Offer Your Testimony on House Bill 08-1123

The House Business Affairs and Labor Committee is scheduled to hear testimony on House Bill 08-1123 on January 31, 2008 at 1:30 PM at the Capitol in Room 0107 (that’s in the basement). A full PDF copy of the bill is available for you by clicking here.

There are four bills scheduled to be heard that day, HB 08-1123 is currently first on the docket, although that can change. It’s always a good idea to bring a book or something you can work on while waiting to testify. Anyone can come and listen to testimony, but if you want to testify here is the process.

You will need to sign the registration sheet inside the room where the testimony will be heard. You will need to include your name, who you represent, and if you are in favor of or in opposition of the bill. Don’t worry about remembering all of this; the sign in sheet will prompt you on these questions.

When addressing the committee, begin by saying, “Madam Chair and Members of the Committee, my name is ___________, and I represent _(you don’t have to represent anyone, just include the information if you are)_. I am here today in support of House Bill 1123 because _____________________________.” The expectation is not that you will come across as a professional speaker, but will be sincere and respectful in what you are saying. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.

Bring your passion with you that day!
The legislators respond well to people who are passionate about their cause.

Be positive.
Don’t talk down or insult anyone else who has already testified, this is not a debate. Being negative and angry will also alienate them from your cause as they will just tune out what you are saying.

Don’t repeat what others have already said.
If you are the third of fourth person to testify and someone has already said what you wanted to say, they will be more responsive toward you if you politely say that your position has already been stated, and you have nothing new to add. Remember their day can consist of hearing the same thing over and over again from different people; be respectful of everyone’s time.

Know the bill.
Reference the bill whenever possible to back up what you support and why you support it.

Use facts.
All testimony becomes part of a permanent record and may be used in future research. Make certain that you know what you are saying is factually true, don’t include things that you may have heard, or think may be going on.

Be Prepared.
Giving public testimony before a legislative committee can an exciting and rewarding experience, if you are prepared.

House Bill 08-1123 is Introduced

House Bill 08-2113 has been introduced by House Representative Debbie Stafford. Sponsorship from Senate comes by way of Senator Larry Johnson. A full PDF copy of the bill is available for you by clicking here. End of Life Insights will keep you informed as the bill moves forward. Below is the information that we have so far.

The bill has been assigned to the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee. The members of that committee are listed below.

Representative Marshall is the Chairman of the committee, and Representative Rice is the Vice-Chair. The bill must make it past this first committee before it can go forward. Please consider contacting these Representatives to offer your position of the bill.

Rep. David Balmer, 39th Dist., Arapahoe Co.,, 303-866-2935

Rep. Morgan Carroll, 36th Dist., Arapahoe Co.,, 303-866-2942

Rep. Mark Ferrandino, 2nd Dist., Denver,, 303-866-2911

Rep. Cheri Jahn, 24th Dist., Jefferson Co.,, 303-866-5522

Rep. Larry Liston, 16th Dist, El Paso Co.,, 303-866-2965

Rep. Rosemary Marshall, 8th Dist., Denver,, 303-866-2959

Rep. Victor Mitchell, 45th Dist., Douglas/Teller Co.’s,, 303-866-2948

Rep. Joe Rice, 38th Dist., Arapahoe/Jefferson Co.’s,, 303-866-2953

Rep. John Soper, 24th Dist., Adams Co.,, 303-866-2931

Rep. Amy Stephens, 20th Dist., El Paso Co.,, 303-866-2924

Please keep in mind that the Legislators rarely read their own email, their staff usually weeds through the inbox and makes notes as to the numbers of people in support or opposition of a bill. It is not necessary to write a lengthy letter of support, just simply include your name, where you are from, who you are with, and and then tell them your position on House Bill HB08-1123.

The subject line of your email should read “HB08-1123”.
Your greeting could read, “Dear Representatives of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee”...

You can also call each Representative and leave a message with your name, where you are from, who you are with, and that you support HB08-1123 and then tell them your position on the bill.

Pre-Planning Funerals -- Good Idea or Total Rip-Off

The January Edition of the AARP Magazine features an interesting article about pre-funding a funeral and it worth every minute of your time to read (you can read the full AARP article here).

Although it was full of a lot of accurate and helpful information, there are a few additional points which should be referenced. The concept of pre-paying for funeral expenses was not started by American money hungry capitalist pigs in the 1930’s. The concept of pre-paying for all social classes actually began in the Middle-Ages when Burial Clubs were formed and members would contribute funds for shared services such as an Officiant, candles, equipment and supplies which could be used over and over. Members also attended each others funerals.

So although the concept of pre-paying is not new, the ways in which businesses fleece money from people is ever changing; and that is why the most important lesson when pre-paying a funeral is “Buyer Beware”.

There is a common misconception that people have about pre-planning that the article touched upon didn’t explain fully. When you purchase a funeral plan there are certain items that you can pay for in advance and certain items that you cannot pay for in advance.

Those items not paid for in advance are termed “Cash Advance Items.” Those are items that the Mortuary incurs on your behalf for your convenience and they make no money from. A few examples can be death certificates, clergy honorariums, and cemetery charges. Most funeral homes will incur these charges on your behalf so that you can write one check to them after the death has occurred, and then they will pay the State for the certified death certificates, they will pay the clergy directly for you, they will pay the cemetery directly for you.

Cash advance items are listed in a separate contract once the death occurs. But the family thinks, “I already paid for my funeral, why do I have to pay for these charges too?” Almost every family will have some type of cash advance item to pay for when the death occurs. Find out from the funeral home you purchased your pre-need from which items they consider cash advance items that you will be responsible for when the actual death occurs.

Pre-funding a funeral is simply a choice that is good for some for several reasons and doesn’t make sense for others for other reasons. In an upcoming Helping You Through blog we will explore some of those reasons for and against, in greater detail.