2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
September 13, 2019 - Introduced by Representatives Novak, Horlacher, Kulp,
Plumer, Thiesfeldt, Tusler and Wichgers, cosponsored by Senators
Marklein, Kooyenga and L. Taylor. Referred to Committee on Housing and
1An Act to create
101.05 (6) of the statutes; relating to: an exception to
2commercial building code requirements for the installation or operation of a
3stairway chair lift in a church constructed before 1919.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Subject to certain limitations discussed below, this bill provides an exception
to the commercial building code that allows the owner of a church constructed before
January 1, 1919, to install and operate a stairway chair lift in the church if all of the
following are satisfied:
1. Each floor level connected by the stairway in which the stairway chair lift
is installed has at least one other stairway or other type of fire escape that provides
2. The installation and operation of the stairway chair lift complies with the
requirements under state statutes and rules promulgated by the Department of
Safety and Professional Services related to elevators and other conveyances, other
than requirements related to a minimum required stairway width.
Under current law, DSPS has general authority to promulgate rules necessary
to ensure that public buildings and places of employment are safe. Those rules are
commonly called the commercial building code.
The bill also provides that, if the chief of the local fire department or, if the city,
village, or town in which the church is located does not have a local fire department,
DSPS determines that the installation or operation of a stairway chair lift as allowed
under the bill may create an unsafe condition, the chief or DSPS may require the
owner of the church, as a condition of installing or operating the stairway chair lift,
to comply with other measures determined by the chief or DSPS to be necessary for
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
101.05 (6) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) Except as provided in par. (b), no standard, rule, order, code, or 3
regulation adopted, promulgated, enforced, or administered by the department 4
under this chapter prevents the owner of a church from installing or operating a 5
stairway chair lift in the church if all of the following conditions are satisfied:
1. The church was constructed before January 1, 1919.
2. Each floor level connected by the stairway in which the stairway chair lift 8
is installed has at least one other stairway or other type of fire escape that affords 9
safe egress from the floor for all occupants.
3. The installation and operation of the stairway chair lift complies with the 11
requirements under subch. VII and the rules promulgated by the department under 12
subch. VII, other than requirements related to a minimum stairway width.
(b) If the chief of the fire department in the city, village, or town in which the 14
church is located or, if the city, village, or town does not have a fire department, the 15
department determines that installation or operation of a stairway chair lift under 16
par. (a) would render any part of the church not safe, the chief or department may 17
require the owner of the church, as a condition of installing or operating the stairway 18
chair lift, to comply with other measures determined by the chief or department to 19
be necessary for safety.