Committee Passes Bills to Protect Workers from Heat Stress, Address and Prevent Child Hunger
WASHINGTON – Today, the Education and Labor Committee advanced two bills—the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act of 2022 (H.R. 2193) and Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act (H.R. 8450)—to protect workers from heat stress on the job and address and prevent child hunger.
The Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act of 2022 would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to establish an enforceable standard that protects workers in jobs at risk for hazardous heat stress. The standard will include measures, such as paid breaks in cool spaces, access to water, limitations on time exposed to heat, and emergency response for workers with heat-related illness.
The Committee advanced the bill by a vote of 27-19, with 0 Republicans in favor.
“Workers in this country still have no legal protection against one of the oldest, most serious and most common workplace hazards: excessive heat. Heat illness affects workers in our nation’s fields, warehouses, and factories, and climate change is making the problem more severe every year,” said Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. “This legislation will require OSHA to issue a heat standard on a much faster track than the normal OSHA regulatory process. Workers deserve no less, particularly as heat-related illnesses and deaths rise.”
The Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act would reauthorize and update federal child nutrition programs by investing in school meal programs, modernizing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), addressing food insecurity during the summer, improving school meal capacity and sustainability, and strengthening the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
The Committee advanced the bill by a vote of 27-20, with 0 Republicans in favor.
“One of the key lessons reaffirmed by our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is that, when we invest in child nutrition programs, we help reduce child hunger. Still, we have more work ahead to achieve our ultimate goal—eliminating child hunger in America,” said Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. “To do so, we must ensure that federal child nutrition programs have the resources they need to feed children. The Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act takes long overdue steps to deliver on that goal by modernizing proven child nutrition programs and providing more children and families with access to nutrition assistance. This is a critical opportunity to help fulfill our basic responsibility to keep children from going hungry”
Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853
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