02/18/19 -- HB 447 -- Mandate training for coroners

Bill Number: 
HB 447
Bill Purpose: 
Mandate training for coroners
Date of Vote: 
My Vote: 

HB 447, introduced by Dan Houx (Republican - District 54) creates a new "Coroner Standards and Training Commission" within the Department of Heath and Senior Services.  The commission, made up of people appointed by the Governor,  would be tasked with establishing training standards for coroners.  After the program is implemented, elected coroners would be required to complete the specified training in order to sign off on death certificates.

This was a more difficult vote for me, as I recognize that the status quo of not requiring any training for coroners doesn't make much sense.  It is certainly a position in which one would assume a certain level of knowledge would be needed to do an acceptable job.  The argument could be made that its up to the voters to decide if someone is qualified or not, but the reality is most voters are unlikely to perform much vetting on a coroner's candidate.  Furthermore, in many cases only one person runs for the position, in which case the voters would not have any other choice.

So why did I vote no?  Ultimately, it was due to the way the training requirement was implemented.  I am not a fan of creating new commissions or bureaucracy.  Had the bill simply directly spelled out specifically what training would be required, I could have decided for myself if the requirements were reasonable or overbearing.  But by creating a commission to make the decision instead, the bill asks me to trust the results of such a committee to not be objectionable.  I cannot make that leap.  As such, I voted no.  It passed easily nonetheless.  You can see the full roll call vote here.