Senate Passes McIlhinney Bill to Improve Construction Code Review

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved legislation today that would improve the review process for potential changes to the state’s Uniform Construction Code, according to the bill’s sponsor Sen. Chuck McIlhinney (R-10).

Every three years, the International Code Council (ICC) offers hundreds of recommendations to government agencies for prospective improvements to construction codes. Under current law, the Review and Advisory Council (RAC) in the Department of Labor and Industry is responsible for reviewing ICC recommendations.

Senate Bill 1023 would provide additional time for the council to review potential changes to the Uniform Construction Code. McIlhinney said that the current time constraints make it difficult for the RAC to provide a thorough vetting of each individual recommendation.

“In 2009, the ICC offered hundreds of suggested changes to the Uniform Construction Code, and every one of them was approved by RAC. In 2012, the ICC again offered hundreds of suggestions, and the RAC voted against every one of them,” McIlhinney said. ”It is highly unlikely that every change suggested in 2009 was a good idea, but every suggestion offered in 2012 was a bad idea. Increasing the amount of time available to analyze the ICC’s recommendations will lead to a better and more thorough review process.”

McIlhinney’s bill would increase the amount of time the RAC is given to submit a report to the Secretary of Labor and Industry from 12 months to 24 months after the publication of the latest ICC recommendations. The bill would also increase membership on the council to include an architect or engineer with expertise in energy efficiency.

Senate Bill 1023 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Heather Cevasco (717) 787-7305