Text: S.3340 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (09/15/2016)


114th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3340


To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with funeral homes to ensure the expeditious and respectful provision of burial and funeral services for indigent, deceased veterans and remains of deceased veterans that are unclaimed, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 15, 2016

Mr. Kirk introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs


A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with funeral homes to ensure the expeditious and respectful provision of burial and funeral services for indigent, deceased veterans and remains of deceased veterans that are unclaimed, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Respectful Interment for Passing Veterans Act of 2016”.

SEC. 2. Ensuring expeditious and respectful provision of burial and funeral services for indigent, deceased veterans and remains of deceased veterans that are unclaimed.

(a) Contracts for burial and funeral services.—Section 2302 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(c) The Secretary shall enter into a contract under paragraph (1)(A) with at least one funeral home near each medical center of the Department for the expeditious provision of burial and funeral services for deceased veterans described in subsection (a).”.

(b) Establishment of policy.—

(1) POLICY REQUIRED.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish a policy on the provision of respectful and timely burial of veterans described in section 2302(a) of title 38, United States Code.

(2) BEST PRACTICES.—The Secretary shall ensure that the policy established under paragraph (1) is based on best practices used in the private sector.

(3) BALANCE OF INTERESTS.—In establishing the policy required by paragraph (1), the Secretary shall balance the interests of the deceased in identifying the deceased's next of kin and the interests of the deceased in having a timely burial.

(4) CONSULTATION REQUIRED.—In establishing the policy required by paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with the following:

(A) One or more funeral directors.

(B) One or more county coroners or one or more medical examiners.

(C) One or more representatives of a non-Department of Veterans Affairs hospital.

(D) One or more representatives of a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center.

(E) One or more veterans service organizations.

(5) TEMPORARY ADOPTION OF LOCAL PRACTICES.—Until the Secretary establishes the policy required by paragraph (1), the Secretary shall follow State and local government practices with respect to the treatment of unclaimed remains of deceased veterans.

(c) Annual report.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not less frequently than once each year, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the remains of covered veterans who died in the most recently completed calendar year.

(2) CONTENTS.—The report required by paragraph (1) shall include, for the period covered by the report, the following:

(A) The number of covered veterans whose remains were in morgues of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(B) For each such veteran, the following:

(i) The date of the death of the veteran.

(ii) The date on which the remains were transferred to a funeral home.

(iii) The date of the burial of the veteran.

(iv) The sex of the veteran.

(v) The date of the birth of the veteran.

(d) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS.—The term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—

(A) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(B) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(2) COVERED VETERAN.—The term “covered veteran” means a veteran described in section 2302(a) of title 38, United States Code.

(3) VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATION.—The term “veterans service organization” means any organization recognized by the Secretary for the representation of veterans under section 5902 of title 38, United States Code.