New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Asks Treasurer If Any State Funds at Risk from Bankruptcy of Corzine’s Investment Firm

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Auditors Find $633 Million Missing from Client Accounts at Corzine’s MF Global

In light of a recent audit by regulators which found $633 million missing from client accounts at the failed investment firm of former Governor Jon Corzine, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) has asked New Jersey Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff to determine if any state funds were affected by the collapse of Corzine’s firm, MF Global.

“It’s important that the State of New Jersey work quickly to identify any investment funds that may have been impacted by the bankruptcy of MF Global,” said Pennacchio. “While the rapid collapse of Corzine’s firm is disturbing in and of itself, the investigation of any state assets that may be at risk is given added importance by the fact that regulators have indicated that client accounts may have been inappropriately raided to support the firm’s bad investments.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Lauds Reported Proposal to Extend No. 7 Subway Line to NJ

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Says Plan Makes More Sense than Cancelled ARC Tunnel, Billions Cheaper for NJ Taxpayers

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) said that a proposal that reportedly is being considered to extend New York City’s Number 7 subway line to the Secaucus Junction rail station would provide mass transit in the region with a much needed boost in capacity, provide commuters with increased flexibility and save New Jersey taxpayers billions of dollars relative to the cancelled ARC tunnel project.

“Unlike the ARC tunnel project, which Governor Christie rightly cancelled last year, the extension of the Number 7 subway line to Secaucus Junction makes sense for New Jersey,” said Pennacchio. “While the ARC tunnel would have sent riders to a new station deep under Macy’s basement that connected to nothing else, train riders connecting to the Number 7 line at Secaucus Junction would immediately be tied into the whole New York City subway system. This makes practical sense for New Jersey commuters in a way that the ARC tunnel never did.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Proposes $2 Billion Bond to Remediate Passaic River Flooding

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, announced today that he is proposing a $2 billion bond issue to alleviate flooding along the Passaic River. The bond issue would have to be approved by voters.

“The Passaic River has been flooding severely for decades, and following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee is it obvious that the Passaic River Basin needs a long-term permanent fix,” Pennacchio began. “I have had preliminary conversations with Treasury officials and the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services to continue working on the language of the proposal.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio: State Settles With Lehman Brothers

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New Jersey Recovers $8.2 Million from Bankrupt Investment Bank

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee who represents Morris and Passaic counties, announced today that the State of New Jersey has settled with Lehman Brothers for $8.2 million.

The Senator noted sadly that it has been more than three years since he first asked for answers about the state’s $192 million loss on an investment in the bankrupt investment bank. The investment came less than four months before Lehman, one of the largest Wall Street investment banks, went into receivership.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Dems Were Aware of Problems with School Lunch Program; Failed to Approve Republican Oversight Resolution

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Calls for Hearings to Implement Solutions

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, sent a letter today to the Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee calling for an investigation of the Elizabeth School Board school lunch scandal. The program is administered by the State Department of Agriculture. Senator Pennacchio asked the Chairman to call the State Commissioner of Agriculture and the State Auditor, Steven Eells to discuss the administration of the program. The letter and a Budget Resolution are attached:

“Thanks to an expose’ in the Star-Ledger the numerous problems that have been obvious for many years in the National School Lunch Program are now a symbol of waste, fraud and abuse in the public school bureaucracy. The goals of the program are worthwhile and commendable. School children need proper nutrition to perform at their best in a learning environment.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: “Me Thinks Democrats Protest Too Much”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Trenton Democrats’ budget theatrics:

“Months of public hearings by the Senate Budget Committee were set aside by the Democrats in favor of an early start to the election season. The Democrat’s budget which was ‘unconstitutionally unbalanced, ‘ was a political document challenging the Governor to cut programs that Democrats thought could be used to score political points in the upcoming legislative races.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: “Democrats Holding Suburban School Aid Hostage”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R- Morris), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, today called Democrat plans to tie school aid to an income tax increase “blatant, political posturing at the expense of suburban taxpayers”:

“Taxpayers should not be forced to choose between job creation and property tax relief,” Pennacchio said. “The current school funding formula is horribly unfair to property taxpayers in suburban school districts. The Democrats proposal adds insult to injury by tying enhanced suburban aid to a tax increase that will cost our state jobs and future tax revenues. Their bill is a purely political document that shows the Majority isn’t serious about equitable school funding and property tax relief for the vast majority of New Jersey’s citizens.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Statement of Senator Joe Pennacchio on the Pension and Health Benefits Reform Bill Vote

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and a Prime-Sponsor of the pension and health care benefits reform measure, issued the following statement regarding the Senate passage of S-2739.

“Every one acknowledges that the State Pension system is in serious financial trouble. In fact, in 2005 then Governor Codey ordered a study on the viability of the state’s pension system by a task force headed by Philip Murphy. The commission recommended sweeping and fundamental changes to the state’s pension system. We did nothing.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Statement on Rescue of Pension and Health Benefits System

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Measure Will Save Property Taxpayers More Than $100 Billion

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the compromise reached on pension and health benefits reform by the Legislature and the Governor. Senator Pennacchio will be a Co-Prime sponsor of the legislation, S-2397.

“The pension and health benefits reform agreement reached today will save the taxpayers of New Jersey more than $100 billion. This tax relief will help middle-class families preserve the high quality of life in New Jersey.

“It is clear to everyone that the current pension and health benefits package is unsustainable. Public employees were made promises that were unsustainable, that the state could never keep.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio, DeCroce & Webber: Parsippany Sick Leave Payouts the Reason Stringent Reform Is Needed

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce and Assemblyman Jay Webber, all R-Morris and Passaic, issued the statement below in response to a recent media report that the Parsippany Town Council is expected to approve today an emergency appropriation of $895,944 to pay retiring employees for unused sick and vacation time:

“This emergency appropriation is exactly what is wrong with the public employee sick leave benefits system. It is unfathomable that taxpayers should be on the hook for such astronomical payouts whether on the local or state levels. Sick pay is for when you are sick, not a supplemental retirement fund for workers who, in the future, will be receiving taxpayer-funded pensions. Use it or lose it. It’s that simple.

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