League-Sponsored Local Building Official Provision Passes House

The provision is part of a larger policy bill that contains a number of controversial provisions.
(Published May 12, 2014)

The House passed an omnibus jobs and economic development policy bill on May 7 that contains League-sponsored legislation to clarify the process that local building officials must follow to receive authority from the state to inspect public buildings and state-licensed facilities.

This provision is the result of efforts by local building officials to create a clear and accountable way to receive the authority to inspect important community construction projects, and is a compromise between the League, the Association of Minnesota Building Officials (AMBO), and the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI).

The omnibus bill, SF 2065 (Rep. Tim Mahoney, DFL-St. Paul), passed by a vote of 80-49.

The House version of SF 2065 contains a number of controversial provisions that could complicate final passage of the bill. These provisions include an exception to boiler regulations, an exception to the plumbing code that would allow the owners of small resorts to perform certain plumbing repairs without a license, and changes to the membership of the board of the Agricultural and Utilization Research Institute (AURI). During a nearly two-hour floor debate, no concerns about the League provision were raised. The Senate version of the bill does not contain these provisions; it also doesn't include the local building official language.

The Senate passed the original local building official legislation, SF 1926 (Sen. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City), on April 24. That bill does contain a controversial provision that prohibits DLI from requiring the installation of fire sprinklers in single- and two-family homes.

The House version of SF 1926, HF 2262 (Rep. Jay McNamar, DFL-Elbow Lake), is currently in the Rules and Legislative Administration Committee, where it could be brought to the House floor for a vote if House leadership decided it was necessary.

The differences between the House and Senate versions of SF 2065 will be discussed in a conference committee in the coming days.

Read the current issue of the Cities Bulletin

* By posting you are agreeing to the LMC Comment Policy.