New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Pennacchio Looks for Efficiency in Rail Lines

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State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Passaic), a member of the Senate Budget and appropriations Committee, has asked the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) to investigate how national efforts of regionalizing rail services could apply to New Jersey and New York rail lines. In light of a recent article in The Record which describes a potential $5 billion cost over run on the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) rail tunnel, the Senator wants to make sure that New Jersey utilizes every avenue of efficiency and cost savings prior to building the ARC Tunnel. Recently, Governor Christie has put a 30 day moratorium on the project to study the cost overruns.

“AMTRAK has recently announced the construction of an additional rail tunnel under the Hudson,” Pennacchio stated. “Who is coordinating the rail transportation efforts? It makes no sense to have two redundant tunnels one built by ARC and another built by AMTRAK. It is quite possible, even probable that turf battles with different bureaucracies running the rail lines, AMTRAK, LIRR, PATH and New Jersey Transit contribute to inefficiencies and redundant services ramping up the high cost of rail transportation.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Lautenberg & Menendez MIA in “Race to the Top” Question

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the silence of New Jersey’s two United States Senators and yesterday’s “Race to the Top” announcement:

“New Jersey already receives far less money from the federal government than it sends to Washington in taxes, less than any other state in the Union. So I guess the finger pointing by Senator Lautenberg is not surprising. He should want to obfuscate his abysmal record. I would hope in the future, New Jersey’s two U.S. Senators would concentrate more on making their home state more affordable than toeing the party line in Washington D.C.

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

Republican Legislators Unanimously Oppose Effort to Increase Local Borrowing

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Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee unanimously opposed legislation (Senate Bill No. 2209) advanced by Senate Democrats today that allows local governments to borrow for things that must now be paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis. The legislation allows local governments to skip a required 5% down payment on capital project costs and borrow 100% of project costs instead. The bill will saddle property taxpayers with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional underwriting fees and interest payments to Wall Street.

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

Republicans Call on Democrats to Approve Property Tax Cap Now

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Today the five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee called on Democrats to concur with Governor Christie’s conditional veto of S-29, a statutory cap on property taxes. His conditional veto would impose a hard cap on property taxes and give voters a say in taxes.

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

Budget Committee Members: Library Funding Restored in FY 2011 Budget

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$4.3 Million Returned to 304 State Libraries

Five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee announced today that $4.3 million in funding for public libraries has been restored in next year’s state budget:

“No one denies that this year’s state budget is the most challenging budget in living memory. Of the many necessary savings that were made this year, cutting libraries has been one of the most problematic and difficult,” the members stated.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio’s “Transparency in Government Act” Clears Senate

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris) that would create a user friendly, easy to navigate web site that would allow taxpayers to see how their money is being spent, passed the Senate today.

“I am very grateful for the support of Governor Christie, Senate President Sweeney, Senator Tom Kean and Senator Codey,” Pennacchio stated. “I am hopeful that the General Assembly acts quickly on this measure so that it can be signed into law before the summer recess.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Testimony Raises Questions About the Value of Any Income Tax Increase

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Was New Jersey’s Tax Increase New York’s Gain?

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding OLS Budget and Finance Director David Rosen’s testimony regarding the benefit to New Jersey from Jon Corzine’s temporary income tax hike.

“Last year then-Governor Jon Corzine imposed an income tax surcharge on New Jersey residents. The Division of Taxation estimated $300 million of the Corzine tax increase would be offset by credits to New Jerseyans who work in New York. Unfortunately, it seems that the estimate could be off by as much as $200 million under a theory suggested by OLS at today’s budget hearing. What sense does it make for New Jersey to increase taxes by $900 million only to lose a significant portion, if not a majority of it, to a neighboring state?

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: UI Fund Needs Long Term Reform Not Short Term Fix

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Legislation Just Delays the Problem Another Year

Senator Joe Pennacchio, the senior Republican member of the Senate Labor Committee, issued the following comments regarding the passage of legislation that will merely delay the returning solvency for another year.

“The state UI Fund is drowning in red ink. To date we have already borrowed $1.6 billion in order to meet our current obligations to those who are out of work.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

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

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Legislation Includes All Levels of Government

Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris) that would create a user-friendly and easy to navigate web site that would allow taxpayers to see how their money is being spent, unanimously passed the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today.

“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 Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Bucco/Pennacchio Bill to Require Helmets on Ski Slopes Clears Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Joe Pennacchio that would require skiers under the age of 18 to wear helmets on the slopes unanimously passed the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee today.

“Skiing is an inherently dangerous sport,” Bucco stated. “It is necessary to mandate the use of helmets on the slopes by young people because of their relative lack of experience and the high speeds involved.”

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