Electrical safety efforts were another casualty of the Florida legislature’s breakdown.
The issue already had been on a rocky course. Bills to mandate low-voltage lights and regular inspections on commercial pools had been scrapped and replaced with an amendment to require the formation of a task force to explore the subject.
Chris Sloan, who successfully advocated for electrical regulations in two counties and spurred the state legislation following the electrocution death of his son, was stunned by the ultimate outcome. After all the compromises, he thought there was a good chance of the task-force language passing. “It’s enormously upsetting, especially since it happened around the year anniversary of my son’s death,” he said.
Sloan has plans to continue his efforts. Next time, he would like to see legislation closer to this year’s original bills. APSP and FSPA would remain in favor of the task-force solution.
“That way … they could have several meetings and look into any concerns people have, and not do something knee jerk,” said Jennifer Hatfield, FSPA and APSP government relations consultant.
Sloan has begun working for change on a federal level, having met with U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee and legislative champion of the VGBA. Without discussing the exchange in detail, Sloan said the congresswoman agreed more should be done regarding electrical safety in pools.
“We’ve got a lot of support, so we’ll be saddling back up for next year,” he said. “This is a long-term proposition; we’re resolved to continue.”