Nixon vetoes bill delaying sprinkler mandate

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 | 3:58 p.m. CDT; updated 7:41 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 6, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have given facilities for the elderly and disabled more time to install fire sprinkler systems.

A 2007 law enacted after a fatal group home fire in southwest Missouri gave facilities until the end of 2012 to install sprinklers. A bill passed this year would have extended that through 2014.

Nixon vetoed the bill Wednesday, saying five years should be enough to comply, and any further delay would unnecessarily put people's lives at risk.

About 100 residential care and assisted living facilities still have not complied with the mandate, which applies only to those with more than 20 residents.

The president of the Missouri Assisted Living Association says some facilities may have to close because they can't afford the cost of sprinklers.

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