State Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) Saturday won unanimous House approval of legislation creating a new Coroner Training Board in Illinois to oversee a training program for coroners on proper procedures and protocols in death investigations. After returning to the Senate for concurrence, Brady’s Senate Bill 663 now advances to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
“The role of a coroner in a death investigation is very different from the role of a law enforcement homicide investigator, yet under current law they are lumped together,” Brady said. “This legislation is an important step in acknowledging those differences, and making sure coroners and forensic pathologists are well prepared to tackle their unique responsibilities.”
Brady said creation of the new board was initiated by the Illinois Coroners and Medical Examiners Association to provide specialized training for coroners and forensic pathologists that will be separate and distinct from training police homicide investigators receive. The Coroner Training Board will establish application, training and certification standards for coroners in Illinois, certify coroner training schools, and conduct and approve the death investigation training protocols for coroners statewide.
Representative Brady added that the board’s work will be funded by the restoration of the 25% portion of the death certificate surcharge that had been diverted.
“This funding was intended for coroner training, and now there will be no question that’s what it will be used for,” Brady said. “Our criminal justice system can only benefit when coroners working with police on death investigations have had the very best training possible.”