On Wednesday February 5, 2020, the Ohio Lead Free Kids Coalition released the “Ohio Action Plan for Lead Free Children” at a forum in Columbus, OH. The 9-point plan provides a comprehensive statewide vision for a holistic and coordinated approach to preventing child lead poisoning. The forum, entitled “Lead Poisoning Prevention: How to Create Lead Safe Spaces for children” featured a panel of local and national experts on prevention strategies: Jackie Fox, CEO, West Ohio Community Action Partnership; Blaine Griffin, Cleveland City Councilman; Dave Jacobs, Chief Scientist, National Center for Healthy Housing; and Brian Rahmer, Vice President, Health & Housing, Enterprise Community Partners. The panel was moderated by Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Columbus Health Commissioner.
Policy Director Gabrielle Celeste recently participated in a panel on lead prevention with the Ohio Children’s Caucus. Governor DeWine and leaders in the Ohio Legislature focused considerable investments in the state budget to tackle child lead poisoning. The Caucus meeting, held on November 6, 2019, focused on significant issues facing Ohio children and policies and funding included in the state budget. Celeste spoke on the importance of primary prevention of lead poisoning and the work that Ohio Lead Free Kids has done to spread awareness on this issue. The full live stream of the panel is available on the Schubert Center Facebook page.
The goal of the Ohio Lead Free Kids Coalition is to secure the level of public commitment and investment needed to ensure all Ohio children are safe from lead in their homes and communities. In accordance with these goals, the coalition provided the following response to Governor Mike DeWine’s budget:
- Commend the Governor for preserving existing funding for the lead hazard abatement program, but are disappointed that no new funding is dedicated to supporting local primary prevention initiatives
- Commend commitment to improve Ohio’s efforts in lead screening with hopes it will be made a priority in renegotiating a variety of contracts with Managed Care Organizations
- Commend increased investment in Department of Developmental Disabilities Early Intervention Services for children, but hope Governor DeWine will take over enforcement of U.S. EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting rule from the federal government
- Request clarification and adjustment to the personal income tax credit proposed as a tool to achieve a lead-free Ohio.