AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Lawmakers in Maine held a hearing on a bill that would require all schools test for lead in drinking and cooking water.

Under current law, the roughly 300 schools that draw their water from wells must test for lead at least once every three years. However, about 500 public schools do not have to undergo these tests independently as water suppliers are responsible for extensive testing.

Sen. Rebecca Millett, whose bill would mandate annual testing, says protecting children in schools from lead is critical. The bill allows schools with a track record of safe drinking water to extend the testing period.

A similar bill was vetoed last year. A legislative committee will hold more hearings.

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