New Jersey state senators Ron Rice (D-Essex) and Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) have proposed two separate measures to combat the state’s lead poisoning crisis. In January, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have allocated millions of funding to help property owners remove traces of lead in aging buildings.

The proposed measures by Rice and Vitale aim to shift $10 million into an account to help fund efforts to prevent lead poisoning in children and update New Jersey’s testing requirements for lead poisoning. These testing requirements would aim to match federal standards and create strategies for screening.

According to a 2014 report from advocates, some 11 cities in New Jersey had a greater percentage of residents with high lead-levels than the rate found in Flint. Low-income communities are particularly at risk of lead poisoning because of their older housing stock, proximity to former industrial or toxic sites, and lack of quality healthcare options for residents who do get sick.
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