A couple of high-profile legislative deaths to announce in this final two-week run-up to the end of the legislative session. Bottom line for both — the ban on the use of pesticides on school properties that house children through the eighth grade stays in place.

A highly contentious bill that garnered nearly 100 opposition comments would have permitted an integrated pest management plan at those schools. The plan allows pesticide use.

“In our view it was one of the worst bills of the session,” said Martin Mador, the state advocacy director for the Sierra Club. The bill died in the Environment Committee after passing the Planning and Development Committee.

Mador and others, however, were in favor of the second bill, which would have allowed organic pesticide use on school properties. Moreover, it would have allowed municipalities to adopt pesticide use regulations for lawns than are stricter than those currently mandated statewide by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Opposition — which included the landscape industry — centered on the difficulty of having many different standards across the state.

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Jan Ellen is CT Mirror's regular freelance Environment and Energy Reporter. As a freelance reporter, her stories have also appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yale Climate Connections, and elsewhere. She is a former editor at The Hartford Courant, where she handled national politics including coverage of the controversial 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. She was an editor at the Gazette in Colorado Springs and spent more than 20 years as a TV and radio producer at CBS News and CNN in New York and in the Boston broadcast market. In 2013 she was the recipient of a Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT on energy and climate. She graduated from the University of Michigan and attended Boston University’s graduate film program.

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