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State Legislators Announce Deal to Remove Lead Paint Initiative From November Ballot

For immediate release:
Photo: Assemblymember Tim Grayson

Photo: Assemblymember Tim Grayson

(SACRAMENTO) State lawmakers gathered in Sacramento today to announce that lead paint manufacturers have removed the “Healthy Homes and Schools Act” from the November ballot.

As a result of today’s announcement, all stakeholders have agreed to work collaboratively to resolve the issues related to lead paint in older homes around the state.  Also, the three Assembly authors of pending bills in this area will be holding their bills for this legislative session - Assembly Bill 2073 (Chiu), Assembly Bill 2803 (Limon) and Assembly Bill 2136 (Bonta).

“Lead in paint has had extremely harmful impacts to generations of children and families, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color,” said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). “Today’s announcement that the ballot measure has been pulled is a very welcome one, since we will now have time to engage in a more deliberative process to address the significant problems related to lead paint in older homes in California. We need to ensure that future generations will be protected, and I look forward to those discussions.”

“The discussion on the lead paint ballot initiative has been a priority this legislative year,” Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara). “After months of conversation, I am proud to stand with my colleagues as we announce the withdrawal of a paint company-funded ballot initiative, which would have devastated 18 years’ worth of work and litigation, and shifted the responsibility to clean up toxic lead paint, from paint companies to the taxpayers. This outcome ensures California taxpayers will not be held responsible for paying $3.9 billion dollars in cleanup costs. This is a huge victory, and one that will greatly benefit California families. There is still much to do and I stand ready to continue working on this important issue.” 

“This is a victory for all Californians. We pushed back against the lead paint industry and won,” said Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland). “Their effort to trick voters into paying for the harm they caused had to be stopped. Taxpayers won’t foot the bill for these corporations that knowingly sold poisonous lead paint to California families. We will hold these companies responsible for the generations of Californians they poisoned with their toxic paint.”

“While this agreement will protect taxpayers and voters from having to bear the multi-billion dollar burden created by lead paint, let’s not forget that the real issue here is getting lead paint out of homes,” said Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord).

“On behalf of the Pro Tem and the Senate, we are encouraged by the progress of our negotiations,” said Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys). “I have confidence that, moving forward, we have an opportunity to do right by the people of California and by my Assembly colleagues who have devoted their time and energy to this cause.”

“The offer by the paint companies to remove their initiative from the ballot is a positive development in acknowledging their responsibility and righting a wrong that has taken far too long to resolve,” said Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles). “This will move our state forward in correcting the environmental and personal harm that lead paint has caused. We still have further inequity issues to address but this is a step in the right direction.”

“Homeowners won’t be threatened by the possible passage of  a misleading initiative that would leave California taxpayers responsible for cleaning up toxic lead left by paint companies,” said Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay). “Local jurisdictions can now pursue remedies through the court process to ensure our communities have the resources and tools necessary to remediate these harmful, long lasting materials.”

"Today, one of the most misguided proposals I have ever seen has been pulled from the 2018 ballot,” said Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward). “This victory is a testament to the hard work and determination my colleagues and I had in making sure the paint industry did not circumvent their responsibility and culpability in knowingly selling lead paint to California consumers. Ultimately, I appreciate industry working with us to avoid a confusing and complicated battle in the fall. I look forward to working collaboratively with the paint industry to resolve the many issues my colleagues and I have identified with respect to lead in homes.”