Governor Tom Corbett’s first signed piece of legislation, Act 1, pulls the plug on Pennsylvania’s mandatory sprinkler law for new residential homes, and alters the landscape of how building codes will be written and voted on.
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai,(R-Allegheny) is thrilled. In a news release, Turzai said, “It is very appropriate the for the first law of the Pennsylvania Republican majority to give back to residents the ability to choose which safety features should be part of their homes.”
Well, if that’s the case, why not also give homeowners the choice of installing asbestos, joists carved out of balsa wood and for good measure throw in lead paint as an option.
Mark Singel, is a former lieutenant governor who now heads up the Winter Group, yes lobbyists. Singel supports mandatory installation of sprinklers based on common sense.
“So, the very first bill signed by Governor Corbett is one that we are certain will result in loss of life.” And as he noted the bill also changes the way codes will be voted on,”it will stack the deck against any energy or safety standards in the future.”
The legislature, has in effect, handed over the keys to the Uniform Construction Code to special interests, experts will now take a back-seat.
“Those who represent us are expected to lead – not follow the misinformed masses,” said Singel.
House Leader Turzai summed up the passage of Act 1 (it) “will help protect consumers from the dictates of unelected national code officials and stop unreasonable regulations, like the sprinkler mandate, from becoming part of the statewide building code.”
(To read more about the advantages of home sprinklers click on these RTC stories, Burning down the House: 147 Reasons for Sprinklers, and Killing Sprinklers is tied to Substandard Building Codes.)
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