New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Offers Legislation to Rescue Unemployment Insurance Fund

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The following is an editorial by Senator Joe Pennacchio of New Jersey’s 26th legislative district:

Since I entered the State Legislature in 2001, I have consistently voted against raiding our state’s Unemployment Insurance Fund. I argued that those raids would cause deficiencies in the fund during periods of recession when they would be needed the most. Unfortunately, I was right.

New Jersey has had to borrow money from the Federal Government just to meet current benefit obligations. We currently owe $1.4 billion. Some would say that the answer to our current deficit is to borrow more and increase taxes. This approach is irresponsible and would just postpone and prolong the problem leading to a debt of more than $4 billion in just one year, and would postpone the fund’s solvency until 2019.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Introduces Legislation to Ensure Stability of UI Fund

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, introduced legislation today that would revise the statutes and regulations governing the state’s unemployment insurance fund to make it more stable.

“Today the State of New Jersey has borrowed more than $1.2 billion to keep our Unemployment Insurance fund solvent,” Pennacchio stated. “The state is in this predicament because over the past eight years levies paid by employees and employers to support the fund have been consistently diverted to pay the state’s general operating expenses. I fought these diversions at the time but now the UI fund has become dangerously depleted and corrective measures must be taken.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio’s Expanded “Transparency in Government Act” Clears Senate Committee

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Amended Legislation Will Include All Levels of Government

Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) that would create a user friendly easy to navigate web site that would allow taxpayers to see how their money is being spent, unanimously passed the Senate State Government Committee today. The bill was amended to include all levels of government in New Jersey.

“I am very grateful that one of Chris Christie’s first official acts as Governor was to issue an executive order bringing greater openness and accountability to state spending,” Pennacchio stated. “It is now time to codify this executive order and make it an official law.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Appears on WMBC-TV’s Hometown to Talk About the NJ Budget, Property Taxes and Healthcare

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) recently appeared on Hometown on WMBC-TV with host Matt Fitzpatrick to discuss a variety of New Jersey issues, including the state budget, property taxes and healthcare.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Hopeful “Transparency in Government Act” Will Soon Become Law

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Legislation Would Make Permanent Executive Order Signed by Governor Christie

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) expressed his optimism today that his Transparency in Government Act would soon become law. The bill is posted for a vote this Monday in the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and historic Preservation Committee, in which Senator Pennacchio plans on testifying.

“I am very grateful that one of Chris Christie’s first official acts as Governor was to issue an executive order bringing greater openness and accountability to state spending, ” Pennacchio stated. “It is now time to codify this executive order and make it an official law.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Pennacchio Continues to Be Recognized as a Strong Taxpayer Advocate

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Americans for Prosperity has given their coveted “A” rating to Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic).

The rating, based on a score card for the 2008-2009 Legislative Session, recognizes Senator Pennacchio for his efforts on behalf of New Jersey taxpayers.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Tom Kean

Pennacchio & Kean Congratulate Governor Christie for Making Transparency in Government a Priority

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Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean congratulated Governor Christie for making the Transparency in Government Act among his first Executive Orders. The Executive Order, which has the force of law, will create a searchable, easy-to-use Web site that taxpayers can use to track government spending.

“It’s been more than a year since I introduced this vitally needed legislation, yet without a full court press from former Corzine Administration, it failed to pass during the last session,” Pennacchio stated. “Today with the stroke of his pen Governor Christie made transparency in government the order of the day.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Says Corzine ‘Transparency’ Site Very Weak, Even for a First Effort

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) said he is “beyond frustrated” that Governor Corzine’s ‘transparency’ website isn’t user friendly for taxpayers.

“The site provides only the vaguest information on how government money is spent, and nothing on who gets the taxes and fees collected from state residents,” Pennacchio said. “It also does nothing to help taxpayers track how billions of dollars of federal aid are spent by state and local governments, who gets billions of dollars in aid to schools and municipalities, or how hundreds of millions of dollars in tolls and fees collected by sports, highway, port and bridge authorities are doled out.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Tom Kean

Pennacchio, Kean Urge Governor Corzine to Speak Up for Transparency in Government

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, prime sponsor of the Transparency in Government Act, and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean urged Governor Jon Corzine to use all his influence to help win passage of the Transparency in Government Act during the lame-duck session. This bill, which is also sponsored by Senate President Richard Codey, will create a searchable, easy-to-use Web site that taxpayers can use to track government spending. Governor Corzine has said in the past that he supports this bill, which cleared the Senate State Government Committee today.

“It’s been more than a year since I introduced this vitally needed legislation, yet without a full court press from Democrat leaders, its passage is far from assured during this session,” Pennacchio said. “Governor Corzine needs to use all his influence to help push this through a Legislature controlled by his party.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Thanks Franklin Templeton for Listening, Giving Parents a Break

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Senator Joe Pennacchio congratulated Franklin Templeton Investments on its announcement of a more than 50 percent reduction in fees to parents who invest in the NJBest college savings plan. Franklin Templeton manages the state plan.

In April, Senator Pennacchio was the first state legislator to call attention, through news releases and with questioning during Senate hearings, to a Morningstar report that ranked NJBest as one of the five worst 529 college savings plans in the nation. Morningstar said the fund had high fees and overly risky investment choices. Senator Pennacchio’s crusade for working parents included meeting with Franklin Templeton representatives, who promised him they would come up with a better plan and institute it as soon as it could get it through the state bureaucracy.

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