PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Illinois lawmakers have introduced legislation to ensure the elderly have a proper funeral.

House Bill 4979 passed the Illinois House earlier this month.

Margaret Vaughn, government affairs director for the Illinois Funeral Director’s Association, said the bill would correct a law forcing thousands on Medicaid in nursing homes to cash in life insurance policies prematurely, for pennies on the dollar.

Vaughn said this leads to money designed for funeral and burial costs going to waste.

State Senator John Connor, Chief Senate sponsor of the bill, said the legislation would lead to fewer unexpected expenses.

“This is going to help those families that find themselves in this situation. So that they don’t discover a cruel surprise, mainly that their loved one in addition to being gone, doesn’t have any means to help defray the funeral and burial expenses,” Connor said.

The bill was assigned to the Insurance Committee on Monday. It passed with bipartisan support in the House.