Quick Hits: New Jersey news in brief for Tuesday, April 27

Booker sponsors legislation to rescind federal government’s 287(g) program

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is co-sponsoring legislation to the PROTECT Immigration Act, which would rescind the statutory authority of the federal government’s 287(g) program.

The legislation would also clarify that state and local law enforcement do not have “inherent authority” to arrest people for immigration violations.

“Immigration enforcement should not be delegated to state and local police departments that are not equipped to enforce immigration laws – it is the job of the federal government,” Booker said in a news release. “These agreements undermine public safety and result in the racial profiling and harassment of members of the immigrant community.”

Maritime Administration granting $264,510 to Edison company

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has awarded a $264,510 grant to Edison-based Hughes Bros. Inc. The money is part of the Small Shipyard Grant Program, which allocated $19.6 million to 31 “small shipyards” in 15 states.

With the money, the company will purchase a pair of welding machines and power sources, a 6,000-pound vertical mast forklift, four 10,000-pound capacity mega pipe rollers and other equipment.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and small shipyards play a critical role in America’s maritime industry,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in a news release.

Payne introduces legislation to benefit first responders

U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. introduced legislation to benefit the nation’s first responders.

The Hazardous Pay for Frontline Workers Act would qualify federal workers for hazard pay under some conditions, such as being exposed to someone with COVID-19. The First Responder Access to Innovative Technologies Act would exempt “emergency equipment with breakthrough technologies” from burdensome approval processes.

“Millions of Americans have stayed on the job to protect and provide essential services through this pandemic and we need to support them for their efforts,” Payne said in a news release. “They are making tremendous sacrifices to be on the front lines during our public health crisis.”

Booker, Pallone join for Superfund Polluter Pays Restoration Act

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., have introduced the Superfund Polluter Pays Restoration Act to require polluters to clean up contaminated Superfund sites.

It reinstates and indexes based on inflation the excise tax on polluting industries to fund the cleanup of Superfund sites. Funds not subject to annual appropriations would be available to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The measure also expands the definition of crude oil to make oil from tar sands and shale subject to the excise tax. U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., joined the push.

– The Center Square

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