“For several years, I have fought to address the issue of lead poisoning in our children. Lead is a problem in multiple Hoosier cities, and we know that children in low-income, minority communities around the state are more susceptible to lead poisoning. In fact, studies have shown that black children are almost three times more likely than white children to have elevated blood lead levels. Hoosier kids should have the right to a safe environment at home and in their schools, no matter their race or family income.

“Our state has the opportunity to pursue impactful public health policies to reduce these racial inequalities in our children’s health. My proposal, Senate Bill 286, aims to provide transparency and make sure parents know if their children have high amounts of lead in their blood. Testing children who are at high risk for lead poisoning and controlling sources of lead remain effective tools for making progress in this public health crisis. My proposal does both by requiring testing in children for lead levels and preventing landlords from renting to families with young children if the property has a lead hazard. Lead poisoning can be particularly devastating for our kids by causing potentially long-term health consequences, and I believe the state has a mandate to confront this problem directly this year.”