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 Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Steve Oroho

Bucco/Oroho/Pennacchio ‘Lake Hopatcong Fund’ Approved by Senate

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Legislation sponsored by Sens. Anthony Bucco, Steven Oroho and Joe Pennacchio to establish the “Lake Hopatcong Fund” has been approved by the New Jersey Senate.

Sens. Anthony Bucco, Steven Oroho and Joe Pennacchio sponsor legislation to establish “The Lake Hopatcong Fund,” which would dedicate $500,000 annually to preserve and maintain the lake. (Lake Hopatcong Foundation)

The measure, S-2389, dedicates $500,000 annually to the “Lake Hoptacong Fund” for the protection, preservation, restoration, maintenance, management and enhancement of New Jersey’s largest state-run lake. The funds would come from license fees required to operate power boats on nontidal waters.

“Lake Hopatcong brings in millions in revenue for the state each year,” Senator Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) said. “Our economy will suffer if we don’t find a stable way to pay for annual weed harvesting and stormwater management. We shouldn’t have to scramble every year to find the money we need to keep boaters and swimmers safe. I believe that our bill is a fiscally-responsible solution to this problem. I will continue to do everything I can to get it signed into law.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Reiterates Call for Elimination of $10k Property Tax Deduction Cap

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During a New Jersey Senate session today, Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) reiterated his proposal to abolish New Jersey’s $10,000 property tax deduction limit. He made the following statement on the Senate floor:

“I, too, want to lend my name to the chorus of opposition to the removal of SALT deductions from our Federal tax returns. But at this point, it seems all we are doing is complaining. However, we do have comparable issues with non-deductibility of Federal taxes from our State returns. There are a myriad of deductions that New Jersey does not allow, such as charitable deductions, capital gains, and 401(k) contributions.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio reiterated his proposal to abolish New Jersey’s $10,000 cap on its property tax deduction. (Flickr)

“The U.S. House of Representatives version of tax reform allows a $10,000 deduction for property taxes. Currently, there is no maximum. Unfortunately, there is a maximum on what our state allows us to deduct. New Jersey’s tax burden, I may add, is the highest in the nation. That deduction is no different than what Congress is proposing – a $10,000 maximum!

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Advanced: Pennacchio/Bucco Bill Allowing EMT, Paramedic Certification Cards to Count as 2 Points for NJMVC ID Verification Program

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The Senate Transportation Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) and Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) that would expand upon the documentation accepted by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) as part of its 6 Point ID Verification program to include EMT and paramedic certification cards. The measure advanced in a 5-0 vote.

Legislation by Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Anthony Bucco would allow EMT and paramedic certification cards to count toward the NJMVC’s six-point ID verification requirement. (NJMVC)

“Our state’s digital driver’s license and 6 Point ID Verification program are designed to stop fraud and make it harder for criminals and terrorists to act under assumed identities,” said Pennacchio. “Our legislation allows us to maintain those strict security standards while improving the NJMVC customer experience for tens of thousands of EMTs and paramedics who carry State issued certification cards.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: NJ Will Have to Care for Influx of Homeless Residents If Marijuana Is Legalized

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) urged Governor-elect Murphy and legislators to consider the impact legalizing marijuana could have on homelessness in New Jersey, pointing to concerning trends in states that have already legalized the drug.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio urged Governor-elect Murphy and legislators to consider the impact legalizing marijuana could have on homelessness in New Jersey, citing concerning trends in Colorado. (CC0 Public Domain)

“Now that weed is legal in Colorado, homeless people are arriving in droves, while longtime residents are fleeing to other states,” Senator Pennacchio added. “Governor Hickenlooper implored the Colorado Legislature to use marijuana tax dollars to build new housing for the homeless – money that was supposed to pay for law enforcement, healthcare, and treatment. Governor-elect Murphy: don’t be surprised if you’re forced to do the same thing in New Jersey. That revenue you are counting on to pay for your agenda will soon disappear.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls on Murphy to Support Legislation Allowing State Taxpayers to Fully Deduct Property Taxes

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Legislation Would Eliminate $10,000 Cap on State Property Tax Deduction

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) called on Governor-elect Phil Murphy to support his newly introduced legislation that would allow New Jersey homeowners and renters to fully deduct their property taxes, eliminating the existing $10,000 limit on the state property tax deduction.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio called on Governor-elect Phil Murphy to support his new legislation allowing New Jersey homeowners and renters to fully deduct their property taxes. (SenateNJ.com)

“Governor-elect Murphy and many state lawmakers of both parties have vocally opposed federal tax reforms that would limit the federal deductibility of property taxes to $10,000,” said Pennacchio. “At the same time, few have discussed the negative impact of New Jersey’s long-standing $10,000 limit on our state’s property tax deduction. Rather than simply criticizing officials in Washington, Governor-elect Murphy should see this as an opportunity to work with lawmakers in Trenton to fix something that we have the power to fix to make New Jersey more affordable.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Pennacchio Hosting Holiday Toy Drive at His Montville District Office

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Toy Donations Will Be Collected Through Friday, December 15th

Senator Joe Pennacchio’s legislative office will continue its holiday tradition of collecting toy donations to support local organizations that help children. All are encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Senator’s district office in Montville.

