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Sununu to endorse lead poisoning prevention bill

State House Bureau

January 01. 2018 9:07PM

CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, are expected to announce their support for a lead poisoning prevention bill that passed both the Senate and the House in 2017 before getting bogged down in the House Finance Committee.

Sen. Dan Feltes, D-Concord, is the prime sponsor of the bill, which has been working its way through the legislative process since early last year.

SB 247, designed to prevent childhood lead poisoning from paint or water, calls for universal testing, new inspection programs and state-funded loans for lead hazard remediation in rental properties, child care centers and single-family homes.

The original version of the bill that passed the House and Senate called for grants totaling nearly $6 million over the first two years of the program to cover about 75 percent of the cost of lead removal.

But the Fiscal Committee, concerned about the impact on the state budget, amended the bill to call for state-backed loans instead.

Many landlords, who supported the bill when it provided grant funding, are not so keen on the version that the House is scheduled to consider on Wednesday.

The legislation also cuts the “actionable” blood lead level in half, from 10 micrograms per deciliter to 5 micrograms by 2021.

Sununu and Bradley are scheduled to be joined by Rep. Frank Byron, R-Litchfield, chairman of the Finance Committee division that amended the original bill, at a press conference today at the State House.

Concord pediatrician William Storo is scheduled to speak in support of the bill as well.

Both the House and Senate will now have to pass the amended version of the bill if it is going to get to Sununu’s desk for his signature.

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