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HB 15 — Funerals and Burials

by Reps. Rooney, Eagle, and others (CS/SB 118 by Criminal Justice Committee and Senators Benacquisto, Evers, and Hukill)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Regulated Industries Committee (RI)

The bill provides that it is a misdemeanor of the first degree to knowingly engage in protest activities, or knowingly cause protest activities to occur within 500 feet of the property line of any residence, cemetery, funeral home, house of worship, or other location during or within 1 hour before or 1 hour after the conducting of a funeral, burial, or memorial service at that place. 

The bill does not prohibit protest activities that occur next to a funeral procession that extends beyond 500 feet of the property line of the location of the funeral or burial. 

A first degree misdemeanor is punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year and a fine not to exceed $1,000. 

The bill defines “protest activities” to mean any action, including picketing, that is undertaken with the intent to interrupt or disturb a funeral or burial.

These provisions were approved by the Governor and take effect October 1, 2013.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 116-0