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Lawmakers Back Elevator Bill Stemming From Boy's Death

Bill sponsor Greg Steube, R-Sarasota.

In an issue spurred by the death of a 12-year-old Manatee County boy, a House panel Monday approved a bill that would require the installation of sensors in new elevators in private homes.

The bill (HB 1289), approved by the House Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, is named the "Maxwell Erik 'Max' Grablin Act" after a boy who became pinned by an elevator at his home while looking for a hamster in the elevator shaft.

Bill sponsor Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, said the sensors would be similar to garage-door sensors and would cause elevators to stop if something was at the bottom of the shafts. He said the requirement would only apply to new elevators and not to already-existing residential elevators.

"It's sad that a tragedy brought this to the forefront of what is necessary," Steube said.

The bill needs to make it through another House committee. A Senate version (SB 1602), filed by Majority Leader Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, is ready to go to the Senate floor.