Houghtaling Bill Establishing Farm Liaison in Department in Agriculture to Encourage Farmers to Participate in Anti-Hunger Programs Clears Assembly Panel

Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling issued the following statement Thursday on the advancement of his bill (A-4708) out of the Assembly Human Services Committee, which establishes a Farm Liaison in the Department of Agriculture to encourage farmers to participate in New Jersey’s agricultural programs:

Houghtaling (D-Monmouth): “The responsibilities of farmers are so vast that they often lack the time or resources to learn about every program offered by the Department of Agriculture, which include taxation programs, food donations, anti-hunger initiatives, as well as other programs. By creating a Farm Liaison who can assist and encourage farmers to enroll in these programs, we will expand access to food for hungry people across New Jersey, as well as ease some of the financial and physical burdens for our state’s farmers.”

FDA: 30-40 Percent of the Nation’s Food is Uneaten Bill Aims to Teach Best Practices for Eliminating Food Waste

In response to the disturbing U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) statistic that nearly 30-40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten, Assemblywoman Joann Downey has introduced legislation to teach consumers strategies for eliminating food waste. The bill cleared the Assembly Human Services committee 6-0 Thursday.

The bill (A4707) would mandate the Department of Agriculture to develop a food waste public awareness campaign with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, the state’s largest anti-hunger and anti-poverty organization. The campaign would educate the general public about the nearly 20 pounds of food the FDA estimates each consumer wastes monthly.  According to the FDA, such waste costs the nation $165 billion each year.

“Implementing strategies as simple as utilizing a grocery shopping list can help consumers reduce food waste,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “By using a list, consumers are less likely to purchase unwanted, unneeded food. This is often the food that is wasted.”

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Downey Resolution Designating Thursday of Third Week in September Each Year as “Food Waste Prevention Day” Clears Assembly Panel

Assemblywoman Joann Downey issued the following statement on the advancement of her joint resolution (AJR-172) out of the Assembly Human Services Committee naming the Thursday of the third week in September as “Food Waste Prevention Day,” in order to increase awareness of the harms of food waste and limit waste in New Jersey:

Downey (D-Monmouth): “Each year in the United States, approximately 160 billion pounds of food end up as food waste, while about 12 percent of households lack consistent access to adequate food. This is unacceptable. By dedicating a day to our country’s food waste epidemic and educating the public on this critical issue, we can reduce the financial, environmental and social impacts of food waste, and make sure that good food ends up with people who need it rather than in the trash. As chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, I am proud that we advanced this resolution today.”

Downey & Houghtaling Bill Including Monmouth County in “Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act” Now Law

Combining municipalities’ resources in an effort to ease the burden on taxpayers, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling that would add Monmouth and Atlantic Counties as pilot counties for purposes of “Common Sense Shared Services Pilot Program Act” was signed into law by the Governor on Tuesday.

Previously, five counties were designated as “pilot counties” under that law: Camden, Morris, Ocean, Sussex and Warren counties.

“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 and Downey Create “A Day In the Life — Type 1 Diabetes Day”

It’s the second most common chronic illness in children behind asthma and its incidence rate is rapidly increasing worldwide.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease with no known cause and no current cure. That means there is a growing community of people living with type 1, and their loved ones, who are not giving up on science and hope until there is a cure.

Following an inspiring meeting with junior ambassadors from JDRF, New Jersey legislators Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, both representing the 11th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly, proposed a joint resolution to create New Jersey’s first ever type 1 diabetes awareness day — also known as T1D —to be held each November.

Officially titled “A Day in the Life – Type 1 Diabetes Day,” the date is confirmed for November 19, 2018, and subsequently will occur on the Monday before Thanksgiving each year.

“In an increasingly divisive world, we are proud to support a holiday that underscores the importance of inclusion, understanding and compassion,” says Assemblywoman Joann Downey.

“We are asking the residents of New Jersey to walk a mile in the shoes of a neighbor living with type 1 diabetes in order to gain a deeper understanding into the challenges they face on a daily basis. At the same time, we are shining a spotlight on those who live with this disease, and encourage the community to learn more about the individual as a whole, rather than define them by their disease.”

“Diabetes impacts a significant proportion of New Jersey’s population, with approximately 11 percent of our adult population diagnosed, according to the American Diabetes Association,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. “With so many of our residents impacted by this disease, it is important that we do our part to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes and establish a supportive community upon which New Jerseyans living with diabetes can rely.”

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Houghtaling and Downey Support NJMEP

Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey have introduced a bill to support New Jersey’s vital manufacturing industry.

The bill, (A4315) makes a General Fund supplemental appropriation of $250,000 to the Department of State for the purpose of funding the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc.  These monies are required to be used, subject to the approval of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting, to coordinate and maximize the efficiency of Statewide worker training, as well as to employ underserved and underemployed veterans and other State residents in need of long-term employment.

“As a member of the Bipartisan Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, I understand what these businesses are up against,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. “NJMEP plays a key role in supporting our manufacturing industry and, in turn, our State economy. We are proud to support this vital organization.”

“Manufacturing is a key industry here in New Jersey, making major contributions to our economy and employing hundreds of thousands of hardworking residents,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey. “It is imperative that we, as legislators, work to support our manufacturing industry and organizations like NJMEP that advocate on behalf of manufacturing business owners and employees.”

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