Maine’s School Pesticide Bill Earns Bi-Partisan Support
Our goal of seeing the Safe Schoolgrounds Movement spread to every state in the union took a first step forward in Maine yesterday when Rep. Mary Nelson (D-Falmouth) announced she has strong bi-partisan sponsorship for bill LR 1178.
“An Act to Protect Children’s Health & Promote Safe School Grounds By Limiting Pesticides” was co-sponsored yesterday by Senator Justin Alfond (D-Portland, Senate Minority Asst. Leader), Rep. Richard Wagner (D-Lewiston), Andrew O’Brien (D-Lincolnville) Terry K. Morrison (D-South Portland), Senator Richard Woodbury (I-Yarmouth); Rep. David Richardson (R-Carmel); Rep. Meredith Strang Burgess (R-Cumberland), Rep. Wesley Richardson (R-Warren); Rep. Dana L. Dow (R-Waldoboro).
In the midst of a decidely anti-environmental agenda established by Maine’s new governor, Paul LePage, these four Republicans are clearly distancing themselves from much of the bluster coming out of the state capitol in Augusta. The team of citizens who have been pushing for this, spearheaded by community organizer Laura Stevens of the Toxics Action Center, is encouraging all Maine citizens to write to their elected officials and ask them to support LR 1178 when it comes up for debate sometime later this spring.
“We can not continue to poison our children while they are playing on school grounds,” said Marsha Smith, a member of the Citizens for Healthy Schoolgrounds coalition. Smith helped lead the effort to adopt the state’s first municipal pesticide policy in Camden in 2009.
If you would like to see a copy of the exact wording of the bill that is primarily aimed at eliminating synthetic chemical weed killers from school grounds, email Paul@SafeLawns.org.