Archive for Monday, April 18, 2011

Kansas House committee rejects proposal to assist those who cannot afford funeral services

April 18, 2011


— A Lawrence legislator on Monday tried to restore funding to help bury the destitute.

But Republicans on the Kansas House Appropriations Committee rejected the move.

Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, made a plea to add $500,000 to the final budget bill “to take care of public assistance recipients who die without funds so that they can be taken care of in dignity.”

But Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, said, “I don’t believe this is the state’s responsibility.”

Peck, who said he was once part-owner of a funeral home in Houston, said there are other sources of funding to help bury the poor, such as insurance, charities and relatives.

And, he said, people need to prepare for burial expenses.

“Everyone who is alive today knows they are going to pass away,” he said.

But Ballard said the state program that provides for funeral assistance is for people who don’t have the means to prepare for burial expenses.

Under the funeral assistance program, a funeral home receives about $550 for burial of a person who had been receiving state assistance and had few or no assets. Funeral homes say that amount doesn’t come near covering their costs even if the person is cremated.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposal ended the program.

Ballard sought to restore enough funds that funeral homes would get about $400 per person.

But Republicans on the committee rejected the idea.


SeaBee 6 years ago

"But Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, said, “I don’t believe this is the state’s responsibility.”

Peck, who said he was once part-owner of a funeral home in Houston, said there are other sources of funding to help bury the poor, such as insurance, charities and relatives.

And, he said, people need to prepare for burial expenses.

“Everyone who is alive today knows they are going to pass away,” he said."

And the poorest amongst us know that they will probably need to eat in the near future, like maybe tomorrow.

And the elderly poor know they may well need medications tomorrow.

This guy Peck is a real piece of work. Maybe he's just "speaking like a Southeast Kansan" again.

Too disgusted to say any more.

question4u 6 years ago

What if Kansas were to adopt Peck's plan to gun down immigrants from helicopters? Would he at least concede that it would be the state's responsibility to bury those corpses?

Jan Rolls 6 years ago

I knew this peck was a jerk before but this tops it. Him and sam and the most uncaring people in kansas.

muttonchops 6 years ago

Yea, because the people who voted for him knew he was going to vote against the assistance in burying the destitute.

Orwell 6 years ago

The legislature quits caring about Kansans the moment they're born. Surely you don't expect any concern for those at the other end of life, the newly deceased indigent who can't vote OR make political contributions.

You have to remember the new state motto: "If it ain't Koch, don't fix it."

somebodynew 6 years ago

LOL - but if you think about it; it needs to be "If it ain't Koch, we need to fix it." Of course this happens by "giving to the Rich and taking from the Poor"; you know the saying of their hero, Robbing (the) Hood..

Mike1949 6 years ago

The Republicans are trying to kill off the elderly by destroying medicare, now they just want to dig a big hole to bury them in. That sounds like a (republican) plan!

LadyJ 6 years ago

So what happens if nobody steps forward to pay and the person is not married? You are not legally required to pay for a relative's burial. Just wondering.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

They have these things called "potter's fields".

mloburgio 6 years ago

                 Virgil " i hate mexicans" Peck is quite the prophet, “Everyone who is alive today knows they are going to pass away,” he said.
    Cemetery Cost. withour headstone, Opening the grave and vault preparation are around $600 and $1000 respectively.
      Casket Cost, The average cost of a metal casket then was around $2300 as specified by the National Funeral Directors.
      Funeral Home Fees, These fees vary depending on the funeral home used. They average around $1,595.
      Consider Cremation. services usually start at $1000.

Maddy Griffin 6 years ago

I made arrangements to donate my body to KU Med when I die. I do not have life insurance to cover my final expenses and I'm NOT trying to leave my kids that burden. I cleared out all the credit cards and now only buy what I can pay cash for. There are ways around this kind of stuff if you just think about it and do a little planning. Why should it be the State's responsibility?

