February 21, 2013
What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Maryland General Assembly passed – and Governor O’Malley signed – key pieces of legislation aimed at further protecting our state’s children from the tragic consequences of lead poisoning. As they have done many times, Maryland leaders helped set the standard for other states to follow in regard to lead poisoning prevention.
Sadly, this kind of courage and leadership are lacking this year. Many of the bills currently in front of the House of Delegates Environmental Matters Committee related to lead will provide the rest of the nation with a blueprint for what not to do. There are bills being considered this year that, if implemented, will undermine the progress we have made and put thousands of Maryland’s children and families at risk.
We have made enormous headway in Maryland over the past two decades to reduce the rates of childhood lead poisoning by 98% (based on previous CDC guidelines of 10 µg/dl) by focusing on primary prevention and common sense legislation that provides protection for our children while not imposing undue burdens on property owners. The bills sponsored this year by Delegates Niemann, Stein, and Beidle, in particular, threaten to reverse this trend line, putting the interests of property owners and landlords above the interests of children.
Here’s just a sample of what some of our elected officials are trying to do this year to undermine efforts to eradicate childhood lead poisoning:
We encourage you to read more about the impact of these ill-conceived pieces of legislation and contact your state delegate and senator and urge them to vote “no.”
More information about the bills noted above, as well as the bills we and our advocacy partners support, is available at here.