New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Republicans Urge Governor to Reject Backroom Deal on School Funding

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A letter signed by all sixteen members of the Senate Republican caucus was sent to Governor Chris Christie urging him to reject the school funding plan proposed by Democratic leadership, saying it does nothing to fix the systemic problems in New Jersey’s school funding formula. In the letter to the governor, the Republican senators said the deal between Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto was made without transparency and completely ignored months of work by the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness.

Senate Republicans asked Gov. Christie to reject backroom deal on school funding. (SenateNJ.com)

“This plan was negotiated in secret by the Democratic leadership and does nothing to fix the many problems inherent in our flawed school funding formula,” said Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Bergen, Passaic), Vice-Chair of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness. “Mr. Governor, please kill this backroom deal.”

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Senator Gerald Cardinale
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Passed: Cardinale/Pennacchio Bill to Shorten Lines at MVC Offices

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Expiration dates for vehicle registrations will be staggered based on an individual’s date of birth rather than all expiring at the end of the month

Legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic) and Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) to shorten lines at Motor Vehicle Commission offices was passed by the New Jersey Senate.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Gerald Cardinale and Sen. Joe Pennacchio to shorten lines at the NJ MVC was passed by the Senate. (Wikimedia)

“It doesn’t make sense to have everyone’s registration expire at the same time,” Senator Cardinale said. “By staggering expiration dates, we can cut down on congestion and increase efficiency at MVC offices.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls on Governor to Veto Democrats’ Backroom Education Deal

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Says Unsustainable Plan Fails Special Education Students

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), Vice-Chair of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness, blasted an unsustainable school funding scheme proposed by the Senate President and Assembly Speaker that fails to increase support for the state’s most vulnerable students. He called on Governor Christie to veto the plan if it passes the Legislature.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio blasted an unsustainable school funding scheme proposed by the Senate President and Assembly Speaker that fails to increase support for the state’s most vulnerable students. He called on Gov. Christie to veto the plan. (Flickr)

“I have said repeatedly that any school funding reform proposal must fully cover the cost of extraordinary special education for New Jersey’s most vulnerable students,” said Pennacchio. “Those children deserve our support wherever they live in New Jersey. The Sweeney/Prieto plan, however, ignores special education completely. I’m disappointed in what they proposed, it’s just not right. Governor Christie should veto this plan the second it hits his desk.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Applauds Comments by Budget Chairman on Special Education Funding

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), vice-chair of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness, applauded comments by the chairman of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee at today’s budget hearing that special education funding needs to be addressed as part of any school funding reforms:

Sen. Joe Pennacchio commended Senate Budget Committee Sarlo for stating that special education funding needs must be addressed in any school funding reforms. (SenateNJ.com)

“During our Select Committee meetings, I discussed the need for the State to assume some of the great cost associated with special education, which greatly impacts local budgets and property tax bills. Having the State fully fund extraordinary special education expenses and fund a greater portion of all special education costs is a critical component of the Senate Republican school funding reform proposal.

“I’m glad to hear that Chairman Sarlo has expressed support for reforming how we fund special education statewide, and I look forward to discussing this and other Senate Republican school funding proposals.”
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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Advanced: Pennacchio Bill to Study Use of Ethanol in Fuel

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Passaic, Morris) legislation to study the use of ethanol in gasoline and find out if it makes sense for New Jersey was advanced by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Pennacchio to study the use of ethanol in fuel was advanced by a Senate panel. (©iStock)

“With gas prices going through the roof, drivers want to know the fuel they’re putting in their cars is efficient,” Senator Pennacchio said. “There’s concern that putting ethanol in fuel might not be beneficial for cars with engines that weren’t specifically designed to handle it.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Assembly Transportation Committee Had Chances to Improve Rail System

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After a week of commuting troubles caused by a derailed train at Penn Station in New York, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) said he believes the issues related to New Jersey’s rail system and NJ Transit could have been addressed years ago if the Assembly Transportation Committee had advanced his legislation to create a rail study commission.

Following NJ Transit train derailments, Sen. Joe Pennacchio said he believes the Assembly could done more to solve the state’s rail problems. (SenateNJ.com)

“I’ve introduced a bill to create a rail study commission every session since 2010, and it’s passed the Senate three times,” said Senator Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee. “However, the bill has never been granted a hearing in the Assembly. Not once. Had the Assembly acted sooner, we might have had a chance to fix some of our commuter rail problems.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Jersey City Plan for Revenue Sharing with Schools Doesn’t Go Far Enough

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Following reports that Jersey City will now share a portion of its tax abatement revenue with its school district, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Passaic, Essex) said the plan is too little, too late.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio believes Jersey City should share more of its tax abatement revenue with its public school district. (SenateNJ.com)

“I and my Senate Republican colleagues have been pushing for PILOT money to go to local schools for years. We even included it our proposal for school funding reforms just last week,” said Senator Pennacchio, Vice-Chair of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness. “So, it’s great to see Mayor Fulop seriously consider our suggestion, but Jersey City owes it to its students to contribute more instead of leaving the rest of the state’s taxpayers stuck with the bill.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Chesimard Must Face Justice in the United States

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Following recent reports that New Jersey Congressmen Chris Smith and Albio Sires have begun a new effort to pass legislation that seeks the return of fugitives abroad, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Passaic, Morris, Essex) again called for the return of convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard from Cuba.

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)

“We must do everything we can to ensure Joanne Chesimard pays her debt to society,” Pennacchio. “She killed a state trooper in cold blood, but she’s spent more than 30 years living free in communist Cuba.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Mike Doherty
Senator Sam Thompson
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Republicans Propose School Funding Reforms to Improve Opportunities for Students, Provide Property Tax Relief for Families

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Proposals Eliminate Abuses, Establish More Equitable Funding for Overlooked Students in Underfunded Districts

In an effort to improve educational opportunities for New Jersey students and provide real property tax relief to overburdened families, New Jersey Senate Republicans released a series of school funding reform proposals as the starting point for discussions on the replacement of the state’s failed school funding system.

New Jersey Senate Republicans released a series of school funding reform proposals as the starting point for discussions on the replacement of the state’s failed school funding system. (©iStock)

“Senate Republicans want to fix the broken school funding formula that has failed too many students and devastated middle-class property taxpayers,” said Kean. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves to negotiate a funding formula that works, and we’re prepared to come to the table with detailed solutions that we believe will improve educational opportunities statewide and make New Jersey more affordable.”

During his Budget Message last month, Governor Christie challenged the legislative leaders of both parties to join with him to work on a new funding formula to replace the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA).

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Preventing Animal Cruelty Is Important, So Is Preventing Cruel Treatment of Unborn Children

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Calls for Legislature to Apply Same Compassion to People That’s Applied to Pets

With planned Senate action on yet another bill that would further bolster the state’s already extensive animal cruelty statutes, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) again blasted the Legislature’s continued inaction on legislation that would protect unborn children from the cruel and excruciating pain caused by abortion.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio speaking at a New Jersey State House press conference on S-2026, the NJ Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, on December 5, 2016. (SenateNJ.com)

“Preventing animal cruelty is important, but so is preventing the cruel treatment of unborn children,” said Pennacchio. “The Legislature’s continued inaction on S-2026 sends the message that we care more about animals than people. It’s time to re-balance our priorities, and we can start by passing the NJ Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

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