NAMIC Urges Miss. Governor to Sign Building Code Legislation

March 30, 2006

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies has urged Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to sign into law a bill that would require five of the state’s most southerly counties to enact emergency building code standards.

In a letter to Gov. Barbour, David Reddick, NAMIC senior state affairs manager said his organization believes “House Bill 1406 represents a good starting point in getting the state’s counties and municipalities to adopt more uniform building code standards.”

The provisions in HB 1406 were worked out earlier this week in a conference committee report after the Senate struck the original language in the bill and made the emergency requirements applicable in eight counties; the original House bill only named four counties. Both legislative chambers have adopted the conference report.

HB 1406 will require Jackson, Harrison, Hancock, Stone and Pearl River counties to enforce, on an emergency basis, the wind and flood mitigation requirements found in the 2003 versions of the International Residential Code and International Building Code. However, the bill also contains a provision giving the affected governmental entities the ability to adopt resolutions removing themselves from the code requirements within 60 days of the effective date of the bill.

The bill will create a 26-member Mississippi Building Codes Council with the authority to adopt electrical, plumbing, mechanical, fire and fuel gas codes. It will also exempt industrial entities, non-public fairground properties, private unattached outdoor recreational structures, and manufactured housing units from any code requirements.

Reddick also noted in his letter that while the bill requires emergency wind and flood requirements in only five counties, “we believe the Mississippi Building Codes Council, which will be created by the law, will be an ongoing entity that will draw more public attention to this important issue and perhaps encourage other counties to voluntarily adopt building code standards.

“Going forward, NAMIC is very interested in working with you (Gov. Barbour) and your administration to find ways to educate county and local governmental officials about the importance of building codes in protecting the properties of the residents of your state,” Reddick wrote.

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