Houghtaling and Downey Bill to Reaffirm the Right of Individuals With Service Dogs to Ride on NJ Transit Becomes Law

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Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey to prohibit New Jersey Transit from denying individuals who require a guide or service dog access to any of its modes of transportation was signed into law on Thursday. NJ Transit previously had a policy that excluded guide dogs on sedans, including its Access Link fleet, which serves the disabled population. NJ Transit later changed its policy, and this law codifies those changes.

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Monmouth County Assembly Members Houghling and Downey Sponsor Bill to Ban Smoking at Public Parks and Beaches

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Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey have sponsored legislation that would extend the “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act” by prohibiting smoking at public parks and beaches. The bill, which aims to protect not only the health of beachgoers, but the environment of New Jersey’s parks and beaches, has been approved by both houses of the Legislature and now awaits the Governor’s signature.

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Monmouth County Assembly Members Introduce Legislation to Create and Promote Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights

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Monmouth County Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey have introduced new legislation that would establish, and require local governments to promote, a Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The bill aims to delineate specific rights that property owners and taxpayers have under State law, and keep residents informed regarding how assessment processes work, and how unfair assessments can be appealed.

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JULY NEWSLETTER: Houghtaling & Downey Introduce Public Safety, Gun Control Measures

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A-3934: Responsible, Common-Sense Gun Control Legislation
Houghtaling and Downey have introduced an original bill to require that all newly manufactured handguns sold in New Jersey be micro-stamped, and directs the Superintendent of Police to establish a database of gun sales in New Jersey. This combination of micro-stamping and reporting of gun sales will empower law enforcement to trace the origins of bullets used in criminal acts, and help eliminate unsolved gun crimes.

AJR-103: Bringing Awareness to Pancreatic Cancer
A joint resolution introduced by Houghtaling and Downey would designate November of every year as "Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month" in New Jersey. Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer. Increased awareness of the disease, its prevalence, and approaches to screening and prevention can help save lives.

More original legislation from Houghtaling & Downey:
  • A-3999: Enables collection of voluntary contributions for Jersey Fresh Program through gross income tax returns.
  • A-4007: Requires Director of Division of Taxation to promulgate the Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights
  • ACR-191: Establishes the "New Jersey Tax Structure Study Commission"
  • AR-153: Urges Congress and President of US to remove barriers to providing employees continuation of health insurance coverage during strikes.
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Houghtaling and Downey Joint Resolution to Increase Awareness of Pancreatic Cancer Gains Assembly Approval

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A joint resolution introduced by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey to dedicate November of each year as “Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month” in New Jersey gained unanimous Assembly approval Monday night. Pancreatic Cancer is one of the most high-risk types of cancer, with detection of the disease usually coming too late for an optimistic prognosis. Houghtaling and Downey have sponsored the joint resolution in hopes that increased awareness of the disease, its prevalence, and approaches to screening and prevention will help save lives.

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Burzichelli, Caputo & Houghtaling Bill to Allow Wagering at Far Hills Race Meeting Approved by Assembly

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Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen John Burzichelli, Ralph Caputo and Eric Houghtaling to allow wagering at the annual Far Hills race meeting in Somerset County was approved earlier this week by the General Assembly.

The bill (A-1697) would allow a running race permit holder in good standing with the state to coordinate with the Far Hills Race Meeting Association to allow wagering on the races.

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Coughlin, Schaer, Eustace, Downey Bill Creating Automatic Voter Registration Through MVC Heads to Governor

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Coughlin, Schaer, Eustace, Downey, Benson, Wimberly, McKeon, Jasey & Chiaravalloti Bill Creating Automatic Voter Registration through MVC Heads to Governor

By a vote of 54-24, the full Assembly granted final legislative approval to a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Craig Coughlin, Gary Schaer, Tim Eustace, Joann Downey, Daniel Benson, Benjie Wimberly, John McKeon, Mila Jasey and Nicholas Chiaravalloti that would require the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to automatically register or update a person's voter registration as part of applying for or renewing a driver's license.

