CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s House of Delegates has passed a bill to reduce the amount the state pays for indigent burials.
The House passed the bill Wednesday on a 65-33 vote. It now moves to the state Senate.
The bill would reduce the amount from $1,250 to $1,000.
According to the state Department of Health and Human Resources, the indigent burial program is expected to run out of money Feb. 28 — at least the sixth straight year that’s happened before the end of the fiscal year.
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The DHHR has paid for 1,137 indigent burials since July 1. The state allocated about $2 million for them this fiscal year.
Taylor County Republican Amy Summers says the bill specifies a preference for less-expensive cremations over burials, which would allow the state to assist 400 more people.