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Summary of April 27, 2016 Member Meeting

posted May 16, 2016, 7:56 AM by Robert DuPont

Alliance for Regulatory Coordination 

Summary of Member Meeting 

Meeting Date: April 27, 2016 

Location: Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 

The meeting was convened at 9:07 a.m. by Bob DuPont, of Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC. Attendees introduced themselves and identified the organizations they were representing.

Regarding the idea for owner’s choice of code application DuPont reported on his communications with three other organizations about their interest in this matter. He met with Brad Boycks in early April, with Brad saying he will discuss the idea with the WBA legislation committee. Tom Larson, representing the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Wisconsin Chapter, informed Bob that he would discuss the ARC idea with Association leaders during May, and would report back soon thereafter. Bob also has a meeting set with Jim Boullion in early May to discuss the ARC idea.

DuPont asked whether there was still support for the ARC to contact the DSPS about the owner’s choice idea and about reviewing department records concerning petitions for variance to use newer model codes and standards. There was general agreement that DuPont should do so; working with Brian Flannery, of WCOA. DuPont said he would report progress on such contact during the next ARC Member Meeting.

Regarding possible carbon monoxide update legislation DuPont referred to the written materials he had previously sent to all ARC members concerning the initial bill draft on carbon monoxide detection for commercial residential buildings. He asked if there were any concerns with the recommended comments developed by the Carbon Monoxide Detection Work Group. No concerns were raised. There was general agreement that those comments should be submitted to Representative Samantha Kerkman from the ARC. DuPont said he would submit the comments and also suggest a meeting with staff of Representative Kerkman, the legislative drafting attorney, Chief Bloom and himself, to help explain the ARC comments and viewpoint.

Regarding the Building Inspection Mutual Assistance Agreement DuPont asked if there were any concerns with his recommendation that the ARC make two suggestions to Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) as follows: 1) that the agreement initially treat Wisconsin as one geographic region for administrative purposes; and 2) that a work group be formed to further advise on development and implementation of the Building Inspection Mutual Assistance Agreement. The recommended work group would consist of one representative from each of the following five statewide associations: Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance; Wisconsin State Fire Chief’s Association; League of Wisconsin Municipalities; Wisconsin Counties Association; and Wisconsin Towns Association.

Marty King suggested that consideration be directed toward having the Building Inspection Mutual Assistance Agreement be written as an amendment to the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) agreement already in use throughout much of Wisconsin. He suggested that building inspectors could simply be added to the MABAS agreement as a type of resource to be shared among participating communities. Dave Bloom said that the MABAS program requires that each participating community sign an identical agreement. As a result, all currently participating communities would have to simultaneously agree to any amendment.

Dave and Marty suggested this could be a question for Brian Satula of WEM to consider. DuPont said he would pose the question to WEM staff and specifically ask that Brian Satula be involved in their consideration of it.

There was general agreement that DuPont should contact the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Wisconsin Counties Association and Wisconsin Towns Association about their potential participation on a work group to advise WEM on development and implementation of the Building Inspection Mutual Assistance Agreement.

Regarding ARC participation on the Healthcare Code Committee DuPont said that the Wisconsin Healthcare Engineering Association (WHEA) sponsors a code development committee that includes representation from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). He said DHS and WHEA have invited him to represent the Alliance for Regulatory Coordination at upcoming meetings. DuPont ask if ARC members thought this was a good idea. There was general agreement that DuPont should attend the upcoming meetings of this committee and keep ARC members informed on committee proceedings.

Regarding possible changes to the DSPS credentialing computer system and services DuPont said that he believes the Department is considering consolidation of the old Safety and Buildings credentialing system with the old Department of Regulation and Licensing credentialing system. He said his belief is based on the Department Budget, which contains spending authority for computer programming related to credentialing, and on comments made by DSPS leaders about merging the credentialing systems for greater efficiency.

DuPont said he feels it more likely that the DSPS would shift towards the DRL model, where continuing education credits are not tracked by the Department and where continuing education courses are not approved by the Department prior to their presentation. He said that past changes to the continuing education cycle, which aligned continuing education deadlines with credential expiration dates, may be a harbinger of things to come, where the Department would no longer track education credits.

Previously, under the Department of Commerce, administrative rules on credentialing provided a time cushion between the deadlines for obtaining continuing education credits and credential expiration dates. That cushion was designed to allow the Department to notify credential holders of their continuing education credit balance, thereby helping credential holders avoid problems related to renewing their credentials. DuPont said that change was made with input and support from all affected trades as a method for the Department to avoid customer conflicts and enforcement actions.

DuPont recalled that when continuing education initially went into effect for plumbers under the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, the original plan was to operate the program similar to how the Department of Regulation and Licensing operated their programs for professionals such as architects and engineers. Under the original DILHR program there was no ongoing Departmental tracking of continuing education credits. Rather, enforcement was designed to be through audits of credential holders where the Department would check course attendance records after the fact and then take enforcement action.

When DILHR implemented the DRL model for plumbers for the first time there was much confusion among credential holders and much clamor for DILHR to provide the service of tracking continuing education credits. Several plumbers contacted legislators, and many more complained directly to DILHR. DuPont recalled the DILHR Secretary decided it would be more efficient and customer friendly for DILHR to hire a program assistant to keep track of plumber’s continuing education credits than to hire one or more attorneys to handle continuing education audit consequences and enforcement actions related to credential non-renewal, suspension or revocation.

After a brief discussion of the pros and cons of having the DSPS continue to approve continuing education courses and track continuing education credits there was agreement that the ARC should inform the DSPS of interest in this matter, and to ask for dialogue between ARC and DSPS in this regard. DuPont said he would draft a letter to DSPS and provide it to ARC members for review and comment.

The next meeting of Alliance Members was scheduled for July 27, 2016, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at the offices of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.


Meeting Attendees

Organization Represented

Brian Flannery

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Corey Gall

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Dave Bloom

Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association

Ed Ruckriegel

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

Jeff Beiriger

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, Wisconsin Association

Joe Hertel

Wisconsin Electrical Trades Council

Joel Meier

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

John Schulze

Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin

Martin King

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Tim Schmitz

International Code Council

Tom Clark

Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association

Bob DuPont

Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC

This summary was prepared by Bob DuPont, Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC.

It was issued on May 16, 2016.