There was an a lighthearted exchange on the South Carolina House floor Thursday morning as legislators briefly debated a bill that deals with cremations.
The bill would clarify which family members are allowed to grant permission for a body to be cremated. Currently, the law gives priority first to the spouse, then to parents and adult children.
However, there is no provision for couples that have separated. The new bill would remove a separated spouse from the pecking order. That prompted a humourous exchange between Rep. Joe Neal (D-Richland) and Rep. Mac Toole (R-Lexington).
The bill would create an order of succession for family members to request the cremation. Rep. Bill Sandifer (R-Oconee) says there’s no law in place right now if the spouse and parents are also dead, “You’ve got to go to the (probate) judge, if you can get in there, and have it defined for you.”
The bill would create the succeeding order of adult siblings, grandchildren, grandparents, then anyone “exhibiting special care for the decedent.” Sandifer said it’s the same order used for family members deciding whether or not a body will be donated to science.
However, debate was stopped on a procedural motion, prompting House Speaker pro tempore Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) to make a joke of his own.
Debate on the bill will resume next Tuesday.