2007 Regular Session
To: County Affairs; Municipalities
By: Representative Frierson, Formby
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 17-2-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE ALL MEMBERS OF THE BUILDING CODES COUNCIL TO BE RESIDENTS OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, AND TO PROVIDE THAT ANY COUNCIL MEMBER WITH UNEXCUSED ABSENCES FOR MORE THAN THREE CONSECUTIVE MEETINGS SHALL BE REPLACED; TO AMEND SECTION 17-2-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES THAT ADOPT OR AMEND THEIR EXISTING BUILDING CODES TO ADOPT THE CODES PROMULGATED BY THE MISSISSIPPI BUILDING CODES COUNCIL; TO PROVIDE FOR AGREEMENTS BETWEEN MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES FOR ENFORCEMENT OF BUILDING CODES; TO AMEND SECTION 17-2-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS THAT THE OWNER OF A HUNTING CAMP OR FISHING CAMP MUST MEET IN ORDER TO EXEMPT SUCH STRUCTURES FROM THE STATE BUILDING CODE; TO PROHIBIT THE GOVERNING AUTHORITY OF PEARL RIVER COUNTY, OR ANY MUNICIPALITY WITHIN SUCH COUNTY, FROM ENFORCING ANY PORTION OF THE STATE BUILDING CODES WHICH PROHIBITS THE USE OF OR REQUIRES BUILDING PERMIT APPROVAL FOR THE USE OF SALVAGE LUMBER OR GREEN CUT TIMBER IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION; TO ESTABLISH WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE A COMPREHENSIVE HURRICANE DAMAGE MITIGATION PROGRAM, WHICH SHALL CONSIST OF A COST-BENEFIT STUDY ON WIND HAZARD MITIGATION CONSTRUCTION MEASURES, WIND CERTIFICATION AND HURRICANE MITIGATION INSPECTIONS, FINANCIAL GRANTS TO RETROFIT PROPERTIES, EDUCATION AND CONSUMER AWARENESS EFFORTS, AND AN ADVISORY COUNCIL; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 17-2-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
17-2-3. (1) There is hereby created the Mississippi Building Codes Council. Each member of the council shall be appointed by the executive director of his respective professional association unless otherwise stated herein. Each member shall serve for a term of three (3) years and until a successor is appointed and qualifies. No person who has previously been convicted of a felony in this state or any other state may be appointed to the council. From and after July 1, 2009, all members of the council shall be residents of the State of Mississippi. The council shall consist of twenty-six (26) members composed of:
(a) One (1) representative of the American Institute of Architects of Mississippi;
(b) Three (3) representatives of the Home Builders Association of Mississippi;
(c) One (1) representative of the Associated General Contractors of Mississippi;
(d) One (1) representative of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Mississippi;
(e) One (1) representative of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Mississippi;
(f) Two (2) representatives of the Building Officials Association of Mississippi;
(g) One (1) disabled person to be appointed by the Governor;
(h) One (1) representative of the property/casualty insurance industry to be appointed by the Governor;
(i) One (1) representative of the Mississippi Municipal League;
(j) One (1) representative of the Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association;
(k) One (1) representative of the electrical industry who is a master electrician to be appointed by the American Subcontractors Association;
(l) One (1) representative of the mechanical or gas industry who is a master mechanic to be appointed by the American Subcontractors Association;
(m) One (1) representative of the plumbing industry who is a master plumber to be appointed by the American Subcontractors Association;
(n) One (1) representative of the Mississippi Fire Chiefs Association;
(o) One (1) representative of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors;
(p) One (1) representative of the Mississippi Minority Contractors Association to be appointed by the Governor;
(q) One (1) representative of the Energy Division, Mississippi Development Authority, to serve ex officio, nonvoting;
(r) One (1) person representing the consumer who shall have no interest in the construction industry to be appointed by the Governor;
(s) The Mississippi State Fire Marshal, or his designee, to serve ex officio, nonvoting;
(t) The Executive Director of the State Board of Professional Geologists, or his designee, to serve ex officio, nonvoting; and
(u) Three (3) representatives selected by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trade Council.
