Born: May 27, 1955
B.S. Brooklyn College (Biology)
D.D.S. New York University College of Dentistry
N.J. Economic Development Authority 1998-2001
Morris County Board of Freeholders 1999-2001
General Assembly 2001-07, Appropriations Officer 2004-07
Senator Pennacchio was elected to represent the 26th District from the New Jersey State Senate on January 8, 2008 and was re-elected in 2011. Prior to serving in the State Senate, Joe Pennacchio was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly from 2000 to 2008. He has been assigned to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, as well as the Senate Transportation Committee.
The Senator has been on the forefront for Transparency in Government. His efforts helped bring a comprehensive, inclusive website to New Jersey. It shows taxpayers exactly how each and every dollar is being spent in a timely, user friendly easy to use website and ultimately a useful tool in cutting wasteful, questionable spending. His legislation would also bring transparency to all levels of government.
Then Assemblyman, Pennacchio secured 300 acres of the former Greystone tract for Morris County to be used in perpetuity for open space and recreation. As Senator, he successfully lobbied the Christie Administration to commit an additional 100 acres of the former Greystone tract for the same purpose in 2012.
Senator Pennacchio has been recognized as a "Taxpayer Champion" by the New Jersey Taxpayer Alliance receiving a 100% score regarding ten bills that were vital to New Jersey's taxpayer communities. In the past, Americans for Prosperity has also given their coveted "A" rating to State Senator Joe Pennacchio for his efforts on behalf of New Jersey taxpayers. Pennacchio has been recognized as a Guardian of Small Business from 2008-2011 from the New Jersey Federation of Independent Business.
Senator Pennacchio served on the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 1998 to 2001, where he served as freeholder liaison to the county administration and finance offices, and was deputy liaison to the County's Department of Human Services. As Freeholder, Pennacchio started the Kids First program in Morris County, which highlights and addresses children's issues. The Senator helped to bolster the Morris County economy by establishing a $75 million economic growth fund for Morris County and worked to secure funding for the Master Plan for the Picatinny Technology Transfer Program.
During his initial tenure in Trenton he worked closely with both the Legislature and Administration in crafting and passing legislation. Much of this legislation was directed at improving the lives of New Jersey's children and protecting open space. Legislation was signed into law which gives the county surrogate the option to deposit minors' funds in any federally insured bank within the United States, allowing them to earn a higher rate of interest, and legislation establishing court awarded kinship legal guardianship status, making it easier for family members to become legal guardians of children, which has become a national model.
Senator Pennacchio is a former member of Governor DiFrancesco's New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the Montville Economic Development Council. He is also a founder and former member of the Montville Education Foundation. The Senator and his wife Diane live in Rockaway Township.