Linda Endicott 6 years ago

I looked into this as well...and you do realize, don't you, that donating your body to science is NOT free? After they're done with you, you or your family is expected to pay for cremation...they don't keep you forever... When I checked, the cost for this was around $1700...and that was several years ago...

angel4dennis 6 years ago

This just is disgusting! It is not people wanting charity in the end. Stupid people, wake up! I know a single mom, who just passed away suddenly, leaving behind a beautiful young man. She worked hard and lived from pay check to pay check until her cancer became aggressive very quickly. So how dare you say "people should plan for death" she wasn't given the chance to plan that far ahead on pennies. She paid taxes like everyone else so why doesn't she "qualify" for a proper burial? Why is she considered less of a person than anyone else that have "planned" for their funeral? Mr. Peck, I would like you to answer my questions and to explain to her son that the state of Kansas doesn't care to help him bury his mother. Jerk!

mloburgio 6 years ago

        grammaddy, the ku med is grateful for kind people like you, but the university also can use a few good bodies for the a and p classes and lab. 
       Virgil " i hate mexicans" Peck will want you to pay death and storage taxes before you go.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Evidently, Peck's final solution won't include clearing the bodies off the streets.

TimW 6 years ago

It may have only been a remnant of our British forbears, but there was a time in this country - a time before Social Security, Medicare and other welfare programs - that each city, town, and municipality had an appointed official called the Overseer of the Poor.

This person would have collected food, supplies, and funds to help provide shelter for the poor, indigent, and alone. Yes citizens may, in some manner, have been compelled to give, but many also gave freely to help support their fellow man. Burial may have been in a Potter's Field and without headstone, but it did come with, at the very least, a small bit of dignity.

Maybe you all didn't have this system in the Midwest (but maybe you did, I don't honestly know), but the Overseer of the Poor position remained in many New England towns beyond the first World War.

Yes, there was a time in this country where people cared for each other without having to cry and scream "NO! MINE! GET YOUR OWN!"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

What's the capitalist solution to dead bodies?

tomatogrower 6 years ago

You haven't answered his question, as usual. Would you just throw them in a ditch? What do you suppose should be done if no one has the money to bury someone? Get out of your bunker and join the real world, LO.

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

Let the dead go out and get jobs to pay for their own funerals, the low down lazy shiftless suns of guns.

HE GOP has gone insane. I have grown from disagreeing with them to downright hating them for what they are doing to our state and the country.

opchick 6 years ago

And if Joe has no surviving relatives, let's bring him back from the dead so he can pay to dispose of his body!

tomatogrower 6 years ago

No answer again, LO? Typical conservative. Lots of whining, no solutions.

sandersen 6 years ago

Unbelievable. Not everyone has family to care for them in passing. Sickness, mental illness, disability, untimely passing... All can be factors that leave a fellow human without the simplest of dignities in death.

I am so far beyond disgust at the lack of human kindness, empathy and humanity I am witnessing in the policy and protocol of those whom claim to have a lock on morality! What happened to the supposed pious practicing the simple fundamental of "do unto others"? The stench of unabated greed, apathy and lack of respect for those whom are destitute fills the air, leaving the smirking specter of self-proclaimed righteousness to fill the air with their vile and putrid soundbites of hypocrisy.

sandersen 6 years ago

I pay taxes. Wealthy property owners purportedly pay taxes. I have no issue whatsoever in having the human decency to assure that a fellow human without resources or loved ones has the decency of a simple burial/cremation.

No one is "stealing" from you. Do you not access public roadways? Utilize the protections of police and firefighting professionals in an emergent situation? Have access to public libraries? At some point in your existence, attend public schools or universities? Should you not, in the outside chance that all your loved ones perished and you lost all of worldly value and were to die, be buried or cremated, not only to insure your human dignity, but also to protect others from the potential for disease and pollution due to your unattended corpse?

Your over-simplistic reasoning smacks of hyperbole. Corporate welfare is the exact reason those whom are most vulnerable are losing access to protections our society has mandated through our government.

Morality does not consist of blindly holding to an ideology for ideologies sake. Your callous and lackluster approach to so many subjects is "I'm a Libertarian, you're a socialist, yada yada yada..." . Silly.

