Paint Companies Pull Lead Cleanup Measure From California’s November Ballot

This undated photo shows a person painting a window sill. (Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

This undated photo shows a person painting a window sill. (Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

After months of pressure from state legislators and public health advocates, major paint manufacturers have withdrawn an initiative that would have appeared on California’s November ballot.

The decision avoids a fight in the fall, when voters were set to decide whether Sherwin-Williams and ConAgra would be on the hook for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up lead paint in homes. The initiative would have blunted a state appeals court ruling that made the companies liable for the cleanup. In its place, taxpayers would have funded a $2-billion loan to finance cleanup of lead-based and other hazardous paint.

“This is a victory for all Californians,” Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) said in a statement. “We pushed back against the lead paint industry and won.”

Paint companies had spent $2.8 million as of March on collecting the more than 365,880 signatures needed to qualify the measure for the ballot. They also ran a social media campaign to pressure lawmakers to give the companies relief from the court decision.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.