Bill Summary for S 638 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Apr 9 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 638 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 3, 2019
AN ACT TO AMEND THE AUTHORITY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION TO INSPECT STATE-OWNED BUILDINGS AND PROPERTIES, AND TO REQUIRE FIRE PROTECTION INSPECTIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE.
Intro. by Edwards, Sawyer, Horner.

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Bill summary

Amends GS 58-31-13 to provide that if the Commissioner of Insurance (Commissioner) determines that an undue hazard to life, safety, or property exists because of a defect (as an alternative to being due to the condition or use of the building) of a State owned building, the Commissioner must provide written notification of the defect or condition to the proper agency (previously notification was not addressed), and advise the agency on how to limit or prohibit building use until the hazard is abated. Adds to this statute and to GS 58-31-40 that if the Commissioner determines that an imminent undue hazard to life, safety, or property exits because of a defect, condition, or the use of a State-owned building, the Commissioner may (1) restrain, correct, or abate the violation or (2) prevent the occupancy or use of the building, structure, or land until the violation is corrected. 

Amends GS 58-31-40 further by providing that the written notification to an agency is to be done under the procedures under GS 143-39(e1) and expands upon when a notice is required to also include notification of any noted condition or use (in addition to the already included defect). Prohibits an agency or other person authorized or directed to select a plan and erect a building for State use from approving the plan until it is submitted to and approved by the Commissioner as to the safety of the proposed building from fire.  

Amends GS 143-139 by removing from the Department of Administration's supervision (through the Office of State Construction) NC State Building Code sections pertaining to fire protection. Instead, gives the Commissioner authority to supervise, administer, and enforce all section of the NC State Building Code pertaining to fire protection during the construction or renovation of State property and to review and approve plans under GS 58-31-40, except those sections of the Building Code whose enforcement has been specifically allocated to another agency. Requires the Commissioner to provide written notification to the Department of Administration of any defect or condition or any improvement necessary to comply with the Building Code pertaining to fire protection. Sets out the timeline under which the Department of Administration must respond, as well as allowable responses from the Department, and actions the Commissioner may take if no response is given. Allows the Commissioner to take appropriate action if the Commissioner determines the defect or condition results in an imminent undue hazard to life, safety, or property. Makes additional conforming changes.

Amends GS 143-340 by amending the Secretary of Administration's power to use means that are effective in protecting public buildings and grounds from fire by requiring consultation and cooperation with the Commissioner on fire protection means for State-owned buildings and properties. 

Amends GS 143-341 by making conforming changes to the Department of Administration's powers and duties related to fire protection.

Makes conforming changes to GS 143-345.11.

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