Public forum to push for lead legislation as bills stall

With the deadline looming in the Statehouse for bills to pass through committee, the Greater Indianapolis NAACP Branch #3053 is sustaining the pressure on the Legislature to address the risks of lead poisoning in children.

The organization, in partnership with Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, will host a public forum highlighting the dangers posed to children by lead in the water, soil and their homes, and what steps the Hoosier state could take to reduce exposure. A panel of physicians and health experts will discuss other communities’ efforts to protect children and improve screening and treatment options for lead poisoning.

The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 29 at IU McKinney, 530 W. New York St.

Currently, three bills regarding lead poisoning have been introduced in the Indiana Senate this year. However, none has received a hearing and the deadline for Senate committees to hear bills is Jan. 30.

Prior to the start of the session, the Indianapolis NAACP held a similar forum on lead poisoning in November at IU McKinney. The focus of that event was to make plans to advocate for state laws that would require testing youngsters and mitigate lead hazard in public schools.

Since then, bills addressing concerns about lead have been introduced in the Indiana Senate.

Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, is pushing for more testing of children to measure their lead exposure in her measures, Senate Bill 285 and SB 286. Also, Sens. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago, Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington, and Rick Niemeyer, R-Lowell, have authored SB 214, which would require testing of the drinking water in every school building in Lake County.

More information about the forum can be found here.

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