New Houghtaling-Downey Law Delivers Tax Relief Information to New Jersey Residents

TRENTON - Under a new law introduced by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, New Jersey residents will now receive information on property tax relief programs every time they receive a property tax bill.

Starting September 19 of this year, local property tax bills will be required to direct taxpayers to an online collection of official tax relief programs provided by the Treasury Department’s Division of Taxation and Department of Community Affairs. This collection will include information on how residents can qualify for each program, as well as guidance on how to apply.

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Houghtaling Bill Eliminating Public Pensions for Sexual Predators Becomes Law

With of the goal of holding individuals convicted of sexual assault and related crimes accountable, legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling to require a person who holds public office or employment to forfeit their pension or retirement benefits if they are convicted of sexual contact, lewdness, sexual assault or corruption of public resources was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on Friday.

The new law (formerly A-3766) adds the above convictions to the list of certain crimes for which public officeholders and employees will be forced to give up their pension or retirement benefits when the offense is related directly to the person’s performance in, or circumstances flowing from, the specific public office or employment.

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Houghtaling & Downey Laud Supreme Court Action on Judge Russo

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.”

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Governor Signs Houghtaling-Downey Bill Providing Suicide Prevention Training to Firearm Retailers

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.”

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Houghtaling & Downey Host Summer Food Drive for Monmouth County Children

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.

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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.

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