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Mazzeo, Andrzejczak, Mukherji, Moriarty, Benson, Danielsen & Houghtaling Legislation to Boost Care for 'Wounded Warriors' Clears Assembly

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Legislation Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo, Sgt. Bob Andrzejczak, Raj Mukherji, Paul Moriarty, Daniel Benson, Joseph Danielsen and Eric Houghtaling sponsored to boost assistance for "wounded warriors" and their caregivers, an ever-growing demographic that faces unique challenges in the post-9/11 era, advanced by the full Assembly on Monday, 78-0.

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Houghtaling and Downey Introduce Original Gun Control Legislation to Require Micro-Stamping of All Newly Manufactured Guns

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Freshman Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey introduced a piece of original legislation this past Thursday that would require all handguns sold in New Jersey to be micro-stamped. Micro-stamping is a laser technology that can engrave small identifying characters or letters on small objects. In this case, the cartridge cases of a handgun would be imprinted on when fired, enabling them to be traced to their firearm of origin. Houghtaling and Downey campaigned heavily on common-sense gun control prior to their election in November. Although this is not their first firearm-related bill, it is their first piece of original legislation addressing gun control.

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JUNE NEWSLETTER: Our first 100 days in office

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A-20: Preserving Public Safety for NJ Transit Riders
Assemblyman Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Downey have introduced a bill to the General Assembly that would prohibit individuals with DUI convictions that resulted in a loss or suspension of a driver's license from operating an NJ Transit train. Those who cannot be trusted to operate a vehicle can certainly not be trusted to operate a train, and with so many commuters depending on NJ Transit, it is imperative to act in the interest of public safety.

A-1413: Responsible, Bipartisan Gun Control Legislation
Houghtaling and Downey have both signed on as sponsors of a bill that would require notification and involvement of local law enforcement when an individual wishing to purchase a firearm seeks to expunge certain mental health records. This bill passed both houses of the Legislature last year, with overwhelming support, but was vetoed by Governor Christie. Police officers, deeply involved in their communities, can help determine whether an individual would be a danger to themselves or others if allowed to purchase a firearm.

More legislation sponsored by Houghtaling & Downey:

  • A-3581: Requires baby monitors with Internet connection to include security features and warnings.
  • A-1952: Allows installment payments for senior and disabled property taxpayers to repay overpayments of homestead credits and homestead property tax reimbursements.
  • A-2921: Increases flexibility, clarity, and available tools of optional municipal consolidation process.
  • A-3056: Requires Dept. of Agriculture to develop voluntary guidelines to encourage school districts and institutions of higher education to donate excess food; extends "Food Bank Good Samaritan Act" protection to school districts.
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Sweeney, Ruiz, Downey & Houghtaling Unveil Initiative To Fully Fund NJ Schools

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Commission Will Develop Five-Year Reform Plan To Close Gap That Now Leaves 80 Percent of Districts Underfunded

Citing the state's continued underfunding of 80 percent of New Jersey's school districts, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assemblywoman Joann Downey and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling today unveiled legislation to create a special commission to develop a school funding reform plan to bring all districts to full funding within five years. Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, is a cosponsor of the bill.

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Democrats Announce Plan to Make School Funding Equitable

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When the school funding formula was established in 2008, the idea was for the money to follow the child. But what’s developed instead is a system that’s allowed nearly half of the state’s 600 school districts to become chronically underfunded.

“We have some school districts that are receiving three times the amount of aid than they should be and some towns receiving one-third of the aid that they should be. This means some towns are paying 50 percent more in property taxes than they should be and some are paying 50 percent less,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney.

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NJ Considers Measure to Help Babies, Parents Rest Easy

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After a study found that some baby monitors sending live audio and video feeds over the internet don't have adequate security protections, New Jersey lawmakers are considering a remedy.

Assemblywoman Joann Downey said hackers can access baby monitors that aren't on a secure network.

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