(2) A vacancy must be filled in the manner of the original appointment for the unexpired portion of the term.
(3) Any member with unexcused absences for more than three (3) consecutive meetings shall be replaced by his sponsoring organization.
(4) The State Fire Marshal shall convene the first meeting of the council within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this chapter and shall act as temporary chairman until the council elects from its members a chairman and vice chairman. The council shall adopt regulations consistent with this act. A meeting may be called by the chairman on his own initiative and must be called by him at the request of three (3) or more members of the council. Each member must be notified by the chairman in writing of the time and place of the meeting at least seven (7) days before the meeting. Fourteen (14) members constitute a quorum. Each meeting is open to the public. An official decision of the council may be made only by a vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of those members in attendance at the meeting.
(5) The council shall adopt by reference and amend only one (1) of the last two (2) editions of the following as discretionary statewide minimum codes:
(a) International Building Code and the standards referenced in that code for regulation of construction within this state. The appendices of that code may be adopted as needed, but the specific appendix or appendices must be referenced by name or letter designation at the time of adoption.
(b) International Residential Code (IRC) and the standards referenced in that code are included for regulation of construction within this state. The appendices of that code may be adopted as needed, but the specific appendix or appendices must be referenced by name or letter designation at the time of adoption, with the exception of Appendix J, Existing Buildings and Structures, which is hereby adopted by this reference.
(c) Other codes addressing matters such as electrical, plumbing, mechanical, fire and fuel gas.
(6) The initial code or codes adopted by this council under the provisions of this section shall be completed no later than July 1, 2007.
SECTION 2. Section 17-2-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
17-2-5. (1) Any county board of supervisors or municipal governing authority that adopts building codes or amends its existing building codes on or after the effective date of House Bill No. 753, 2007 Regular Session, may adopt as minimum codes any * * * codes established and promulgated by the Mississippi Building Codes Council. Any codes adopted by a board of supervisors or municipal governing authority under this section shall be enforced by the board of supervisors or municipal governing authority, as the case may be.
(2) Municipalities and counties may establish agreements with other governmental entities of the state or certified third-party providers to issue permits and enforce state building codes in order to provide the services required by this act. The council may assist in arranging for municipalities, counties or third-party providers the provision of services required by this act if a written request from the governing authority of the county or municipality is submitted to the council.
SECTION 3. Section 17-2-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
17-2-9. (1) The governing authority of any county or municipality shall not enforce any portion of any building codes established and/or imposed under Sections 17-2-1 through 17-2-5 that regulates the construction or improvement of industrial facilities that are engaged in activities designated as manufacturing (sectors 31-33), utilities (sector 22), telecommunications (sector 517), bulk stations and materials (sector 422710), crude oil pipelines (sector 486110), refined petroleum products pipelines (sector 486910), natural gas pipelines (sector 486210), other pipelines (sector 486990) and natural gas processing plants (sector 211112), under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
(2) The governing authority of any county or municipality shall not enforce any portion of any building codes established and/or imposed under Sections 17-2-1 through 17-2-5 which regulates the construction or improvement of buildings located on nonpublic fairgrounds or the construction or improvement of buildings located on the Neshoba County Fairgrounds in Neshoba County, Mississippi.
(3) The governing authority of any county or municipality shall not enforce any portion of any building codes established and/or imposed under Sections 17-2-1 through 17-2-5 which regulates the construction or improvement of a private unattached outdoor recreational structure, such as a hunting or fishing camp. In order for a structure to qualify as a "hunting camp" or "fishing camp" under the provisions of this subsection, the owner must file with the board of supervisors of the county in which the structure is located his signed affidavit stating under oath that the structure is a hunting camp or fishing camp, as the case may be, that he is the owner or an owner of the camp and that the camp is located in an unincorporated area of the county within, near or in close proximity to land upon which hunting or fishing activities legally may take place.
(4) The governing authority of any county or municipality shall not enforce any portion of any building codes established and/or imposed under Sections 17-2-1 through 17-2-5 which regulates the construction or improvement of manufactured housing built according to the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act.
