Counties Urge Caution with Duplicative, Costly Indoor Air Quality Standards

On February 23, 2023, Associate Policy Director Brianna January testified before the Senate Finance Committee in opposition to SB 355 – Occupational Safety and Health – Public Buildings – Indoor Air Quality.

The House Environment and Transportation Committee will consider the bill’s cross-file, HB 900, on March 9.

SB 355 requires the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to adopt a comprehensive indoor air quality standard for public buildings, and requires the Commissioner to establish an advisory committee to make recommendations regarding the development of these new air quality standards. While counties do not take issue with the merits of this bill, the prescribed methods impose a potentially staggering financial burden on counties. Moreover, the specific dictates of SB 355 are redundant given the routine procedures that counties already work assiduously to follow.

From the MACo Testimony:

SB 355 would pose a costly, unfunded mandate for local governments. Under the bill, counties would be required to adhere to new air quality and filtration standards relating to HVAC and other facility systems. This would include all county courts, county jails, public libraries, and other county buildings accessible to the public. Counties would necessarily provide additional financial support to local boards of education, which each own and operate dozens of K-12 school facilities. Not only would this be a daunting operational mandate, but it would also be a costly one.

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