Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Albio Sires (D-NJ) introduced legislation that would strengthen building codes and increase public safety. H.R. 1878, The Safe Building Code Incentive Act, provides a financial incentive to states that are proactive in adopting and enforcing nationally recognized model building codes. States that enact these building codes would qualify for an additional 4 percent of funding for hazard mitigation grants. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Diaz-Balart: "I am pleased to work with Rep. Sires to reintroduce The Safe Building Code Incentive Act. This legislation helps us protect and prepare our local communities and families in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. H.R. 1878 simply rewards good behavior, and incentivizes states to make communities safer by enacting these codes. It's time we take proactive steps to encourage states to do more to save lives and hard-earned taxpayer dollars, while making homes and businesses more resilient to natural disasters."
Sires: "I am pleased to once again be an original cosponsor of The Safe Building Code Incentive Act. If the devastation from Hurricane Sandy has taught us anything in my region- it is that the damage could have been much worse had New Jersey not already had exemplary standards for building codes in place. Now is the time for every state to ensure that buildings are constructed in a manner that will not only stand the test of time, but stand up to the natural disasters that are bound to occur."
Menendez: "Given the frequency of disasters in the United States, having only 16 states complying with and enforcing the most up-to-date building standards is simply unacceptable. The Safe Building Code Incentive Act would provide to states enforcing the most current building codes with additional federal hazard mitigation funds after a disaster strikes. This will save lives, guard against property damage, and reduce the taxpayers' burden following a disaster."
Original cosponsors of the legislation in the House also include: Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. Norton (D-DC), Rep. Denham (R-CA), Rep. Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Gibson (R-NY), and Rep. Palazzo (R-MS).