Pictured are toys collected in 2016 for local organizations by Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s legislative office. Donations will again be collected at his Montville office through Friday, December 15, 2017 . (SenateNJ.com)

“The holiday season is a time for us to come together to support those in need, and teach our own children the value of making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate,” Senator Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) said. “It is truly a privilege to open our doors as a collection site for children in need. I urge my constituents to take the time to make a donation and embrace the spirit of generosity that this season inspires.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill Would Provide Consumers Access to Three Free Credit Reports Annually

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Says Stream of Hacks & Data Breaches Increases Need for Consumer Vigilance

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) has introduced legislation to help consumers to better protect themselves from credit fraud and identity theft following a string of massive hacks and security breaches that have exposed the personal details of millions of Americans.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s legislation would allow consumers to obtain three free credit reports annually to better guard against credit fraud and identity theft. (©iStock)

“Our most sensitive financial information is held in massive online databases that we’re promised are secure,” said Pennacchio. “Too often, however, we’ve found that the financial institutions and retailers that we trusted weren’t able to keep our private information safe. Their repeated failures have put virtually every American at risk for credit fraud and identity theft. We need to give people the tools to fight back.”

Pennacchio’s new legislation would allow New Jersey consumers to obtain three free credit reports annually from each of the credit reporting agencies.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Crime is Up in Colorado, Don’t Pay for Legal Pot With People’s Lives

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Pennacchio Points to Colorado’s Rising Crime Rate as Another Reason Not to Rush into Legalizing Weed in NJ 

Senate Republican Whip Joe Pennacchio (R-26) urged legislative leaders and Governor-elect Phil Murphy not to put innocent families at risk by rushing to legalize marijuana in New Jersey, in light of reports that crime rates have actually risen in Colorado since the state enacted full legalization of the drug.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio urged legislative leaders and Governor-elect Murphy not to put innocent families at risk by rushing to legalize marijuana in New Jersey. (Pixabay)

“Our first priority as legislators must be to protect the people we were elected to serve,” Senator Pennacchio said. “Crime rates in Colorado are rising faster than almost anywhere else in the country. That’s not a coincidence. We cannot allow this to happen in New Jersey. Governor-elect Murphy – don’t pay for legal pot with people’s lives. It’s not worth it.”

In New Jersey, violent crime has dropped every year for five straight years. In Colorado, the increase in crime in 2016 was more than 11 times the average increase in the 30 largest cities in the nation. Denver Police statistics show an increase in all types of crime rates since legalization, including a 20 percent increase in drug violations and a 237 percent increase in crimes such as public drunkenness.

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Steve Oroho

Bucco/Oroho/Pennacchio ‘Lake Hopatcong Fund’ Passes Senate Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans Anthony Bucco, Steven Oroho and Joe Pennacchio to establish the “Lake Hopatcong Fund” has passed the Senate Environment Committee.

Sens. Anthony Bucco, Steven Oroho and Joe Pennacchio sponsor legislation to establish “The Lake Hopatcong Fund,” which would dedicate $500,000 annually to preserve and maintain the lake. (Lake Hopatcong Foundation)

S-2389 would dedicate $500,000 annually to the “Lake Hoptacong Fund,” for the protection, preservation, restoration, maintenance, management and enhancement of New Jersey’s largest state-run lake. The funds would come from license fees required to operate power boats on nontidal waters.

“Lake Hopatcong brings in millions in revenue for the state each year,” Senator Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset) said. “Our economy will suffer if we don’t find a stable way to pay for annual weed harvesting and stormwater management. We shouldn’t have to scramble every year to find the money we need to keep boaters and swimmers safe. I believe that our bill is a fiscally-responsible solution to this problem. I will continue to do everything I can to get it signed into law.”

We fought hard to ensure the Fiscal Year 2018 budget included funding to protect Lake Hopatcong, but a one-time payment is not enough,” Senator Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) said. “The lake has become overrun with invasive weeds and the problem seems to get worse every year. Setting up a permanent, dedicated funding source for preservation and maintenance is the best way to ensure future generations can enjoy this treasured natural resource.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Not So Fast Legalizing Weed

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Senate Republican Whip Joe Pennacchio (R-26) today condemned the mad dash to legalize marijuana in New Jersey, citing the drastic increase in weed-related traffic fatalities in states that have enacted full legalization.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio condemned the mad dash to legalize marijuana in New Jersey, citing the drastic increase in weed-related traffic fatalities in states that have enacted full legalization. (Pixabay)

In Colorado, marijuana-related traffic fatalities rose 48-percent since the state legalized the drug in 2014. Pennacchio also noted that many police departments in New Jersey – the most densely populated state in the nation – do not have enough resources or accurate tools to spot and effectively prosecute stoned drivers.

“Governor-elect Murphy sees a $300 million tax revenue windfall. I see a mass of heartache and trouble,” Senator Pennacchio said. “New Jersey’s roadways are extremely congested and we don’t have a full-proof weed sobriety test. A mad dash to legalization, without taking the time to examine the consequences, is a recipe for disaster.”

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