Sunday, January 31, 2016

2016 HB 121 Building Code Amendments and HB 125 Fire Code Amendments

As an architect, I have dealt with grassroots national standards and have done so for 35 years, including before I was an architect. There are 350 ICC (International Code Council) chapters around the country and also in other countries. Members include building officials, contractors, architects, engineers, and others. The ICC is truly grassroots. Using experiences, good and bad around the country, they produce our model building codes, including mechanical codes, etc.

Utah also has a Utah Uniform Building Code Commission that proposes amendments to the model codes for Utah. Each year they bring amendments to the building and fire codes that make sense for Utah. They don't always agree, but bring to the legislature their best compromise.  The amended model codes are adopted every 3 years and for those years the number of amendments increases. 2016 is a critical year, as most codes change this year, especially since the legislature failed to adopt the amended 2014 electrical code in 2015. 

2016 HB0121 Building Code Amendments
2016 HB0125 Fire Code Amendments
are their recommendations along with the Utah Fire Prevention Board.

It is my proposal again this year that their recommendations be treated like a base budget bill and passed. Any other proposed amendments be treated like a supplemental budget bill, where those changes can be fought over separately.

Prior to 2010, the board adopted the codes though DOPL. Since then, the legislature has adopted the changes as bills. Part of their recommendations were not adopted in 2011 and 2012. In 2015, their entire recommendations didn't pass because of time. This was not because they didn't submit their recommendations in October or November prior to the session, but because we were still trying to change not only their recommendations but the code adoption cycle, something they don't agree with.

Many of these groups reluctantly agreed last year, as they felt they were over a barrel. This year, almost all of those groups are not supporting the code adoption cycle change or any bill that didn't go through their very public and detailed process.

2016 HB 121 and HB 125 are supported by building officials, counties, cities, architects, engineers, clean air and energy groups, school boards, and the Association of Special Districts.

The clean are groups are supporting these bills because buildings are a very large source of energy use and pollution in the state. While those groups didn't get everything they wanted in the submitted compromise, they are supportive of it and believe it will make a big difference. There is a separate bill dealing with improving the clean air of water heaters. It is worth having a separate supplemental policy discussion about.

The Governor appointed members include: See below and 

Uniform Building Code Commission
Patrick J. Tomasino, Facilities Construction & Management,
Casey T. Vorwaller, Fire Official
Alex Butwinski, Utah League of Cities and Towns / Utah Assoc. of Counties Rep.
Justin D. Naser, Professional Engineer
Ron McArthur, General Contractor
Kevin Emerson, Public Member
Vacant, Plumbing Contractor
Bryant F Pankratz, Public Member
Richard E. Butz, Building Official
Christopher D. Jensen, Architect
Chris Joyal, Electrical Contractor

UBCC also has subcommittees which include:

UBCC Architectural Advisory Committee
Gary R. Payne, Building Official
Vacant, Residential/Small Commercial Contractor
Scott Marsell, Building Official
Jerry L Jensen, Architect
David W. Triplett, Architect
Kenney P. Nichols, Architect
James Sullivan, Residentail/Small Commercial Contractor

UBCC Mechanical Advisory Committee
Tyler G. Lewis, Utility Company
Roger L. Hamlet, Mechanical Engineer
David A. Wilson, Utah Energy Office
Trent Hunt, Mechanical Engineer
Brent C. Ursenbach, Building Inspector
Dennis L. Thatcher, Building Official
Davud Halverson, Mechanical Contractor

UBCC Electrical Advisory Committee
Rhett Butler, Commercial Electrical Contractor
John S Brunt, Architect
Jason C Van Ausdal, Residential Electrical Bldg Inspector
Joseph Wayne Taft, Professional Engineer - Electrical
Steve Woodman, Licensed Electrician - Instruction
Christopher M. Jensen, Licensed Commercial Electrical Building
David E. Winger, Residential Electrical Contractor
Chris Joyal UBC Commission Liaison

UBCC Plumbing Advisory Committee

Robert C. Patterson, Plumber
Nelson Hooton, Building Inspector
Linda G. Ebert, City / County / State Agency
Jeffrey H. Park, Plumber
Nathan Lunstad, Dept of Environmental Quality
Andrea Gamble, City / County Health Dept.
Jody L. Hilton, Building Inspector
Vacant, Professional Engineer
Vacant, Professional Engineer

UBCC Structural Advisory Committee
Mark Urry, Building Official
Jerry B. Thompson, Building Inspector
Michael D. Buehner, Professional Engineer
Vacant, Home Builders Assn
Jerel Newman, Professional Engineer
Peter W. McDonough, Professional Engineer
Jeremy L. Achter, Professional Engineer

UBCC Fire Protection Advisory Committee/Unified Code Analysis Council
Jeffrey Darr, Contractor - Fire Suppression
Casey T. Vorwaller, Uniformed Building Code Commission Liaison
Paul E. Bauer, Building Inspector
James M. Williams, Architect
Thomas W. Peters, Building Inspector
Vacant, Contractor-Fire Suppression

