e-News 7/13/2018

Appropriations Committee Continues its Important Work
Firefighter Cancer Registry Act Signed into Law
Honoring a New Jersey Civil Rights Leader
Library of Congress Baseball Americana Exhibit
Salute: U.S. Troops in Thailand
Salute: Changing of the Guard at William Paterson University
Salute: Paul Boudreau’s Work to Promote Morris County’s Economy


Appropriations Committee Continues Its Important Work

After 13 hours of debate on 49 amendments, the House Committee on Appropriations approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations bill this week.  The Committee has now finalized work on 11 of the 12 annual spending bills that fund the government starting on October 1, and as Chairman, I am pleased by our progress.

The FY 2019 LHHS bill funds critical programs that will protect and save lives both now and in the future, and help prepare the next generation to be part of a productive workforce to grow our economy and provide for their families. This includes investments in vital research to cure diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, job training, college preparation, and special education programs, and protections against health threats such as pandemics and bio-threats.

The legislation also provides funding for many programs important to New Jersey and New Jerseyans:    

National Institutes of Health - NIH funding is increased by $1.25 billion to a total of $38.3 billion, supporting research at organizations throughout New Jersey, such as 2018 grantees St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Atlantic Health System in Morristown, Kessler Foundation in West Orange, and Montclair State University.  The bill contains a targeted increase of $100 million at NIH to support Cancer Moonshot which increases support for New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. 

Specifically, the bill provides increases for additional key research initiatives:

$2.25 billion, a $401 million increase, for Alzheimer’s disease research,

$429 million, a $29 million increase, for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative,

$437 million, a $147 million increase, for the All of Us research initiative (formerly called the Precision Medicine Initiative),

$10 million for regenerative medicine research, and

$12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” pediatric cancer research initiative.

Further, this robust increase in funding will support NIH research into the thousands of rare diseases affecting millions of Americans, for which only a few hundred approved treatments currently exist. These additional dollars will build upon report language included in the previous year’s funding bill which encourages the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to examine programs to increase primary care physician’s preparedness in the diagnosis of rare diseases.

Opioids - The bill maintains the robust funding level for programs to address the opioid abuse crisis, felt by communities throughout New Jersey. $3.85 billion to address substance use, including opioid and heroin abuse, which is $36 million above FY18 and $1.75 billion above the request. This amount includes $1 billion for the state response grants authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act, along with funding for programs authorized in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

Head Start - The bill provides $9.9 billion for Head Start, a $50 million increase, supporting our local Head Start programs.

Pell Grants - The bill maintains the current “year round” Pell Grant award at $6,095 to assist students attending colleges and universities throughout our state.

Senior Nutrition Programs - The bill includes $897 million for senior nutrition programs, of which $246 million is for Meals on Wheels.

Community Health Centers - The bill contains $1.5 billion for Community Health Centers.  These health centers, such as the Zufall Health Centers in Dover, Morristown, West Orange, Flemington, Hackettstown, Newton, and Somerville, provide care to underserved communities in every county of New Jersey including Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Sussex.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) -The bill provides $3.6 billion for LIHEAP. This vital program helps low income families afford heating and energy services. The President's budget sought to eliminate this program.

Department of Labor (DOL) - The bill includes a total of $12.1 billion in discretionary appropriations for DOL. The bill provides robust funding for job training programs and sufficient funding for labor enforcement and benefit protection agencies to fulfill their core missions, while reducing lower-priority and underperforming programs.

Employment Training Administration (ETA) - The legislation provides ETA with $9.8 billion – a decrease of $216 million below last year’s enacted level and $1 billion above the President’s budget request. This total includes $2.8 billion for job training grants, $92.5 million for YouthBuild, and $790 million in mandatory appropriations for Federal Unemployment Benefits and Allowances, which provides job training programs for workers who lose their jobs as a result of international trade.

Job Corps - The bill provides $1.7 billion for Job Corps, the same as FY18 and $421.7 million above the President’s budget request. Funding is included in addition to amounts provided in fiscal year 2018 for physical facility safety and security improvements.

To read more about the “markup” of this vital legislation please see David Sherfinski’s report in The Washington Times.

To learn more about the FY 2019 Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations bill please visit.


Firefighter Cancer Registry Act Signed into Law

As a cosponsor of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, I was pleased to see President Donald Trump sign this important, bipartisan, legislation into law last week. 

Each day, New Jersey firefighters, many of whom are volunteers, put their lives on the line to respond at a moment’s notice to protect our communities and families from fires and other tragedies. Smoke inhalation and other hazards encountered on the job take a toll on the health of these first responders – and unfortunately we do not have a full understanding of the long term consequences of exposure to these toxins.

This important bill requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a voluntary registry to collect data regarding the incidence of certain cancers in firefighters, allowing researchers to have a greater understanding of the impacts that smoke inhalation and other occupational hazards have on a firefighter’s health, and lead to better treatment options.

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 931, with my support in June. The Senate passed the bill, with an amendment, in May by unanimous consent. H.R. 931 first passed the House in September.

You can read the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act here.


Honoring a New Jersey Civil Rights Leader

This week, I was proud to lend my support to the passage of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act.

The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

Raised in Paterson, New Jersey, Doby served in the United States Navy in the Pacific during World War II. Upon his honorable discharge in 1946, Doby played baseball in the Negro League for the Newark Eagles.

In 1947, Doby joined the Cleveland Indians shortly after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the National League. Facing unfathomable cruelty and racism from the public and his own teammates, Doby persevered, and enjoyed great success on the field while also inspiring a generation and changing the course of our nation.

As an original cosponsor of H.R. 1861, I am hopeful the Senate will consider this legislation so we may provide a lasting tribute to Larry Doby and all he did for civil rights and America’s game.

Library of Congress Baseball Americana Exhibit

When you visit Washington, D.C., I would strongly recommend stopping by the Library of Congress’s new Baseball Americana exhibit.  Located in the Jefferson Building, Baseball Americana features items from the Library of Congress collections and those of its lending partners showcasing the history of the game players, teams, and the communities it creates.

For more information on the exhibit please visit here.


Salute: U.S. Troops in Thailand

At any given time we have close to 500,000 service members deployed across the world, all volunteers, sacrificing to serve our nation and assist our allies. The professional work of our troops was highlighted over the last few days during the highly publicized rescue operation to free 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand. Dozens of U.S. military personnel, including airmen from the 353rd Special Operations Group based in Okinawa, were a part of a multinational effort which included British and Australian forces. 

You can read more about the rescue efforts here.


Salute: Changing of the Guard at William Paterson University

This week, I was pleased to congratulate Dr. Richard J. Helldobler on becoming the eighth president of William Paterson University in Wayne, one of the state’s largest public universities with more than 10,000 students. Dr. Holldobler is “filling the shoes” of Dr. Kathleen Waldron who provided eight years of extraordinary service to WPU.

Congratulations Dr. Helldobler and best of luck to Dr. Waldron in future endeavors!


Salute: Paul Boudreau’s Work to Promote Morris County’s Economy

This week, we learned that Paul Boudreau will be stepping down as President of the Morris County Chamber. Over the last decade, I have worked closely with Paul on efforts to grow economic opportunities in our communities, including expanding missions at Picatinny Arsenal. Paul’s dedication has made a lasting impact on Morris County and the entire state and the growing chamber and positive business environment are a testament to his leadership!

I wish Paul and his wife Lucie all the best in their next chapter!

To read more about Paul and his work please see this Daily Record article.