WASHINGTON — A congressman from Central Jersey will propose legislation that will take away the threat of losing federal funding over the painting of blue lines in support of police.

U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J. 7th District, credited New Jersey 101.5 host Bill Spadea for bringing attention to the issue this month.

"I've received calls in my office based upon constituents listening to what you've been saying about this and I think you're absolutely right about this," Lance told Spadea during Thursday's morning show.

"We're introducing legislation under my sponsorship that will permit this to be resolved. It will go to state DOTs to be able to give exemptions, not the heavy hand of Washington."

He said he will ask both Republicans and Democrats to co-sponsor the legislation.

Spadea credited Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso for making him aware of a letter he received from the Federal Highway Administration informing him that the blue line was against the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways. The agency said the blue paint might confuse drivers because blue paint is used to mark handicap parking spaces.

Bonaccorso said that he was "appreciative of their proactive approach. if Congressman Lance can fix it at a federal level that makes it even easier," praising Assemblyman Jon Bramnick for his legislation to handle the issue at a state level. "Whichever level it can be fixed at it's gotta get fixed because it's honoring our police officers and it's only right that we can do that," the mayor said.

Lance, a member of the Law Enforcement Caucus, called the direction by the FHA  an "overreaction."

Lance mentioned New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano also contacted him about the letter that prompted his legislation.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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