New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) this week ordered that all of the state’s 3,000 public schools will begin to test for lead contamination in their water starting this fall. In a press conference, Christie urged the N.J. legislature to include roughly $10 million in next year’s budget to pay for lead testing programs across the state.
Earlier this year, the N.J. Legislature tried to increase funding for lead prevention programs, but that effort was vetoed by Christie. The bill would have allocated $10 million into an account to help with efforts to prevent lead poisoning in children and update New Jersey’s testing requirements for lead poisoning. At the time, Christie vetoed the bill believing that funding should have been decided on during budget negotiations with the New Jersey Legislature rather than appropriation bills.
Now under a different bill, Christie has approved $10 million to combat lead in the state and has lowered the allowable standard the state uses to measure whether or not children are at risk of lead poisoning. The level now is the same as the level recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.