Houghtaling-Downey Bill Strengthening Move Over Law Passes Assembly

TRENTON - This Monday, the Assembly passed the “Slow Down or More Over, It’s the Law Act,” sponsored by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey in effort to strengthen the protections provided by the “Move Over Law” for emergency workers on New Jersey roads.

The “Move Over Law” was created in response to the tragic death of Trooper Marc Castellano, who was struck and killed by a driver who failed to move over for his service vehicle. Under the law, motorists must reduce speed and change lanes when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle, tow or highway maintenance truck, and emergency or sanitation service vehicle that has its flashing, blinking or alternating emergency lights on.

“Violators of the ‘Move Over Law’ are putting police officers and other emergency personnel at serious risk of injury or death,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth).

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Assembly Approves Downey Bill Restoring Funds for Women's Healthcare

This week, the Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Joann Downey that would provide additional support for women's healthcare clinics who are dealing with a loss of federal funding due to a "gag rule" placed by the Trump administration  restricting access to Title X funding for such centers.

“The Trump administration’s gag rule on Title X funding forced Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers to make an impossible choice: deny female patients access to health services, or withdraw from the program and lose funding that is absolutely vital to its operations,” said Downey (D-Monmouth).

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Houghtaling & Downey Recognize Those With Type 1 Diabetes on "Type 1 Diabetes Day - A Day In The Life"

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - The Monday before Thanksgiving each year marks “Type 1 Diabetes Day” in New Jersey. Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey (both D-Monmouth), who sponsored the law to designate the day of recognition, released the following statement:

“Most people go about their days without ever once thinking about their blood sugar levels. That’s not the case for as many as three million Americans living with type 1 diabetes, who must constantly monitor and adjust their blood sugar levels by using insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, finger sticks and counting carbs. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables the conversion of food into energy. It is not caused by diet or lifestyle choices and affects people of all ages. Unfortunately, there is no known cure.

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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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