Thursday, August 31, 2017

Walker Wreaking Havoc in Wisconsin Part 1: Torching building codes that take us back to the 1950's.

Let's go back to a time before the War on Poverty, safety building codes and local government control. Scott Walker's one size-fits-all big government juggernaut is quietly taking us "back to the future," circa 1955.

Burn Baby Burn, the Return of Dangerous Building Codes: Who would have thought a professional group like the Wisconsin Builders Association would not only give themselves a very public black eye, but actually try and make buildings more dangerous and life threatening for renters? Devoid of a good argument, they want to build apartments on the cheap, without sprinkler systems because...wait for it, it conflicts with state law? That's your reason?
The Wisconsin Builders Association has fought the (3-20 apartment) sprinkler regulation, saying "We are hopeful that the rule of law prevails on this issue, and the state statues are the true law of the land and are not superseded by administrative rules that do not have as much review and scrutiny as state statutes,” said Brad Boycks, executive director of the association.
That ego stroking "rule of law" was passed by Walker and his plundering Republican pirates as a way to undercut administrative regulations, saying they hinder businesses with burdensome costly regulations they did not approve: 
The Walker administration stopped enforcing that regulation earlier this summer, saying it conflicts with a 2011 law that limits the power of regulations ... state agencies cannot write regulations that go further than what is spelled out in state law. State law says fire sprinklers are required in buildings with more than 20 units. In 2008, the state put into effect the sprinkler rule for buildings with three or more units for any building built after Jan. 1, 2011.
Back to the 50's: "People will Die:"

Ed Ruckriegel, fire marshal for the city of Madison, said new buildings are constructed with fewer fire safety standards, like shorter hallways, because it's assumed the required sprinklers will be there. If sprinklers aren't there, he said that could cause big problems.
"Then the buildings would be built to like 1950s standards, in terms of fire safety. It's not just a fire sprinkler issue, it is now building unsafe and substandard buildings."
Think about it. Even after our "BIG" government Republicans heard the arguments to keep in place the current rule for sprinklers, they still decided not to do anything about it...and they've had a lot of time to make that save lives (we've seen this with health care and the environment too):
Fire officials and those who work with fire victims said such rules save lives. "I think it's a mistake and it puts lives at risk," said Amy Acton, executive director of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. "It's really going back in fire protection ... People will die."

Milwaukee Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing said if the rule can't be enforced, legislators should quickly address the issue and make sure new buildings with three to 20 apartments are equipped with fire sprinklers.
“To think we’re going to roll that back is disheartening. As firefighters, we know that sprinklers save lives. When you look at a building and you think what can I do for protecting that building and the people in it, the single most important component of that is a sprinkler system.”
Town of Madison Fire Chief David Bloom called the change an "extreme rollback."

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