BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2021
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 12, 2010

                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION
                                   Joe Coto, Chair
                AB 2021 (Fletcher) - As Introduced:  February 17, 2010
           
          SUBJECT  :   Fire protection: Designated Campus Fire Marshal.

           SUMMARY  :   Allows the State Fire Marshal (SFM) to designate a  
          Campus Fire Marshal for the inspecting and enforcing fire and  
          life safety standards on University of California (UC) Campuses.  
           Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Authorizes the SFM to enforce the building standards and other  
            regulations of the SFM on all UC campuses and properties  
            administered or occupied by the UC.

          2)Authorizes the SFM to delegate that authority to the person of  
            his or her choice for each university campus or property who  
            would be known as the Designated Campus Fire Marshal.

          3)Requires any Designated Campus Fire Marshal to enforce those  
            regulations and building standards relating to fire and panic  
            safety.

          4)Replaces obsolete references to the California Building  
            Standards Code that contain references to the "public safety"  
            and "public works" titles of the California Code of  
            Regulations.

          5)Extends the authority to make written requests and perform  
            inspections to a Designated Campus Fire Marshal.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Requires the SFM, the chief fire official of any city, county,  
            or fire protection district and their authorized  
            representatives to enforce regulations and building standards  
            relating to fire and panic safety published in the California  
            Building Standards Code in all state-owned buildings,  
            state-occupied buildings, and state institutions throughout  
            the state.

          2)Establishes the California Building Standards Code under Title  
            24 of the California Code of Regulations.








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          3)Establishes the building design and construction standards for  
            the SFM under Title 19 of the California Code of Regulations.

          4)Authorizes the SFM to authorize the chief fire official of any  
            city, county, or fire protection district and his or her  
            authorized representatives, in their geographical area of  
            responsibility, to make fire prevention inspections of  
            state-owned or state-occupied buildings upon written request  
            of that chief fire official. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   The purpose of this bill puts into statute a 16-year  
          MOU between the UC system and the Office of the State Fire  
          Marshal (OSFM).  Codification of this MOU would give the OSFM  
          the authorization to inspect and enforce fire and life safety  
          standards at UC facilities.  According to the bill's sponsor,  
          the UC currently is satisfied with their partnership with the  
          OSFM and this bill would make their agreement permanent and  
          statutory.  

           Background  .  The UC currently has an MOU with the OSFM that  
          allows qualified campus fire marshals to act on behalf of the  
          SFM regarding compliance with fire and life safety standards at  
          UC facilities.  An MOU was first initiated as a two-year pilot  
          program in 1994 to determine the effectiveness of this practice.  
           The program proved to be an acceptable means of ensuring  
          on-site fire and life safety plan approval including inspection  
          of UC construction projects and existing campus facilities.

          Under the MOU, campuses submit projects to the campus fire  
          marshal in lieu of submittals to the OSFM.  This allows for  
          faster and more thorough reviews of UC's large and complex  
          capital program.  Campus fire marshals interact with the OSFM to  
          ensure compliance with all applicable codes and standards and  
          play a critical role in assisting planners, architects, and  
          engineers by identifying alternative fire safety solutions to be  
          discussed with the OSFM.  According to this bill's sponsor, "The  
          Acting State Fire Marshal feels this issue should be addressed  
          statutorily.

           Why is this bill necessary  ?  According to this bill's author,  
          "UC had been working with the OSFM to renew the existing MOU."   
          The author continues, "[T]he Acting State Fire Marshal has  








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          voiced a concern that the relationship between the OSFM and UC  
          is based only on an MOU and is not codified in statute."  The  
          author further says, "It is likely that without codifying the  
          existing relationship between the SFM and UC in statute, the  
          Acting State Fire Marshall will no longer allow the existing  
          relationship under the MOU."  

           In Support  .  The University of California, Office of the  
          President maintains that this bill, "[W]ill allow the State Fire  
          Marshal to designate a Campus Fire Marshal to designate a Campus  
          Fire Marshal for the purpose inspecting and enforcing fire and  
          life safety standards on UC campuses."  

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          University of California

           Opposition 
           
          None on file
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Rod Brewer / G. O. / (916) 319-2531