(a) The commissioner may exempt a part of a historic building occupied by the state from the state or another building, fire, safety, or other code if the exemption is necessary to preserve the historic or esthetic character of the building or to prevent theft, vandalism, terrorism, or another crime. When the commissioner grants an exemption, the commissioner shall consider providing equivalent protection. A certificate of occupancy may not be denied because of an exemption under this section.
(b) The house of representatives and senate chambers located in the State Capitol are exempt from any State Building Code and State Fire Code requirements pertaining to: (1) door locks; (2) exit sign placement at exit access doors; and (3) occupancy limit signs. The house of representatives and senate may install door locks within their chambers in the State Capitol that meet their needs. The house of representatives and senate may install exit and occupancy limit signs within the house of representatives and senate chambers located in the State Capitol that are minimal in size and historic in appearance as appropriate for each chamber. Any door lock or sign installed by the house of representatives or the senate under the authority provided in this paragraph is not subject to the approval of the commissioner.