Editorial: What’s beneath surface of lead paint ballot measure

The San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board

It’s fitting that the “Healthy Homes and Schools Act” was devised by paint companies. The proposed ballot measure brushes an appealing coat of housing and environmental policy over a cynical attempt to dodge corporate responsibility.

Having fought and repeatedly lost an epic legal battle with local governments in the Bay Area and beyond over the depredations of toxic lead paint, the implicated companies are poised to ask voters to overturn their huge liability and replace it with billions of dollars in taxpayer-financed borrowing. Disingenuously cast as a response to the housing shortage, the measure would join a crowded November ballot already expected to feature more serious proposals to fund affordable housing and expand rent control.