- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The countdown has begun for Gov. Chris Christie to decide whether he’ll sign legislation to restore a $10 million fund to protect children from lead hazards in the home.

The state Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve the measure and put the bill on Christie’s desk, the Asbury Park Press reported (https://on.app.com/1ZfL3uU ). Christie could kill the bill by not acting on it by Jan. 19.

More than $50 million has been diverted form the fund since it was established in 2004. The diversions have gutted programs designed to help remove lead paint form homes and relocate sick children.

Children’s health advocates said they’re hoping the governor signs the bill.

“Thousands of homes still contain lead hazards, causing permanent brain damage in young children,” said Staci Berger, of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.

Christie spokesman Brian Murray said the administration is not commenting on the legislation until they’ve had time to review it.


Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, https://www.app.com

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