Making changes to New York's 174-year-old wrongful death law and having burials become more economic and environmentally friendly are two of the provisions being called for by members of the New York Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus in the final days of the legislative session. 

The two bills are meant to address end-of-life costs often facing families when a loved one or relative dies. 

One bill is meant to update the state's wrongful death law, first adopted in 1847. Lawmakers for more than a decade have proposed a measure that would allow survivors to recover damages for their emotional losses. Arkansas, Florida and Michigan have similar laws on the books. 

Lawmakers are also calling for a provision that would allow "conservation-oriented" companies and organizations to work with local land trusts to provide more sustainable end-of-life options for families. The bill would allow organizations to work through the state Department of Environmental Conservation to have ashes spread at memorial lands facilities. 

The bill would also have the land managed and maintained in its natural state in perpetuity and not be developed. The bill also clarifies ashes can be spread on land that is permanently protected through environmental conservation law. Most states allow ashes to be spread on private land and conservation areas for ashes are operated in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Illinois, Arizona, and California.

“We’ve worked hard in New York to address inequality and systemic discrimination in all its forms and we’ve made historic strides in tilting the scales toward justice. But we still have a long way to go in building a truly equitable society," said Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, the caucus chair. "The Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus prides itself in ensuring the legislative process is responsive to the needs of the people of the State of New York, including when those people are tragically taken from us."