‘Pocket Veto’ Keeps Connecticut Pesticide Law Alive
His move was nothing short of heroic yesterday, but it also came with a reminder about just how difficult it will be to keep beating back the monster that is the synthetic chemical industry.
Stating “it’s no time to turn our backs on Connecticut’s children,” 10-term state representative Richard Roy was able to kill a bill that would have terminated that state’s historic ban on pesticides on school grounds (grades K-8). His move was based on a technicality of the legislative process: He’s chair of an environmental committee and, as such, refused to call the bill — which amounted to a pocket veto.
“We’ve worked too hard on this,” he said, but he also warned that the chemical industry would not give up. His retirement from the legislature later this year will almost certainly revitalize attempts to allow the toxic products back on school grounds in the future.
“They (the chemical industry) pray at the alter of the almighty dollar,” Roy told us during our screening of the film, A Chemical Reaction, in Hartford two years ago. “They will never, ever stop trying to overturn what we’ve done here.”
For now, though, Connecticut’s law — that was emulated in the state of New York last year — still stands.
The link to Rep. Roy’s web site is below. It never hurts to hear thank yous . . .
And for more about the story: http://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/Rollback-of-school-pesticide-ban-killed-3510523.php
His efforts were cheered broadly by advocates for pesticide reduction.
“Killing the bill that would have removed the law that bans pesticides on school grounds, grades K-8, was an extremely important move,” said Nancy Alderman, president of the group Environment and Human Health Inc. “To undo a law, that a legislature had voted on as an important step in protecting children’s health while at school, would have been a very serious thing for the legislature to do. Representative Richard Roy is to be commended on his actions.”