Assemblywoman Downey Receives Family Resource Network “Legislator of the Year” Award

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Assemblywoman Joann Downey thanked the staff, volunteers, and board of the Family Resource Network following her acceptance of the nonprofit’s “Legislator of the Year” Award at the Family Resource Network Impact Awards in Florham Park this Thursday, crediting recent progress in the State Legislature to the hard-fought efforts of disability allies and self-advocates throughout New Jersey.

“When you look at all of the challenges that members of the disability community face, from mundane obstacles in daily life to systemic challenges across our State, it’s truly awe-inspiring to see the tremendous strides that this community has made in the past several years,” said Downey (D-Freehold), who serves as Chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee. “I was proud to fight for the enactment of Jake Honig’s Law this past year, expanding access to medical cannabis and bringing much-needed relief to patients with epilepsy and other chronic diseases, as well as many other legislative efforts to improve the lives of those with disabilities.

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Downey Bill Banning "Gay Panic Defense" Unanimously Passed by Committee

Joining other states who have enacted or considered a ban on the use of ‘gay or trans panic’ legal strategies in criminal cases, legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Joann Downey cleared an Assembly panel on Monday. The bill (A-1796) would prohibit the use of so-called “gay panic” defenses for the commission of murder.

"This bill is a major step forward in removing bigotry from our courts, and showing New Jersey's LGBTQ community that we stand with them in solidarity against discrimination and hatred," said Downey. "The so-called 'gay panic defense' or 'trans panic defense' has never been more than a transparent attempt to allow bigots to assault or murder LGBTQ individuals with impunity, and it is long past time that we ended that dark chapter in American legal history."

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Gopal, Houghtaling and Downey Sponsor Thanksgiving Food Drive

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey are asking Monmouth County residents to donate food to help families and children in need throughout the 11th Legislative District during November.

The legislators are asking residents to drop off non-perishable food items at the District 11 Legislative offices at 802 West Park Avenue, Suite 221 in Ocean Township. Donations can be dropped off on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Friday, November 22. All donations will be delivered to local organizations to feed families in need.

“No child should go to bed hungry - and when we come together, we can ensure that every child has the nourishment and nutrition they need to grow and develop,” said Houghtaling, (D-Neptune), who oversees the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the State Assembly. “By providing local children with daily nutritious meals, we can prevent illnesses, reduce visits to the hospital, and empower them to live healthier, happier lives.”

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Houghtaling & Downey Call for Crackdown on Worker Abuse and Corporate Crime

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Today, Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, and Assemblywoman Joann Downey called for a renewed effort by state agencies to crack down on the rampant and widespread illegal abuse of workers in the construction industry.

"Misclassification of workers as contractors, wage theft, illegal workweeks, and corporate tax evasion are major problems in our state," said Houghtaling (D-Neptune), a 40-year IBEW member and Vice-Chair of the Assembly Labor Committee. "Abusive corporations are stealing from working people and building an unfair playing field that benefits the rich and powerful at the expense of New Jersey families. It's time for our state to step up and build a stronger, fairer economy for Garden State workers."

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Houghtaling, & Downey Applaud $10 Million for Shared Services and School District Consolidation

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey applauded the release of $10 million in funding for shared services and school district consolidation in New Jersey following years of advocacy in the Legislature in support of both policies.

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Houghtaling & Downey Announce Applications for Homestead Benefit Program

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Between rising property taxes and increasing living expenses, it can be difficult to afford to live in New Jersey. Fortunately, the Homestead Benefit Program can provide real property tax relief for eligible Garden State homeowners, lowering costs and relieving the pressure that state and local taxes put on household budgets.

“The Household Benefit, like the Senior Freeze program, is a great way to make your property taxes more affordable,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold), whose legislative office works to help local Monmouth County residents learn about and apply for the program. “As applications for this program become available this month, we want to make sure that every eligible homeowner knows how to apply and how the Household Benefit can save them money.”

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