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

Partnership of 18 Groups Calls for Passage of Webber/Pennacchio Child-Protection Legislation

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Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and sixteen other advocate organizations joined together today to support and urge prompt passage of child-protection legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber and Senator Joe Pennacchio.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Pennacchio and Asm. Webber to protect students against chronic child abusers was endorsed by 18 advocate organizations. (©iStock)

The partnership of 18 groups calls on all legislators to support the legislation. New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault urges Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, and the chairwomen of the Senate and Assembly education committees to move the legislation swiftly to passage.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Highlights Growing Concerns About Marijuana Legalization

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Urges Governor Murphy to Slow His Rush to Legalize It

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) urged Governor Phil Murphy to slow his rush to legalize marijuana in New Jersey citing growing concerns about the impact of such a drastic move on young people and already struggling communities.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio urged Gov. Phil Murphy to slow his rush to legalize marijuana in New Jersey citing growing concerns about potential negative impacts. (Pixabay)

“A few months ago it seemed inevitable that legalized marijuana would be approved in New Jersey,” said Pennacchio. “Today, however, a growing number of legislators and policymakers, including at least one member of Governor Murphy’s transition team, are expressing opposition to marijuana legalization. It’s no longer clear that legalization has the support needed to clear the Legislature.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Steve Oroho

Governor Signs Bucco/Oroho/Pennacchio Legislation Creating ‘Lake Hopatcong Fund’

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Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a bill sponsored by Sens. Anthony Bucco, Steven Oroho and Joe Pennacchio establishing the “Lake Hopatcong Fund” to help preserve and maintain the lake.

“The Lake Hopatcong Fund” will receive $500,000 annually to preserve and maintain the lake. (Lake Hopatcong Fund)

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

“By establishing this preservation fund and securing long-term funding, Lake Hopatcong will finally receive the protection and conservation it needs,” said Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset.) “Now that the bill has been signed, the ‘Lake Hopatcong Fund’ will provide stability for the local families and small businesses that surround the lake.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Bucco/Pennacchio Bill Expanding Access to Veteran ID Cards Signed Into Law

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Legislation (S-1534/1771 Scs) sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Joseph Pennacchio making it easier for veterans to obtain a county veteran identification card has been signed into law. The new law also expands access to members of the National Guard who have served outside of New Jersey.

The new law sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Joseph Pennacchio simplifies the process of obtaining a county veteran ID card. (©iStock)

“All veterans, including those who have served nationwide in the National Guard, should be able to easily access the benefits they have earned,” Senator Bucco (R-Morris) said. “Thousands have already gone through the process of receiving a veteran ID card from their county. Allowing service members to supply approved separation forms other than a DD-214 will encourage more veterans to participate in programs for the military throughout the state.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls on Democrats in Congress to Support Making Individual Tax Reforms Permanent

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Says Sitting on the Sidelines Hurts Middle-Class Families

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) called on Democrats in Congress to work with Republicans to address some of the limitations in recently enacted federal tax reforms that resulted from their unwillingness to participate in the legislative process.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio called on Democrats in Congress to support an effort to make permanent recently enacted federal tax reforms for individuals. (SenateNJ.com)

“The tax reforms that Congress passed and the President signed were a step in the right direction, but there’s still room for improvement,” said Pennacchio. “If not for limitations that were the result of Democrats sitting on the sidelines, there wouldn’t have been a need for the individual tax cuts to sunset. If Democrats are willing to step up, we can make the tax cuts permanent and look at restoring the full SALT deduction that New Jersey homeowners depend upon.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Steve Oroho

Bucco/Oroho/Pennacchio ‘Lake Hopatcong Fund’ Heads to Governor’s Desk

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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 legislature and heads to the Governor’s desk.

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 Fund)

The measure, S-2389, dedicates $500,000 annually to the “Lake Hopatcong 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.

“Now, by securing long-term funding, Lake Hopatcong will receive the protection and conservation it needs,” said Senator Bucco (R-Morris, Somerset.) “I am glad the fund’s approval heads to the Governor’s desk. With its signing, the ‘Lake Hopatcong Fund’ will provide stability for the local families and small businesses that surround the lake.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Evokes Bipartisanship of the Past and Urges Congress to Work Together

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Promoting bipartisanship, Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-26) will introduce a resolution to urge Congress to make the individual tax cuts permanent and to revisit the SALT deduction cap in the 2018 legislative year.

“This is not a Republican issue, nor a Democratic one. In the past, both parties were able to set aside their differences and work on tax reform together for hardworking Americans,” stated Sen. Pennacchio. “In 1986, Congressional bipartisanship saved the SALT deduction and led to the passage of tax reform with votes from both sides of the aisle. By working together, Congress created long-term relief for families and retirees.”

Promoting bipartisanship, Sen. Joe Pennacchio will introduce a resolution to urge Congress to make the individual tax cuts permanent and to revisit the SALT deduction cap in the 2018 legislative year. (SenateNJ.com)

Pennacchio called on both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together to secure enough votes to get past the filibuster. This would focus on reinstating SALT and providing permanent tax relief for middle-class families. Under the new law, New Jersey families face a $10,000 cap on deducting their state and local property taxes from their federal taxes. The new law provides no long-term plan for property tax relief after it expires in 2025.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls for Action on Property Tax Relief Legislation

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Christie Supports Elimination of State’s $10k Property Tax Deduction Cap

Senator Joe Pennacchio called for action on legislation he sponsors to increase property tax relief for New Jerseyans through the elimination of the $10,000 limit on the property tax deduction that can be claimed by state income tax filers. Yesterday, Governor Christie expressed support for allowing homeowners to fully deduct their property taxes, saying it’s something the state can afford to do. Pennacchio said the Legislature should pass the measure now, with Christie’s support, or in the early days of the upcoming Murphy administration.

Sen. Pennacchio calls on Governor-elect Murphy to committee to eliminating cap on property tax deduction. (SenateNJ.com)

“Governor-elect Murphy has been critical of the national restriction of the SALT deduction. If he is to be consistent, he should support eliminating New Jersey’s $10,000 cap,” stated Pennacchio. “Although asked for comments by various media groups, Governor-elect Phil Murphy has yet to say he will support the elimination of the $10,000 cap. I am asking for the Governor-elect’s commitment, yea or nay. If nay, that puts great urgency on the Legislature to pass S-3598 and have Governor Christie sign it.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio/Webber: “Pass the Trash” Bill to Protect Students from Sexual Abuse Has Bipartisan Support

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Senator Joe Pennacchio and Assemblyman Jay Webber expressed optimism that “pass the trash” legislation they sponsor to protect students from chronically abusive teachers may advance in the upcoming legislative session with bipartisan support.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Asm. Jay Webber sponsor “pass the trash” legislation to prevent chronically abusive teachers from moving from school to school undetected. (Wikipedia)

“We have a real problem of chronic child abusers moving from school to school when new allegations arise,” said Pennacchio. “This process of ‘passing the trash’ teachers from one district to another without sharing suspected sexual misconduct is sickening. This insidious silence cannot be allowed to continue. I’m grateful that Governor-elect Murphy and Chairwoman Ruiz have joined us in the belief that a teacher who molests a child in one classroom should not have the opportunity to teach in another. I hope we can work together to protect young children in New Jersey classrooms.”


“Organizations like Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey and the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault have said that our legislation will help to prevent offenders from recycling through the system from school to school,” added Webber. “Enacting these necessary protections shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We welcome the support of Governor-elect Murphy, Chairwoman Ruiz, and any legislator of either party who wants to join us in keeping serial sexual abusers out of our schools.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

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

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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 has passed the Senate.

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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