The numbers tell a story about the need for a state law protecting kids from toxic-laced toys. Senators voted 40-9 in favor of the measure. Our state representatives were even clearer: 92 in favor, two opposed.
Now, in what could become a moment of political March Madness, toy manufacturers hope to overcome their 132-11 deficit and pull out a win. Gov. Chris Gregoire is considering at least a partial veto of the Children’s Safe Products Act.
Gregoire is worried the bill might unintentionally ban educational toys with lead-soldered computer chips. We think Gregoire can work out those genuine but technical issues administratively or with a veto of sections. If not, with the law phasing into effect in July 2009, the next Legislature could make changes. Somehow, the threat of a toy shortage would be averted.
While industry tells her the sky is falling, Gregoire should remember the real world of nervous parents and vulnerable children. Revelations about toxic-laced toys prompted bill support from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ state chapter, the Washington State Nurses Association and the Washington State Medical Association.
Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart and other retailers have committed to safer toys. The state has a chance to be a leader, too, if Gregoire stands firm.