OBJECTIVE: Pass model legislation during the 2010 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly establishing minimum safety standards for the operation and maintenance of commercial and passenger elevators. This objective also included for the first time the licensure of both elevator mechanics and elevator contractors and required the annual inspection of freight elevators.
STRATEGY: The EIWPF membership is comprised of the union elevator companies who do the overwhelming majority of elevator installations and repair work both in Kentucky and the U.S. Capitol Solutions had to forge a compromise with those who represented the nonunion contractors and mechanics. This comprise was necessary for the chairman of the Licensing & Occupations (L&O) Committee to even consider the legislation.
We had the issue for discussion only during the legislative interim before the L&O Committee to educate the members on the need for the legislation. In addition, numerous meetings occurred over a 12-month period with the commissioner, general counsel and inspectors of the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction. This is the state agency charged by statute with the inspection of passenger elevators. It ensures proposed legislation will accomplish safety objectives and be enforceable.
Our firm recruited bipartisan Senate bill sponsors, including the L&O Committee chairman and secured the support of key House leaders.
Capitol Solutions also had to craft language that would mitigate concerns by senate leadership that any license fee could be used against incumbent legislators as a “tax” while allowing the state agency charged with implementing the legislation the necessary funds to accomplish the legislation’s safety mandates and licensure requirements.
RESULTS: Kentucky joined over 20 other states in passage of model elevator safety legislation.