Committee votes to extend law requiring stage inspection

Vote extends law to 2016

INDIANAPOLIS - A legislative committee voted Tuesday to extend a law requiring inspections of some outdoor stage equipment.

The law -- enacted after the Aug. 13, 2011, stage rigging collapse at the Indiana State Fairgrounds -- would have expired in about a year.

Tuesday's vote extends the law until 2016, giving legislators a chance to put permanent rules in place.

"Yes, this is the line in the sand," said Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis. "Everyone has to understand that safety comes first. If there is some event coming with weather, they have to consider that first versus the show being the priority."

During the next two years, regulators will work on the law's details.

Indianapolis and its city inspectors that handled all the temporary structures during the Super Bowl might become the model for how inspections are done statewide.

"Marion County has been out there in front, since before that unfortunate incident," said Code Enforcement Director Rick Powers.

The Indiana Association of Fairs, Festivals and Events supports the inspection of temporary structures.

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