to matters specified under this Act and rules
    adopted in accordance with this Act; and
        (9) such other information as the Department
    reasonably requires.
    (b) The Department may require that materials
substantiating the facts stated in the disbursement request be
submitted with that request.
    (c) A funeral establishment or cemetery authority, on its
own volition, may file an amended request or additional
substantiating materials to correct inadvertent errors or
omissions at any time before the original request has been
disposed of by the Department. In either case, the filing of
additional information or of an amended request shall be
considered for the purpose of this Act to have been filed at
the same time as the original request.
 
    Section 35. Additional materials requested. If a funeral
establishment or cemetery authority does not submit all
materials substantiating its disbursement request as requested
by the Department, the Department shall notify the
establishment in writing of the specific additional items of
information or materials required and that it has 30 days in
which to furnish those items to the Department. No
disbursement shall be made for any portion of the request from
a funeral establishment or cemetery authority that is not
substantiated by the establishment or authority. An
establishment or authority may request an extension of time
from the Department prior to the expiration of the 30-day
period.
 
    Section 40. Amount of disbursement.
    (a) The total amount of disbursement for funeral and
burial expenses for a child victim shall be no more than
$10,000, to be apportioned between the funeral establishment
and cemetery authority by those eligible survivors authorized
to direct the disposition of remains pursuant to the
Disposition of Remains Act.
    (b) Upon submitting a disbursement request to the
Department, and upon the Department's review of such request
verifying that a survivor is an eligible survivor, a funeral
establishment and cemetery authority shall each receive
disbursement from the Department in the amount of the total
cost of burial rights and funeral services and merchandise
provided, up to the allocation amount. The Department shall
process all payment vouchers within 30 days of submission of a
complete disbursement request, and shall pay all such vouchers
within 30 days of receipt. All disbursement requests that are
not paid within 60 days shall thereafter accrue interest at
the rate set by the Prompt Payment Act.
    (c) Beginning on July 1, 2024, the maximum allowable
disbursement amount shall be increased each year by an amount
equal to any increase in the general inflation, as determined
by the index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the
United States Department of Labor that measures the average
change in prices of goods and services purchased by all urban
consumers, United States city average, all items, 1982-84 =
100.
 
    Section 45. Prohibition against double payment;
recordkeeping; payment recapture.
    (a) If any funeral and burial expenses are paid under this
Act, no award for such assistance shall be granted to any party
in relation to funeral and burial expenses for the same child
victim under the Crime Victims Compensation Act or the
Department of Human Services Funeral and Burial Benefits
Program.
    (b) No person or entity receiving assistance under this
Act shall receive or retain a duplicate award for funeral and
burial expenses for a child victim from any State agency or
agencies. For the purposes of this Section, a duplicate award
is one that results in a total award from the State for the
cost of funeral and burial expenses for a child victim in
excess of that authorized by the Department. To prevent such
duplicate awards, the Department shall maintain an electronic
record of each disbursement to a funeral establishment or
cemetery authority and provide access to such records to any
State agency providing funeral or burial assistance to
Illinois residents.
    (c) The Department is authorized to contract with
third-party entities to conduct payment recapture audits to
detect and recapture payments made in error or as a result of
fraud or abuse. A payment recapture audit shall include the
process of identifying improper payments paid to a funeral
establishment or cemetery authority or to an eligible survivor
whereby accounting specialists examine payment records and
uncover duplicate payments, payments for services not
rendered, overpayments, payments for unauthorized services,
and fictitious vendors. This audit may include the use of
professional and specialized auditors on a contingency basis,
with compensation tied to the identification of misspent
funds.
 
    Section 50. Notice to public of available assistance.
    (a) The Department shall develop a brochure informing the
public of the existence of funeral and burial assistance for
the families of murdered children under this Act and make the
brochure available on its website.
    (b) Any law enforcement agency that investigates an
offense committed in this State shall inform the parent or
guardian of the child victim concerning the availability of
assistance for funeral and burial expenses under this Act and
advise such persons that any information concerning this Act
may be obtained from the Department.
 
    Section 900. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by
adding Section 12-4.11-5 as follows:
 
    (305 ILCS 5/12-4.11-5 new)
    Sec. 12-4.11-5. Murdered Children Funeral and Burial
Assistance Program. The Department of Human Services shall by
rule administer the Murdered Children Funeral and Burial
Assistance Program. Eligibility for the Murdered Children
Funeral and Burial Assistance Program shall be limited to
those individuals as described in the Murdered Children
Funeral and Burial Assistance Act.
    Beginning July 1, 2023, the Department of Human Services
shall make eligibility determinations for the Murdered
Children Funeral and Burial Assistance Program and, subject to
appropriation, shall make disbursements for eligible cases to
a funeral establishment or cemetery authority as provided
under the Murdered Children Funeral and Burial Assistance Act.
 
    Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 5/10/2022