Hearing held on controversial school construction safety requirements

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:39 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey’s task force assigned to address safety concerns regarding school construction projects under a controversial law that started as House Bill 220 held a public hearing Monday morning.

The bill, passed during the 2020 legislative session, prompted an April letter to the Alabama Senate from the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs.

“This bill misses the mark on building safety by assigning a monetary figure as a threshold for inspection instead of realizing complexity of the project should be the threshold,” the AAFC said.

Public safety officials have said if not amended, the bill could put first responders and students at risk.

However, after Monday’s public hearing, Chief Tim Love, president of the AAFC, said the group assigned to the bill is making good progress.

“I think today was a good opportunity for us to share. I think everyone involved here is still getting educated on the goods and bads of different portions HB220,” said Love.

Although Love would describe Monday’s work as the right step, he recognized the process isn’t over yet.

“Hopefully next year when the legislative session comes in, we’ll have opportunities to make some amendments to make it better,” Love said.

The task force also discussed adding a time limit for inspections to take place but still has not decided on who will have the authority to stop construction violations.

The law will be implemented for the first time starting on Feb. 1, 2022.

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