[r51] Dodge Report (2/22/2008)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Start Date: 2/22/2008 All Day
End Date: 2/22/2008
Property taxes and illegal immigration are the top headline catchers this session, but they are not the only bills moving through the General Assembly. I serve on the House Public Health Committee, which has been debating a lead-poisoning prevention bill that has received lots of debate.

The bill would require licensed child-care providers located in buildings built before 1978 to have assessments for lead hazards in the parts of the building occupied by children. If a lead hazard is found, the children would be removed from the area until it is determined to be hazard free.

Parents who enroll their children over the age of nine months in a licensed child care provider would also be required to provide proof of a blood-lead level test before enrollment. This would prevent child-care providers from being wrongly accused of containing lead hazards if the child has been exposed elsewhere.  

The bill also addresses residential rental property requirements for property owners. If an individual is determined to have elevated blood-lead levels due to a housing unit, the owner of the property will have to submit remediation plans to the state or local health department for approval. Once the plan is approved, the owner will have 90 days to complete the remediation.

The owner will also be required to relocate the tenant if the tenant will be without a bathroom or kitchen for more than eight hours. It will also bar the owner from evicting, increasing rent or making any other changes because the tenant reported the lead problem.

This bill has already passed the Senate, but is still working its way through the House. My colleagues and I passed the bill out of committee this past week so the full House can have a chance to debate the bill.  

As always, I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns concerning this legislation or any other. I may be reached by phone at 1-800-382-9841, by e-mail at h51@in.gov or by mail at the Statehouse, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.