NASHVILLE -- State Sen. Ophelia Ford -- already a YouTube star for her snarling "what you're saying ain't hittin' on nothin' with me" speech last year -- was back at it last week, berating regulators about new state fees on the funeral industry.
"ENTER DUMB AND DUMBER !"
( She demanded regulators disclose who imposed a new $150 biannual registration fee on preneed funeral sales agents and what it's for.---Turns out that Ford and her legislative colleagues imposed the fee.---)
Acknowledging that she's a licensed funeral director, Ford complained in a legislative hearing Aug. 13 that fees are going to "eat us up and put us out of business."
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She demanded regulators disclose who imposed a new $150 biannual registration fee on preneed funeral sales agents and what it's for.
Turns out that Ford and her legislative colleagues imposed the fee.
Ford voted twice in favor of the 2007 Prepaid Funeral Benefits Act, which placed preneed funeral contracts and their sales agents under regulatory oversight by the state Department of Commerce and Insurance and required DCI to levy fees to pay for the regulation so that taxpayers wouldn't have to.
The act was adopted by the legislature in 2007 after more than 13,000 people were almost left holding worthless preneed policies sold through Forest Hill Funeral Homes of Memphis.
Last week's hearing by the Government Operations Committee was held to review rules drafted by state agencies to carry out new laws. DCI staff attorney Adrian Chick and Robert Gribble, staff director of the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, presented the draft rules to the committee, which delayed approving the rules after Ford and other members asked for a list of all state fees on funeral homes.