(5) The governing authority of Pearl River County or any municipality within such county shall not enforce any portion of any building codes established and/or imposed under Sections 17-2-1 through 17-2-5 which prohibits the use of or requires building permit approval for the use of salvage lumber or green cut timber in building construction provided such timber is for personal use and is not for sale.
SECTION 4. (1) There is established within the Department of Insurance a Comprehensive Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program. This section does not create an entitlement for property owners or obligate the state in any way to fund the inspection or retrofitting of residential property or commercial property in this state. Implementation of this program is subject to the availability of funds that may be appropriated by the Legislature for this purpose. The program shall develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated approach for hurricane damage mitigation that shall include the following:
(a) Cost-benefit study on wind hazard mitigation construction measures. The performance of a cost-benefit study to establish the most appropriate wind hazard mitigation construction measures for both new construction and the retrofitting of existing construction for both residential and commercial facilities within the wind-borne debris regionsof Mississippi as defined by the International Building Code. The recommended wind construction techniques shall be based on both the newly adopted Mississippi building code sections for wind load design and the wind-borne debris region. The list of construction measures to be considered for evaluation in the cost-benefit study shall be based on scientifically established and sound, but common, construction techniques that go above and beyond the basic recommendations in the adopted building codes. This allows residents to utilize multiple options that will further reduce risk and loss and still be awarded for their endeavors with appropriate wind insurance discounts. It is recommended that existing accepted scientific studies that validate the wind hazard construction techniques benefits and effects be taken into consideration when establishing the list of construction techniques that homeowners and business owners can employ. This will ensure that only established construction measures that have been studied and modeled as successful mitigation measures will be considered to reduce the chance of including risky or unsound data that will cost both the property owner and state unnecessary losses. The cost-benefit study shall be based on actual construction cost data collected for both several types of residential construction and commercial construction materials, building techniques and designs that are common to the region. The study shall provide as much information as possible that will enhance the data and options provided to the public, so that homeowners and business owners can make informed and educated decisions as to their level of involvement. Based on the construction data, modeling shall be performed on a variety of residential and commercial designs, so that a broad enough representative spectrum of data can be obtained. The data from the study will be utilized in a report to establish tables reflecting actuarially appropriate levels of wind insurance discounts (in percentages) for each mitigation construction technique/combination of techniques. This report will be utilized as a guide for the Department of Insurance and the insurance industry for developing actuarially appropriate discounts, credits or other rate differentials, or appropriate reductions in deductibles, for properties on which fixtures or construction techniques demonstrated to reduce the amount of loss in a windstorm have been installed or implemented. Additional data that will enhance the program, such as studies to reflect property value increases for retrofitting or building to the established wind hazard mitigation construction techniques and cost comparison data collected to establish the value of this program against the investment required to include the mitigation measures, also shall be provided.
(b) Wind certification and hurricane mitigation inspections.
(i) Home-retrofit inspections of site-built, residential property, including single-family, two-family, three-family or four-family residential units, and a set of representative commercial facilities shall be offered to determine what mitigation measures are needed and what improvements to existing residential properties are needed to reduce the property's vulnerability to hurricane damage. A state program will be established within the Department of Insurance to provide homeowners and business owners wind certification and hurricane mitigation inspections. The inspections provided to homeowners and business owners, at a minimum, must include:
1. A home inspection and report that summarizes the results and identifies corrective actions a homeowner may take to mitigate hurricane damage.
2. A range of cost estimates regarding the mitigation features.
3. Insurer-specific information regarding premium discounts correlated to recommended mitigation features identified by the inspection.
4. A hurricane resistance rating scale specifying the home's current as well as projected wind resistance capabilities.
This data shall be provided by trained and certified inspectors in standardized reporting formats and forms regardless of the insurer involved with the property owner to ensure all data collected during inspections is equivalent in style and content that allows construction data, estimates and discount information to be easily assimilated into a database. It also ensures consistency of the program information for the consumers when dealing with more than one (1) insurance company for the comparison of services or when changing policies. Data pertaining to the number of inspections, inspection reports and consumers participating in the program shall be stored in a state database for evaluation of the program's success and review of state goals in reducing wind hazard loss in the state.
