Introduced By: Senators Izzo, Connors, Perry, Gibbs and Goodwin
Date Introduced : June 29, 1998
WHEREAS, Childhood lead poisoning, though completely preventable, is the most severe environmental health problem in Rhode Island (RI Gen. Laws 23-24.6-3); and
WHEREAS, Lead poisoning in young children may produce permanent neurological damage, including learning disabilities, reduced intelligence, quotient, behavioral problems, and impaired memory; and
WHEREAS, One in five children in Rhode Island have elevated lead levels, unlike the national incidence of one in eleven children; and
WHEREAS, The general assembly has declared its goal of reducing the incidence of childhood lead poisoning in Rhode Island to the greatest extent feasible (RI Gen. Laws 23-24.6-3); and
WHEREAS, The twin issues of the availability of insurance for property owners for damages resulting from lead poisoning and the creation of incentives for property owners to reduce environmental lead hazards are, consequently, of the utmost importance; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, That a special senate commission be and the same is hereby created consisting of (15) fifteen members: (3) three of whom shall be from the senate, not more than (2) two from the same political party, to be appointed by the majority leader; one (1) of whom shall be the director of the Department of Business Regulation, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the director of the Department of Health, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the attorney general, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the executive director of the National Center for Lead Safe Housing, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the executive director of the Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be executive director of Childhood Lead Action Project, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the executive director of Get the Lead Out Coalition, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Chapter, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the president of the Rhode Island Trial Lawyers' Association or designee; one (1) of whom shall be a Rhode Island Environmental Lead inspector; one (1) of whom shall be the President of Rhode Island Realtors Association, or designee; and one (1) of whom shall be a parent of lead poisoned child in Rhode Island.
In lieu of any appointment of a member of the legislature to a permanent advisory commission, a legislative study commission, or any commission created by a general assembly resolution, the appointing authority may appoint a member of the general public to serve in lieu of a legislator, provided that the majority leader or the minority leader of the political party which is entitled to the appointment consents to the appointment of the member of the general public.
The purpose of said commission shall be to study and make recommendations concerning regulation changes regarding the availability of insurance coverage to property owners for lead poisoning claims, while also creating incentives for property owners to reduce environmental lead hazards.
In the spirit of cooperation the Department of Business Regulation is requested to place a moratorium on any changes in such insurance regulations until after the commission makes its recommendations.
Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet at the call of the senate majority leader and organize and shall select from among the legislators a chairperson. Vacancies in said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.
The commission shall meet on a monthly basis.
The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.
All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information, documentary and otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or desirable by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.
The joint committee on legislative services is hereby authorized and directed to provide suitable quarters for said commission: and be it further
RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the general assembly on or before March 30, 1999 and said commission shall expire on April 30, 1999.