New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

  • Sen. Joe Pennacchio watches as Gov. Chris Christie signs his legislation at the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey headquarters in Trenton, N.J. on Jan. 4. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-26) speaking at a New Jersey State House press conference on S-2026, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” on December 5, 2016. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Joe Pennacchio received the “Alex DeCroce Public Leadership Award” at the Morris County Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon. (Full Story)

  • Sen. Joe Pennachcio joined Republican colleagues and state business leaders representing thousands of employers at a State House press conference on June 22, 2015 to oppose job-killing income and business tax increases proposed by Democrats. (Facebook)

  • Sen. Joe Pennacchio (right) presented the Morris County Distinguished Service WWII Medal to John Tullio (center), pictured with Fred Fucetola (left). (Facebook)

  • Sen. Joe Pennacchio speaking as a panelist with The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey at The State of Black New Jersey Conference on April 16, 2015. Also pictured are Asw. BettyLou DeCroce and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean. (Facebook)

  • Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) discussing bi-state DRPA reform legislation during a press conference with Pennsylvania officials in front of the Ben Franklin Bridge in Camden, NJ on April 24, 2014. (Press Release)

  • Senator Joe Pennacchio took the oath of office during the reorganization meeting of the 2014-2015 New Jersey Senate on January 14, 2014 to represent the people of the 26th Legislative District. (Facebook)

  • Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) addresses a speaker during a Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee public hearing on the fiscal year 2014 State Budget on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. (Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger)

  • Maritza B. Byrne was confirmed by the New Jersey Senate to be a Judge of the Superior Court on February 7, 2013. Byrne joined Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) on the floor of the Senate for her confirmation vote.

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Will Vote Remotely from Outside the Paramus Veterans Nursing Home for Thursday Committee

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Senator Decries Democrats’ Lockdown of State House

State Senator Joe Pennacchio is appealing to Democrat leadership to reconsider locking out legislators from the state complex if they fail to show “Covid Passports.”

Frustrated by the Democrats’ lockdown of the State House, Sen. Joe Pennacchio will vote remotely from outside the Paramus Veterans Home on Thursday. (SenateNJ.com)

“During this season of ‘good will,’ I am appealing to Democrat leaders to put aside their efforts of political brinkmanship and allow all legislators to perform their legal and constitutional obligations of serving the people we represent,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic).

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: What if Democrat Leadership Had Worked This Hard to Keep COVID Out of Nursing Homes?

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As Democrats in Trenton defend rigid COVID rules at the State House that could block some elected officials from participating in Thursday’s voting sessions, Senator Joe Pennacchio questioned why the same rigor wasn’t used to protect senior residents in nursing facilities from the virus.

As Democrats in Trenton defend rigid COVID rules at the State House that could block some elected officials from entering the building, Sen. Joe Pennacchio questioned why the same rigor wasn’t used to protect senior residents in nursing facilities from the virus. (Pixabay)

“The hypocrisy is obvious,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The Democrats are so concerned about stopping COVID at the door of the capitol. Where was that same urgency when the Governor’s Administration was forcing the virus into nursing homes at great cost and loss of life?”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Locking Legislators and the Public Out of the People’s House is Wrong

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Commission Decision Requiring Vaccine Passports for Voting Session Defies NJ Constitution

Legislators in Trenton are scheduled to vote on dozens of bills in the chambers of both houses on Thursday, but Senator Joe Pennacchio voiced concerns about a decision by the unelected members of the State Capital Joint Management Commission that could stand in the way.

Legislators in Trenton are scheduled to vote on dozens of bills in the chambers of both houses on Thursday, but Senator Joe Pennacchio voiced concerns about a decision by the unelected members of the State Capital Joint Management Commission that could stand in the way. (SenateNJ.com)

The commission’s decision reached last month requires anyone entering the State House to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test and could prevent some lawmakers from casting votes.

“This commission comprised of appointees, not elected representatives, is telling the Legislature and the public that they can’t enter the People’s House,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “This edict violates the State Constitution which protects the Legislature from outside interference. Rules that govern the Legislature should come from the Legislature itself, not an unelected body.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Michael Testa

Pennacchio & Testa: Murphy Administration’s Vaccine Mandates Ignore Science of Natural Immunity

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Senators Point to New Analysis in The Lancet, Say Governor Continues to Cherry Pick Science to Support Overbearing Executive Orders & Mandates

Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Michael Testa said Governor Phil Murphy continues to ignore the science of natural immunity and of COVID-19 in general as his administration forges ahead with vaccine mandates and continues unnecessary pandemic restrictions.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Michael Testa said Gov. Phil Murphy continues to ignore the science of natural immunity and of COVID-19 in general as his administration forges ahead with vaccine mandates and continues unnecessary pandemic restrictions. (©iStock)

