JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Legislation that would have allowed outdoor “Viking funerals” was vetoed by Missouri’s governor on Friday.
Governor Mike Parson (R) announced the veto in a letter to the Secretary of State’s office and to lawmakers.
State Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, sponsored the bill, which would have allowed funeral directors to perform cremations at an outdoor human cremation facility.
Under the bill, only a licensed funeral director could have performed a cremation at an outdoor facility.
Holsman told the “Kansas City Star” this summer that Viking funerals have “been around since the dawn of man.”
In his veto message, Governor Parson called on lawmakers to do more vetting on the issue.
“The burial of our loved ones or the disposal of their remains is deeply personal and should be treated with the utmost care and respect. Without more thorough vetting to ensure that outdoor cremations can be conducted in a manner that fully disposes of the entire remains while also addressing the health and safety concerns of individuals who may be impacted nearby, I am not comfortable with allowing these types of ceremonies to be conducted in our state,” Parson’s message reads, in part.
Lawmakers return to Jefferson City in September for the annual veto session, and could attempt an override at that time. It takes a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers to override a veto.
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