UBCC Education Advisory Committee
John A. Chase, Electrical Building Inspector
Craig C. Browne, General Bldg. Insp.
Patrick J. Tomsino, Mech. Bldg. Insp.
Kathy LeMay, Plumbing Bldg. Insp.
Jim Thomas, Electrical Contractor
Jennifer A. Saunders, Educator
Rob Allen, Mech/Plumbing Contractor
Kevin C. Phillips, Architect or Prof. Engineer
Shane Honey, Factory Housing
Richard E. Butz, UBC Commission Liaison

The Utah Fire Protection Board
is appointed by the Governor and currently includes members from the following groups:
  • Building official
  • Citizen appointed at large
  • City or county official
  • Fire Marshal’s Association of Utah
  • Licensed architect
  • Licensed engineer
  • Member of the State Firemen’s Association
  • State Fire Chief’s Association
  • State Forester
  • State Labor Commissioner

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Utah House of Representatives Week One Update

Week One
Bills that I am running for 2016

My Bills on the move

HB0011 Referendum Amendments - Passed Interim Committee. Passed House Gov. Ops and is circled (paused) on the House 3rd Reading Calendar. Will likely be voted on Monday, Feb. 1. Senate Sponsor: Sen. Luz Escamilla

HB0069 Qualified Political Party Amendments - Passed House Gov. Ops and is to be read on to the 3rd Reading Calendar on Monday Feb. 1.  Senate Sponsor. not confirmed

HB0152 S01 Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications - Passed House Rev. and Tax and is to be read on to the 3rd Reading Calendar on Monday Feb. 1.  Senate Sponsor. Sen. Lyle Hillyard

 HB0101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments - Left Rules and was sent to House Education Committee. Senate Sponsor. Sen. Lyle Hillyard

My Bills still in House Rules

HB0065 Exemption from Daylight Saving Time
HB0080 Vehicle Impound Amendments
HB0108 Licensing Amendments
HB0109 Construction Trades Education Amendments
HB0121 Building Code Amendments
HB0125 Fire Code Amendments

My Other Bills
Net Metering of Electricity Amendments - Drafted, waiting to be numbered
Recycling of Copper Wire In Process - Being Drafted
Specie Legal Tender Amendments - Being Drafted
Wood Burning Stoves Amendments - Being Drafted

Air Quality Modifications - on Hold, pending status of other bill
Interior Design Certification Amendments - on Hold, pending status of other bill
Prison Study for Draper - Abandoned

Quick explanation of bills on the move

HB0011 Referendum Amendments
allows those running a referendum to wait and see if the Governor is going to sign or veto the bill.

HB0069 Qualified Political Party Amendments
clarifies the requirements of alternate delegates for political parties to avoid twice the number of delegates coming to the convention or a candidate not knowing which delegates are going to convention.

 HB0152 Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications
allows the State School Board to pay out to the districts the remaining $25 Million of the $75 Million collected from property taxes to help equalize school funding. $25 Million is an expensive table decoration. The money should either go where it was promised or go back to the taxpayers. (Disclaimer, I voted against the $75 Million property tax increase)

HB0101 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments
allows a judge to review and decide a guardianship case without a parent or parents hiring an attorney for their disabled adult, in some instances.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Is the Signature Party Nominee Route Fair

A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune asks some questions about the new election law.

 I don't mind talking to thousands of people at their door, but if it is going to take too many hours for one person to do that in the few weeks that are available to get the signatures, and that time is primarily during the legislative session, I would rather a legislator spend the time reading bills that they would be voting on and having town hall meetings than doing the signature route.

A federal judge has ruled that a portion of the law that passed in 2014, SB 54 Elections Amendments, is not constitutional for two political parties, the Utah Republican and the Utah Constitution parties. This part of the law requires the political parties allow voters who were not members of their party to select their party’s nominee. Because of that ruling, candidates of the Utah Constitution Party cannot use the optional signature route to get on the party primary ballot. (They don’t have enough members). They are OK with the ruling because they didn’t want the State telling their Party how to select its nominees.

Voters can only sign one candidate petition per race but might be able to sign a form to remove their signature, if they act fast enough, and sign someone else’s petition.

In some areas of the State, there are not enough registered Republican Party voters to make the signature party nominee route fair. Candidates using the signature route likely will have to register to do so prior to the legislative session and then all candidates will register after the legislative session. If someone decides to run for Party Nominee after the legislative session, there is almost no time to gather signatures.

The Utah Republican Party, who wasn’t part of the “compromise” is still contesting the law in court. A special legislative session to fix the law based on the court ruling was not called by the Governor
I have personally fought the signature party nominee route because I believe it favors the incumbents, the rich and the famous. While I am now an incumbent and plan on running for re-election after the legislative session though the neighborhood caucus and convention system, I am not also using the signature route because I do not believe that route is fair.