Shaina Brown

Lawmaker seeks to introduce bill blocking lead paint ballot measure

By Shaina Brown

Capitol Update, Jan. 29, 2018 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Earlier this week, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Downey) said she will pursue legislation in response to a proposed ballot measure, under which taxpayers would assume costs associated with lead-paint clean-up. Specifically, the initiative would place a $2-billion bond on the November ballot to fund the remediation of lead paint, mold, asbestos and other environmental dangers in homes, schools and senior citizen facilities. 

The proposal is backed by three paint companies, ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams, and these proponents contend that, “this initiative provides an important public benefit of addressing the state’s housing crisis by increasing the supply of safe and affordable homes that would otherwise be unlivable.” Conversely, Assemblymember Garcia has called the ballot measure “ridiculous” and has said that these companies are trying to use the ballot system to get out of paying fines imposed on them by the courts. By way of background, in 2000, several local jurisdictions sued corporations that at one time made lead-based paint. Last November, a California Court of Appeal concluded the companies were liable for lead in houses built before 1950. If passed, the bond would reverse a recent state appellate court judgment. 

Assemblymember Garcia is still conducting research on how best to approach this issue. It can be difficult to stop measures from going on the ballot, however, she has said one idea would be to introduce a constitutional amendment that would block initiatives that would nullify court judgments.



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