Senate committee chairwoman: Coroner training bill is "necessary"
JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate Committee on Professional Registration held a public hearing for a bill designed to fund training for the county coroners in the state. The bill would add a one dollar fee to death certificates, putting the money toward training. It would also penalize coroners who do not attend training by stripping their ability to sign death certificates.
Jay Minor, joined by his girlfriend Debby Ferguson, was first to testify in favor of the bill. His son, Jayke Minor died in 2011. The Howard County coroner initially ruled his death an accidental drug overdose, but years later a toxicology report showed there was only marijuana in his system, a drug experts do not believe causes death. There were additional issues with the coroner's investigation, including inaccurate reports filed.
After years of not knowing what happened to his son, Jay Minor took his story to the Missouri Coroners' and Medical Examiners' Association. He and Ferguson have since talked to lawmakers, other coroners and a national coroners' association looking for changes to Missouri's laws - many of which have not been updated in decades.
During the committee meeting, Chairwoman Senator Jeanie Riddle (R-Mokane) thanked Minor and Ferguson for testifying and called the proposed legislation a "necessary bill"