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Amper amps up pressure on LI pols to pass child-safety bill

Richard Amper, executive director of the Pine Barrens

Richard Amper, executive director of the Pine Barrens Society, left, in Yaphank on Oct. 14, 2014. With him is Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, center, and town board member Connie Kepert. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

The Long Island Environmental Voters Forum is trying to ratchet up pressure on local GOP state senators, warning there will be no endorsements unless they get the proposed Child Safe Products Act to the floor for a vote and pass it.

Richard Amper, forum chairman, touted the legislation as a "common sense" bill that will modernize "grossly outdated" laws regulating toxic chemicals in children's products, including known carcinogens such as arsenic, mercury and lead.

What irks environmentalists is that the Senate bottled up the bill in committee for the last two years even though the measure now has 41 co-sponsors, more than enough to pass. The main Senate sponsor is Philip Boyle, a close ally of new Majority Leader John Flanagan, and the bill is also backed by Sens. Kenneth LaValle, Jack Martins, Thomas Croci and Michael Venditto. But Amper is critical of GOP senators, who claim support but cannot get the measure to the floor for a vote.

"State senators can't say they're championing child product safety and then not vote for it. It's as simple as that," Amper said.

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