DOD appropriations bill to send $15M to N.J.

Nearly $15 million in federal funds will go to New Jersey-based defense projects and programs following the U.S. Senate's passage of the Department of Defense Appropriations bill, Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez announced this morning.

Included in the bill, which now awaits President Obama's signature: $3 million to the Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, to help successfully transition over 3,300 currently deployed members of the National Guard back into civilian life; $3.6 million to the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority for the reconstruction and stabilization of a decaying bulkhead and eroding shoreline at the area of the former Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal; $2 million to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood as part of a DOD partnership as they study a program to improve hospital efficiency; $1.5 million to Englewood Hospital for The Institute for the Advancement of Bloodless Medicine; $2.4 million to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for the Mass Casualty First Responders Disaster Surge Technology Program; and $2 million for Rutgers University to establish a partnership with Picatinny Arsenal to develop nano-based technologies for homeland defense and counter-terrorism applications.

"Our state is home not only to thousands of brave men and women who serve our country overseas, but also to critical defense installations and programs that help protect our freedom. A grateful nation helps ensure that those who have been serving on the battlefield can have as smooth a transition back to civilian life as possible, which is why it was a particular priority to secure funding for that purpose in this bill," said Menendez. "We also fought for and secured investments in medical innovation led by Garden State universities and hospitals that can save lives on the battlefield and be applied to save lives here at home. Projects we secured in this bill have the potential to create jobs in this tough economy while bolstering national security."

Lautenberg says the funding will help thousands of New Jersey veterans who are returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.