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Legislators Delay Passing Stage Inspection Regulations

The state is removing the wreckage from the State Fair grounds as the investigation into the stage collapse continues.

Legislators will wait to pass final regulations on outdoor stage equipment inspections until after a summer study committee takes up the issue.

A Senate bill was introduced earlier this session to mandate inspection of outdoor stage equipment. It came after last year’s State Fair stage collapse revealed no such requirements existed statewide.

The bill, as it passed in the Senate, required the state Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission to develop the protocol for inspecting outdoor stage equipment. Tuesday, a House committee included the creation of a summer study committee to investigate the issue.

The Commission will still develop new regulations, but those will expire in January of 2014. The General Assembly will develop permanent regulations in its 2013 session. Anderson Democratic Senator Tim Lanane, who authored the Senate version, says the House change makes the legislation more balanced.

“I think it’s a good combination of acting now but also receiving the information from the report for the permanent and the final product later on down the road,” he says.

Reports from two independent investigations into the stage collapse will be released in the next couple of months. Lanane says the study committee allows the legislature to use those investigations as guides for developing the final protocols.

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