Pallone attacks Christie on use of federal money for lead testing

A Democratic congressman from New Jersey is alleging that Gov. Chris Christie’s office mismanaged federal dollars that were earmarked to reduce lead poisoning after Superstorm Sandy. The governor’s office called the claim a “shameless” partisan attack.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone on Thursday wrote letters to the state inquiring about $11 million it got to screen people at risk for lead exposure after thousands of homes were destroyed. He noted that the state has tested 14,000 people, a fraction of the 220,000 projected under the grant, before spending the money elsewhere.

Christie’s office said the 220,000 figure was based on the potential number of people who could be tested through a voluntary program. The governor’s office also said fewer people were tested because the state expanded Medicaid, which covers lead screening.

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