The Senate tries again to require sprinkler systems in most residential care facilities.

The senate passed a bill earlier this year requiring sprinklers and sophisticated alarm systems.  A House committee has taken the sprinkler provisions out of the bill.

In return, the Senate has put sprinkler and alarm requirements into a bill the House had previously passed.  

A key part of the bill is a state loan program to help nursing homes make those installations.   One Senator opposes the loans…saying the costs should just be part of the cost of doing business.

But Senate sponsor Jack Goodman of Mount Vernon says many nursing homes could not afford the sprinklers without the loans.  He urges Senators to consider the proposal as something for constituents who need the beds, not as something for those who own those beds.

Care facilities with 20 or fewer clients would be exempt from the sprinkler requirements.  But they would still have to have the alarm systems because, as one senator put it—sprinklers save buildings; alarms save lives.

The bill has been sent back to the House with the Senate changed.



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