After a week of commuting troubles caused by a derailed train at Penn Station in New York, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) said he believes the issues related to New Jersey’s rail system and NJ Transit could have been addressed years ago if the Assembly Transportation Committee had advanced his legislation to create a rail study commission.
“I’ve introduced a bill to create a rail study commission every session since 2010, and it’s passed the Senate three times,” said Senator Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee. “However, the bill has never been granted a hearing in the Assembly. Not once. Had the Assembly acted sooner, we might have had a chance to fix some of our commuter rail problems.”
Following reports that Jersey City will now share a portion of its tax abatement revenue with its school district, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Passaic, Essex) said the plan is too little, too late.
“I and my Senate Republican colleagues have been pushing for PILOT money to go to local schools for years. We even included it our proposal for school funding reforms just last week,” said Senator Pennacchio, Vice-Chair of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness. “So, it’s great to see Mayor Fulop seriously consider our suggestion, but Jersey City owes it to its students to contribute more instead of leaving the rest of the state’s taxpayers stuck with the bill.”
Following recent reports that New Jersey Congressmen Chris Smith and Albio Sires have begun a new effort to pass legislation that seeks the return of fugitives abroad, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Passaic, Morris, Essex) again called for the return of convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard from Cuba.
“We must do everything we can to ensure Joanne Chesimard pays her debt to society,” Pennacchio. “She killed a state trooper in cold blood, but she’s spent more than 30 years living free in communist Cuba.”
Senate Republicans Propose School Funding Reforms to Improve Opportunities for Students, Provide Property Tax Relief for Families
Proposals Eliminate Abuses, Establish More Equitable Funding for Overlooked Students in Underfunded Districts
In an effort to improve educational opportunities for New Jersey students and provide real property tax relief to overburdened families, New Jersey Senate Republicans released a series of school funding reform proposals as the starting point for discussions on the replacement of the state’s failed school funding system.
“Senate Republicans want to fix the broken school funding formula that has failed too many students and devastated middle-class property taxpayers,” said Kean. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves to negotiate a funding formula that works, and we’re prepared to come to the table with detailed solutions that we believe will improve educational opportunities statewide and make New Jersey more affordable.”
During his Budget Message last month, Governor Christie challenged the legislative leaders of both parties to join with him to work on a new funding formula to replace the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA).
Pennacchio: Preventing Animal Cruelty Is Important, So Is Preventing Cruel Treatment of Unborn Children
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
Pennacchio Introduces Legislation to Allow EMT Certifications to Count Toward Driver’s License I.D. Requirement
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”