Date: 03/02/2009



Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Moved to refer Senate Bill 09-064 to the CommitteePASS

01:36 PM -- Senate Bill 09-064

Senator King presented Senate Bill 09-064. The bill permits cities and counties to perform inspections on public school buildings, provided that the inspectors have achieved either journeymen or master licenses in their trades. Senator King explained his reasons for sponsoring the bill. He discussed the changes made to the bill and distributed a letter addressing concerns with the bill (Attachment A). He stated that the bill relates to the costs to schools and schools districts to have their buildings inspected.


The following individuals testified:

01:48 PM --
Kurt Steenhook, representing the United Association of Plumbers #3, testified in opposition to the bill. He distributed a document summarizing funding sources for the Examining Board of Plumbers (Attachment B). He stated that he had been unable to locate evidence of complaints about the current system. Mr. Steenhook said that there is currently one standard for inspections, and the bill may result in changes to inspection fees. Senator Mitchell asked for clarification about what the bill's negative consequences would be for the Plumbers' Union. Mr. Steenhook replied that the bill did not directly harm labor interests, but did concern the plumbing industry. He stated that everyone in the industry should be involved in a resolution to any problem. Discussion continued between Senator Mitchell and Mr. Steenhook. Senator King clarified that local and county inspectors would be held to the same standard as the state inspectors.


01:59 PM --
Steve Callahan, representing himself, testified in opposition to the bill. He discussed his experience as a plumber and as a member of the Examining Board of Plumbers, though he noted that he was not representing the board in his testimony. He discussed the varying use of plumbing codes across the state. Responding to a question from Senator King, Mr. Callahan stated that he had not spoken to anyone at the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regarding complaints, but that he would expect significant complaints to go to the board. Mr. Callahan responded to questions from Senator Heath concerning problems related to inspections and the possibility of combining inspections. Senator King made additional comments, and Senator Veiga responded to his concerns. Mr. Callahan explained that jurisdictions may make changes to an adopted code.

02:08 PM -- Kandice McKeon, representing the Colorado Building and Constructions Trades Council, testified in opposition to the bill. She stated that the bill was not necessary. She said that any problems should first be brought to the Examining Board of Plumbers and the State Electrical Board. She discussed concerns that local jurisdictions will not have adopted the latest versions of the codes.

02:11 PM --
Phil Hayes, representing the Colorado American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), testified in opposition to the bill. He stated that the legislation is unnecessary and that DORA and the regulatory boards should be given a chance to examine the issue and propose solutions through regular processes. He said that higher standards were needed for school inspections. Senator Scheffel asked Mr. Hayes to discuss an amendment to the bill that would make local and state standards consistent. Discussion continued between Senator Scheffel and Mr. Hayes.

02:15 PM --
Chris Lines, representing DORA, testified regarding the bill. He noted that the bill is not a DORA-sponsored bill, but that DORA had provided factual background concerning the bill. Mr. Lines stated that DORA has a neutral position on the bill. He discussed complaints that DORA had received related to school inspections. Responding to a question from Senator Veiga, Mr. Lines described the nature of the complaints. Senator Tochtrop and Mr. Lines discussed DORA's response to the complaints that it had received.

02:22 PM

Discussion continued between Mr. Lines and the members of the committee regarding DORA's response to complaints. Senator King made additional comments regarding the problems caused when state inspectors cannot return to sites more than once a week. Senator King responded to questions from Senator Scheffel regarding whether jurisdictions would be able to go back and forth between local and state inspectors depending on availability. Discussion continued concerning previous legislation.

02:27 PM --
Mark Hyatt, representing The Classical Academy (TCA), testified in favor of the bill. He discussed TCA's experiences with state inspections. He stated that the bill would give the schools more flexibility regarding inspections. Mr. Hyatt and Senator King responded to follow-up questions from Senator Scheffel.

02:29 PM --
Monty Kyle, representing M and M Construction, testified in favor of the bill. He discussed his experiences with plumbing and electrical inspections for schools. Mr. Kyle responded to a question from Senator Veiga regarding whether he had ever raised his concerns with the boards.

02:32 PM --
Greg Wheeler, representing The Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council (CCICC), testified in favor of the bill. He discussed previous legislation and described the requirements for local jurisdictions under the bill. Mr. Wheeler said that the CCICC would be able to provide schools with inspections more quickly than those currently available through the state. Senator Harvey asked Mr. Wheeler for his opinion on the arguments in opposition to the bill. Mr. Wheeler stated that he did not understand the opposition, aside from the argument that certain procedures would need to be adjusted. Discussion continued between Senator Harvey and Mr. Wheeler. Senator Heath commented on whether local inspectors would be qualified to conduct inspections according to state codes, and Mr. Wheeler discussed the requirements to maintain International Code Council certification. Mr. Wheeler responded to a question from Senator Veiga concerning whether it was up to local jurisdictions to determine the qualifications of local inspectors. Discussion continued among the members of the committee. Mr. Wheeler explained the different criteria required for licensing and certification.

02:49 PM -- Wayne Blazek, representing the Douglas County School District, testified in favor of the bill. He discussed the problems caused by the current timing of inspections. He stated that school districts benefit from having choices. Senator Harvey and Mr. Blazek discussed the bill's stipulation that local jurisdictions agree to a one-year commitment to use local inspectors. Responding to a question from Senator Scheffel, Mr. Blazek stated that he did not understand the opposition to the bill, and added that the bill was in the best interests of the schools. Discussion continued between Mr. Blazek and the members of the committee.

03:01 PM

Senator King provided closing remarks. Senator Heath stated his concern that local inspectors would not inspect to the same standards of the state. Senator Foster discussed her position on the bill. Senator King stated that he would not sponsor the bill if he thought local inspectors would not inspect as thoroughly as state inspectors. Senator Veiga discussed her concerns about the bill.
TIME: 03:09:53 PM
MOTION:Moved to refer Senate Bill 09-064 to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a 4-3 roll call vote.