Summary of the Committee Version of the Bill


SPONSOR:  Wilson, 130 (Ruestman)

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Special Committee on
Health Insurance by a vote of 8 to 0.

This substitute establishes Ethan's Law which requires the owner
of a for-profit, privately owned swimming pool or facility that
has a capacity of less than 500 patrons and charges an admission
fee to maintain adequate liability insurance in an amount of at
least $1 million in the event of injury or death of a patron.
For each day an owner violates the provisions of the substitute,
he or she will be subject to a fine of $250 per day of violation,
with a maximum of $10,000, and will not be permitted to remain in
operation.  An owner could also be responsible for reimbursing
any costs incurred by the state or county for enforcing the fines
and consequences of lacking proper liability insurance.  If an
owner intentionally cancels, terminates, or fails to renew his or
her liability insurance, the owner will be guilty of a class A

The Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement
agencies will collaborate to enforce the civil and criminal
consequences when an owner does not have adequate liability
coverage.  Insurance companies must notify the department if an
owner terminates, cancels, or fails to renew his or her liability

The substitute contains an emergency clause.

FISCAL NOTE:  No impact on state funds in FY 2009, FY 2010, and
FY 2011.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that the intent of the bill is to
ensure oversight over for-profit pools and facilities that reside
outside the city limits within a county.  Currently, these pools
do not have any insurance liability requirements.  Liability
insurance requirements will provide additional safety standards
that might prevent a death.  These pools will have to be
registered with the department so that the pool owner cannot drop
insurance later.  This is not about the amount of coverage, but
rather to ensure safety through safety requirements.  It is not
adding any additional responsibilities or oversight from the
state and is a reasonable expectation to require pools to have
liability insurance and to be regulated.

Testifying for the bill were Representative Ruestman;
Lauren Cory; Savanah Fields; John Cory; and Sheriff Ken Copeland.

OPPONENTS:  There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

OTHERS:  Others testifying on the bill say there are only a few
of these parks so no excess in the workload of the local law
enforcement official is expected when enforcing the provisions of
the bill.

Testifying on the bill was Division of Fire Safety, Department of
Public Safety.

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
94th General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session
Last Updated October 15, 2008 at 3:10 pm