Late last week, S.55, the bill to regulate toxic chemicals in children’s products, passed out of the Senate on a 25-5 vote. This is a huge step forward in protecting Vermont kids from toxic chemicals, and we are determined to see it cross the finish line in the House.
Despite the 25-5 vote, proponents of the bill (including VPIRG and our allies) had to overcome powerful opposition from chemical manufacturers, industry lobbyists and even some toy makers to win.
If enacted, this bill (S.55) would:
- Grant the Commissioner of Health greater authority to protect children from toxic chemicals in kids’ products,
- Require testing for toxins in new drinking water wells,
- Collect better information on the specific toxic chemicals that are present in children’s products.
Four years ago, when VPIRG backed a bill in the Senate that was very similar to today’s S.55, we lost the vote on a 15-15 tie. The tie was broken by then-Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, who sided with industry lobbyists in voting to kill the bill.
In 2017 and 2018, we fought the same battle all over again. This time, the Senate and House passed the legislation, only to see it vetoed by Gov. Scott. The override vote in the House last spring fell just 4 votes short.
Together, VPIRG intends to make this the year when we give children the protection from toxic chemicals that they deserve.