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Hearings Wednesday On Effectiveness Of New Stage Regulations

A legislative study committee begins work this week to establish more permanent regulations to help prevent another tragedy like the State Fair stage collapse.

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Photo: Jasont82 (Wikimedia)

A summer study committee will continue investigations into the state's response to the 2011 state fair stage collapse.

Last session, the General Assembly directed the state building safety commission to put in place temporary outdoor stage regulations.

Those regulations expire at the end of 2013, requiring more permanent action by the legislature next session. State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) says the study committee will gather as much information as possible and provide the full legislature with a recommendation.

“We will hear from Homeland Security among other agencies and also hopefully the local governments to see what rules worked and what rules might not be so operational,” Merritt says.

Anderson Democratic Senator Tim Lanane says one of the issues the study committee must consider is whether state regulations unduly burden small towns and festivals.

“Common sense says one size is doesn’t fit all in this particular case,” Lanane says.

Lanane says the primary concern of the committee is to ensure stages, like the one that collapsed at the state fairgrounds, are as safe as possible. Study committee members will hear reports Wednesday from the two independent investigations into the State Fair incident.

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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