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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 22, 2016 01:57 PM
From: Senator Shirley M. Kitchen and Sen. Jay Costa, Sen. Art Haywood, Sen. Wayne D. Fontana, Sen. John T. Yudichak, Sen. Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Lead Testing of Day Cares
In the near future we plan to introduce a package of bills to address the recent reports surrounding elevated lead levels in the Commonwealth.

News reports on the contaminated water supply in Flint, Michigan have brought the conversation about lead to the national forefront. We believe we must be proactive in analyzing Pennsylvania’s lead situation to protect our residents against the possibility of a Flint-like incident occurring here.

A 2014 Department of Health study found that children in more than eighteen communities throughout the Commonwealth have tested positive for lead at levels higher than those in Flint. Some of the communities in that report are: Allentown, Altoona, Bethlehem, Erie, Johnstown, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Reading, and Scranton.

While the tragedy in Flint focuses on the water supply, the dangers of lead in Pennsylvania also extend to our schools, day cares, and housing stock through lead-based paint. It is time we take action to analyze the commonwealth’s potential lead issues and ensure that our children and our communities are safe.

The third bill in our package requires day cares licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to require the testing of lead levels as part of their licensure process. Testing would include water, paint, and soil. The bill also prohibits DHS from issuing a license to any day care in which lead levels are higher than the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation. Day cares that have elevated lead levels would be required to submit a remediation plan to DHS.

Please join us in cosponsoring this bill.

Introduced as SB18