The first annual Kids Congress event, hosted by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, was a great success, with over 20 local children in attendance.
Hosted on Monday, August 27 at the Eastern Branch Library in Shrewsbury, Kids Congress treated children to a day of fun and learning through group activities and educational games. Nearly two-dozen children spent their morning learning how a bill is made, who their representatives are, and testing their knowledge of U.S. Government through games and activities.Read more
The world I grew up in as a girl was far different than the world we live in today.
The thought of becoming a successful attorney, or holding public office, was not as tangible for little girls when I was growing up as it is today. To this day, I operate in worlds that are largely dominated by men, both as a lawyer and as an Assemblywoman.
But through the support of my loving family and later my incredible husband, I overcame the gender stereotypes that society expected me to conform to and a forged a new path for myself — one that felt true to me and not ascribed to me by gender norms or external expectations. I developed a successful law practice, I won a seat in the General Assembly in a stunning upset, and I did it all while raising two daughters.Read more
Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey are inviting local children to learn more about their government through fun, games and collaboration at the first annual Kids Congress.
Kids Congress is a non-partisan, kid-friendly event that offers Monmouth County children between the ages of 6 and 10 the opportunity to learn how their government works, why legislators pass laws, and how a law is made through fun games and group activities.Read more
Today Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill introduced by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey to distribute additional liquor licenses to the three host municipalities in Fort Monmouth.
The three towns impacted by the bill are Oceanport, Eatontown and Tinton Falls. Under the current law, a municipality may only issue one plenary retail consumption license, for bars and restaurants, for each 3,000 of its population.Read more
Today Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill introduced by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey to designate a school employee as a Safety Specialist.
The bill (A3765) amends current law to allow any employee with safety experience to be designated as a school safety specialist. Previously, Superintendents were only allowed to appoint Administrators as the school safety specialist.Read more
Today Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill introduced by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey to limit the time continuing care retirement communities retain refundable entrance fees after a resident vacates a facility.
“We have a duty to ensure our seniors and their families are not being taken advantage of,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. “Once a resident leaves the retirement community, the refund should be issued, period. Residents, or their families, should not have to jump through hoops to receive money that is rightfully theirs.”Read more
After the success of their first Senior Summer Health Q&A on Alzheimer's Disease, Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey have decided to once again partner with the Alzheimer's Association to bring vital information to residents.
On Thursday, Aug. 30, the Assembly Members will host a Senior Health Q&A centered on legal and financial planning for Alzheimer's Disease from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will be held at the Ocean Township Library, located at 701 Deal Road.Read more
To ensure local students have the resources they need for a successful school year, District 11 Legislators Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey are hosting their annual School Supplies Drive.
“Back to school shopping can be a major expense for families who live on a strict budget,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “We want to ensure that every student has the supplies they need to start the year off right. Every child deserves the same chance at a successful school year. We are here to make that happen.”
“No family should have to worry about how they are going to afford the supplies their children need for school,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. “This initiative provides local students with all of the basics they need for back to school. We are proud to be able to support our local students and we are grateful to everyone who has donated thus far.”
“As children and their parents prepare for the start of the school year, they should be focused on studying, making new friends and making the most out of the new year,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey. “They should not have to worry about how they are going to be able to get new school supplies. We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with the City of Asbury Park to collect donated school supplies to ensure every child starts the year out right.”Read more
Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey announced at a press conference Wednesday that they will be introducing legislation this coming September designed to alleviate medical debt.
“Medical bills should not consume someone’s life,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “It is only fair that patients are provided with feasible methods to pay off their debt.”Read more
In a continuation of their Senior Summer Series, Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey will host a Free Eye Screening Clinic in August.
The screening will be held Tuesday, Aug. 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Freehold Township Senior Center, located at 116 Jackson Mills Road.Read more
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey to designate a school employee as a safety specialist was passed through the Assembly and Senate on Sunday, July 1.
The bill (A3765) would amend current law to allow any employee with safety experience to be designated as a school safety specialist.Read more
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey to help revitalize shuttered military bases in Monmouth County by providing additional liquor licenses was approved Sunday, July 1 by the Senate.
The bill would authorize the issuance of additional alcoholic beverage licenses to a project area in three municipalities where a federally owned or operated military installation is closed and transferred to a government entity for the purpose of conversion, redevelopment, or revitalization.Read more
Downey Bill to Prevent Individuals with Criminal Records from Officiating School Sporting Events Advanced by Assembly
Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Joann Downey to prevent individuals with criminal records from officiating interscholastic athletic events was advanced by the General Assembly Monday by a vote of 75-0-0.
“We have to be more mindful about who we allow around our children,” said Downey. “Requiring a criminal background check for these officials can help ensure that we are not blindly trusting our students with individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes.”