TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie is adding $10 million to New Jersey's efforts this year to remove lead-based paint from homes around the state.
The money will go to help low- and moderate-income families, who experts say are more affected by poisoning from lead paint in their homes.
“We're working hard and making sure that lead poisoning, while it's a concern, does never become an epidemic in New Jersey,” Christie says.
Advocates say that there are thousands of children diagnosed with lead poisoning every day and the governor’s efforts is a good start to getting the paint out of their homes.
“What we know is that children are far more likely to be poisoned by lead paint dust in their homes in their youngest years than by water in schools,” says lead safety advocate Elyse Pivnick.
Christie's announcement Tuesday comes as lawmakers have been pushing Christie to put that amount of money into a dormant lead control fund.
Lawmakers have tried to get Christie to fund the Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund, which began in 2004 and was funded by a tax on paint cans. It provided financial assistance to property owners to safely remove lead paint.
Christie says the state hasn't been able to track paint can sales.
The state already budgets $7 million a year for lead abatement and uses $5 million in federal funding to address properties damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
Christie thanked lawmakers for advocating for the issue. He cautioned lawmakers on efforts to require lead testing in all schools.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.