State Senate Removes Lead Provision from Ohio Budget
Based in large part on testimony provided by Mayor Hicks-Hudson and other affected constituents, the State Senate eliminated a provision that would have weakened the City’s ability to enforce its recently passed Lead Safe Law to prevent lead poisoning of children in rental properties and home day-care centers.
“I am gratified that our State Senators so far have seen the wisdom in permitting local jurisdictions to monitor and enforce more proactive lead safety measures. We expect other Ohio communities to follow Toledo regarding lead poisoning prevention,” said Mayor Hicks-Hudson.
State Representatives had earlier passed a draft budget which contained the Merrin Amendment, which would give sole enforcement authority of lead abatement to the state Department of Health.
Mayor Hicks-Hudson has traveled to Columbus several times to meet with Governor John Kasich’s administration, state legislators, including Representative Merrin, and to testify before budget committees on the lead provision as well as the State’s plan to collect business income taxes, which Mayor also opposes.
Mayor Hicks-Hudson will remain vigilant as the state’s budget process continues through to its conclusion, and continue to press that the Merrin amendment remains rejected. Many in the Senate agree with Hicks-Hudson that local communities are best positioned to enforce lead hazard issues.
The City of Toledo has moved forward to file both criminal and civil charges against landlords which blatantly disregard orders to repair lead hazards or to vacate properties.
The Lead Safe Law passed in 2016 will help to prevent lead poisoning in children by proactively certifying rental properties of four units or less built prior to 1978 as “Lead Safe.” Landlords are given instructions on how to prepare their properties to pass inspections and to maintain safe rental properties for families. Home day-care centers are also required to be inspected and certified.