OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey released the following statement in response to an announcement that the New Jersey Supreme Court had concluded the recall to temporary judicial service of Superior Court Judge James Troiano and entered an order to file a complaint for removal from office for Judge John Russo:
“This is an important step forward for survivors of sexual assault across New Jersey, and a clear signal that their voices matter,” said Downey (D-Freehold). “If these judges had been permitted to continue making decisions from the bench, it would create a chilling effect discouraging survivors of sexual assault from coming forward with their stories. While the removal of these two judges is not sufficient to remove the potential for sexism and bias in our judicial system, it makes it clear that New Jersey’s justice system cannot and will not be a home for those who make excuses for rape. Thank you to every survivor and outspoken advocate who has had the courage to step forward on these cases - your efforts have made our justice system fairer, more transparent, and more responsive to the needs of survivors.”Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation introduced by Assembly Members Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling that would provide suicide prevention training and materials to firearm retailers and operators of firing ranges.
“In 2016, more than one-third of all gun deaths in New Jersey were suicides,” said Downey (D-Freehold). “That’s an incredibly alarming number, and it’s clear that it's time for us to take action. Educating firearm dealers on suicide prevention and distributing informational materials at gun ranges and firearm retail stores will hopefully raise awareness and prevent future crises.”Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - More than one in 10 New Jersey households don’t have reliable access to food, leaving thousands of children hungry every day. To combat this, Senator Vin Gopal is joining Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey to host a Food Drive benefiting the Backpack Crew, a program providing healthy meals and snacks to students in the greater Red Bank area.
Donors are invited to bring non-perishable food items to the 11th Legislative District office at 802 West Park Avenue, Suite 221 in Ocean Township during normal business hours from July 15 until August 31. Suggested donations include granola bars, mac and cheese, soup, fun-sized cereal boxes, small plastic jars of peanut butter, crackers, spaghetti and sauce (no glass jars), instant oatmeal packets, and small cans of fruit.Read more
Houghtaling and Downey Host 2nd Annual “Coming Home Project” to Help Veterans Access Benefits and Services
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Though organizations and agencies throughout New Jersey offer programs helping veterans deal with healthcare access, housing costs, or finding a career, many veterans don’t know how to apply for them - or even that these programs exist.
That’s why Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey are teaming up with the Monmouth University School of Social Work to host their second annual “Coming Home Project,” a veterans’ claims clinic that will empower Monmouth County veterans learn about the benefits and services available to them and obtain guidance in applying.Read more
MONMOUTH COUNTY - Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey are inviting local elementary schoolers to the second annual Kids Congress, a non-partisan, kid-friendly event with locations in Freehold, Neptune Township, and Eatontown that offers Monmouth County children aged 6 to 10 an opportunity to learn how their government works, why legislators pass laws, and how a law is made in a through fun games and group activities.
"We’ve both found public service to be one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences of our lives," said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. "We hope to help every child develop the same passion for serving their communities. Last year’s Kids Congress was a smash hit with local Monmouth County families, and we can’t wait to bring it back for a new group of future leaders.”Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Working to protect wildlife and marine animals from choking on or becoming entangled by helium balloons, Assemblymembers Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey are introducing legislation (A-5747) to prohibit the intentional release of lighter-than-air balloons, with offenders subject to a $500 fine per violation.
“Balloons filled with helium and other lighter-than-air gases make for great fun at parties, but if they’re not disposed of properly, they can post unnecessary risks to our environment,” said Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “Many animals, both on land and in the ocean, are attracted to their bright colors and can mistake them for food, causing severe injury or death. Many more animals become entangled by balloon strings, and can become injured or strangled to death as a result. Folks at the Jersey Shore have enjoyed balloons at celebrations and other events for decades, but it’s important that we do so responsibly, without littering or damaging the world around us.”Read more