Bill Text: NJ S817 | 2012-2013 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes temperature control guidelines and standards for school facilities.

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2012-06-04 - Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee [S817 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2012-S817-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 817

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BOB SMITH

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

Senator  SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Beck and Madden

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes temperature control guidelines and standards for school facilities.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning temperature control of school facilities and supplementing chapter 33 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Each school district shall ensure that the schools of the district provide students with a temperature-controlled environment that is conducive to learning.  Each school district shall:

     a.     strive to maintain, to the extent feasible, room temperatures within the target range of 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 79 degrees Fahrenheit in all occupied areas of school facilities;

     b.    measure the temperature of an occupied area of a school facility when a temperature outside the target range is suspected; the measurement shall be taken in the area where the greatest temperature extreme is expected to occur;

     c.     relocate students and staff from an occupied area with a recorded temperature below 63 degrees Fahrenheit or above 89 degrees Fahrenheit within two hours of the temperature measurement; and

     d.    report by telephone a temperature-related relocation within 24 hours to the Department of Health and Senior Services.

 

     2.    The Department of Health and Senior Services shall conduct an inspection of any school facility from which  students and staff were relocated more than twice in a school year pursuant to section 1 of this act to ensure that the facility meets State indoor air quality standards.

 

     3.    Each school district shall review and implement, to the extent feasible and appropriate and to the extent permitted by local building and fire codes, temperature control measures including:

     a.     short term measures for excessive heat, such as limiting student athletic activity, relocating students to areas of the building at or below 89 degrees Fahrenheit, and using portable fans and air conditioners;

     b.    long term measures for excessive heat, such as the installation of energy-efficient windows, increasing shade in front of windows, and the installation of ceiling fans, air conditioners, or other permanent cooling equipment;

     c.     short term measures for excessive cold, such as using portable space heaters, relocating students to areas of the building at or above 63 degrees Fahrenheit, and increasing access to sunlight; and

     d.    long term measures for excessive cold, such as the installation of permanent heating equipment and energy-efficient windows, using programmable thermostats, and enhancing the maintenance of heating equipment.

 

     4.    Any school district employee who makes a report of excessive heat or excessive cold in a school facility shall be protected from retaliatory action pursuant to the provisions of the "Conscientious Employee Protection Act," P.L.1986, c.105 (C.34:19-1 et seq.)

 

     5.    No school district or employee shall be held liable for any good faith act or omission consistent with the provisions of this act.  Good faith shall not include willful misconduct, gross negligence, or recklessness.

 

     6.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires school districts to ensure that their schools provide students with a temperature-controlled environment that is conducive to learning.  Under the bill, each school district must:

     (1)   strive to maintain, to the extent feasible, room temperatures within the target range of 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 79 degrees Fahrenheit in all occupied areas of school facilities;

     (2)   measure the temperature of an occupied area of a school facility when a temperature outside the target range is suspected; the measurement must be taken in the area where the greatest temperature extreme is expected to occur;

     (3)   relocate students and staff from an occupied area with a recorded temperature below 63 degrees Fahrenheit or above 89 degrees Fahrenheit within two hours of the temperature measurement; and

     (4)   report by telephone a temperature-related relocation within 24 hours to the Department of Health and Senior Services.

     In addition, this bill requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to conduct an inspection of any school facility that relocated students due to temperature control issues more than twice in a school year to ensure that the facility meets State indoor air quality standards.  This bill also requires school districts to review and implement temperature control measures, as feasible and appropriate and to the extent permitted by local building and fire codes. 

     The Occupational Health Service within the Department of Health and Senior Services currently administers the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) Program, the purpose of which is to develop and enforce occupational health standards for public employees throughout the State and to encourage employers and employees in their efforts to improve the working environment.  The responsibilities assigned to the department under this bill could be incorporated within the PEOSH Program.

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