A bill that would require Iowa school buildings to be tested for radon has cleared the Iowa Senate. The legislation does not require school officials to fix buildings where unacceptable levels of radon gas are discovered, however, and that is “shameful” acording to Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines.
“I will support for this bill. It is a warm bucket of spit,” McCoy said. “I’m not happy about it. It is weak. It is sad, but it is the best we’re going to get and I urge the rest of you to plug your nose and support this bill.”
Senator Tod Bowman, a Democrat from Maquoketa, cited the old adage that making legislation is like making sausage.
“It’s not warm spit. It’s sausage,” Bowman said. “And while some don’t see it as perfect, I see it as a great first step.”
If the bill becomes law, school districts would be required to report the results of radon tests to the Iowa Department of Education. Supporters say that will help define the problem. The bill passed on a 35-14 vote. It now goes to the House for consideration. Senators passed a bill last year that would have required radon testing in schools, but that bill died in a House subcommittee. Critics say schools would face significant costs if tests reveal high levels of radon in school buildings.