e-News 10/12/2018

Response to Hurricane Michael Underway
Appropriations Highlight: National Endowment for the Humanities/ National Endowment for the Arts
Congressional App Competition Deadline Approaching
Cyber Security Awareness Month
Salute: Bethel Church of Morristown Celebrates 175 Years!
Salute: 50 Years of Service for the Mountain Lakes Junior Fire Department


Response to Hurricane Michael Underway

The strongest storm to ever make landfall on the Florida panhandle, Hurricane Michael, left a path of widespread and catastrophic destruction across the southeastern portion of the U.S.

Once again, first responders from all branches of government and across the nation have stepped up to respond to those who are in harm’s way. This includes volunteers from New Jersey Task Force One (NJ-TF1)  who have deployed to Montgomery Alabama at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist with search and rescue efforts  in some of the hardest hit areas.  NJ-TF1 members just returned from the Carolinas after helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

Last month, the House Committee on Appropriations provided an initial supplemental Appropriations package of $1.68 billion in emergency funding for the Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) programs to assist with hurricane response.  In the coming days, I stand ready to work with all of my colleagues to ensure any necessary resources are available for a full response and recovery from this storm.


Appropriations Highlight: National Endowment for the Humanities/National Endowment for the Arts

Earlier in the year, my Appropriations Committee completed its work on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Interior Appropriations bill, sending the legislation to the House of Representatives, which gave approval to the bill on July 19.  

In addition to funding the Department of the Interior, this bill provides resources to a number of critical federal agencies including the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Similar to FY 2018, the President’s FY 2019 budget request recommended eliminating both programs. However, my Appropriations Committee rejected the President’s proposal and increased funding for the NEA and the NEH, providing $155 million for both, an increase of $2 million over FY 2018 levels.

Both the NEA and NEH have a direct impact on New Jersey. The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, which is funded through the NEA, awards grants to the arts community supporting 700 organizations, projects, and artists throughout the state. In 2017, grantees spent $275 million in New Jersey; employed an estimated 25,000 workers; and attracted nearly 7.5 million patrons. You can learn more about the New Jersey State Council on the Arts here.

The NJ Council of the Humanities, which is funded by the NEH, provides dozens of grants to libraries, museums, social service organizations, historical societies, cultural organizations, and colleges and universities across New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District to develop meaningful humanities projects for New Jersey audiences. You can learn more about the NJ Council of the Humanities here.


Congressional App Competition Deadline Approaching

The application period for my annual “Congressional App Challenge” for high school students in the 11th Congressional district will close on Monday October 15, 2018.

U.S. high school students in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District are invited, either as individuals or as teams, to create and submit their own software application (“app”) for mobile, tablet, or other computing devices on a platform of their choice. A panel of local computer science professionals will judge the apps, and the winners in each district will have the honor of being recognized by Congress.

This competition highlights the value of computer science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, while providing local students with a national platform to display their skills as coders and engineers!

I look forward to viewing the submissions!

To enter, students should follow the rules and submission steps listed on the competition website here.


Cyber Security Awareness Month

As you may know, October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Initiated in 2004 by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), this annual initiative seeks to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

We all are aware of the growing risk of a connected and online world however, many Americans are confident they are safe online. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In 2017, 143 million adult Americans, more than half of the U.S. adult population, were victims of cybercrime. 

I would encourage you to visit here to learn more about the risks of cyberattacks and to review information on how to keep you and your family safe.


Salute: Bethel Church of Morristown Celebrates 175 Years!

Congratulations to Pastor Sidney Williams and the entire congregation of the Bethel Church of Morristown, who are celebrating their 175th anniversary. Since 1841, the Church has been an integral part of the Morristown and surrounding communities. During its early years, in addition to being a church, it served as the only schoolhouse for children of color in Morris County and supported veterans of the Civil War!

You can read my Congressional Record statement celebrating this historic anniversary here.


Salute: 50 Years of Service for the Mountain Lakes Junior Fire Department

This weekend the Mountain Lakes Junior Fire Department (MLJFD) will be celebrating 50 years of service to the Borough of Mountain Lakes and surrounding communities.  The MLJFD is one of the largest and most active junior departments in the state and has assisted numerous departments from Morris, Sussex, Passaic and Essex counties in establishing their own junior fire departments.

We thank the men and women of the MLJFD for their dedicated service!

Read my full remarks on this important milestone in the Congressional Record here.