ST. PAUL (AP) -- The Senate voted to ease some bleacher-safety standards that it passed into law last year, which some had criticized as putting too much financial burdens on school districts and cities.
The amendments passed Friday would exempt shorter bleachers from the safety standards and raise the minimum height of affected bleachers, from 30 to 55 inches. Bleachers higher than 55 inches could not have gaps of more than 4 inches in seating areas and surrounding railings.
The deadline for compliance also would be extended a year, to Jan. 1, 2002.
The Senate also exempted retractable bleachers with gaps of 9 inches or less.
The original law was created in response to children being injured or killed after slipping through gaps in bleachers. Six-year-old Toby Lee of Mound died after falling 8 to 10 feet from the Hutchinson Civic Arena bleachers Jan. 3, 1999.
A House bill would allow 9-inch gaps in all bleachers.
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