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: NJ Legislature Should be Embarrassed by Massachusetts Investigation into Deaths in Senior Facilities

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Says the Loss of Life at Veterans’ and Nursing Homes Demands Inquiry

The coronavirus pandemic began hitting New Jersey and Massachusetts at close to the same time, and it wasn’t long before both states were seeing a disturbing loss of life in veterans’ homes and nursing homes.

Senator Pennacchio said Massachusetts nursing home investigation demonstrates need for the Senate to convene a Legislative panel in New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)

A half year later, Massachusetts has completed an inquiry into the problems that led to tragedy, and a grand jury has indicted several top officials from a particularly hard-hit veterans facilities.

“Massachusetts took the bull by the horns,” said Senator Joe Pennacchio, who has been calling for a Senate Select Committee to investigate the state’s handling of COVID in long-term care facilities since May. “I take no pleasure in hearing that anybody has been criminally indicted, but I am trying to get at the truth and I can’t understand why our Legislature is sitting on its hands.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Michael Testa

Senate Passes Pennacchio & Testa Bill Bolstering Access to Government Records

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The Bipartisan Measure Addresses Limits in the Emergency Health and Powers Act that Interfere with Transparency 

Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Michael Testa that would lift restrictions on access to public and government records during declared emergencies was approved today by the Senate.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Pennacchio and Senator Testa that would lift restrictions on access to public and government records during declared emergencies was approved today by the Senate. (SenateNJ.com)

During the current pandemic, the Murphy Administration has repeatedly relied on sections of the Health Powers Act, enacted in 2005, to deny Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests for information about preparations and decisions relating to the virus outbreak.

“The Act was never intended to keep the public in the dark in times of crisis,” said Pennacchio (R-26), “but today it is being used to conceal data and information on decisions impacting public health and fiscal stability from public and legislative scrutiny.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls on Health Commissioner to Approve Rapid Results COVID Test to Protect Nursing Homes from Virus

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Says State Department of Health Not Serving Governor Well

An affordable COVID test that produces results in minutes is available, and according to a published report, nursing homes would like to use it to test people coming into the facilities. Administrators, however, say the state will not allow it.

Senator Pennacchio said nursing homes should be allowed to use an affordable COVID rapid response test to screen nursing home visitors and protect vulnerable residents. (Flickr)

“It’s frustrating,” said Senator Joe Pennacchio, an out-spoken critic of the Murphy Administration’s nursing home policies that contributed to the loss of more than 7,000 senior residents of long-term care locations. “The state is concerned about the accuracy of these tests, but this could have implications for the entire state if it turns out to be reliable.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Senate Republicans Launch Online Petition Urging Bipartisan Investigation of 7,000+ Deaths at Nursing & Veterans Homes, LTC Facilities

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Special Investigative Committee Would Hold Those Responsible Accountable, Develop Effective Reforms, Keep Resident Safe

Senate Republicans launched an online petition to enlist the public’s support to convince legislative leaders to allow a special bipartisan committee with subpoena power to investigate the massive loss of life in New Jersey’s nursing homes, veterans homes, and long-term care (LTC) facilities due to COVID-19.

The online petition can be signed at https://www.senatenj.com/petitions/nursinghomes/.

Senate Republicans launched an online petition to convince legislative leaders to allow a special bipartisan committee with subpoena power to investigate the massive loss of life in New Jersey’s nursing homes, veterans homes, and long-term care facilities due to COVID-19. (Flickr)

“Since May, Senate Republicans have called for a thorough, bipartisan, and transparent investigation into the massive loss of life at our long-term care facilities,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21). “We believe the families and loved ones of victims deserve to hear the truth and to know that those responsible will be held accountable. Current residents deserve to know that the failures that led to thousands of deaths have been thoroughly investigated and understood, and that effective reforms have been developed and implemented to keep them safe. Unfortunately, our repeated calls for the Legislature to form a special committee with subpoena power to perform this legitimate oversight of the executive branch have been ignored. Our online petition will give the public the opportunity to send the message that the Legislature shouldn’t shirk its responsibility to protect New Jerseyans.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Committee Clears Pennacchio Bill Supporting Multigenerational Households

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Creates Commission to Study Options to Long-Term Nursing Facilities

Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio to make it easier for senior citizens to live with family members and avoid moving to long-term care facilities was approved by the Senate Community & Urban Affairs Committee today.

