Committee Recommends Extending Stage Regulations To 2016

A study committee is recommending the legislature extend emergency stage equipment regulations that were implemented after the 2011 State Fair stage collapse.

free-stage at Indiana State Fair

Photo: Visit Indiana

Temporary stages, such as this one at the Indiana State Fair, will have to abide by increased regulation if the commission's recommendations are adopted.

Lawmakers want to extend for another three years the emergency regulations for outdoor stage equipment that were created following last year’s State Fair stage collapse.

A bill passed last legislative session put in place temporary regulations to be enforced through 2013 while giving emergency rule-making power to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Building Safety Commission.

A legislative study committee was tasked this summer with recommending a more permanent solution. The committee Tuesday opted instead to recommend extending the current regulations until 2016 and give the state agencies more time to further develop the regulations.

Committee co-chair Bob Cherry says the General Assembly would still be able to make additional changes if it’s unhappy with the state agencies.

“We really want to make sure they’re working with the locals on this and if it’s not, we’ll hear from our constituents that it’s not working and we’ll be back,” Cherry says.

Homeland Security Director Joe Wainscott says the process that has taken place over the last year has been an educational one.

“If nothing else, there’s been a lot of good come out of this process because more people are aware of the necessity of planning and making sure that their event is safe,” he says.

All the legislative committee members say they are very pleased with how the agencies have handled the regulations this year. Cherry says he expects the committee’s recommendation to pass through the General Assembly with, at most, minor tweaks.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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