There is more to our existence than bloated banter on the virtues of political posturing. It is the simplest of decency that makes the human more than a cluster of animal cells.

sandersen 6 years ago

Hyperbole, once again.

I am not sick, and would bury a fellow human should the need arise and am willing to support the venture of humanity gladly with my tax dollars as well.

I would even bury someone as lacking in civility, graciousness and empathy as you.

Perhaps as you age and mature, you will come to respect there are humans in the world who care about their fellow man. One day, should you ever be in need, you will understand there are those of us who live beyond the small borders of our own minds and existence, and you will be glad of our presence.

sandersen 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

gphawk89 6 years ago

You "would" should the need arise? How many burials have you paid for? Not for family members, but for total strangers?

sandersen 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

emceelean 6 years ago

"The slave's argument all over again. I guess since master was so nice to us slaves we owe him, don't we?"

A despicable and woefully distasteful analogy.

Please apologize for comparing your circumstance as a taxpayer, albeit an unwilling one, to the plight of slaves.

A key difference I can detect is that a slave master would lash you for an interminable period for demonstrating your ability to read and write. Whereas some people would be inclined to characterize your vile and trolling remarks as a demonstration of democracy and free speech.

Again, I implore you to tastefully apologize.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Grind 'em up and feed them to the feral hogs. Virgil's sausage, they will call it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Careful, he may be reading, and propose it at the next session.

Katara 6 years ago

I have a marketing slogan all ready for that new product!

"If you're feeling a bit peckish, try new Virgil's sausage!"

Betty Bartholomew 6 years ago

So when I build a funeral pyre in my back yard, they're not going to fine me, right?

opchick 6 years ago

This makes no sense. Let's NOT ask the wealthy to pay more in taxes to help but it's okay to place the burden on under funded hospitals?? And landlords?


emceelean 6 years ago

It's official. I'm now boycotting your posts as you have just compromised your own principles. Passing the buck to landlords and hospitals seems a glaring contradiction of everything you represent.

I hope that, eventually, no one responds to your loutish remarks and you wither away from this corner of the internet, starved for the dissent you obviously crave.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

That's got to be one of the stupidest posts you've ever deposited here, LO.

Katara 6 years ago

So what if they are state funded hospitals or public housing?

Jan Rolls 6 years ago

Again peck is the laughing stock all over the country. If you put his brain in a bird's head it would fly backwards.

meggers 6 years ago

I see someone is having an ad hominem day.

Amy Heeter 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

opchick 6 years ago

Typical of wingnuts to lack ANY compassion and resort to personal attacks and insults when their heartlessness is exposed. I fear for my country because of these ignorant selfish people.

muttonchops 6 years ago

You are suggesting a remedy that is exactly what you say is greedy, selfish, and heartless. You want to force others to suffer. Instead of having all taxpayers in general pay for the costs of burial when there is no relative to take care of it, you want the entity which by happenstance is in "posession" of the body to foot the bill. So, If I have no heirs, etc, to tend my body and I'm taking a walk and die in your yard, should you have to foot the bill because it's your grass I died in?

Adrienne Sanders 6 years ago

I find it shocking that so many people think the government should be responsible for paying for anyone's funeral costs! Seriously, why on earth should this be the government's responsibility? I'd like to see the govt concentrate its efforts on helping people who are alive. It's too bad everyone can't have a nice funeral, but I'd rather see people living better than having a nice memorial after dying due to lack of appropriate medical care.

Betty Bartholomew 6 years ago

It has nothing to do with having a memorial, only to do with disposing of the body (terrible phrase). Considering do-it-yourself disposal is illegal in most places, they either need to change laws so that poor families can bury or cremate their own on their own (once it's been determined that the death was non-suspicious), or pitch in on the cost. If they don't want to help pay for it anymore, fine, but figure something out so funeral costs don't further break an already broken family.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"Considering do-it-yourself disposal is illegal"

Not to mention impossible.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Actually, it's not. Just die somewhere that the bugs, feral animals, bacteria and the environment will take care of ya.

