From: Mike Glover, Associated Press
Published February 2, 2005 12:00 AM

Lawmakers in Six Midwestern States Announce Regional Environmental Effort

DES MOINES, Iowa — Legislators from six Midwestern states Tuesday announced a regional effort to enact tougher laws protecting children from environmental dangers.


Bills already working their way through the statehouses in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin range from limiting children's exposure to fumes from school buses to reducing the use of pesticides in schools.


The lawmakers, participating in the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, announced the campaign at simultaneous news conferences.


"It seemed logical that we should work across state lines to pursue these proposals," said Iowa state Rep. Lisa Heddens.


Iowa state Sen. Joe Bolkcom said lawmakers for years have pushed efforts to broaden health care for children, but have done little to deal with the environmental issues that can damage the health of youngsters.


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Lawmakers from the region attended a forum last month in Washington where they were briefed on health issues children face from the environment. One goal of the new group is to launch a study of the long-term effects chemicals have on youngsters.


The two said lawmakers agreed to work together because many of the same environmental issues are faced throughout the upper Midwest.


"We have a new commitment in the region to work with our colleagues in surrounding states to better protect our children from pollution and toxic chemicals," said Heddens.


Source: Associated Press


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