Gopal, Houghtaling and Downey Respond to NJ Familycare Audit

In response to an audit revealing the New Jersey Department of Human Services lost millions over a three year period due to the mismanagement of NJ FamilyCare accounts, Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey issued the following statements:

“It is utterly unacceptable that the state’s NJ FamilyCare accounts were grossly mismanaged throughout the Christie Administration,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “Due to poor oversight, the State paid out $177.5 million in false claims, in addition to $720,000 in payments and fee-for-service claims for individuals who were deceased. New Jersey cannot afford these costly mistakes.”

“I sincerely hope the Department of Human Services takes swift action to correct these egregious errors and fulfill the responsibilities of the NJ FamilyCare program,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. “We are confident the Murphy Administration will see the severity of this issue and work quickly to get the DHS and NJ FamilyCare program back on course.”

“There are far too many hardworking New Jerseyans who rightfully deserve these funds to carelessly fulfill fraudulent claims,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey, Chair of the Human Services Committee. “The extreme lack of care in the management of this program during the Christie Administration is appalling and has led to the waste of valuable resources. Our residents deserve better and we look forward to working with Governor Murphy to right the ship.”

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Houghtaling and Downey Support Pound the Pavement for Purple 5K


The 5th Annual Pound the Pavement for Purple 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk, co-founded by Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Freeholder Thomas Arnone, will return to Neptune on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Hosted in cooperation with the Township of Neptune, Neptune City, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and with the great support of the Pound the Pavement for Purple Committee, the 5K will benefit the Lustgarten Foundation which works to advance the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of pancreatic cancer.

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Houghtaling Bill to Help Prevent Vandalism on Farmlands Clears Assembly

In order to better protect farmlands against the threat of vandalism and trespassing, Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling has taken action, sponsoring legislation to update and clarify penalty provisions for vandals and trespassers, which was approved by a 78-0 vote Thursday by the General Assembly.

“This helps protect agricultural businesses in the state from encroachment that can damage crops and put a damper on their business,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “Farming is an expensive venture. Damage caused by trespassing, whether intentional or not, should be rectified.”

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Houghtaling and Downey Bill Requiring Bi-hourly Election Reports Signed Into Law

A bill sponsored by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, which requires district boards of election to report every two hours the number of voters who have voted at each precinct, was signed into law on Friday, August 24 by Governor Phil Murphy.

This bill (A3463) requires the district boards of election to report every two hours the number of voters who have voted at each precinct, and authorizes challengers to request the reported count.      

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Downey Bill to Require Schools to Maintain Opioid Antidote Supply Signed Into Law

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Joann Downey to require schools to maintain a supply of an opioid antidote was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on Friday, August 24.

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First Annual Kids Congress A Great Success

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.  

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