Washington Review, April 4, 2014
This week in Washington, I had a series of meetings with my constituents and organizations from New Jersey, attended the Humane Society’s annual awards ceremony, and once again joined my colleagues in calling for the extension of unemployment benefits.
Earlier this week, I met with members of the New Jersey National Guard to receive an update on their military priorities and hear about the important role they play in domestic security. I was pleased to hear of their strategies for success even in the face of very difficult military and budget reductions. I am proud of all our men and women in uniform, and believe we should provide them every opportunity for success.
I also met with members of the Broadway League to review the economic impact of commercial theater in New Jersey. The Broadway League is celebrating its 84th year and represents more than 700 members throughout North America, England, Australia, and Japan. I was impressed to learn that Broadway attendance in the 2012-2013 season reached 11.57 million people and grossed $1.14 billion.
I was pleased to meet with members of the Union and Hudson County Urban League, who work to provide economic empowerment, educational opportunities, and the guarantee of civil rights for African Americans across New Jersey. We discussed the importance of job training, education programs, and extending unemployment insurance to those in need.
I also met with members of the NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools, an association of superintendents and school board members representing New Jersey’s 21 county vocational school districts. We discussed the importance of reauthorizing the Perkins Act, a bill that supports the development of academic and career technical skills in students who elect to enroll in career and technical education programs. During the recent appropriations process, I requested the continuation of federal funding for career technical education.
I was honored to attend the Humane Society’s annual awards ceremony where I received their Humane Advocate Award for 2013 for achieving a perfect score on the 2013 Humane Scorecard. I am thankful to have such wonderful animal protection advocates and organizations throughout New Jersey, and I am glad to play a role in their endeavors.
Finally, I once again joined my Democratic colleagues in calling on House Leadership to allow a vote to extend unemployment insurance to come to the floor. The Senate has come to an agreement that would extend unemployment insurance and it is expected to be considered on the Senate floor and passed early next week. Considering that 144,300 citizens of New Jersey would benefit from this extension, I am urging my colleagues in the House of Representatives on both sides of the aisle to stand up for deserving families and vote to renew these critical benefits.