OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Assemblywoman Joann Downey and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling today called for New Jersey to join Planned Parenthood in support of Title X healthcare services and to close the funding gap in women’s healthcare left by new federal rules.
“We cannot tolerate the administration’s attack on women’s healthcare, and I’m proud to see Planned Parenthood sticking so strongly to its to its values,” said Downey (D-Freehold). “If the federal government won’t do it, it’s time for New Jersey to step in and make sure that every woman can continue to receive essential services like pap smears, STI treatments, and pregnancy counseling. I was proud to be a sponsor of New Jersey’s legislation fully funding women’s healthcare services, and I’ll keep fighting to make sure that Planned Parenthood has all the support they need to perform this critical work.”Read more
Every woman should have access to proper prenatal care.
On August 13th, Governor Murphy signed Assemblywoman Joann Downey’s sponsored bill to ensure that all New Jersey mothers will have that access. The bill, which expands state Medicaid coverage for group prenatal care, will allow expecting mothers to obtain health assessments, social and clinical support, and educational activities.Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Aiming to prevent non-law enforcement officials from using police-style badges to garner favor, evade tickets, or avoid fines, legislation that would prevent state and local officials from obtaining such badges that was sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) and Joann Downey (D-Freehold) was signed into law Friday by Governor Phil Murphy.
The legislation was inspired by a 2018 incident in which the former Port Authority Commissioner verbally attacked two Tenafly police officers during a routine traffic stop and attempted to leverage her authority for personal gain by utilizing her badge.Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Last year, a new law extended New Jersey’s sales and occupancy tax to short-term rentals. A measure rolling that tax back for private homeowners who use classified ads and other traditional platforms to find renters - and especially those on the Jersey Shore - was signed into law this Friday. The measure was sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) and Joann Downey (D-Freehold)
Last year’s tax, which established an 11.625 percent levy in most towns for short-term rentals lasting fewer than 90 days, was intended solely for transactions brokered by online property rental site AirBnB, rather than traditional week-long summer rentals. However, while the law specifically exempted rentals booked through licensed real estate brokers, it failed to exempt homeowners who rent out their property through informal means such as Craigslist, Facebook, or word-of-mouth.Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Assembly Human Services Chair Joann Downey (D-Freehold) released the following statement in response to a proposal by the Trump administration to cut benefits to needy households under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Under the proposed rule, states would not be permitted to expand access to SNAP benefits by raising or eliminating income and asset limits, an options used by forty states and Washington D.C. to expand access for households with high expenses.
“This proposal is a horrific attack on some of our nation’s most vulnerable households,” said Downey, who oversees legislation related to New Jersey’s SNAP program as Assembly Chair of Human Services. “The SNAP program is an essential support system for working low-income families who face incredibly high expenses in areas including child care, housing. and healthcare. When states have the freedom to tailor the program to suit their own needs, SNAP benefits are provided more efficiently and more effectively by the states than under a ‘one-size-fits-all’ program directed by the federal government.Read more
OCEAN TOWNSHIP - This Monday, Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey that would expand the veterans’ property tax exemption program to include veterans living in continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). Tinton Falls Borough President and retired Air Force veteran Gary Baldwin lauded the move, calling it a major step forward for veterans Across New Jersey.
Houghtaling, who introduced the bill for a vote in the Assembly, credited residents, local leaders, and the many veterans living in CCRCs for their consistent efforts to express their support for the expansion in Trenton and at home. "Veterans from Seabrook Retirement Community in our district, including Ron Whalin and Tinton Falls Council President Gary Baldwin, have been tireless advocates for this legislation,” said Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “Thanks to them, this legislation is well on its way to becoming the law of the land, making this program fairer and more accessible to hardworking retired service members across New Jersey.”Read more