Sen. Randolph’s 2020 legislation focuses on lead testing, protecting Hoosiers

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State Senator Lonnie M. Randolph

State Senator Lonnie M. Randolph (D-East Chicago) introduced several bills in the 2020 legislative session in an effort to improve the lives of Hoosiers. Three of his bills focus on giving potential employees better hiring chances, reducing confusion in traffic stops and testing school drinking water for lead.

Use of consumer reports for employment purposes

Senate Bill (SB) 32 would prohibit an employer from using a consumer report, such as a credit score or bankruptcy filing, for employment purposes. Additionally, it allows consumers to bring civil action against employers for violating this rule.

“This bill would ensure that all people seeking employment are given a fair chance regardless of consumer reports,” Sen. Randolph said. “Consumer reports are personal and unrelated to an individual’s ability to perform a job well, and employers should not be allowed to use them as a way to discriminate against candidates in the hiring process.”

Driver instructions of law enforcement procedures

SB 36 would require the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to include a description in all drivers’ manuals of the procedures that law enforcement officials would take during traffic stops. It would also require the BMV to outline the specific actions drivers should make during traffic stops.

“It is important that drivers are given clear directions for all situations they might encounter while driving,” Sen. Randolph said. “My bill would make sure that drivers and officers are educated about the proper actions to take during a traffic stop made by police officers or other law enforcement officials. Unfortunately, there is often a pattern of racial bias in traffic stops. If both parties have clear guidelines on how to behave, I believe that can help reduce behaviors that result in conflict.”

A 2019 study conducted by Stanford University found that Latino and Black drivers were more likely to be stopped on the basis of less evidence than white drivers. Better education for both officers and drivers could eliminate these kinds of biased traffic stops.

Testing of school drinking water for lead

SB 214 would require that school drinking water in Lake County be tested for lead at least once every two calendar years.

“Unfortunately, Northwest Indiana has had a recurring problem with lead contamination in our soil,” Sen. Randolph said. “Contact with lead can cause significant long-term health concerns, so it is important that we take every measure possible to guarantee that our children are not coming into contact with lead at school.”

Lake County is home to the USS Lead Superfund Site, which was included on the National Priorities List of the worst contaminated sites in the U.S. in 2009. As a result of the contamination, the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago was evacuated in 2016. The Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced that there is no safe level of lead in a child’s blood, and yet over 27 percent of West Calumet children who were tested had lead in their blood.

Committee Assignments

Sen. Randolph serves as Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Judiciary and Public Policy Committees. He also serves on the Senate Commerce and Technology, Corrections and Criminal Law, Ethics, and Utilities Committees.

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