e-News 5/4/2018

New Facilities for Picatinny Arsenal
China Installs Missile Systems in Disputed Waters of South China Sea
$50 million for New Jersey Highway Infrastructure
In the Spotlight: Thank you, Rodney!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Salute:  Riverdale, Montville and Jefferson Public Libraries
New Facilities for Picatinny Arsenal
Picatinny Arsenal’s expert team of scientists, engineers and technicians will soon have two additional modern facilities in which to do their critically important work on behalf of our soldiers, sailors, Marines and Airmen. 
The FY 2019 Military Construction/Veterans Administration Appropriations bill expected to be approved by the full House Appropriations Committee next week includes $41 million in funding for a “Munitions Disassembly Complex” to support research and development for, among other items, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).  The complex will include a munitions disassembly facility, robotics experimentation, a render-safe area, and storage magazines.  Since IEDs are the weapons of choice of terrorists and nations conducting hybrid warfare, we have a lot to learn in this area.  This new complex will advance our understanding of this threat while keeping Picatinny’s staff safe.
In addition, the Army recently announced its approval of construction of a new 14,000 square foot Laboratory and Test Facility to support the Systems Engineering Directorate at the Arsenal’s Armaments Research Development Engineering Center (ARDEC).  The $6 million project will produce a flexible workspace to support the hardware needed for analysis of military platforms by teams working on light combat vehicles and mounted weapons systems. The project will also support the procurement of new high powered computing systems to allow for the complex software analysis and, in some case, virtual reality testing.  
The people and programs at Picatinny Arsenal are vital to our national security.  These two important military construction projects demonstrate that its future is bright!
Recommended Reading: CNBC’s report “China quietly installed defensive missile systems on strategic Spratly Islands in hotly contested South China Sea.”
“China has quietly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its fortified outposts west of the Philippines in the South China Sea, a move that allows Beijing to further project its power in the hotly disputed waters, according to sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports.”
Read the full story here.
$50 million for New Jersey Highway Infrastructure
The State of New Jersey is slated to receive $50.2 million in new formula highway infrastructure funding.  This critical capital is a result of the nearly $2 billion for infrastructure projects included in the Fiscal Year 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which I introduced and the President signed into law in March.  Our roads, bridges and highways are in need, and these federal dollars will help with their rehabilitation.
New Jersey’s funds will remain available until September 30, 2021.
For more information, please visit.
In the Spotlight: Thank you, Rodney!
“We know it made a difference when you raised your voice in support of investing in America’s tremendous soft power…Your leadership (on the budget) has helped ensure that the foreign service – the most cost effective tool in America’s national security toolkit – will continue to be properly resourced to play its vital role in keeping our country safe and prosperous.”
Ambassador Barbara Stephenson
President, American Foreign Service Association
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
I have been active on a range of mental health issues for over forty years and want to remind everyone that May is Mental Health Month and time to reaffirm our commitment to improving the overall health and well-being of our Nation. 
It is a fact that America has made tremendous strides in providing treatment and recovery support services for individuals who experience mental illnesses.  Yet sadly, stigma and misconceptions about mental illness persist.  The negative stereotypes surrounding mental illness deter people who may experience these disorders from getting help that can improve their lives and their ability to contribute even more to our society. 
The facts are these: approximately one in five Americans experiences a mental illness, yet only about one third of them will access treatment. 
The Consolidated Appropriations bill which I introduced in March, and was signed into law shortly thereafter, included significant funding to combat the opioid epidemic and address serious mental illness.  This funding will improve access to evidence-based treatment services for those who are seriously mentally ill. 
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) - H.R. 1625, the FY18 Consolidated Appropriations Act provides $37 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $3 billion above FY17 and $10 billion above the President’s FY18 request. The NIH expects to spend $2 billion on mental health related research in FY18.  
  • Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative - Further, the FY18 bill provides $335 million for the BRAIN initiative at the NIH to better understand the brain. This level is an increase of $140 million above FY17.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - The bill also provides $5.1 billion for SAMHSA, which is $1.3 billion above FY17 and $1.7 billion above the President’s FY18 request. SAMHSA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
  • Opioids - The bill provides nearly $4 billion in funding to combat opioid abuse. This includes $1 billion in funding for grants to states to support treatment efforts, and $500 million for opioid research at the NIH.
  • Housing for people with disabilities (Section 811) - H.R. 1625 provides $505 million for Section 811 housing vouchers (Frelinghuysen Vouchers) for non-elderly, disabled persons, an increase of $385 million above FY17 and $385 million above the President’s FY18 request, providing an increase of 40,000 vouchers.
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL) - The bill provides $2.1 billion for the ACL, which administers many federal assistive services for people with disabilities. This level is $178 million above FY17 and $320 million above the President’s FY18 request.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) - The bill provides $13.3 billion for IDEA programs, an increase of $300 million above FY17 and $424 million above the President’s FY18 request.
Yes, it is true that we have made tremendous strides in providing treatment and recovery support services for individuals who experience mental illnesses.  But there is more work to be done and I intend to continue this effort in the FY 2019 Appropriations bills my Committee is now drafting.
This month, and always, we should pledge to strive to eliminate the stigma of mental illness by increasing awareness for all Americans that these illnesses are common and treatable, and that recovery is possible.  Through these efforts, our neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends affected by mental illness will know that there is hope for recovery and hope for healthier, more productive lives.  
I am a longtime member and supporter of the Morris County Health Association and invite you to visit the website of the newly-formed the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, Inc.  Learn more here.
I am also a longtime member and supporter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  Get more information on NAMI‘s efforts here.
Salute: Congratulations to three libraries in the 11th Congressional District - Riverdale Public Library, Jefferson Township Public Library and Montville Township Public Library - that have been selected to participate in “Revisiting the Founding Era,” a nationwide project that will use historical documents to spark public conversations about the Founding Era’s enduring ideas and themes and how they continue to influence our lives today. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is providing the funding for “Revisiting the Founding Era,” a project of the Lehrman Institute of American History, the American Library Association, and the National Constitution Center.  All three libraries will receive a $1,000 grant and programming materials.