Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lobbyists doom Child Safe Products Act

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Child and consumer product advocates have been trying for the last few years to get the State Senate to pass the Child Safe Products Act. The legislation would eventually ban a list of toxic chemicals in children's products.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Senate's session, and the legislation's supporters have been making a last-minute push for a floor vote.

The Assembly has already passed the legislation twice. And Rochester-area Senators Ted O'Brien and Joe Robach — one a Democrat, the other a Republican — are among the bill's 34 co-sponsors. The bill's primary sponsor is Senator Phil Boyle, a Long Island Republican, and more than half of the Senate co-sponsors it. The legislation would most likely pass if brought to the floor.

And yet, the Senate leadership isn't bringing the bill to the floor. An article published this morning by the state political news site Capital provides a likely explanation:
"The American Chemistry Council has spent considerable amounts of money to lobby against the Child Safe Products Act, state records show. The group spent at least $160,000 last year to fight a variety of bills, but paid particular attention to the Child Safe Products Act, according to records filed with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics."
The article also says that lobbyists have been "staking out legislators outside the Senate chamber for the last few days." 

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