Senator McKinney Receives Legislative Champion Award From the Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Connecticut

November 15, 2009

Hartford, CT – The Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut presented State Senator John McKinney (R-Fairfield) with its Legislative Champion Award on Thursday, November 12th for his “steadfast leadership in support of Green Cleaning legislation.”

During the 2009 legislative session, Senator McKinney joined a bi-partisan group of legislators and child health advocates to pass legislation requiring Connecticut school boards to purchase and properly use cleaning products that meet health and air quality standards approved by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) in consultation with the environmental protection commissioner.

“Hazardous cleaning chemicals have long been recognized to have harmful effects on human health and our environment,” said Senator McKinney. The Green Cleaning law is a win, win, because it encourages our schools to use products that are not only safer, but more cost-effective. By doing so, we improve the air quality in our schools and set a positive example for our students. I am grateful to the Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Connecticut for this honor, and for their hard work on behalf of the Green Cleaning legislation.”

Senator McKinney specifically thanked his friend and constituent, Joellen Lawson of Newtown, for bringing this issue to his attention. Ms. Lawson’s 23-year teaching career was cut short due to the effects of long-term and acute mold exposure. She has been a tireless advocate for safe and healthy schools ever since.

The Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut is comprised of citizens, health professionals, workers, environmental justice groups, educators and others seeking preventive action on toxic hazards.

“It was an honor for the Coalition to award Senator McKinney with the Legislative Champion Award” said Annamarie Beaulieu, M.P.H., Campaign Director for the Connecticut Public Health Association, one of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut’s founding partners. “The green cleaning in schools legislation passed unanimously in the Senate thanks to Senator McKinney’s tremendous leadership and his belief that such issues are not political but in the best interest of Connecticut’s children and residents.”

In addition to its six founding partners (Connecticut Nurses Association, Connecticut Public Health Association, Connecticut Council for Occupational Safety and Health, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, Clean Water Action, and Connecticut Citizens Action Group) the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut now consists of over 50 partners, all committed to the common goals of increasing awareness regarding toxins found in cleaning chemicals and establishing new government policies to prevent harm to our health from these and other toxic hazards that are found in our daily environment.