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Rep. Bolinsky Advocates for Healthy Air in Schools

Posted on March 18, 2022


HARTFORD-This week, State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) testified on a proposal to improve indoor air quality in our public schools.

The legislation, SB-423, AN ACT IMPROVING INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASSROOMS would require local and regional boards of education to maintain healthy indoor air quality in their schools.

During public testimony, Rep. Mitch Bolinsky said, “This is incredibly important legislation and a matter about which I have voiced concern in every one of my ten-years as a legislator in the Connecticut General Assembly. Indoor air quality is among the most long-standing and unaddressed matters of public health concern in our school buildings and, even though these concerns came to the forefront during the pandemic, it far predates COVID.

Rep. Bolinsky said, “I want to thank Newtown constituent Joellen Lawson for her guidance and years of dedication to making every school building a “Healthy School”. Joellen is a former teacher who was permanently disabled by years of exposure to mycotoxin-producing mold and building-related illness brought on by a contaminated HVAC system. She lost her health, the career she loved, and the joy of teaching young children was all taken from her but, it did not have to happen.”

Bolinsky urged the Labor and Public Employees committee members to act immediately to codify the legislation needed to survey every school building and act to prioritize the process for updating and maintaining indoor air quality standards before memories fade and the window of opportunity closes, for our kids, our teachers and school workers.

Both the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education and the Connecticut Education Association support the air quality for the better health of children, classroom educators, and school employees.

Currently, there are more than 600 schools in the state that are not fully air-conditioned.

The bill now awaits further action by the Labor Committee.

You can read Joellen Lawson and Rep. Bolinsky’s full testimony here.