Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mandatory Carbon Monoxide Monitor Bill Clears Committee

A bill that would require builders to install carbon monoxide alarms in every new home, and place the same obligation on sellers of existing homes and landlords, cleared a House committee Tuesday.

HB 1091, which sponsors say was inspired by the November 2008 deaths of a prominent Denver family due to carbon monoxide poisoning, was approved by the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee on a 9-2 vote.

The bill had been heard at an emotional hearing two weeks ago, during which the father of a Denver college student killed in yet another recent carbon monoxide poisoning incident tearfully pleaded for the measure's passage.

Republicans unsuccessfully sought to amend the bill to force state universities and colleges to install carbon monoxide alarms in all dormitory rooms, though sponsoring Rep. John Soper, D-Thornton, said he would seek input on that proposal from college administrators and consider whether to add it when the bill is considered on the floor of the House of Representatives.

As it stands, HB 1091 would leave enforcement to local government and would not impose liability for malfunctioning alarms on builders or landlords.

Two Republican representatives, Amy Stephens of Monument and Larry Liston of Colorado Springs, joined with the Democrats on the committee in support of the bill. The GOP's David Balmer, of Centennial, and freshman Rep. Laura Bradford of Collbran voted "no."