New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill to Stop Corruption on the State Investment Council Passes Senate Panel

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passiac) that forbids State Investment Council members from voting on investments that present a financial or familial conflict of interest passed the Senate State Government, Wagering Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s bill would forbid members of the State Investment Council from voting on matters that present a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest on the council regarding Lehman Brothers cost the state $115 million in 2008. (SenateNJ)

“In 2008, the State Investment Council invested in Lehman Brothers right before the firm went bankrupt,” Senator Pennacchio recalled. “The Lehman Brothers managers who sat on the council should have been forced to recuse themselves. Instead, they cost the pension system $115 million. This kind of blatant conflict of interest would not be tolerated under my legislation.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Renews Call for Racinos Following Defeat of North Jersey Casinos Measure

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Following the defeat of a ballot measure by New Jersey voters which would have allowed for the establishment of casinos in North Jersey, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) renewed his call for the limited expansion of gaming at horse racetracks in the state.

Senator Joe Pennacchio’s proposed constitutional amendment, SCR-16, would allow for slot wagering at New Jersey’s horse racing facilities. (Wikimedia Commons)

Pennachio’s proposed constitutional amendment, SCR-16, would permit slot machine gambling at those venues.

“I’ve said for a number of years that the establishment of North Jersey casinos would cannibalize the existing casino industry in Atlantic City, putting the struggling city in further financial jeopardy,” said Pennacchio. “The defeat of Public Question #1 was the public’s response. It’s time that the Legislature consider the establishment of racinos, as I have proposed, to bolster our casino industry, stabilize our pension systems, aid in the financial recovery of Atlantic City, and provide the support our horse racing industry needs to survive.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio-Turner Bill Mandating Criminal Background Checks for All Day Care Providers Clears Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senators Joe Pennacchio and Shirley Turner mandating state and federal criminal background checks for all current and prospective family day care providers has cleared the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Sens. Joe Pennacchio and Shirley Turner’s bill would correct a dangerous oversight in state law by mandating criminal background checks for all family day care employees. (SenateNJ)

“A child abuse record check is simply not sufficient enough to prevent dangerous criminals from putting our children at risk,” Senator Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) said. “It is unconscionable that family day cares are not held to the same ironclad safety standards as other facilities, simply because they serve a smaller number of children. They should be held to the same justifiable standard.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Demands DRPA Reform for South Jersey, PA Commuters

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Senator Joseph Pennacchio, (R-Morris, Passaic, Essex) a longtime advocate for reforming the Delaware River Port Authority, today renewed his call for the legislature to enact DRPA reform that will protect the thousands of commuters who utilize the DRPA every day.

Sen. Joseph Pennacchio said that South Jersey and Pennsylvania commuters shouldn’t have to wait any longer for DRPA reform (SenateNJ.com)

“It is completely unjust that 100 percent of Senate Democrats’ efforts to enact transparency reforms have been directed at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, while South Jersey commuters have been hung out to dry,” Senator Pennacchio said.

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

Pennacchio, Cardinale, Bucco, Doherty & Oroho Condemn Democrat Resolution Praising Planned Parenthood

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Senate Republicans Gerald Cardinale, Joseph Pennacchio, Steven Oroho, Michael Doherty, and Anthony Bucco issued the following joint statement on why they voted against a ceremonial resolution commemorating Planned Parenthood’s 100th Anniversary.

Sens. Cardinale, Pennacchio, Oroho, Doherty and Bucco voted against a ceremonial resolution commemorating Planned Parenthood’s 100th Anniversary.

“The members of this legislative body should not be bullied into collectively and unanimously supporting a ceremonial resolution that is so divisive.

“Surely, Senate Democrats knew that there were a number of staunch pro-life advocates in this house that could not in good conscience support an organization that performs abortions and illegally sells and transports human body parts, among other atrocities that violate the sanctity of human life.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Votes Against Gas Tax Hike

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Senator Joseph Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) issued the following statement on why he voted against hiking New Jersey’s gas tax.

Sen. Joseph Pennacchio voted against a gas tax increase that will drive residents out of state. (SenateNJ.com)

“Today I cast a vote against a $2 billion gas tax hike,” Senator Pennacchio said. “People are already leaving this state in droves because of our sky high property taxes. We are just creating another reason for people to flee New Jersey.”

“The Reason Foundation reports that the cost of operating, building and maintaining New Jersey’s state roads is three times the cost in the next highest state, Massachusetts, and 12 times the national average.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Urges Congress to Pass Bill Aimed at Tracking Fugitives Abroad, Bringing Them Home

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Passaic, Morris, Essex) plans to introduce a resolution calling for Congress to pass legislation aimed at tracking fugitives living abroad — like convicted cop-killer JoAnne Chesimard — and bringing them to justice.

Joanne Chesimard is wanted for escaping from prison in Clinton, New Jersey, while serving a life sentence for murdering a New Jersey State Trooper. She relocated to Cuba in 1984, where she is thought to still be living. (FBI)

“Chesimard is just one of many fugitives who have escaped the country and avoided justice overseas,” Senator Pennacchio said. “The people of the United States deserve to know exactly how the government is working to bring these criminals back to face the punishment they deserve.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: We Don’t Need a Commission to Fix Unfair School Funding Formula

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R- Passaic, Essex, Morris) issued the following statement about New Jersey’s School funding formula:

Sen. Joe Pennacchio called on the legislature to fix the state’s unfair school funding formula.

“Since entering the legislature in 2001, my and many of my colleagues’ overriding issue has been a fair distribution of the state’s portion of school funding. My children in my district are worth no less than any other child in New Jersey. I understand and accept that circumstances dictate additional aid for some school districts, mostly in our urban areas. I accept that. What I do not accept is a political education formula that is dictated more by a zip code and what legislative district a child lives in. This has allowed 22-percent of the state’s students in 31 districts to receive 60-percent of the state’s funds while the remaining 544 districts fight for scraps. It’s not fair and not acceptable.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Now Law: Pennacchio Bill Protecting NJ Transit Riders with Service Dogs from Discrimination

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Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) to prevent New Jersey Transit from denying a person with a service dog access to any vehicle.

Sen. Joseph Pennacchio’s anti-discrimination bill prevents NJ Transit from denying a person with a service dog access to any vehicle. (Flickr)

“We have a responsibility to remove any obstacle that could prevent people with service dogs from accessing public transportation,” Senator Pennacchio said. “This is a commonsense update to existing law that will ensure people with service animals have the same quality access to the buses and trains utilized by thousands of NJ Transit commuters every day.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senate Passes Bucco/Pennacchio Bill Expanding Access to Veteran ID Cards

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The New Jersey Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senators Anthony Bucco and Joseph Pennacchio allowing veterans to use alternative forms to apply for a county veteran identification card. The bill also expands access to members of the National Guard who have served outside of New Jersey.

Senators’ Anthony Bucco and Joseph Pennacchio’s bill simplifies the process of accessing a county veteran ID card; expands access for National Guard members.

“All veterans, including those who have served nationwide in the National Guard, should be able to easily access the benefits they have earned,” Senator Bucco (R-Morris) said. “Thousands have already gone through the process of receiving a veteran ID card from their county. Allowing service members to supply approved separation forms other than a DD-214 will encourage more veterans to participate in programs for the military throughout the state.”

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