Diegnan Bill to Provide Schools Reimbursement for Cost Related to Testing Drinking Water for Lead Heads to Governor

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SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ  – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. that would allow school districts and nonpublic schools to receive reimbursements for testing school drinking water for lead received final legislative approval today in the Senate.

“Lead poisoning can cause serious neurological damage in children that cannot be reversed,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This bill covers the gap period between when some schools had proactively tested for lead in their drinking water and when the administration mandated testing and provided the funding to support it.”

Last year, the Governor directed the NJ Department of Education to mandate all of New Jersey’s schools to test for lead in drinking water and asked the legislature to include an additional $10 million in funding to support the plan in the FY 2017 budget. The corresponding language provision stipulated that the reimbursement would be made pursuant to program requirements to be established by the Department of Education, which would be effective upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL).

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The department’s requirements stated that school districts would only be eligible to receive a reimbursement for lead testing performed after July 13, 2016. This bill, S-2675, would expand eligibility to nonpublic schools and would allow schools to receive a reimbursement for lead testing conducted on or after January 1, 2016, but before the department filed the program requirements with the OAL, as long as the lead testing meets or exceeds the program requirements established by the department.

The bill cleared the Senate by a vote of 37-0 and the Assembly by a vote of 69-0-0. It now heads to the Governor for consideration.

Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr.  

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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