General Assembly passes Whip Kazarian and Sen. Cano’s legislation requiring new schools to have water bottle filling stations
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today passed legislation sponsored by House Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian and Sen. Sandra Cano which requires all new school buildings, or those undergoing major renovations, to include water bottle filling stations for students and staff.
“With our state undergoing historic school construction and renovations, it is important that our students have access to clean and healthy drinking water in these new and renovated buildings. Study after study demonstrates the positive effects our students experience when they have access to reliable and clean drinking water and this bill will ensure that our new schools, like the new East Providence High School being constructed, will be equipped with the necessities that our children need and deserve.” said Whip Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence).
“Water is essential to a child’s healthy development and every student in Rhode Island deserves to have access to free and healthy drinking water during the school day. This is especially important due to the rising obesity rates within our student population. Drinking water positively impacts our children’s cognitive performance and can improve children’s fine motor skills and visual attention, which helps with learning activities, such as reading. This is the right thing to do for our kids and I am grateful that the Assembly passed this important bill for our children’s health,” said Senator Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket).
The legislation (2021-H 5738 / 2021-S 0459) requires all new school buildings and those undergoing major renovations, over $500,000 or more, or substantial repair or replacement to plumbing systems to install water bottle filling stations.
The bill calls for a minimum of one filling station per 100 people and a minimum of one station on each floor and each wing of the school, along with a minimum of one station near gymnasiums, cafeterias and other high-traffic areas of the school.
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.
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