Wisconsin councils often inactive, as codes lag national models

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Under Scott Walker, Wisconsin slows updates of building and safety codes Critics say anti-regulatory bent is driving state’s failure to address potential hazards and adopt money-saving advances

Many of the building code advisory councils established to advise the state have not met in years, and many state codes have not been promptly updated to reflect contemporary national models. These models, when they exist, are typically updated every three years. The following chart presents relevant information in selected code areas. Not all code areas have regularly updated national models, as noted by the N/A, for “Not Applicable.”

Code area Last meeting of advisory council Last code overhaul (Clearinghouse Rule No.) Last national model adopted Latest national model available
Amusement Rides 5/6/2008 1/1/09 (CR 08-054) N/A N/A
Boilers and Pressure Vessels 9/14/2011 6/1/12 (CR 11-047) 2010 2013
Commercial buildings 2/17/2011 9/1/11 (CR 10-103) 2009 2015
Electrical 10/6/2011 12/1/13 (CR 13-042) 2011 2014
Energy Conservation 10/28/2009 9/1/11 (CR 10-103) 2009 2015
Fire Department Safety and Health 10/1/2013 1/1/02 (CR 01-044) 2001 2015
Fire Prevention* 9/24/2013 9/1/14 (CR 15-105) 2012 2012
Gas Systems 11/30/2010 9/1/11 (CR 11-002) 2009 2012
Multi-Family Dwellings 2/17/2011 9/1/11 (CR 10-103) 2009 2015
One and Two-Family Dwellings 5/12/2014   N/A N/A
Public Employee Safety and Health 2/21/2012 9/1/2004 (CR 04-009) N/A N/A
Plumbing 8/4/2010 1/1/2011 (CR 10-064) N/A N/A
Public Swimming Pools 7/28/2010 3/1/2009 (CR 08-056) N/A N/A

* Fire Prevention: One of four meetings held that year, after none in 2011 and 2012.
** One and Two-Family Dwellings: One set of code changes was adopted Sept. 1, 2014, though CR 14-05; other recommended changes are working their way through the process.

Sources: Chart prepared for the Alliance for Regulatory Coordination by Robert DuPont; list of codes on state Department of Safety and Professional Services website; Wisconsin Legislature Clearinghouse Rules.