Anti-Hurricane Building Standards Legislation Advances in Senate

Florida's a big state, and lawmakers are trying to decide if the building standards to protect against hurricanes should be the same all over the state.

There's legislation that would require Panhandle builders to use the same stronger wind protection standards as the rest of Florida.

A Senate committee approved the bill Monday. It would have the state Building Commission study the effects of last year's Hurricane Ivan to determine what the building standards should be in the Panhandle.

The proposed law updates the building code to bring it in line with the latest engineering standards.

Florida adopted a building code in 2000 that standardized wind-resistance requirements in most of the state, but the Panhandle, from Franklin County west to the Alabama line, has the stronger wind requirements for only a mile inland from the coast.