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Murphy administration has cherry-picked the science on COVID-19 to impose overbearing executive orders and a slew of unnecessary mandates on New Jerseyans,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “We’re now dealing with Governor Murphy’s sweeping vaccine mandates on hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans that completely ignore the science of natural immunity, which we’re learning could result in a greater risk of adverse vaccine reactions for some who were already infected. It’s hard to trust the governor’s pandemic policies when he refuses to trust the science that should inform his decisions.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bills Would Shine Light on Education in Public Schools

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Require Increased Transparency So Parents Are No Longer Left in the Dark

Senator Joe Pennacchio sponsors two bills increasing transparency and making it easier for mothers and fathers to keep up with what’s happening in their children’s classrooms.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio sponsors two bills increasing transparency and making it easier for mothers and fathers to keep up with what’s happening in their children’s classrooms. (Pixabay)

Pennacchio’s legislation supports parents who, after closely observing their children through a year of remote learning and hearing about controversial issues being advanced by some school districts, are becoming more engaged than ever in the education process.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Introduces Bill Promoting Election Transparency and Integrity

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Legislation Requires Open-Source Paper Ballot Voting Systems

To restore the public’s confidence, Senator Joe Pennacchio introduced legislation that would increase the transparency and reliability of elections in the state.

To restore public confidence in elections, Sen. Joe Pennacchio introduced legislation that would require open-source paper ballot voting systems in New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)

“Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy. Recently, the public has begun questioning the accuracy and security of the election process,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “People have the right to demand elections that are fair and honest, and this bill would help restore faith in the process.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Michael Testa

Testa & Pennacchio Bill Would Keep Critical Race Theory Out of New Jersey Public Schools

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New Legislation Also Prohibits Public School Teachers from Engaging in Political, Ideological & Religious Advocacy in Classrooms

Senator Michael Testa and Senator Joe Pennacchio have introduced legislation that would prevent critical race theory (CRT) from being taught in New Jersey public schools. The bill would also prohibit public schools teachers from engaging in political, ideological, or religious advocacy in their classrooms.

Sen. Michael Testa and Sen. Joe Pennacchio have introduced legislation that would prevent critical race theory from being taught in New Jersey public schools. (©iStock)

“Critical race theory is a thinly-veiled effort to legitimize discrimination under the guise of an intellectual social theory,” said Testa (R-1). “Our legislation ensures that New Jersey’s public schools will not teach students that it’s okay to judge others or themselves or to treat people differently based on broad stereotypes that some inappropriately ascribe to an entire race or gender. We believe every person deserves to be treated as an individual.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill to Help Towns Manage Successful Property Assessment Appeals Clears Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio that would ease the burden on municipalities faced with refunding excess property taxes was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio that would ease the burden on municipalities faced with refunding excess property taxes was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. (Pixabay)

Pennacchio’s bill, S-926, permits towns to issue a property tax credit to homeowners who successfully appeal their assessments rather than issuing cash payments that can create financial pressures on cash-strapped towns.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

After Court Overturns School Mask Rule in PA, Pennacchio Says NJ Should Be Next

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Says Masking Decisions Should Be Made by Parents, Not Government

After a court struck down Governor Tom Wolf’s school mask mandate in Pennsylvania today, Senator Joe Pennacchio urged Governor Phil Murphy to lift his mask orders for New Jersey’s schools and children.

After a court struck down Gov. Tom Wolf’s school mask mandate in Pennsylvania, Sen. Joe Pennacchio urged Gov. Phil Murphy to lift his mask order for New Jersey’s schools and children. (©iStock)

“I think Pennsylvania courts made the right decision in striking down the Wolf administration’s school mask mandate after taking the time to conduct a thorough legal review,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Hopefully the Pennsylvania ruling will put more scrutiny on Governor Murphy’s mask mandates here in New Jersey and lead to their repeal. We believe masking decisions should be made by parents, not government.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Michael Testa

Pennacchio/Testa Bill Will Recognize Natural Immunity as Satisfying COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

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Legislation Will Protect Rights of 1.2 Million New Jerseyans Who Have Recovered from Coronavirus

Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Michael Testa have introduced legislation that could allow a person’s naturally developed immunity resulting from a prior COVID-19 infection to satisfy vaccination requirements imposed on workplaces, schools, or any other entity in the state.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Michael Testa have introduced legislation that could allow a person’s naturally developed immunity resulting from a prior COVID-19 infection to satisfy vaccination requirements imposed on workplaces, schools, or any other entity in the state. (SenateNJ.com)

“We don’t think anyone should be discriminated against due to their vaccination status, personal health decisions, or desire for medical privacy,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “However, to the extent that Governor Murphy and others have imposed burdensome vaccine mandates already, we believe those requirements should be based on science and recognize the significant protection and natural immunity that results from a person’s prior COVID-19 infection.”

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