SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A measure that would have asked taxpayers to foot the bill for lead paint cleanup that was placed on the ballot by paint companies has been withdrawn.

The announcement was made by lawmakers on Thursday who say the companies and the jurisdictions affected will continue to work out the issue without a ballot measure.

The California Secretary of State announced Tuesday that backers of the measure collected enough signatures to make the ballot.

Attorneys filed suit in 2000, claiming lead paint companies knew their paints were dangerous, something which Sherwin Williams and Conagra deny. An appeals court ordered the companies pay the cost of fixing homes with lead paint hazards built before 1951.

The companies backed the California’s Healthy Homes and School Bond Act, an initiative would order the rehabilitation of homes and schools with potential health risks, including lead paint.

The price tag? $4 billion for taxpayers, and the paint companies would have been excused from liability.

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