Oklahoma State Home Builders Association

An Affiliate of the National Home Builders Association

Legislative update: Back to the drawing board

 
Posted on May 17, 2012 by Mike Means

Well, last week was not a good for one of our bills. It appears that the bureaucrats got one up on us.

HB 2659 was a bill dealing with penalties that cities had to pay if they remitted their fees late to the Uniform Building Code Commission (UBCC). The UBCC is in a section of law that fit nicely with our amendment to stop any mandate for residential fire sprinklers.

So, I secured the endorsement of the authors, Rep. Fred Jordan and Sen. Dan Newberry, and we amended the bill to prevent such a mandate. The Cities, fire marshals and the firefighter unions went wild. I give them credit - they used our "home rule" rhetoric against us. It worked. The pressure to allow local control caused the legislators to back off our amendment.

But to his credit, Sen. Newberry came up with a compromise that I thought was a good one. It would call for a "super" notice. Anytime that a local jurisdiction was going to try and implement a more stringent code than the UBCC code, they would have to notify permit holders and put a notice in their local municipal utility bill. Proper notification is always a good deal. (For the life of me I don't see a problem with this, after all, it is already a sunk cost - they use their bills to send us notices about the arts festival and activities like that!)

But the cities went wild again. I guess they don't like anybody knowing their business. They caused too much pushback for the legislators and Rep. Jordan said he was going to pull the amendment. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

This shows me the importance of electing business friendly legislators to office. "Some run under that kind of title but we must make sure ... they are really business friendly ..."

As usual, let me know if you have any questions.The weekly tracking list is attached here.

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