New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Pennacchio’s 2022 Holiday Toy Drive Collecting Gifts for Children Through December 14

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) announced that his legislative office will again collect toy donations this holiday season to be shared with families in need. Donations of new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the Senator’s legislative office in Montville.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio announced that his legislative office will again collect toy donations this holiday season to be shared with families in need. (SenateNJ.com)

The Senator is looking to help individual families in need of toys. Please contact his office to discuss any specific needs.

A family looking for toys must contact Senator Pennacchio’s office to make an appointment for Thursday, December 15. Continue Reading…

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Urges Democrat Colleagues to Heed Calls for Legislative Investigation of Veterans Homes

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As a crucial federal agency began withholding payments to the troubled Menlo Park veterans home where almost 100 residents succumbed to COVID, Senator Joe Pennacchio today renewed calls on Senate Democrats to support a legislative investigation of state-run veterans homes.

As a crucial federal agency began withholding payments to the troubled Menlo Park veterans home where almost 100 residents succumbed to COVID, Sen. Joe Pennacchio renewed calls on Senate Democrats to support a legislative investigation of state-run veterans homes. (©iStock)

“My Democrat colleagues have consistently turned a blind eye to efforts to get to the bottom of issues that plagued our veterans homes and resulted in hundreds of unnecessary deaths since the start of the pandemic,” said Pennacchio (R-26), who has led the charge calling for a comprehensive legislative investigation since May 2020.

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Senator Declan O'Scanlon
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio/O’Scanlon Call on Legislature to Immediately Enact Sales Tax Moratorium on Natural Gas, Electricity for Homes

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Say State Unfairly Profits from High Cost of Home Heating

With the cost of heating homes with natural gas up by as much as 25 percent, Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Declan O’Scanlon have introduced legislation to prevent state revenue from benefiting at the expense of struggling families.

With the cost of heating homes with natural gas up by as much as 25 percent, Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Declan O’Scanlon have introduced legislation to prevent state revenue from benefiting at the expense of struggling families. (©iStock)

The Senators introduced legislation (S-3354) this week that would create a winter moratorium on sales tax on natural gas and electricity for residential customers.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Responds to Potential Loss of Federal Funding to State-run Veterans Homes

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Senator Joe Pennacchio responded to published reports that the New Jersey’s Veteran’s Memorial Home at Menlo Park may soon be blocked from Medicare and Medicaid programs for mismanagement and non-compliance with safety standards.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio voted remotely from outside the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home during a Senate session on December 9, 2021 to highlight inaction on a proposed investigation into Murphy administration pandemic failures that resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths in veterans homes and nursing homes. (SenateNJ.com)

“It’s clear that the Murphy administration is unwilling or unable to investigate itself or resolve the mismanagement at our State-run veterans homes that may soon result in the loss of federal funding in at least one facility,” said Pennacchio. “After hundreds of unnecessary deaths and tens of millions of dollars paid out in legal settlements, it’s shocking they don’t appear to have made any real progress in improving protections for veterans home residents.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Inspection Report Shows Murphy Administration Still Failing Veterans Home Residents

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Senator Joe Pennacchio said a new report shows the Murphy administration is still failing to protect residents of State-run veterans homes nearly three years after hundreds of residents died due to gross mismanagement at the start of the pandemic.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio voted remotely from outside the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home during a Senate session on December 9, 2021 to highlight inaction on a proposed investigation into Murphy administration pandemic failures that resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths in veterans homes and nursing homes. (SenateNJ.com)

“As we prepare to celebrate Veterans Day later this week, the new report is a sad reminder that the Murphy administration continues to fail in its duty to protect the residents of the Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “It’s shocking to hear that residents have been physically and verbally abused by their supposed caregivers. It’s also beyond belief that they still haven’t implemented effective infection control procedures after nearly 200 residents died in veterans homes at the start of the pandemic. Our veterans deserve so much better.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill Supporting the Development of Fusion Energy in NJ Advances

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio and passed today by the Senate Economic Growth Committee would establish the New Jersey Fusion Technology Industry Commission to focus on the development of the promising clean energy in the state.

A Senate Committee cleared Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s legislation that would establish the New Jersey Fusion Technology Industry Commission to focus on the development of the promising clean energy in the state. (SenateNJ.com)

“As advancements in research and technology make the reality of safe, clean, limitless and affordable fusion energy more likely, it becomes crucial for New Jersey to position itself as a major player in the field,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The 11-person commission launched by this bill will help New Jersey navigate the challenges and hurdles, and guide efforts to develop, perfect and promote fusion power.”

