New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Pension System Sinks Into Greater Insolvency Due to Inaction

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Doing Nothing Is the Worst Possible Option

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and sponsor of S-2705, issued the following statement regarding the delay in adopting pension and health benefits reform:

“Everyone agrees that reforming the public employee’s pension and health benefits allowances is critically necessary to returning New Jersey to fiscal health. The reforms that are ultimately adopted must address current budget shortfalls as well as projected shortfalls over the next several decades.

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Mike Doherty
Senator Steve Oroho

Republican Members of Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Praise Administration for Fiscal Discipline

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The Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee agreed with State Treasurer Sidamon-Eristoff that continued fiscal discipline is required to continued New Jersey’s recovery from the most severe recession in more than 70 years. The Republican members of the Committee are: Senators Bucco, Oroho, Pennacchio, O’Toole and Doherty.

“The testimony presented by the State Treasurer clearly shows that, while we have a long way to go on the road to recovery, the Administration’s commitment to fiscal discipline is working. The state revenue picture is better, and more stable, today than it was just one year ago in the midst of the worst recession our state has seen in 70 years.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: What’s Going On Here? SBA Hearings Cancelled Again

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee (SBA),  issued the following statement regarding the cancellation of Wednesday’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The Senator questioned the approach to the scheduling of the SBA meetings being applied. The Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection were scheduled to testify tomorrow on their budgetary priorities.

“It is unfortunate that tomorrow’s hearings before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee have been canceled. The two departments scheduled to appear before the committee are closely involved in many of New Jersey’s most significant issues including, COAH, municipal aid and land use questions.

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Bucco and Pennacchio Disappointed Treasurer’s Testimony Canceled

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Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco and Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, expressed their disappointment that the testimony of State Treasurer Sidamon-Eristoff was canceled today:

“It is unprecedented that the testimony of the State Treasurer would be canceled on the opening day of the state budget season. This morning’s testimony by David Rosen, the OLS Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, was instructive on the improving health of New Jersey’s budget,” Bucco said.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pension Fund Report Highlights the Need for Action on Pension and Health Benefits Reform

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, released the following remarks regarding news reports that indicate that a rising stock market has increased the value of the state’s pension funds by 15 percent.

“It is critically important that the Senate and General Assembly move forward with pension and health benefits reform to take advantage of the rising stock market. The governor was very clear in his budget address, that he would immediately put $500 million in the pension funds upon completion of pension and health benefits reforms.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Pension Reform Must Be Supported by Independent Actuarial Analysis

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and sponsor of S-2705 which would adopt Governor Chris Christie’s proposed pension reforms, issued the following statement in response to the pension and health benefits reform website established by the Senate President today:

“Senate President Sweeney’s commitment to pension reform is a positive step. It is important that the reform that is eventually adopted provide a long-term, permanent solution to the deficit in the pension system, which currently stands at $54 billion. Addressing the pension deficit and bringing benefits down to reality is the only way to save the system for public workers and treat the taxpayers of New Jersey fairly.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: UI Task Force Lays Out Blueprint for Unemployment Insurance Reform

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, the senior Republican Member of the Senate Labor Committee, issued the following statement regarding the release of the report by the New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Task Force.

“I am pleased that the governor has accepted the report today by the task force. The members of the task force, especially the co-chairs Melanie Willoughby and Ed Fedorko and my colleague in the Senate, Fred Madden and the staff at the Department of Labor did an out stand job preparing this comprehensive report. They worked for several weeks last fall in preparing a thorough report that explored the cause of the fund’s imbalance and the reforms necessary to return the fund to fiscal health.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Governor’s Responsible Budget Sets Tone for Job Growth

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding Governor Christie’s budget address:

“The Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposed by Governor Christie is a prudent fiscally-responsible strategy that sets the tone for increased job growth through the new year. I am especially pleased that the governor has increased education aid for all districts that lost money last year.

“The increase in aid is distributed in a fair and equitable fashion. The additional aid addresses the needs of the rural, suburban and urban districts. Hopefully, as we move forward through the budget process the final document will be able to augment the aid in the proposed document.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman/Pennacchio Bill Prevents Prisoners from Receiving Temporary Disability Benefits

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A bill sponsored by Senators Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset/Morris) and Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) that prohibits payment of temporary disability benefits to incarcerated individuals passed the Senate today.

“If you break the law and are serving time in prison, you shouldn’t receive a disability check, ” Bateman stated. “You are already being fed, clothed and sheltered at the taxpayers’ expense. The limited money in disability funds should be reserved for hard working, law abiding citizens who need that money to survive.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Sen. Pennacchio: “Stop Scare Tactics and Have an Honest Discussion to Save New Jersey’s Pension Fund”

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“The private sector is looking at us, and we do look good. I know we’ll have to give…I’m more than willing to pay more to support my benefits.”

“I got 38 years in, but everything’s up in the air. They’re taking 10 percent out of the principal every year to pay existing retirees. I’m worried that it won’t be there for me.”

-NYT, 2/11/2011

Citing today’s New York Times conversation with New Jersey public employees on the state of New Jersey’s public pension system, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R- Morris/Passaic) called for an end to scare tactics aimed at derailing real reform:

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