(ii) To qualify for selection by the department as a provider of wind certification and hurricane mitigation inspections services, the entity shall, at a minimum:
1. Use wind certification and hurricane mitigation inspectors who:
a. Have prior experience in residential and/or commercial construction or inspection and have received specialized training in hurricane mitigation procedures through the state certified program. In order to qualify for training in the inspection process, the individual should be either a licensed building code official, a licensed contractor or inspector in the State of Mississippi, or a civil engineer.
b. Have undergone drug testing and background checks.
c. Have been certified through a state mandated training program, in a manner satisfactory to the department, to conduct the inspections.
2. Provide a quality assurance program including a reinspection component.
3. Have data collection equipment and computer systems, so that data can be submitted electronically to the state's database of inspection reports, insurance certificates, and other industry information related to this program. It is mandatory that all inspectors provide original copies to the property owner of any inspection reports, estimates, etc., pertaining to the inspection and keep a copy of all inspection materials on hand for state audits.
(c) Financial grants to retrofit properties. Financial grants may be used to encourage single-family, site-built, owner-occupied, residential property owners or commercial property owners to retrofit their properties to make them less vulnerable to hurricane damage.
(d) Education and consumer awareness. Multimedia public education, awareness and advertising efforts designed to specifically address mitigation techniques shall be employed, as well as a component to support ongoing consumer resources and referral services. In addition, all insurance companies shall provide notification to their clients regarding the availability of this program, participation details, and directions to the state Web site promoting the program, along with appropriate contact phone numbers to the state agency administrating the program. The notification to the clients must be sent by the insurance company within thirty (30) days after filing their insurance discount schedules with the Department of Insurance.
(e) Advisory council. There is created an advisory council to provide advice and assistance to the program administrator with regard to his or her administration of the program. The advisory council shall consist of:
(i) A representative of lending institutions, selected by the Department of Insurance from a list of at least three (3) persons recommended by the Mississippi Bankers Association.
(ii) An agent, selected by the Independent Insurance Agents of Mississippi.
(iii) Two (2) representatives of residential property insurers, selected by the Department of Insurance.
(iv) A representative of homebuilders, selected by the Department of Insurance from a list of at least three (3) persons recommended by the Home Builders Association of Mississippi.
(v) One (1) faculty member of a state university, selected by the Department of Insurance, who is an expert in hurricane-resistant construction methodologies and materials.
(vi) Two (2) members of the House of Representatives, selected by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(vii) Two (2) members of the Senate, selected by the Lieutenant Governor.
(viii) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association.
(ix) The Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Members appointed under subparagraphs (i) through (v) shall serve at the pleasure of the Department of Insurance. Members appointed under subparagraphs (vi) and (vii) shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing officers. All other members shall serve as voting ex officio members. Members of the advisory council who are not legislators, state officials or state employees shall be compensated at the per diem rate authorized by Section 25-3-69, and shall be reimbursed in accordance with Section 25-3-41, for mileage and actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Legislative members of the advisory council shall be paid from the contingent expense funds of their respective houses in the same manner as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session; however, no per diem or expense for attending meetings of the advisory council may be paid while the Legislature is in session. No advisory council member may incur per diem, travel or other expenses unless previously authorized by vote, at a meeting of the council, which action shall be recorded in the official minutes of the meeting. Nonlegislative members shall be paid from any funds made available to the advisory council for that purpose.
(f) Rules and regulations. The Department of Insurance shall adopt rules and regulations governing the Comprehensive Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program. The department also shall adopt rules and regulations establishing priorities for grants provided under this section based on objective criteria that gives priority to reducing the state's probable maximum loss from hurricanes. However, pursuant to this overall goal, the department may further establish priorities based on the insured value of the dwelling, whether or not the dwelling is insured by Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association and whether or not the area under consideration has sufficient resources and the ability to perform the retrofitting required.
(2) This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2009.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.