Senator Joe Donnelly

Donnelly Speaks on the Senate Floor Regarding Importance of Funding Efforts to Make Sure Hoosiers Have Confidence Their Communities Are Safe

Washington, D.C. – As the Senate debates a bill that would fund federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly spoke on the Senate floor today to highlight the critical need to support efforts to make sure Hoosiers have confidence their communities are safe.

In particular, Donnelly emphasized that the bill would double the current level of funding for CDC’s efforts to reduce childhood lead poisoning, which could benefit communities like East Chicago that have been impacted by lead contamination. Donnelly also pushed for the bill to include the bipartisan amendment he introduced with Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) that would provide $1 million in funding for implementation of Trevor’s Law. Donnelly has been pressing the Administration to fully implement Trevor’s Law as it could be valuable in investigating the potential cancer clusters in communities such as Johnson County.

To see Donnelly’s remarks, click here.

Donnelly said, in part, in his speech, “Sadly, for too many children in this country, the chance at a healthy life and a bright future is stunted by external, environmental factors beyond their control.  In some communities in states like my home state of Indiana, with a long history of commercial and industrial manufacturing, the potential for exposure to hazardous contamination is a reality that must be constantly monitored and carefully managed. For that reason, I would like to talk about why our work on this appropriations bill that would fund agencies including the Departments of Labor as well as Health and Human Services is so important.

On Trevor’s Law and Franklin, Donnelly said:

“Another important tool we have to protect the health and safety of our communities is ‘Trevor’s Law.’… Passed as part of the bipartisan Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act in 2016, Trevor’s Law was designed to provide federal agencies with the authority to help conduct investigations and to take the necessary actions to help address the factors that may contribute to the creation of cancer clusters. Additionally, the law is intended to better enable federal agencies to coordinate with state and local agencies and the public in investigating and addressing potential cancer clusters.

“…For the community of Franklin, Indiana in Johnson County, Trevor’s Law is the type of federal support they need today as they work with the state to seek answers to reports that nearly 50 children have been diagnosed with various types of cancers in the last 8 years.

“Unfortunately, for these families, many of whom I’ve had the opportunity to get to know, Trevor’s Law has not yet been implemented. That is why I am offering a simple amendment that would provide $1 million to fund the implementation of Trevor’s Law, so that we can leverage every bit of knowledge, and research, and expertise, and ingenuity to make sure our communities are safe places to raise our families.

On East Chicago, Donnelly said:

“It’s critical that our federal partners continue to support these efforts by providing the best science, research, and resources to help identify and remediate contamination, as well as educate our impacted communities. That is why I’m pleased that this appropriations bill would more than double the current level of funding for CDC’s efforts to reduce childhood lead poisoning. This funding is critical for lowering children’s blood lead levels and preventing future harm. It would also help educate health care providers and the public about lead poisoning, monitor childhood blood lead levels, and provide funding to states for childhood lead poisoning information.”

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