January 22, 2020

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

SCHOOL Act Recommended for Passage by Senate Committee 

MADISON– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and Representative Jeremy Thiesfledt (R-Fond du Lac) released the following statement after the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy unanimously recommended 2019 Senate Bill 423 for passage. This comes just one day after 2019 Senate Bill 424 was approved by the full State Senate on a voice vote. The two bills, collectively known as the Supporting Children’s Health by Ousting Outdated Lead (SCHOOL) Acts, are authored by Senators Cowles, LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee), Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon), and Mark Miller (D-Monona) and Representatives Thiesfeldt, Chris Taylor (D-Madison), Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay), Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb), and Tod Ohnstad (D-Kenosha) and have 46 bipartisan co-authors and sponsors: 

“I’m pleased to see the continued bipartisan support for lead-free drinking water progressing through the Senate Committee process,” Senator Cowles stated. “After working with numerous stakeholders in recent weeks to address the constructive feedback provided at the hearing, these policies have been improved with amendments that provide the flexibility necessary for local decisions while still ensuring that children’s health is the top priority for everyone involved.”

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The first bill in the SCHOOL Acts, Senate Bill 423, 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 encouraging long-term remediation. Both SCHOOL Act efforts were recommended for consideration by the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality. 

“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,” Senator Cowles continued. “With the SCHOOL Acts, we’re advancing a bipartisan solution 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 their home.”