August 8, 2019

Contact: Sen. Cowles: (608) 266-0484 / Sen. Johnson: (608) 266-2500 / Rep. Thiesfeldt: (608) 266-3156 / Rep. Taylor (608) 266-5342

SCHOOL Acts Unveiled as a Bipartisan Effort

Rerelease of Bills to Address Childhood Lead Poisoning Prove Clean Water is Truly a Nonpartisan Issue

MADISON– Two bills collectively known as the Supporting Children’s Health by Ousting Outdated Lead Acts, SCHOOL Acts for short, which were circulated in the State Legislature earlier this week are being rereleased today to reflect their new status as bipartisan bills with Senators Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay), LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee), Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon), and Mark Miller (D-Monona) and Representatives Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), Chris Taylor (D-Madison), Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay), and Tod Ohnstad (D-Kenosha) circulating LRBs 19-3539 and 19-3566 as co-authors. 

Building on last session’s unanimously-supported effort to provide a tool for local governments to address lead laden residential drinking water known as the Leading on Lead Act, we’re pleased to continue the bipartisan spirit around drinking water quality. With eight authors, four Republicans and four Democrats, we’re reintroducing the SCHOOL Acts to help protect children from lead poisoning when they leave their home. By working together, we believe that we will be able to best advance bipartisan solutions to nonpartisan problems.

There are two bills included in the SCHOOL Acts. 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.

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Lead exposure is bad for all ages, but children are particularly susceptible to negative consequences including changes in their physical development leading to health challenges 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 won’t drink lead laden water when they leave the house in the morning.