Downey and Houghtaling Bill Including Atlantic County in “Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act” Advances

Recently, the Governor signed a law our bill that allows Atlantic and Monmouth Counties entry into the “Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act” for purposes of sharing resources including a municipal clerk, a chief financial officer, an assessor, a tax collector, a municipal treasurer, or a municipal superintendent of public works.

This bill (A-4390) allows, in addition to the positions listed in the new law, the sharing of services provided by a municipal court administrator between municipalities.

“New Jersey residents pay the highest property tax rates in the nation and sharing services is a viable path for municipalities to provide taxpayer relief,” said Downey (D- Monmouth). “Many towns have already begun to discuss sharing opportunities with neighboring towns. Our ‘Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program’ will encourage and better enable municipalities to find new ways to coordinate services and in the long run lessen the property tax burden on our residents.” 

“Simply put, shared services programs are something we should always take advantage of here in Monmouth County, especially when it comes to cost-saving measures such as the ‘Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “This act will allow our municipalities to work together by combining their resources and expertise in order to increase efficiency and lower costs for our hard-working residents.”

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Houghtaling Bill Promoting Shared Services Clears Committee

Both lowering the coasts to taxpayers and increasing government efficiency, legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling was approved by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee on Thursday.

The bill (A-4390) would allow two or more adjoining counties to enter into an agreement to share a county tax administrator along with their respective staff.

“Shared services programs are cost-saving measures that we should always take advantage of,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “This bill allows our municipalities to work together by combining resources and expertise in order to ultimately lower costs for our hard-working residents.”

Houghtaling and Downey Respond to Distasteful NJ 101.5 Article

In response to an article published on New Jersey 101.5’s website insensitively titled, “NJ’s Move Over Law: Dead Cops Make Bad Laws,” Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey issued the following statements:

“I am absolutely shocked by the lack of sensitivity on the part of Judi Franco, who used a sensational headline to diminish the legacy of the late New Jersey State Trooper Marc Castellano, who was killed in the line of duty by a driver who did not adhere to the Move Over Law,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. “At the end of the day, our bill is about raising awareness for this important law — one that has been ignored countless times and has cost far too many officers and maintenance workers their lives. How someone could trivialize the death of a police officer, I will never understand. Her lack of morality and decency is appalling, while her baseless argument lacks any shred of accuracy.”

“As the daughter of a retired State Trooper, I am disgusted and insulted by Judi Franco’s complete lack of respect for the memory of Marc Castellano and apparent lack of care for the safety of New Jersey’s police officers,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey. “This man lost his life while serving and protecting the people of New Jersey. Do our officers not deserve the protection and sense of security the Move Over Law provides? How anyone can argue that this law is unnecessary — when its violation has already resulted in the loss of numerous innocent lives — is unfathomable. Ms. Franco is unconscionable and her argument is rooted in sheer ignorance. She should be ashamed.”

Houghtaling and Downey Bill Imposing Points on License for Violation of “Move Over Law” Clears Assembly Panel

To better protect law enforcement officers in the line of duty, Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey are sponsoring legislation to revise the penalties associated with violations of New Jersey’s “Move Over Law.” The bill was advanced out of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee Monday.

“Violators of the move over law are putting officers at serious risk of injury or death, and they must understand that the severity of their actions,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “This bill shows how seriously we take the safety of our state’s brave police officers and will create more awareness for the current Move Over Law.”

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Houghtaling & Downey “New Jersey-Made” Bill to Develop and Designate an Official State Logo Advanced by Assembly Committee

Encouraging the state to highlight products that are made in New Jersey, Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey have sponsored legislation that would create an official “NJ-Made” logo which could be used by in-state manufacturers on their products. The bill was released by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on Monday.

“A state brand showcases the variety of goods and products made right here in New Jersey,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “We can celebrate and raise awareness of New Jersey’s manufacturing sector by promoting state production to anywhere the product is sold in the world. That’s just good business.”

“Many other states are similarly developing a brand for products made in their state,” said Downey (D-Downey). “I think it’s a good idea and shows pride in our manufacturing industry, NJ-based companies and invests in their success.”

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Downey & Houghtaling Legislation to Promote Small Business Growth Advances

Aiming to help promising small businesses grow and thrive in New Jersey, legislation from Assemblywoman Joann Downey and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling creating the Economic Gardening Program was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities throughout the state. Many remember the business owner who gave them their first after-school job or sponsored their Little League team. When small businesses succeed, the entire community succeeds,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “Taking action to bolster Main Streets in New Jersey is about lifting up municipalities statewide.”

The bill (A-1104) would establish the “Economic Gardening Program,” a program modeled after the Louisiana Economic Development's Economic Gardening Initiative which provides Louisiana-based small businesses with the information they need and succeed.

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