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New Jersey news in brief for Tuesday, March 16

Lawmakers want sixth Vet Center for New Jersey

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and U.S. Reps. Mikie Sherrill, Josh Gottheimer and Tom Malinowski, all D-N.J., want the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to create a sixth Vet Center in New Jersey.

“By establishing a sixth Vet Center in New Jersey, the VA will be able to continue to provide quality counseling services to veterans, service members, Reservists, members of the National Guard, and their families in an accessible location closer to their homes,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter last week to VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “Additionally, the creation of a sixth Vet Center will remedy overcapacity issues at current VA Vet Centers.”

Van Drew wants Congress to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations for Americans

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., joined a group of lawmakers to introduce House Resolution 197, calling on Congress to prioritize vaccinating Americans for COVID-19 before sending doses to foreign countries.

“Thanks to the generosity of the American taxpayer and the success of Operation Warp Speed, we now have three FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines that are saving untold numbers of lives and putting an end to this pandemic,” Van Drew said in a statement. “Congress has a responsibility to ensure that every American who wants a vaccine can get one before doses are sent to foreign countries.”

New Jersey lawmakers want federal funding for Hudson-Raritan Estuary restoration project

New Jersey lawmakers want President Joe Biden’s administration to include funding for the Hudson-Raritan Estuary (HRE) Ecosystem Restoration project in the forthcoming 2022 fiscal year budget.

U.S. Reps. Albio Sires, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Donald M. Payne Jr., Josh Gottheimer and Bill Pascrell Jr., all D-N.J., sent a letter to Robert Fairweather, acting director of the United States Office of Management and Budget.

The Water Resources Development Act of 2020 authorized $265.3 million in federal funding for ecosystem restoration work. That was in addition to nearly $408.2 million in local funds.

Pallone wants billions for energy, water and broadband projects

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., has introduced the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s (LIFT) America Act, which would allocate more than $312 billion for energy, water, broadband and health care infrastructure projects.

“Over the last year, we’ve seen the devastating results of inaction: major power outages, water shortages, health care facilities stretched to the limit, and communities left behind due to the digital divide,” Pallone said in a statement. “By modernizing our infrastructure, we have an opportunity to revitalize our economy, create millions of new jobs, combat climate change, and ensure no community is left behind.”

This article was originally posted on New Jersey news in brief for Tuesday, March 16

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