Lawmakers: More time needed for Indiana stage rules

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Indiana lawmakers want to give a state panel two more years to adopt permanent rules intended to prevent a repeat of last year's deadly State Fair stage collapse.

A legislative committee on Tuesday endorsed draft legislation that would give the state's Fire Prevention and Building Commission until 2016 to adopt permanent rules regulating temporary outdoor stage equipment.

Lawmakers imposed temporary rules this year under a law that calls for those rules to expire on Jan. 1, 2014, following approval of permanent rules.

Republican state Sen. Jim Merritt of Indianapolis will sponsor the proposed legislation. He says the building commission needs more time to fine-tune permanent stage rigging rules that protect the public and also safeguard smaller events from burdensome regulations.

The lawmakers say they want to make sure the state doesn't overburden smaller events with regulations more suited to large events like the Super Bowl.

The rules follow the Aug. 13, 2011, stage collapse that killed seven people and injured nearly 60 others before a scheduled concert by country duo Sugarland.

Investigators found the stage rigging that collapsed did not meet industry safety standards and that fair officials lacked a fully developed emergency plan

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