Government & Politics

Missouri’s ‘Jedi Disposal Act’ goes up in flames with Gov. Mike Parson’s veto

Missouri General Assembly passes ‘Jedi Disposal Act’ to legalize outdoor cremations

The Missouri General Assembly passed the “Jedi Disposal Act,” which could legalize outdoor cremations.
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The Missouri General Assembly passed the “Jedi Disposal Act,” which could legalize outdoor cremations.

Governor Mike Parson has vetoed for the so-called “Jedi Disposal Act,” the bill named for the legends of “Star Wars” because it would have legalized outdoor cremations in Missouri.

Although the measure has been struck down, its sponsor said, it may still return—and more powerful than you can imagine.

“It’s rare for a piece of legislation that would have an impact like this to pass in its first session, so we’ll work on making improvements to it and it’ll have another opportunity,” said Sen. Jason Holsman’s, the measure’s sponsor and a Kansas City Democrat.

The bill included other items involving the disposal of human remains, but the governor said his veto was aimed at Holsman’s provision.

“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 wrote.

Holsman said he plans to work with the governor to introduce a new, more thoroughly vetted version of the bill next session.

The bill sailed through the Missouri legislature this year with unanimous approval in the Senate and only four votes against in the House. It would have made Missouri the first state with legal outdoor cremation ceremonies.

Holsman previously told The Star it had the potential to spur a cottage industry in the state for people who want to go “the old way.”

“The Vikings, the Native Americans, the settlers. I come from the northern Germanic tribes so I have Viking heritage. I personally would like to have the end-of-life process be an open-air ceremony. I don’t want to be put in a kiln, I don’t want to be put in the ground. And right now, the crown, the government is telling me that I can’t do that. And I think that’s un-American,” he said during floor debate earlier this year.

Currently, the only location in the country where outdoor cremation ceremonies are allowed is a small community in Colorado.

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