Senate Black Caucus takes the lead on lead

ilbcIllinois Legislative Black Caucus

Senator Donne Trotter took an important step to ensure that instances of lead exposure like what happened in Flint, Michigan doesn’t happen in Illinois. Currently, it’s legal to re-sale or re-lease a property that is found to have high levels of lead in the paint and other building materials. A measure that passed through the Illinois Senate’s Public Health Committee unanimously would prohibit the reuse of that property until the issue is solved.

“Flint served as a wakeup call, not only for Michigan, but the nation. Illinois does not have to wait for lead poisoning to become a statewide epidemic before it takes action,” said Trotter, Assistant Majority Leader. “We can stave off the ill effects of lead contamination by not allowing property owners to pass along the burden to a unknowing owner or tenant.”

Majority Caucus Whip and member of the Senate’s Public Health Committee Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) also voted for the bill in committee and offered the following comments:

“Low-income and minority communities are disproportionately affected by the side effects of lead poisoning. Aging properties still have lead paint that can cause brain damage for residents. We are taking action today so children in every neighborhood can have access to clean water,” said Hunter.

Other notable members supporting the bill in committee were state senators Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey), Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago), Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago).