New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

  • Sen. Joe Pennacchio watches as Gov. Chris Christie signs his legislation at the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey headquarters in Trenton, N.J. on Jan. 4. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-26) speaking at a New Jersey State House press conference on S-2026, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” on December 5, 2016. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Joe Pennacchio received the “Alex DeCroce Public Leadership Award” at the Morris County Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Joe Pennachcio joined Republican colleagues and state business leaders representing thousands of employers at a State House press conference on June 22, 2015 to oppose job-killing income and business tax increases proposed by Democrats. (Facebook)

  • Sen. Joe Pennacchio (right) presented the Morris County Distinguished Service WWII Medal to John Tullio (center), pictured with Fred Fucetola (left). (Facebook)

  • Sen. Joe Pennacchio speaking as a panelist with The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey at The State of Black New Jersey Conference on April 16, 2015. Also pictured are Asw. BettyLou DeCroce and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean. (Facebook)

  • Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) discussing bi-state DRPA reform legislation during a press conference with Pennsylvania officials in front of the Ben Franklin Bridge in Camden, NJ on April 24, 2014. (Press Release)

  • Senator Joe Pennacchio took the oath of office during the reorganization meeting of the 2014-2015 New Jersey Senate on January 14, 2014 to represent the people of the 26th Legislative District. (Facebook)

  • Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) addresses a speaker during a Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee public hearing on the fiscal year 2014 State Budget on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. (Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger)

  • Maritza B. Byrne was confirmed by the New Jersey Senate to be a Judge of the Superior Court on February 7, 2013. Byrne joined Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) on the floor of the Senate for her confirmation vote.

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Preventing Animal Cruelty Is Important, So Is Preventing Cruel Treatment of Unborn Children

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Calls for Legislature to Apply Same Compassion to People That’s Applied to Pets

With planned Senate action on yet another bill that would further bolster the state’s already extensive animal cruelty statutes, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) again blasted the Legislature’s continued inaction on legislation that would protect unborn children from the cruel and excruciating pain caused by abortion.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio speaking at a New Jersey State House press conference on S-2026, the NJ Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, on December 5, 2016. (SenateNJ.com)

“Preventing animal cruelty is important, but so is preventing the cruel treatment of unborn children,” said Pennacchio. “The Legislature’s continued inaction on S-2026 sends the message that we care more about animals than people. It’s time to re-balance our priorities, and we can start by passing the NJ Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio/Turner Introduce Bill to Reduce Wrongful Convictions in NJ

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Bipartisan Bill Establishes “New Jersey Innocence Study and Review Commission”

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) and Senator Shirley Turner (D-15) have introduced legislation to establish a commission charged with developing reforms to prevent wrongful convictions in New Jersey.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s bipartisan bill would establish a commission charged with developing reforms to reduce wrongful convictions in New Jersey (©iStock)

“The annual number of false convictions in our country has more than doubled since 2011,” Senator Pennacchio said. “In New Jersey, those who were exonerated spent an average of ten years behind bars. We cannot give back the years that were stolen from the innocent people who were wrongfully convicted in this state, but by developing comprehensive reforms, we can ensure that countless others are not forced to suffer the same injustices.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Racinos Would Provide Even More Revenue for Pensions

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Following Governor Chris Christie’s proposal to dedicate revenues from the state lottery to public pensions, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Passaic) again called for the limited expansion of gaming at the state’s horse racetracks as an additional way to infuse critically needed funds into the state’s struggling public employee pension systems.

Senator Joe Pennacchio’s proposed constitutional amendment, SCR-16, would allow for slot wagering at New Jersey’s horse racing facilities. (Wikimedia Commons)

“For years, we’ve urged for the creation of dedicated revenue streams to shore up our public pension systems, and I commend the Governor for supporting this approach as a way to address one of the state’s most pressing fiscal issues,” Senator Pennacchio said. “We can take it one step further by opening the door for the establishment of racinos, which would create a substantial new source of revenues for pensions, bolster our casino industry, and support the financial recovery of Atlantic City.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Legislature Must Protect Unborn Children Just as Much as Animals

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In light of the Assembly passage of a bill banning the declawing of cats, Senator Joe Pennacchio expressed his outrage that the legislature seems to care more about preventing animal cruelty than protecting innocent unborn children from the excruciating pain caused by abortion.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio speaking at a New Jersey State House press conference on S-2026 on December 5, 2016. (SenateNJ.com)

