#EveryKidCounts Campaign Wins $10 Million for LD11 Schools

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Today, Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey announced that Monmouth County school districts in New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District will receive nearly $10 million in extraordinary special education aid following the victory of their #EveryKidCounts campaign this summer.

This additional state funding will go toward the high costs of extraordinary special education in Monmouth County schools, reducing the burden on local property taxpayers. The three 11th District legislators credited the win to the hundreds of Monmouth County residents who supported and signed the #EveryKidCounts petition, raising awareness of the issue and fighting to include an additional $55 million for extraordinary special education aid in the State budget - ten times the increase originally proposed.

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New Houghtaling & Downey Law Raises Awareness for Suicide Prevention

A resolution designating September as “Youth Suicide Prevention Awareness Month” was approved by the Governor on Friday. Upon approval of the resolution (AJR-26), sponsors Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold) and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) released the following joint statement:

“Any loss of young life is a tragedy that impacts everyone in a community. Yet when the untimely death of that young person was ultimately preventable, it is all the more painful to process. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for children and young adults in New Jersey, while at least thirteen youth suicides take place every day throughout the country.

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Houghtaling & Downey to Host Community Health Fair

EATONTOWN - Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey will join Senator Vin Gopal to host a Community Health Fair to provide residents with information and resources on housing assistance, food bank access, addiction resources, disability resources, blood pressure screenings, and more.

The health fair is free to the public, and will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 10 in the Eatontown Community Center, located at 72 Broad Street in Eatontown. Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP by calling the 11th Legislative District office at (732) 695-3371.

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Downey Bill to Fix Wage Gap Becomes Law

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - On Thursday, New Jersey came one step closer to ending the gender wage gap for good after new employee protections introduced by Assemblywoman Joann Downey and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling were signed into law.

Downey and Houghtaling are the prime sponsors of bill A-1094, an ambitious workplace reform that would remove questions of salary history from the job application process entirely. Too often, a salary offer from a new employer can be determined by an applicant's prior salary, rather than their experience or skills. When a female job seeker is forced to disclose her salary history in the course of applying for work, that number will likely be lower than a male counterpart’s, pushing the employer to offer a lower wage.

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New Downey-Sponsored Law Raises Awareness of Child Abuse Hotline

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Joann Downey to require school districts to display the State’s child abuse hotline in schools was signed into law Friday by Governor Phil Murphy.

The new law (formerly A-425) would require a board of education to prominently display information about the Department of Children and Families’ State Central Registry – a toll free hotline for reporting child abuse – in all district schools. The information must give instructions to call 911 for emergencies and include directions for accessing the department’s website or social media platforms for more information on reporting abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

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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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