Senator Pennacchio’s legislation to make it easier for senior citizens to live with family members and avoid moving to long-term care facilities cleared the Senate Community & Urban Affairs Committee today. (Pixabay)

Pennacchio’s bill, S-2727, would establish the Multigenerational Family Housing Continuity Commission to research, solicit and consider public input, and adopt recommendations on how to most effectively advance the goal of enhancing multigenerational family housing opportunities.

“The commission will consider the merits of more sensible rules that could strengthen families and communities. They will determine strategies to encourage local officials to work with families to keep them together, not split them apart,” said Pennacchio.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Murphy Continues to Obscure Truth About Nursing Home Tragedies

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Legislative Investigation Necessary to Uncover Systemic Problems that Put Lives at Risk and Rob Residents of Dignity

Senator Joe Pennacchio called the four nursing home bills signed Wednesday by Governor Murphy “a legislative distraction that fails to address the root causes of failings that accounted for more than 7,000 deaths in nursing homes.”

Senator Pennacchio called the four nursing home bills signed Wednesday by Gov. Murphy ‘a legislative distraction that fails to address the root causes of failings that accounted for more than 7,000 deaths in nursing homes.’ (Flickr)

“The Governor continues to whitewash the systemic problems that plague facilities,” said Pennacchio. “State government policies led to the deaths of one of every 10 residents in nursing homes, and Murphy refuses to defend those decisions.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill Powering Electric Vehicles Clears Committee

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The Senate Environment and Energy Committee today advanced Senator Joe Pennacchio’s legislation that would expand access to charging stations for drivers of electric vehicles.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Pennacchio that would encourage gasoline stations to add electric vehicle charging stations was advanced by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. (Wikimedia Commons)

Pennacchio’s bill (S-938) streamlines the approval process for installing recharge portals at gasoline service stations, making it more convenient for drivers to plug in and “fill up” their batteries.

“The number of electric vehicles on New Jersey roads is growing, and the trend will only increase in the future,” said Pennacchio. “This bill would help the availability of charging locations keep pace with the expanding usage of zero-emission transportation.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Voter Registration Kiosk Inside Emergency Room is Insane

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Says Murphy is Ignoring Logic and Common Sense, and Citizens Should be Allowed to Vote in Person

A recent tweet on Governor Murphy’s official Twitter account promoted in-person voter registration available inside hospital emergency rooms.

Senator Joe Pennacchio called kiosks in hospital emergency rooms to register voters ‘insanity’ and renewed calls for Murphy to allow in-person voting in New Jersey. (Gov. Murphy via Twitter)

“In emergency rooms full of sick patients, the Governor somehow thinks it’s a good idea to urge people to take the time to register to vote, yet he is preventing New Jersey citizens from exercising their constitutional right to vote in a booth in a municipal building,” said Pennacchio. “E.R. waiting rooms are breeding grounds for pathogens and the spread of infection. The insanity of this is shocking. You can’t make this stuff up.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: $21.8 Million Dollar Taxpayer Gift to Netflix Wrong

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Netflix Should Be Condemned for Child Exploitation, Not Rewarded

Last week, Netflix was approved for $21.8 million in corporate incentives under New Jersey’s film tax credit program. The funding was approved by the Economic Development Authority for the production of “Army of the Dead,” an upcoming zombie movie being shot in Atlantic City.

Senator Pennacchio said New Jersey’s film tax credit program needs to go, and the award of $21.8 million to Netflix as the company released ‘Cuties’ to American audiences proves the point. (Wikimedia Commons)

Senator Joe Pennacchio, an outspoken critic of New Jersey’s film tax credit, was particularly upset at the award coming off the recent release of the Netflix movie, “Cuties.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Governor’s Criticism of President is Hollow Attempt to Rewrite History

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New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio today challenged Governor Murphy’s recent criticism of President Trump as an effort to obscure his own costly errors dealing with the coronavirus.

Senator Pennacchio said Governor Murphy’s criticism of the President is an attempt to avoid responsibility for his own mistakes and failed policies during the pandemic. (Pixabay)

“The Governor said he would have been more aggressive if Trump had been more forthcoming on COVID information,” said Pennacchio. “Murphy is one of only five governors in the nation that forced nursing homes to accept COVID patients, exposing healthcare workers and vulnerable residents to infection. He wants to make the President his scapegoat for his own mistakes.”

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