Richard Payton 6 years ago

Maybe it would become a pressing State problem if all bodies were placed on the Capital grounds Mr. Peck. Just my two cents worth.

Jimo 6 years ago

Didn't even the Pharisees take Judas' silver coins to buy land to bury foreigners who died indigent?

Jimo 6 years ago

Of course, a small government solution would be to deregulate the industry so folks like Peck would scramble to compete. There's a long listing of unnecessary mandated services that exist just to line the pockets of the Pecks of this world. And imagine what could do for casket purchasing!

roadwarrior 6 years ago

Im not shocked the gov't is refusing responsibility for burials. But that doesn't mean bodies will be piling up in the street. Thats not the end of the story, just a closed window. Too many programs, enacted humanitarianly, have been exploited. People in debt with new cars, new boats, new ATVs getting heat subsidies simply because they filled out the forms properly. Society can no longer be trusted with honest generosity since in a lot of cases, no honesty is returned. Liberty is correct that this amounts to stealing. However, in my circle there has been a lot of talk about the social security earnings of those who die before retirement age. Many people do not make it. What is NOT stealing is receiving a parting gift from your social security earnings to dispose of your body at death when no other means is available.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

"People in debt with new cars, new boats, new ATVs getting heat subsidies simply because they filled out the forms properly." ???????

Do you have any idea WTF you are talking about. Energy subsidies are based on income and the number of people in the family. You have to provide proof of you income and dependents. Those who qualify are at poverty level or just above poverty level.

I don't know any low-income folks driving new cars, or owning boats or ATVs. Come again.

Do you really believe your own BS?

roadwarrior 6 years ago

I have it on good authority from those people who deliver said heating fuel that these kinds of recipients exist.

roadwarrior 6 years ago

" You have to provide proof of you income and dependents" I'm not going to try to discuss "adventures in accounting" to someone who, it appears, sends in thier W-2 with the 1040EZ short form BUT on a positive note, said heating fuel providers say they have an anonymous donor whos give to them directly for hands on analysis and distribution.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

The delivery men have no idea who is getting subsidized hearing. The program you refer to is LIEAP, and usually consists of direct cash payments to the low income family.

Try again.

roadwarrior 6 years ago

LIHEAP Negotiations With Non-regulated Fuel Vendors For a number of years, LIHEAP directors have negotiated with fuel oil, propane and other bulk fuel vendors for discounted prices, credits or donations for LIHEAP recipients. The states have been prompted by volatile fuel oil prices, declining or unpredictable federal funds for their programs, and the leveraging incentive provision of the LIHEAP regulations. Under the leveraging incentive provision, states that supplement their LIHEAP grant with additional non-federal funds or resources — such as discounted fuel prices — that directly benefit LIHEAP households can win leveraging award dollars.

The first section of this paper will describe state negotiations with fuel vendors for discounts, credits or donations on behalf of LIHEAP clients; the second will cover other bulk fuel programs that assist low-income households.

roadwarrior 6 years ago

my point is not to prove you wrong. but to support my contention that abuses take place in our very necessary societal charity. we must be vigilant to prevent abuses so these programs can stay strong and affordable to the citizens of this country.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

The SS death benefit is a whopping $200, not even close to the cost of direct cremation, the cheapest way to legally dispose of a body.

Kyle Reed 6 years ago

Pretty sure he's proposing something new that isn't currently an option. Not the SS death benefit.

K_Verses_The_World 6 years ago

Don’t wanna bury nobody, don’t wanna be buried

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

So, does this mean that the state will lift all laws against Viking burials, "sky" burials and truly "green" burials? Of course not! The funeral industry lobby would have a hissy fit!

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Ok, sorry, Gandalf, this is the best post of the day.

ksndn 6 years ago

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I'm assuming everyone here that's cryin around about this are white folk. How is it that my tribe has a burial fund set aside for the inevitable but you guys can't do the same?

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Well, we used to, but the tea partiers in Topeka just got rid of it.

oldbaldguy 6 years ago

I suspect municipalities and counties will pickup the cost. They probably do now. Most public cemetaries have Potter's Fields.

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