Noting that changes prompted by nursing home lobbyists watered down Rep. Kevin Wilson's bill to require group homes to install sprinkler systems, an editorial in today's Springfield News-Leader calls for the legislature to do more:
Responding to lobbyists concerns about high costs, legislators changed Wilson's proposal so that nursing homes with 20 or fewer beds were not required to install sprinkler systems. That means that of the 310 residential living facilities in Missouri without sprinkler systems, only 120 will be required to install the systems.
What do lawmakers say to the residents of the other 190 homes?
We hope what they say is they'll be back next year to make the law stronger still. Some legislators said they were surprised by the revelation that their work exempted so many homes. If that's the case, fixing the problem next year shouldn't be all that difficult. There was bipartisan support for this safety precaution, and state aid was made available to those homes that needed financial assistance.