Thursday, May 16, 2013

A longer timeline for the NC Toxic Free Kids Act

Young Magician. Photo by PhotoAtelier via Flickr.
by Fawn Pattison, Executive Director

The NC Toxic Free Kids Act was magically transformed into a study bill this week by the House Commerce committee. POOF! The bill sponsors were facing down a very tight deadline - all new bills had to clear either the House or Senate this week, or become ineligible for the remainder of the 2013-14 legislative session. Rather than throw in the towel, the bill sponsors decided instead to change the bill into a study that will bring the issue back in front of the legislature in 2014.

The down side: the General Assembly did not hold a big hearing that required state legislators to pronounce the word "phthalates." 

The up side: The issue stays alive and we have an even better shot of getting it passed next year!

Representatives Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) and Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford) deserve our thanks for leading the effort. Representative McGrady told the Commerce committee that he intends to use the interim study to build even broader support for the Toxic Free Kids Act, and gather some lessons from other states about implementation. He is passionate about ensuring that the legislature will act in 2014 to protect kids from toxic chemicals.

So what now? 

The study bill will create a new Joint Legislative Study Committee on Children's Health and Toxic Chemicals, which will meet in the interim between the end of the 2013 session this June, and the start of the 2014 session next spring. The study committee will create important opportunities to bring in researchers, parents, business owners and other experts to talk about what legislators can do to protect children's health from toxic chemical exposures.

Please join us in thanking the legislators who sponsored and co-sponsored the NC Toxic Free Kids Act. We can't stop now!

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