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Johnson & Weinberg Bill to Ensure Fairness in Burial Costs Now Law

Assemblyman Gordon Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg issued the following statements on the signing of legislation they sponsored to ensure fairness for religious or charitable organizations that provide assistance to their members in their greatest time of need, by providing burial plots for those who have passed.

Signed into law last week, the bill (S1146/A2619) excludes certain conveyances of graves, crypt and niches from the 15% fee that cemetery companies currently charge. The exemption applies to corporations or associations organized not for profit exclusively for religious or charitable purposes.

Assemblyman Johnson:

“Many religious and charitable organizations donate graciously to help families lay their loved ones to rest. As non-profit organizations, they must watch every dollar wisely. This law will help aid them in their generous quest and ultimately help those less fortunate bury their loved ones with dignity.”

Senator Weinberg:

“Saying goodbye to a loved one and making arrangements for their final resting place has to be among the hardest things any of us will ever be asked to do. To help ease this burden on their members, some religious organizations purchase large areas of land and provide a plot when an individual passes. Previous law required the organization to pay a fee on the land both when it was purchased and when the plot was provided.

“This law clarifies that religious organizations are not obligated to pay a fee each time a plot is transferred. This is about treating religious organizations with fairness, and allowing them to focus on helping their members in their greatest time of need.

“We would like to thank the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, as well as Rabbis Shammai Engelmayer, Steven Sirbu and Neil Borovitz for their work on this issue.”