Paint Companies to Withdraw Ballot Measure That Absolves Corporations of Accountability

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Sacramento, CA – At 5pm today, the California Legislature, led by Assemblymember Limón secured a major victory for millions of California taxpayers, guaranteeing the withdrawal of a paint company-funded ballot initiativethat sought to hold California taxpayers accountable for billions in lead paint cleanup costs. 

This ballot initiative, sponsored and paid for by massive paint companies ConAgra and Sherwin-Williams, sought to absolve these companies of legal liability to clean up lead paint hazards they knowingly created. This initiative was pushed by these large corporations, after the People v. ConAgra Grocery Products (2017) court decision which ruled that paint companies knowingly sold toxic lead paint and were thus responsible for the harm their actions caused. 

“The discussion on the lead paint ballot initiative has been a priority this legislative year.”said Assemblymember Limón. “After months of conversation, I am proud to stand with my colleagues as we announce the withdrawal of a paint company-funded ballot initiative, which would have devastated 18 years’ worth of work and litigation, and shifted the responsibility to clean up toxic lead paint, from paint companies to the taxpayers.”

Assemblymember Limón’s legislation, AB 2803, which codified key aspects of the People v. ConAgra Grocery Products (2017) was a major factor behind the withdrawal of the ballot measure. The removal of this ballot initiative will benefit Ventura County in Limón’s district, as Ventura was both one of the areas that stood to gain from the court’s decision, yet was also most threatened by the corporate funded ballot initiative.

“This outcome ensures California taxpayers will not be held responsible for paying $3.9 billion dollars in cleanup costs.” said Assemblymember Limón.“This is a huge victory, and one that will greatly benefit California families. There is still much to do and I stand ready to continue working on this important issue.”

The legislative coalition that led this victory included Assemblymembers Limón, Chiu, Grayson, Bonta, Carrillo, Quirk, Stone and Kamllager-Dove, and Senators Hertzberg and Stern.

Below is the link to audio from Assemblymember Monique Limón: