August 6, 2019

Contact: Sen. Cowles: (608) 266-0484 / Rep. Thiesfeldt: (608) 266-3156

Lead Poisoning Prevention Bills Introduced to Protect Wisconsin Children

SCHOOL Acts Follow-Up on 2017 Law to Address Lead Laden Water Outside of the Home

MADISON– Senators Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Representatives Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) issued the following joint statement after releasing two bills for co-sponsorship. LRBs 19-3539 and 19-3566 are collectively known as the Supporting Children’s Health by Ousting Outdated Lead Acts, or SCHOOL Acts for short: 

“2019 might be the Year of Clean Drinking Water, but we’re proud to have extended our focus on clean water well before the year began. Last session’s nation-leading effort we authored resulted in the passage of the Leading on Lead Act (2017 Wisconsin Act 137) which provided communities with the local control they need to tackle lead in residential water supplies. Along the way, we were joined by a team of bipartisan supporters and advocates that were crucial in the Leading on Lead Act becoming law. Building on this bipartisan success, we’re introducing the SCHOOL Acts to help protect children from lead poisoning when they leave their home.”

SCHOOL Acts.jpg

The first bill, LRB 19-3539, addresses lead in school drinking water by requiring testing and, if necessary, requiring that contaminated water sources be taken offline and replaced with clean water sources while incentivizing long-term remediation by buying down the interest rate of BCPL loans. The second bill, LRB 19-3566, tackles lead in the drinking water of daycares, group homes, and summer camps by requiring testing as a component of licensure and, if necessary, ensuring that contaminated water sources be taken offline and replaced with clean water sources. A more detailed overview of both bills can be found here: SCHOOL Acts Attachment, 08-06-19.pdf

“Lead exposure is bad for all ages, but children are particularly susceptible to negative consequences including changes in their physical development resulting in numerous health impacts and stunting of their mental growth causing behavioral issues throughout their childhood, teenage-years, and beyond. With the SCHOOL Acts, we’re looking to give our youth a brighter future by reducing lead exposure and giving parents and guardians the peace-of-mind that their kids will drink clean, safe water when they leave the house in the morning.”

LRBs 19-3539 and 19-3566 are being circulated for co-sponsorship until Tuesday, August 20th.