Columbus—Today, State Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) condemned an amendment to the state budget offered by Republican State Representative Derek Merrin (R – Monclova Township). The amendment usurps local control over lead regulation. It will poison Ohio’s families. Senator Brown will introduce a new amendment to remove this dangerous provision from the state budget bill.

“Representative Derek Merrin introduced a last-second budget amendment that further destroys local control and risks further poisoning Ohio’s children,” said Senator Brown. “In fact, The Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial Board referred to Rep. Merrin’s amendment as the ‘Poisoning Ohio’s Children Act.’ In my district, Toledo’s City Council worked with an array of community and business leaders to pass a lead control ordinance. Representative Merrin’s proposal would reverse those efforts.”

State Representative Merrin inserted his amendment into the main operating budget, Substitute House Bill 49, in April. It attacks local control by removing the ability of local governments to regulate anything lead related. This ensures that children in Toledo and beyond will continue to live in homes and attend daycares contaminated by lead paint.

“Instead of making reasonable efforts to contain lead paint in rental homes and daycare centers, Representative Merrin’s budget amendment does the exact opposite,” added Senator Brown. “I am introducing an amendment to remove his changes.”

Senator Brown will soon introduce an amendment that removes the language inserted by Representative Merrin. It will allow local governments to continue to take reasonable steps to stop lead exposure in homes and daycares.

“Legislators are supposed to be working to make Ohio a better place to live and raise a family,” said Senator Brown. “We should make sure local and state governments work together, not against one another. If allowed to stand, Rep. Merrin’s amendment does nothing less than ensure Ohio’s children continue to be exposed to lead poisoning and all the terrible effects that has on young minds and bodies.” 

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