Silly Regulations Bind Funerals, Burials, in Wisconsin

The only thing that won't die is the law


MADISON — It was Benjamin Franklin who coined the sardonic proverb, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

In Wisconsin, you can add to Old Ben's epigram the subcategory of the seemingly never-ending dispute between funeral homes and cemeteries.

For years, Wisconsin cemetery owners have worked to bury an 80-year-old law that prohibits joint ownership of funeral homes and cemeteries. Last year, a bill that would have removed the restriction, again, died in committee.

Mark Graul, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Organization for Responsible Consumerism, a coalition of cemetery owners formed to repeal the prohibition, asserts there will be a similar bill introduced "probably very soon."