Monday, May 23, 2011

CPSIA - The State of Illinois PAYS People to Do This

I live in a magical state.  Actually, a magical State - the State of Illinois.  Howdya like to have our balance sheet?  My State of residence owes $45 Billion in borrowings (up from $12 Billion in 2002), has $140 Billion in unfunded pension and retiree health care benefits, is behind on payment of $8 Billion in bills (despite raising personal income tax rates by 66% this year, and is likely to run a multi-billion dollar deficit this year again.  We have the second worst credit rating among the 50 States.  Slow on the uptake or just magical?  Ask California - they're the only place worse than us.  We owe $8 Billion in unpaid bills - gag, this is civic humiliation.

And how is our wonderful State, the Land of Lincoln, spending its precious few resources these days?  Well, a top priority is the lead labeling law.  Ah, that old chestnut!  Apparently, the scourge of lead has not been sufficiently snuffed out in Illinois.  The absence of injuries, the sharp drop in recalls, the asphyxiating federal requirements are all inadequate around here to keep kids "safe".  Our civic leaders have already put in place the toughest and most unreasonable lead labeling law in the country, out Proposition 65'ing even the real Proposition 65.  Never content to leave "well enough" alone, they are going back to the well.

So our paid public servants with apparently very little to do have chosen to revise AND TIGHTEN the Illinois lead labeling law.  See the attached working draft for your amusement (or nausea).  They are extending it to all coatings - get your tests a-ready! - and have added a notation in the "warning" label to indicate that the product actually complies with federal standards.  Yes, the ultimate mixed message - dangerous yet safe, all at the same time! - consumers will no doubt appreciate this extra effort by regulators.  The law is now much more complex and impenetrable, too.  Lucky us.

And why did the estimable Lisa Madigan, our Attorney General, demand this change in law?  Gotta get elected right?  If kids aren't made safer every day, whether science is involved or not, who needs the AG's office?  No injuries motivated this change, just a basic lack of understanding of science and a passionate need to deceive the public.

Lisa Madigan's paycheck is among the bills that Illinois pays promptly, by the way.  My tax refund isn't on the same list of priorities.

Welcome to the Land of Lunkheads.  Illinois, you shining star!

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