This story was originally published in Builder.

The International Code Council applauds the inclusion of Federal Cost Share Reform Incentive in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which was passed by both houses of Congress on Feb. 9. The ICC has worked in partnership with the BuildStrong Coalition to educate members of Congress and their staff on the provision and its benefits, including the importance of pre-disaster mitigation and of state-level adoption of the latest building codes.

The incentive allows post-disaster federal cost-share with states to rise from 75 percent to as high as 85 percent. Cost share rates will rise depending on the state’s adoption and enforcement of the latest building codes, the adoption of a mitigation plan, and investments in relief, insurance, and emergency management. The plan also includes nearly $90 billion in additional disaster relief funds.

“In the wake of a devastating hurricane season and tragic wildfires in California, we are pleased to see the Federal Cost Share Reform Incentive included in the federal budget. This provision is a significant victory for the tax-paying public as it will help reduce the burden of growing financial losses on the federal government and the states due to the increased frequency of natural disasters,” says ICC CEO Dominic Sims. “We will continue to work on the federal, state and local levels to ensure that our communities have the highest level of safety in the industrial world through modern, cost-effective building and safety codes.”

The International Codes are among the most widely used and adopted set of building codes in the country. The codes are developed through a consensus-based process with an aim to create safer and more resilient structures. The ICC is set to celebrate Building Safety Month this May to raise awareness of the importance of regularly updated codes and of code officials.

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