New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Urges Democrats to End Hypocritical, Misleading Credit Attacks, Rejoin Bipartisan Reform Efforts

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Senate Budget and Appropriations Committeeman Joe Pennacchio, R-26, stated the following in response to hypocritical attacks waged this week by Democratic legislators against the State of New Jersey:

“For the public’s sake, I must first emphasize that New  Jersey’s credit rating is unchanged this week, despite Standard & Poor’s lowered outlook, with both Fitch and Moody’s recently declaring the state’s outlook as stable. Unfortunately, a series of media reports published this week quote Democratic legislators clamoring about artificial state credit rating catastrophes. Their overblown statements distort the state’s solid financial standing, which we largely owe to bipartisan reforms under Gov. Christie.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio, O’Toole Sponsor Gov. Christie’s Storm Response Act

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Senators Joe Pennacchio (R-26) and Kevin O’Toole (R-40) prepared for introduction today the Governor’s Reliability, Preparedness and Storm Response Act of 2012 to significantly decrease or nullify the time New Jerseyans are without utilities in the wake of natural disasters and emergencies.

“This strict accountability measure protects the public from the dangers and hardships caused by deficiencies in New Jersey’s public utility infrastructure and utility communication protocols, which were exposed by last year’s storms,” Pennacchio said. “We need to hold utility companies to the fire to assure they do everything possible in preparation for future weather emergencies.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Mike Doherty

Senate Again Passes Pennacchio, Doherty Measure to Study Rail Systems; Senators Urge Assembly Action

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The New Jersey Senate passed Monday legislation sponsored by Senators Joe Pennacchio and Mike Doherty to create a Passenger Rail Study Commission in response to a recent Office of Legislative Services report that there are no efforts to regionalize rail lines. This volunteer commission will determine how to best utilize existing rail infrastructure.

“All rail systems should be evaluated to assure they operate in the best interest of taxpayers and commuters,” said Pennacchio, R-Morris, Passaic, Essex. “We must dedicate this commission to examine all cost-cutting solutions with our neighboring states, from consolidations to mergers, especially as two new trans-Hudson River crossing plans are being discussed by operators in New Jersey and New York.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Applauds Signing of His Former District-Mate’s Victim’s Bill of Rights

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, R-Morris, Passaic, Essex, applauded today’s signing into law of his co-sponsored legislation, Alex DeCroce Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights, named after his former district-mate.

“The signing of Alex’s Victim’s Bill of Rights, in part, cements the legacy of an Assembly leader who was truly devoted to the people,” Pennacchio said. “He championed this cause because he empathized with how frustrating, grueling and confusing recovery can be for crime victims and their families. He vowed to protect them in all ways possible. He understood the importance of providing closure.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: NJ Supreme Court Pension Ruling Shows a Major Disconnect with New Jersey Residents

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Landmark pension reform bill sponsor Senator Joe Pennacchio, R-Morris, Passaic, Essex, had the following reaction to this morning’s damning New Jersey Supreme Court ruling:

“Today’s ruling has me almost too disappointed to consider the terrible burdens our state’s High Court has just leveraged on the backs of New Jersey taxpayers in this and future generations.

“I wasn’t so naïve to think our state Supreme Court — especially given its recent-history of activist decisions to dramatically increase tax burdens — would rule today in the public’s interest instead of for the direct financial benefit of its justices and Superior Court judges. But this decision sinks the credibility of our High Court to an all-time low.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Statement by Senator Joe Pennacchio on FY 2013 Democratic Budget

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R- Morris), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on today’s passage of S-2013, the Democrat sponsored budget for Fiscal Year 2013:

Once again New Jersey Democrats have relegated taxpayers to “orphan” status. This budget recognizes the needs of many people who walk the halls of the State House, but not the taxpayers in Trenton.

No sooner had the Governor introduced his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year than the Democrats began attacking his revenue projections. We now know those protests to be empty, hollow arguments because those very same Democrats kept the Governor’s projections in their own budget bill so they could spend all the money- with the exception of funds earmarked for a tax cut.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Cross Section of Municipalities Endorse Pennacchio’s ‘Transparency in Government Act’

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State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic/Essex) released a list of New Jersey municipalities who have endorsed S-302. The “Transparency in Government Act” would expand on and codify the State public finance website which retains and displays data and information on annual revenues, expenditures and total bonded indebtedness.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Boxer’s Report on Colleges Shows Need for ‘Transparency in Government Act’

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, R-Essex, Morris, Passaic, renews his call for this legislature to pass the “Transparency in Government Act” to prevent abusive spending of public moneys by New Jersey’s community colleges, as detailed in state Comptroller Boxer’s report released Thursday.

“Comptroller Boxer has found deeply troubling levels of arbitrary, wasteful spending that New Jersey’s community colleges are getting away with,” Pennacchio said. “The ‘Transparency in Government Act’ would make community colleges and other entities own up to this abuse in the public eye and report spending to the state Treasurer, making people immediately aware of college presidents being reimbursed for country club memberships, spouse’s travel or $400 lobster dinners.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Steve Oroho

UI Solvency, Private Sector Job Growth Show New Jersey’s Economy on Right Track

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Following testimony from Labor Commissioner Harold Wirths before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, Senators Anthony Bucco, Kevin O’Toole, Steven Oroho, Joe Pennacchio, and Jennifer Beck remarked that the labor indicators presented to the committee show a marked turnaround for the state’s long term economic health.

Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris), Republican Budget Officer:

The Administration is to be applauded for putting the state’s unemployment insurance fund on the path to solvency more quickly than anyone expected. Through a combination of tax reforms, efficiencies, and aggressive prosecution of fraud and abuse, this Governor has fixed the mess he inherited as a result of years of diversions and fiscal irresponsibility by an unchecked Democratic Majority in Trenton.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Landmark Benefits Reforms Are Keeping Promise to Taxpayers

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, R-Essex, Morris, Passaic, responded to encouraging news about the state pension and health benefit systems shared by New Jersey Treasurer Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff at today’s Senate Budget & Appropriations hearing:

“This upswing for New Jersey’s pension and health benefit systems is exactly what I envisioned when sponsoring and urging the landmark pension and health benefits reform measure adopted last year.

“If not for bipartisan reforms, the state’s retirement and health care systems would be $20 billion further in the hole, because of the past two decades of financially destructive decisions by administrations and legislatures.

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