INDIANAPOLIS – On Thursday, Senate Democrat Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) wrote a letter to Governor Mike Pence, Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb and legislative leaders regarding concerns raised in recent media reports that state safety rules for outdoor stage equipment have expired.
“I was extremely surprised and disheartened to learn that the administration allowed these safety rules to lapse without bringing it to the attention of the General Assembly,” said Sen. Lanane. “The outdoor stage safety rules were a bipartisan effort to ensure tragedies like the 2011 Indiana State Fair collapse will not happen again.”
The authority to make rules, authored by Sen. Lanane and approved in a bipartisan effort in 2012 (SEA 273) were extended in 2014 but were allowed to expire on January 1, 2016 by the Pence administration. The law provided for the authority of the state Fire Protection and Building Safety Commission to immediately institute emergency rules as to the regulation of outdoor stage structures. The law also allowed for local inspection procedures so long as they comply with state standards.
Members of the state Fire Protection and Building Safety Commission, however, have cited staffing cuts and lack of resources to make the rules permanent before they expired. An Indiana Department of Homeland Security official stated new emergency regulation formulation is underway but could take up to two years to be completed.
“In the interest of public safety, I now urge Governor Pence and Governor-elect Holcomb to act swiftly and provide the staffing and resources necessary to make the rules permanent as soon as possible.”
Sen. Lanane also intends to file legislation to extend the temporary rules in the hopes the administration will provide adequate resources to the commission and expedite the formulation of more permanent safety rules.
Sen. Lanane represents Indiana Senate District 25 which includes portions of Madison and Delaware counties, including the City of Muncie and the southeastern portion of the City of Anderson. For more information on Sen. Lanane, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/S25 .