Conservation Minnesota

Toxic Free Kids Act – Unfinished Business

Thank you to the hundreds of you who helped push the Toxic Free Kids Act (TFKA) during the 2014 session. Unfortunately, we are sorry to report that TFKA was defeated in the Omnibus Supplemental Finance Conference Committee in the final day of the 2014 session. While the the bill didn’t get through, we owe a huge thank you to so many of our Conservation Minnesota members and legislators who took important steps in support of the bill. This kind of support shows that Minnesotans want protection from and information on toxic chemicals in children’s consumer products.

We view TFKA as unfinished business from the 2014 session. TFKA will be a priority piece of legislation we will push hard in 2015 to make sure that protecting Minnesota children from exposure to toxic chemicals is a top priority. We’ll keep you updated on ways you can stay involved as we get closer to the 2015 session.

What Happened

The TFKA language was included in the House Bill, but not the Senate. In spite of Governor Dayton’s request that the Toxic Free Kids Act (TFKA) be included in the final bill, the Senate refused to accept it. The bill would have required manufacturer reporting on children’s products containing nine toxic chemicals identified by the Minnesota Department of Health as especially harmful to children. The bill would provide parents with critical information about these toxic chemicals to help them choose safer products for their kids. TFKA was opposed by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the American Chemistry Council, the Toy Industry Association and other industry groups. It is truly disappointing that the Senate chose to align with the industry groups instead of standing with Minnesota families to protect children.

We have many legislative champions to thank for supporting the bill, including TFKA co-authors, the House conferees on the Omnibus Supplemental Finance bill, and especially House chief author, Rep. Ryan Winkler and House conferee, Rep. Jean Wagenius who fought hard to have TFKA included in the bill. We are also grateful for the support of Governor Dayton, who like us, is very disappointed that TFKA did not pass this year. Thanks you again for your support and actions! Please take a moment to thank our champions at the Capitol and ask them to stick around to finish this in 2015!

Paul Austin
Executive Director

About Paul Austin

Paul Austin

Paul Austin has 23 years of public service as an elected leader, advocate and political strategist, Paul Austin brings a rare combination of skills and experience to his position as Executive Director. At age 25, Paul was elected Mayor of Clinton, Connecticut – the youngest in state history. Paul has served as Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota since 2004.

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