Service Corporation International Strongly Endorses Unprecedented Cremation Legislation

HOUSTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Officials of Service Corporation International (NYSE: SRV) (SCI) today announced support for proposed legislation that would place unprecedented levels of consumer protection in regulating cremations in the State of Texas.

State Senator John Carona (R-Dallas) and State Representative Kenny Marchant (R-Carrollton) have introduced the measure in the 78th Legislature.

The proposed bill is the first of its kind in Texas and would require licensing of all crematories, training and certification of all crematory operators, tracking and verification of human remains' identities through the entire cremation process, and mandate state inspection of all cremation facilities. According to its legislative sponsors, the resulting law could easily serve as a model for other states interested in writing or strengthening their own cremation statutes.

Robert L. Waltrip, chairman and chief executive officer of SCI, said the legislation was drawn from some of the most demanding state cremation laws in the nation and will set a high standard for the industry.

"Senator Carona and Representative Marchant have done a thorough job in researching this very important area, and the results will bring unprecedented protection for the state's consumers," Waltrip said in announcing SCI's support.

"We at SCI applaud their work and dedication to this important task and thank the Texas Funeral Directors Association for its cooperation and support. We at SCI were more than pleased to provide the benefit of our experience and expertise to assist the legislators in their research."

"We recognize the need for regulation in this important area," Waltrip said. "While I am sure that the vast majority of cremations are conducted in a professional and ethical manner, SCI believes that additional government oversight in Texas will help reassure thousands of families that their loved ones' remains are being cared for in the best possible manner."

As of September 30, 2002, SCI and its affiliates operated 2,444 funeral service locations, 456 cemeteries and 155 crematoria and provided funeral and cemetery services in nine countries.

     For further information, contact:
     Media Relations:     Terry Hemeyer - Managing Director /
                          Corporate Communications   (713) 525-5497
                          Greg Bolton - Director / Corporate Communications
                          (713) 525-5235
     Investor Relations:  Debbie Young - Director / Investor Relations
                          (713) 525-9088

SOURCE Service Corporation International