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Senator Edward Durr
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Panel Advances Pennacchio/Durr Bill Securing Access to Public Lakes for Recreational Fishermen

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Ed Durr that would preserve access to any state-owned lake that is open to boats with or without onboard motors was approved today by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Ed Durr that would preserve access to any state-owned lake that is open to boats was approved in committee. (Pixabay)

“There is growing concern about the lack of public boat launches,” noted Pennacchio (R-26). “New Jersey is home to public lakes that are open to bass boats and motorized vessels, but recreational boaters who don’t live on the lake or have private docks find it impossible to get into the water.”

The fees recreational fishermen in the state pay for freshwater fishing licenses helps fund the stocking of fish in public lakes.

“The absence of public launches in effect creates private lakes,” said Pennacchio. “The system isn’t doing its job. These waters are supported by fees intended for the benefit and enjoyment of the public who are prevented from getting their boats and lines in the lakes.”

Pennacchio and Durr’s bill, S-987, would direct the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to ensure public boat access to all state-owned lakes where boats are allowed.

The DEP would be required to construct boat ramps or enter long-term contracts for public launches at marinas or other private sites.

“Recreational fishing and boating are very popular in New Jersey, but residents are being denied entry to water that should be public,” said Durr (R-3). “We want to secure fair access to our freshwater resources and safeguard the important benefits to the State’s economy.”

Greenwood Lake is one significant body of water with no public boat access. The 7.5-mile-long lake, spanning the border of New York and New Jersey, is one of the state’s premiere freshwater fishing locations. Each year, it is stocked with thousands of fish.

In the past, recreational fishermen could pay to drop their boat in the water at private marinas, but the popularity of boating and fishing on the state’s lakes spiked in recent years, partly due to the pandemic. As marinas filled to capacity, they could no longer handle daily traffic.

“The public should be able to enjoy the same ease of access enjoyed by property owners and members of private marinas,” Pennacchio noted. “More than 1.2 million anglers fish the state’s waters each year, and two of every three boats registered in New Jersey are used for fishing. Incredibly, Greenwood Lake, the state’s second-largest lake, has no public access. This bill will fix that.”

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Unveils Plan to Ease Burden on NJ Families During Winter Heating Season

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Seeks Suspension of State Sales Tax on Home Heating Energy Sources

With long-term weather forecasts predicting a cold winter ahead and home energy costs escalating dramatically, Senator Joe Pennacchio is working to give New Jersey residents a break with a new bill that would suspend the state sales tax on gas and electricity to heat homes.

With the cost of home heating skyrocketing, Sen. Joe Pennacchio is working to give New Jersey residents a break with a new bill that would suspend the state sales tax on gas and electricity to heat homes. (©iStock)

“People are hurting financially, and with frigid weather right around the corner, families are worried about how they will be able to keep their homes warm,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Inflation remains out of control and shows no signs of slowing down, and higher prices for everything from food to clothing to transportation is eating into household budgets at a record pace.

“The big hit, however, will come when people turn on the heat and find out the cost of natural gas is up 25 percent across much of the state.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Blames Education Industry and the Administration’s Political Priorities for Falling College Admission Scores

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The impact of the pandemic on education is becoming clearer with news the average ACT test score sunk to its lowest point in 30 years, and Senator Joe Pennacchio today said botched government policy is largely to blame.

The impact of the pandemic on education is becoming clearer with news the average ACT test score sunk to its lowest point in 30 years, and Sen. Joe Pennacchio said botched government policy is largely to blame. (Pixabay)

“Like that, we wiped out three decades of hard work and improving performance,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Heavy-handed edicts from government and pressure from the educational industry is responsible for this troubling development, and it is likely scores will continue to slide in the future because remote learning and mask mandates may have a more serious impact on younger minds.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Blasts Teaneck Democrats for Anti-Hindu Resolution

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Senator Joe Pennacchio blasted the Teaneck Democratic Municipal Committee for its adoption of a resolution condemning and targeting major Hindu American organizations that it considers to be hate groups tied to “Hindu nationalism” in India.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio blasted Teaneck Democrats for the adoption of a resolution condemning and targeting major Hindu American organizations that it considers to be hate groups. “Regardless of the religion we choose to practice, we’re all Americans,” Pennacchio said. (Wikimedia Commons)

“It’s concerning that a Democratic political organization whose purpose is to elect its members to government office and to influence public policy would pass a resolution effectively condemning the entire Hindu religion,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “It’s extremely dangerous to target large segments of any ethnic group or religion for harassment using government resources. It was wrong when the entire Muslim community was profiled after 9/11 for the actions of a small number of extremists, and it’s just as wrong for all of our Hindu American neighbors to be treated this way today.”

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