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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: September 25, 2023 09:35 AM
From: Representative Tim Brennan
To: All House members
Subject: Easing Restrictions on Municipalities Who Take Ownership of Cemeteries
When a local church closes its doors, the first question community members ask is: what will happen to the cemetery? Pennsylvania law considers municipalities to be the actors-of-last resort in this situation and requires them to take control of and maintain neglected or abandoned cemeteries. But when municipalities do take ownership, current law also requires them to register as cemetery companies with the State Real Estate Commission. Registration as a cemetery company is intended for private, for-profit companies who sell burial plots to the public, not local governments.
That is why I am introducing legislation that will amend the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act to exempt municipalities from registering as a cemetery company. The law already provides exceptions for religious congregations, fraternal and non-profit organizations, and I believe municipalities ought to be included as well. This registration requirement impedes the work of local governments, whose primary goal is to maintain these neglected burial grounds.
We owe it to our communities to guarantee that families can visit well maintained cemeteries while easing incumbering restrictions on local governments who are required to step up in these situations. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. Thank you.

Introduced as HB1730