Local Organization inspires House bill to help pay for child burials
LA PORTE CITY (KWWL) -
Cedar Falls lawmaker Bob Kressig is pushing for legislation that would help low-income families pay for child burials. Democratic Rep. Bob Kressig's bill would provide $100,000 to be administered to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Kressig said he doesn't expect the $100,000 to be used up within a year, and the funds would not necessarily be recurring. Families who meet certain income guidelines receive up to $2,000 to help pay for funeral expenses for their child.
"Funerals for children ages infant through 12 years old cost less and can be anywhere from less than a $1,000 to $5,000, but after age 12 they are actually considered adults and the price can go as high as 9,000." Bob Kressig said.
Kressig said the bill was inspired by the non-profit organization, Sing Me to Heaven. The organization was started by Jennifer Mehlert and her mother, after Jennifer's nearly 6 year old daughter passed away.
"Planning a funeral you want to give your child the best memorial that you can and when you don't have the funds, you give them everything you can. Then you find out, it's a lot more expensive then you realize...That hurts and it's hard." Mehlert said Friday afternoon.
Sing Me to Heaven has helped more than 40 families in the eastern Iowa area in funeral costs for their children. The organization is run on donations.
Kressig said the bill has been assigned to a subcommittee. He said that committee will hold a meeting soon to discuss the proposed bill.