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Blunt signs bill requiring sprinklers in long-term care facilities

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(UPI)
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Gov. Matt Blunt.

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signed legislation Friday requiring some long-term care facilities to put in sprinkler systems.

The legislation came in response to a fire that killed 11 people at the Anderson Guest House last year.

While the new law requires all facilities to have modern alarm systems, lawmakers chose to exempt facilities with 20 or fewer residents from installing sprinklers.

Governor Blunt says the law strikes the right balance.

"We wanted to ensure that in our zeal to provide the highest quality safety for Missourians we didn't do something that would really negatively impact access to care, particularly in our rural areas," Blunt said.

Facilities with more than 20 residents will have until 2012 to install sprinkler systems.

That state will provide low-income loans to encourage residential care facilities to do so before the deadline.

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