Monmouth County Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey have signed on as sponsors of a bill that would require the notification and involvement of local law enforcement prior to the expungement of certain mental health records for those wishing to purchase firearms. A similar bill passed both houses of the Legislature with bipartisan support during the last legislative session, before being conditionally vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. An attempt to override the veto did succeed in the Senate, but ultimately failed in the General Assembly.Read more
Houghtaling and Downey Bill to Preserve NJ STARS Scholarship For Students in Need Clears General Assembly
Assembly legislation sponsored by Monmouth County Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey to maintain NJ STARS scholarship eligibility for students who suffer a medical condition or death of a loved one has cleared the General Assembly. The bill received unanimous approval, and would preserve scholarship eligibility for NJ STARS and NJ STARS II recipients in the event of tragic circumstances that prevent enrollment as a full-time student.Read more
Monmouth County Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey toured schools in the underfunded Red Bank Borough School District Friday, renewing calls for fair funding in the face of enrollment spikes and flat funding. Houghtaling and Downey joined Red Bank Superintendent Dr. Jared Rumage for tours of Red Bank Primary School and Red Bank Middle School, followed by a meeting with Superintendent Rumage to discuss what can be done to further the fight for equitable school funding.Read more
Houghtaling and Downey Sponsor Legislation to Prevent Raids of Taxpayer Money Meant for Open Space Preservation
Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey have signed-on as sponsors of legislation aimed at preserving constitutionally-dedicated funding meant to protect open space from development from being siphoned-off to pay state salaries.Read more
From the State House: Legislative Updates
The Preserve New Jersey Act: Preventing Raids of Taxpayer Money
Houghtaling and Downey are proud sponsors of legislation that
has passed both houses of the Legislature and now awaits Governor Christie's signature. The Preserve New Jersey Act would ensure that the voter-approved 2014 constitutional amendment, which dedicated a portion of the state's corporate business tax revenues to open space preservation, is protected. The fund has been siphoned-off to pay state salaries, but this bill would safeguard $146 million worth of funding over the next two years for preservation of open space, farmland, and historic structures.
A-2565: Helping NJ STARS Scholarship Recipients in Times of Need
A bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Downey and Assemblyman Houghtaling that will allow NJ STARS and NJ STARS II scholarship recipients who suffer a medical condition or death of a parent or spouse to retain their program eligibility gained unanimous support from the Assembly and now awaits further consideration from the Senate. "NJ STARS scholarship recipients have worked hard to get where they are and deserve every opportunity to succeed in college," said Downey, "With this bill, students will be supported and reassured during their time of need that their scholarship and place at the school will still be there when they return."
More legislation sponsored by Houghtaling & Downey:
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Monmouth County Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey would deliver more than $330 million in property tax relief statewide.
The bill (A-302) would reimburse local governments for the approximately $331 million in “Energy Tax Receipts” that the state has consistently diverted back to the general treasury to balance its own books. The funds, which are collected by the state, are meant to reimburse municipalities for the use by utility companies of public rights-of-way and other utility infrastructure on municipal lands.Read more