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NEWS
Legislation to Support Building Safety Re-introduced
May 22, 2009

A federal grant program to assist communities across the country as they adopt and administer construction safety codes that protect property and the public has been re-introduced in the U.S. Congress with bipartisan support. The House passed a similar measure in the last legislative session, but the measure derailed as Congress turned its attention to battling the economic crisis.

New legislation (S 970) to establish a competitive grant program in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help local governments with enforcement of residential, building, fire, energy, plumbing and related codes was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT). A companion bill (HR 2246) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Dennis Moore (D-KS), Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Dina Titus (D-NV).

The Community Building Code Administration Grant Act authorizes $20 million annually from 2010 to 2014 for the grant program. For every $1 the federal government spends on enforcement of federal standards on mitigation and flood elevations, taxpayers save nearly $4 in disaster assistance costs. A study by the World Watch Institute said that every dollar spent on disaster mitigation and preparedness saves $7 in disaster-related economic loss. Other economic benefits of building to the latest codes can include energy savings, reduced maintenance costs, lower insurance premiums and fewer safety concerns.

For more information, visit iccsafe.org.


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