Committee: Boards, Agencies and CommissionsSponsor: Brown (K)
Analyst: Bryan YoungDate: 03/09/2021

FISCAL NOTE

House Bill 476 as introduced transfers the powers, duties, and functions of the Department of Insurance relating to the regulation of endowment care, preneed sales contracts, and the licensing of preneed sales agents to the Alabama Board of Funeral Service. This will (1) decrease the administrative obligations of the Department by an estimated minimum of $475,000 annually for costs associated with personnel assigned to preneed matters and (2) correspondingly decrease receipts to the Insurance Department Fund by an estimated $100,000 annually from receipts for preneed service fees. This bill will also decrease potential receipts to the State General Fund from fines levied by the Department. An average of $21,000 from fines related to preneed services have been collected and deposited annually into the State General Fund.

In addition, this bill will increase the obligations of the Board by a board-estimated $975,000 annually for the regulation of preneed contacts and cemeteries.

This bill would further increase the obligations of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service by (1) a maximum annual amount of $4,500 to increase the per diem for members of the Board from $50 to $75 and (2) a maximum annual amount of $7,500 plus any reimbursed travel expense to compensate members of the Preneed Funeral and Cemetery Oversight Committee established by this bill.

The increase in obligations of the Board may be offset, wholly or in part, by (1) fees authorized or revised by this bill, which range from a maximum of $500 biennially to a maximum of $1,600 for a certain application, by an undetermined amount dependent upon the level at which the Board establishes each fee and the number of licensees or applicants, (2) the consumer protection fee established by this bill, which is not to exceed $50 per final disposition arranged or performed by an undetermined amount dependent on the level at which the Board establishes the fee and the number of final dispositions arranged or performed, (3) the audit fees revised and authorized by this bill, which are not to exceed $1,000 per audit day or the cost of the audit, by an undetermined amount dependent upon the type of audit and the number of days or amount of audit expense, and (4) fines authorized or revised by this bill, which range from not to exceed $50 per day to not to exceed $10,000 per violation, by an undetermined amount dependent upon the amount at which the board levies each fine and the number of fines imposed.

In addition, this bill (1) authorizes the Board to hire multiple associate executive directors, (2) renames the Alabama State Funeral Directors and Embalmers Fund in the State Treasury as the Alabama State Funeral Service Fund, (3) establishes the non-reverting Funeral Board Property Acquisition Fund in the State Treasury for the purpose of acquiring, holding, and maintaining property to help the Board carry out its responsibilities, (4) requires the Director of the Board to make a one-time transfer from the Alabama State Funeral Service Fund to the Funeral Board Property Acquisition Fund by the effective date of this act at an amount determined by the Board, and (5) requires the Board to transfer between 2% and 7% of the receipts of the Board from the previous fiscal year to the Funeral Board Property Acquisition Fund annually.

Also this bill as introduced could increase receipts to the State General Fund and municipal general funds from fines; increase receipts to the State General Fund, county general funds, municipal general funds, and other funds to which court costs are deposited; and could increase the obligations of the State General Fund, local jails, the district attorneys, the Department of Corrections, Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, and community corrections programs by an undetermined amount dependent upon the number of persons charged with and convicted of the offenses provided by this bill and the penalties imposed.


 Howard Sanderford, Chair
Boards, Agencies and Commissions