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Sprinkler Mandate Proposal Agreement Reached

SprinklerLast year was a whirlwind of controversy as the Illinois Fire Marshal introduced legislation that would require existing high rises to be retrofitted with sprinklers. The floodgates opened as both owners and renters alike came to the realization that huge special assessments could be coming their way in order to fund the required work.

With questions starting to brew, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, and Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago stepped in to represent their constituents. The support from community groups, the aldermen, Chamber of commerces and the general public came quick as all expressed outrage at the proposal. The Illinois Fire Marshal, under much heat, decided to withdraw the legislation in August, 2013.

Emotions remained strong however and high rise residents worried about new legislation that could eventually be introduced. This led Rep. Feigenholtz and Sen. Cullerton to introduce House Bill 4609 which would not only create a task force to examine the issue, but would also force such legislation to be introduced to the full elected general assembly.

Friday, Rep. Feigenholtz released a statement to announce her and Sen. Cullerton would table the filed legislation in response to an agreement made with the Illinois State Fire Marshal, Larry Matkaitis.   “I believe that any new sprinkler mandate should include open and full discussions with all stakeholders. As long as I am Fire Marshal, I intend to work with local government officials, public safety officials, and all stakeholders to pass any new sprinkler laws through the General Assembly”, stated Mr. Matkaitis.

Rep. Feigenholtz was pleased to reach this agreement, “Thousands of people have sent clear messages to the Fire Marshal over the past few months that a unilateral, statewide sprinkler mandate is bad public policy. We now have assurance that any future fire sprinkler proposals will be considered with full transparency and open discussion.”

Though the Illinois Fire Marshal still seems intent on getting a sprinkler mandate passed, under this agreement, he would have to work with state and government officials first before introducing any legislation in the future.


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