Text: H.R.1613 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/03/2003)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1613 Introduced in House (IH)]







108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1613

To establish a demonstration incentive program within the Department of 
 Education to promote installation of fire sprinkler systems, or other 
   fire suppression or prevention technologies, in qualified student 
            housing and dormitories, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             April 3, 2003

Mrs. Jones of Ohio introduced the following bill; which was referred to 
              the Committee on Education and the Workforce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To establish a demonstration incentive program within the Department of 
 Education to promote installation of fire sprinkler systems, or other 
   fire suppression or prevention technologies, in qualified student 
            housing and dormitories, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; FINDINGS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``College Fire 
Prevention Act''.
    (b) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
            (1) On Wednesday, January 19, 2000, a fire occurred at a 
        Seton Hall University dormitory. Three male freshmen, all 18 
        years of age, died. Fifty-four students, 2 South Orange 
        firefighters, and 2 South Orange police officers were injured. 
        The dormitory was a 6-story, 350-room structure built in 1952, 
        that housed approximately 600 students. It was equipped with 
        smoke alarms but no fire sprinkler system.
            (2) On Mother's Day 1996 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a 
        fire in the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity House killed 5 college 
        juniors and injured 3. The 3-story plus basement fraternity 
        house was 70 years old. The National Fire Protection 
        Association identified several factors that contributed to the 
        tragic fire, including the lack of fire sprinkler protection.
            (3) It is estimated that between 1980 and 1998, an average 
        of 1,800 fires at dormitories, fraternities, and sororities, 
        involving 1 death, 70 injuries, and $8,000,000 in property 
        damage were reported to public fire departments.
            (4) Within dormitories, fraternities, and sororities the 
        leading cause of fires is arson or suspected arson. The second 
        leading cause of college building fires is cooking. The third 
        leading cause is smoking.
            (5) New dormitories are generally required to have advanced 
        safety systems such as fire sprinklers. But such requirements 
        are rarely imposed retroactively on existing buildings.
            (6) In 1998, 93 percent of the campus building fires 
        reported to fire departments occurred in buildings where there 
        were smoke alarms present. However, only 34 percent had fire 
        sprinklers present.

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF FIRE SUPPRESSION DEMONSTRATION INCENTIVE 
              PROGRAM.

    (a) Grants.--The Secretary of Education (in this Act referred to as 
the ``Secretary''), in consultation with the United States Fire 
Administration, shall establish a demonstration program to award grants 
on a competitive basis to eligible entities for the purpose of 
installing fire sprinkler systems, or other fire suppression or 
prevention technologies, in student housing and dormitories owned or 
controlled by such entities.
    (b) Eligible Entity.--For purposes of this Act, the term ``eligible 
entity'' means any of the following:
            (1) An accredited public or private institution of higher 
        education (as that term is defined in section 101 of the Higher 
        Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)).
            (2) An accredited historically Black college or university 
        (as that term is used in section 322 of the Higher Education 
        Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1061)).
            (3) An accredited Hispanic-serving institution (as that 
        term is defined in section 502 of the Higher Education Act of 
        1965 (20 U.S.C. 1101a)).
            (4) An accredited Tribally Controlled College or University 
        (as that term is defined in section 2 of the Tribally 
        Controlled College or University Assistance Act of 1978 (25 
        U.S.C. 1801)).
            (5) A social fraternity or sorority exempt from taxation 
        under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 
        U.S.C. 501(a)), the active membership of which consists 
        primarily of students in attendance at an accredited 
        institution of higher education.
    (c) Selection Priority.--In making grants under subsection (a), the 
Secretary shall give priority to eligible entities that demonstrate the 
greatest financial need.
    (d) Reservations.--Of the amount made available to the Secretary 
for grants under this section for each fiscal year, the Secretary shall 
award--
            (1) not less than 10 percent to eligible entities that are 
        historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving 
        institutions, and Tribally Controlled Colleges and 
        Universities; and
            (2) not less than 10 percent to eligible entities that are 
        social fraternities and sororities.
    (e) Application.--To seek a grant under this section, an eligible 
entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in 
such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may 
require.
    (f) Matching Requirement.--As a condition on receipt of a grant 
under subsection (a), the applicant shall provide (directly or through 
donations from public or private entities) non-Federal matching funds 
in an amount equal to not less than 50 percent of the cost of the 
activities for which assistance is sought.
    (g) Limitation on Administrative Expenses.--Not more than 10 
percent of a grant made under subsection (a) may be expended for 
administrative expenses with respect to the grant.
    (h) Reports.--Not later than 12 months after the date of the first 
award of a grant under this section and annually thereafter until 
completion of the program, the Secretary shall provide to the Congress 
a report that includes the following:
            (1) The number and types of eligible entities receiving 
        assistance under this section.
            (2) The amounts of such assistance, the amounts and sources 
        of non-Federal funding leveraged for activities under grants 
        under this section, and any other relevant financial 
        information.
            (3) The number and types of student housing fitted with 
        fire suppression or prevention technologies with assistance 
        under this section, and the number of students protected by 
        such technologies.
            (4) The types of fire suppression or prevention 
        technologies installed with assistance under this section, and 
        the costs of such technologies.
            (5) Identification of Federal and State policies that 
        present impediments to the development and installation of fire 
        suppression or prevention technologies.
            (6) Any other information determined by the Secretary to be 
        useful to evaluating the overall effectiveness of the program 
        established under this section in improving the fire safety of 
        student housing.
    (i) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this Act $100,000,000 for each of the fiscal 
years 2004 through 2008. At the end of fiscal year 2008, all 
unobligated appropriations authorized under this subsection shall 
revert to the general fund of the Treasury.

SEC. 3. ADMISSIBILITY AS EVIDENCE.

    (a) Prohibition.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law and 
subject to subsection (b), any application for assistance under this 
Act, any negative determination on the part of the Secretary with 
respect to such application, or any statement of reasons for the 
determination, shall not be admissible as evidence in any proceeding of 
any court, agency, board, or other entity.
    (b) Exception.--This section does not apply to the admission of an 
application, determination, or statement described in subsection (a) as 
evidence in a proceeding to enforce an agreement entered into between 
the Secretary of Education and an eligible entity under section 2.
                                 <all>