Boyle: Senate 'Close' to Compromise on Toxic Toys

The Child Safe Products Act, a bill to regulate chemicals in toys in New York, has failed to advance in the state Legislature in recent years, with then-state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos repeatedly refused to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Now, with the state Senate under the leadership of new Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, child safety advocates have renewed a push to pass the bill before session ends next week.

Of course, the state Legislature has many big-ticket items to deal with before session ends next Wednesday. As a result, state Sen. Tom O’Mara, who chairs the state Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, told City & State recently that he was not “too optimistic” about the bill’s chance of passage.

But at a press conference on Wednesday, state Sen. Phil Boyle called the bill a priority and that lawmakers were “very close” to agreeing on a compromise bill with the Assembly. Boyle’s presence at the press conference was notable since he is a member of the state Senate Republican conference and a member of the “Long Island nine,” the Republican bloc to which Skelos and Flanagan also belong.

“I think we have some big issues to contend with next week, but as I said, there’s no bigger issue than passing the Child Safe Products Act,” Boyle said during the press conference. “Negotiations are ongoing, have been ongoing and I believe by the time we get out of here, we’re going to have a bill on the floor.”

Boyle refused to discuss what details were still being negotiated. O’Mara previously told City & State there were concerns that the Assembly’s bill as it is currently written unfairly burdens manufacturers. Boyle also refused to comment on whether any improvement in the bill's chance of passage was directly tied to the new state Senate leadership.

“John [Flanagan]’s a dad, as well as the new majority leader, and he wants to protect children in New York State more than anybody,” Boyle said. “I think that once we resolve these minor differences, we’re going to have a bill on the floor.”

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