MADISON – Today, the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities is holding a public hearing for Assembly Bill 78, the “Leading on Lead” bill, a proposal aimed at making it easier for communities to replace lead water pipes.
One of the state’s most pro-polluter entities – Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) – recently went public with its opposition to the bill. That decision indicates a lack of understanding of the bill itself as well as a frightening miscalculation of the magnitude of the lead poisoning crisis in Wisconsin.
In reality, the bill would give communities better resources to replace lead pipes that supply water to homes – one of the factors that left more than 200,000 kids in Wisconsin with lead poisoning from 1996 to 2014.
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Kerry Schumann issued this statement ahead of the hearing:
“Assembly Bill 78 is crucial for combating Wisconsin’s lead poisoning crisis. Unfortunately, it is facing challenges from misguided and uninformed organizations such as Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Despite bipartisan support for AB 78, the ‘Leading on Lead’ bill, WMC says they’re concerned it might cost big industrial water users some extra money – it wouldn’t – indicating they care more about big business than protecting Wisconsin’s children from permanent brain damage that results in reduced IQs, learning dysfunction, even violent behavior. Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters urges all legislators to support AB 78.”
The hearing takes place at 12:01 p.m. Room 225 Northwest at the State Capitol.