“When did animals become more important than unborn children?” Senator Pennacchio opined. “This legislature takes pride and advocates for animals and their rights. It has shown to be a good steward in their protection, yet it gives no credence or moral thought to the pain experienced to a child as it is forcibly removed from its mother’s womb. The Legislature must do what is right and protect these babies with the same veracity that we defend animals.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Introduces Legislation to Allow EMT Certifications to Count Toward Driver’s License I.D. Requirement

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) has introduced legislation that will allow EMTs and paramedics to use their state-issued certification cards to count towards the Motor Vehicle Commission’s driver’s license identification verification program.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s new bill would make it easier for EMTs and paramedics to get a driver’s license. (NJMVC)

“These are individuals that had to pass a state-administered program in order to obtain their certification,” Senator Pennacchio said. “The MVC already counts certain state-issued documents towards the six-point requirement, so it makes sense that we allow these certification cards to counts as well.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio to Introduce Bill to Study the Use of Ethanol in Fuel

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Passaic, Morris) announced plans to introduce legislation to study the use of ethanol in gasoline and find out if it makes sense for New Jersey.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio will introduce legislation to study the use of ethanol in fuel. (©iStock)

“There is a lot of concern that the addition of ethanol to fuel can cause engine problems in vehicles that aren’t specifically designed to handle it, and even that it could potentially decrease the gas mileage of car,” Senator Pennacchio said. “At a time when gas prices are spiking, New Jersey’s drivers can’t afford to have their vehicles become any less fuel-efficient.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Announces Resolution Supporting Columbus Day Preservation

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) announced a Senate resolution supporting the preservation of Columbus Day as a federal and state holiday. The resolution will be formally introduced at the next Senate quorum.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s resolution supports the preservation of Columbus Day as a federal and state holiday. (Wikimedia Commons)

“New Jersey has the second highest population of people of Italian ancestry in the country,” Senator Pennacchio said. “For the 1.4 million Italian-Americans living in New Jersey, it is not enough for legislators to say we support the preservation of Columbus Day. We need to take action and show our constituents that we are committed to upholding their values, culture and heritage.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio/Bucco Bill Prevents Schools from Hiring Alleged Child Abusers, Sexual Predators

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Senate Republicans Joe Pennacchio and Anthony Bucco have introduced a bill to prevent a person who has been investigated for child abuse or sexual misconduct from working at a New Jersey public or charter school.

Sens. Joe Pennacchio and Anthony Bucco’s bill requires schools to review of an applicant’s employment history to ascertain allegations of child abuse or sexual misconduct. (Flickr)

“We cannot afford to take chances when it comes to protecting children from the lifelong scars of abuse,” Senator Pennacchio said. “Why should we prioritize a person who has been accused of such a heinous crime over the safety of innocent children? It is an unconscionable miscarriage of justice that this state is more concerned with protecting a job candidate’s reputation than keeping child predators out of our schools. This legislation is long overdue.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Trump Will Be an Ally in the Fight to Bring Back Cop-Killer Chesimard

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Following statements made by Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) said that he is hopeful New Jersey  will have an ally in Washington who will demand Cuba return cop-killer Joanne Chesimard.

Joanne Chesimard is wanted for escaping from prison in Clinton, New Jersey, while serving a life sentence for murdering a New Jersey State Trooper. She relocated to Cuba in 1984, where she is thought to still be living. (FBI)

Rex Tillerson on Wednesday told the Foreign Relations Committee that as President-Elect Trump’s secretary of state, he would demand that Cuba extradite Chesimard.

I have said it before – President Obama should have never opened relations with Cuba without first demanding the extradition of convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard,” Senator Pennacchio said. “I applaud President-Elect Trump for nominating a secretary of state who has the courage and the capacity to right this wrong.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Now Law: Pennacchio Bill to Help Small Businesses Compete

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) designed to help small businesses grow and lower costs for taxpayers is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio watches as Gov. Chris Christie signs his legislation at the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey headquarters in Trenton, N.J. (SenateNJ.com)

“We have many small businesses that are more than capable of undertaking public projects here in New Jersey, but they aren’t afforded the same opportunities as larger businesses when regulations prevent them from even entering the bidding process,” Senator Pennacchio said. “With this law, we can start to cut away some of that red tape and create new chances for these local companies to grow and create new jobs in areas of need.”

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