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Joint letter to the Senate Commerce Committee on two product safety-related bills

We write to express our positions on two product safety-related bills that will be considered before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in Executive Session on July 24, 2019.

The Safer Occupancy Furniture Flammability Act, or SOFFA (S. 1341) would adopt a California flammability standard as a federal standard to help protect against the risk of upholstered furniture fires and consumer exposure to flame retardant chemicals. Today’s California standard, TB 117-2013, is currently the strongest measure U.S. consumers have to keep them protected from purchasing upholstered furniture that is either highly flammable or laden with flame-retardant chemicals. While this bill seeks to protect consumers from both fires and flame retardant exposure, we urge members to strengthen the bill through amending it so that states retain the ability to exceed TB 117-2013’s level of protection if they so choose.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission Chief Information Office Parity Act, or CPSC CIO Parity Act (S. 1858) would ensure that the Chief Information Officer of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has a significant role in information technology, including the planning, programming, hiring and reporting activities and processes related to information technology. While we support efforts to improve information technology at the Commission, including improving and updating Saferproducts.gov, we urge that enough funds be appropriated to cover the costs of a Chief Information Officer, other additional full-time employees hired with information technology responsibilities, and programs to improve the CPSC’s information technology infrastructure. The CPSC’s budget is already insufficient to cover its extensive mission and current program goals. Adding additional staff will help the CPSC be a more effective agency but should not take away funds from existing staff or programs.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Committee to protect consumers and strengthen the CPSC.

Thank you for your consideration.

For the full letter, click here.