Studies show that Illinois has one of the largest number of lead service lines in the United States. A lead-in-water scandal in Flint, Michigan has earned substantial news coverage throughout the Midwest. Both Illinois and Michigan underwent fast economic development and boom conditions in the first three-quarters of the 20th century. During this period lead pipes and fittings were standard building supplies in building projects of all sorts, including school buildings.
The cost of testing, which would be borne by school districts, would be from $500 to $5,000 per school building. 2,500 elementary schools and 11,000 licensed day care centers and homes would be covered by the legislation. SB 550 was approved by the House by a bipartisan vote of 108-1-1. The bill was approved by the House on Monday, January 9, and was sent to the Governor by the Senate on Tuesday, January 10.