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 Calls for More Robust Power Grid, Stronger Leadership to Prevent Mass Outages After Storms

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More than three days after Tropical Storm Isaias crossed the state Tuesday, more than 60,000 families in Morris County are still without power today.

Senator Pennacchio called for legislative action on his Reliability, Preparedness, and Storm Response Act bill and urged utility company leadership to step up efforts to prevent repeated storm-related power outages. (SenateNJ.com)

“It’s frustrating for everyone. If you are without lights, refrigeration and air conditioning or fans, every passing hour is excruciating,” said Senator Joe Pennacchio. “We all appreciate the work of the linemen who are working around the clock to restore power. We’ve had a good relationship with the regional liaisons who have been responsible and helpful, but utility company leadership needs to have a better plan. New Jersey’s utilities must be more proactive to prevent massive outages and strengthen the grid State residents depend on.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: In the Face of COVID, Doctors Must Be Unshackled and Allowed to Treat with HCQ

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Coronavirus numbers are on the increase across the United States, and so is the debate about hydroxychloroquine as a treatment and preventative. Senator Joe Pennacchio today said the politically fueled controversy is interfering with doctors who are scrambling to save lives.

Citing a series of credible medial studies and reports, Senator Pennacchio renewed his call for the Murphy Administration to allow doctors to prescribe HCQ to protect patients from COVID-19. (©iStock)

“Across the nation, the politicization of medicine has made hydroxychloroquine a cause célèbre,” said Pennacchio. “Here, in New Jersey, we should be above that. Our priority must be on saving lives and keeping residents healthy. We can’t allow petty partisanship to obstruct sensible medical protocol and solid science.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Governor Must Address Special Needs Students’ Education Immediately

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When Special Ed Students Fall Behind, ‘Catching Up’ is Very Difficult

Senator Joe Pennacchio today voiced his concern that the state’s special education students are being forgotten as plans for the re-opening of schools in September continue to evolve.

Senator Pennacchio expressed concerns that the needs of special education students may not be getting the attention they deserve as plans are finalized for the opening of schools. (Pixabay)

“Going back to school is a dynamic situation right now, and specifics are changing every day,” said Pennacchio. “What about the plans for special education students? These students face unique challenges and the Department of Education and school districts must make it a priority to ensure their needs are met and the quality of special education exceeds the standards.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kristin Corrado

Bucco, Corrado & Pennacchio: Murphy’s Nursing Home, Unemployment & MVC Failures Must Be Probed by Senate

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Call for Democrats to Stop Delaying Formation of Special Investigative Committee

Senator Anthony M. Bucco, Senator Kristin Corrado, and Senator Joe Pennacchio said the Murphy Administration’s massive failures in protecting nursing homes, processing unemployment claims, and reopening Motor Vehicle Commission agencies must be investigated by the Legislature to ensure that fixes can be implemented as quickly as possible.

Senators Bucco, Corrado, and Pennacchio said the Murphy Administration’s massive failures in protecting nursing homes, processing unemployment claims, and reopening MVC agencies must be investigated by the Legislature to ensure that fixes can be implemented as quickly as possible. (SenateNJ.com)

“It’s clear to everyone in New Jersey that the Murphy Administration has failed to properly protect nursing home residents, help unemployed workers, or plan for the MVC’s reopening,” said Bucco (R-25). “What’s not clear, however, is why the governor didn’t listen to the warnings raised by so many people or why he continues to refuse to enact the common-sense solutions we’ve proposed. It’s also not clear why Senate Democrats continue to delay the bipartisan investigation we were promised to help guide our efforts to fix lingering problems and prevent a recurrence of these critical failures.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio/Gopal Measure to Create Permanent Veteran Commission and Military Post-Deployment Task Force Passes Senate

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Vin Gopal that would establish a permanent commission to study the various definitions of veterans and a task force to analyze issues facing returning members of the United States military has unanimously passed the Senate.

Sens. Joe Pennacchio and Vin Gopal’s bill that would establish a commission to study the various definitions of veterans and a task force to analyze issues facing returning members of the military has passed the Senate. (©iStock)

“Unfortunately, there’s so much confusion and ambiguity about the definition and classification of veterans regarding, where they served and how they served. As a result some may qualify for one program but not another,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Establishing a standardized definition of ‘veteran’ will provide clarity and ensure New Jersey can deliver more opportunities and benefits to those who served our country at home and abroad.

“Both the task force and commission will shed light on indispensable insights and actionable recommendations so our State can better support our brave armed service members, and veterans can receive the benefits they rightfully deserve,” Pennacchio said.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio’s Attempt to Open Restaurants for Indoor Dining Flagged by Senate Democrats

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Frustrated by the Governor’s refusal to loosen restrictions on restaurants for indoor dining, Senator Joe Pennacchio today proposed legislative action to address the stalemate that is suffocating the state economy.

Senator Pennacchio’s attempt to gain Senate support for opening New Jersey restaurants for indoor dining was blocked by the Democrats. (Pixabay)

Pennacchio implored the Senate to adopt an amendment to S-766 to allow restaurants to follow appropriate precautions and open their doors to indoor customers immediately.

The Democrat majority instantly moved to block the effort, and as a result, restaurants remain off-limits indefinitely, subject to the Governor’s impulse.

“Arbitrary rules are destroying an entire industry. This was an opportunity for the Legislature to become directly involved in pandemic public policy but the Democrats passed,” said a disappointed Senator Pennacchio. “They chose politics over the best interests of New Jersey’s crucial hospitality industry and the hundreds of thousands of residents who depend on it for their livelihoods.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill to Abolish ‘Freeholder’ Title Clears Senate

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Almost 10 years ago, Senator Joe Pennacchio first introduced legislation that would eliminate the “Freeholder” title in New Jersey county governments. Today the bill was passed by the Senate.

Senator Pennacchio’s bill that would eliminate the ‘freeholder’ title in New Jersey county governments was approved by the Senate. (Wikimedia)

“As a former freeholder, I am well aware that most people don’t know what the title means or what a freeholder does, and I spent so much time explaining the definition of freeholder,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “People need to understand the responsibilities and importance of the boards that lead county government. It was obvious it was time for a change.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill Encourages Multigenerational Households

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Creates Commission to Study Options to Long-Term Nursing Facilities

Senator Joe Pennacchio today introduced legislation that will make it easier for extended families to reside together will multiple generations under one roof.

Legislation introduced by Senator Pennacchio would make it easier for multiple generations of the same family to reside under one roof. (©iStock)

“Families should have options to nursing homes,” said Pennacchio. “I have complained about the deplorable nightmare that is occurring in our senior facilities, and called for a Senate investigation into the issues that contributed to the loss of lives. At the same time, we must now seek solutions so it doesn’t happen again.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio on Nursing Home Tragedies: Nothing Will Change Without a Legislative Review of Policies and Procedures

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Says Silence is Deafening, Calls for Immediate Legislative Action

When jetliners full of passengers crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and collapsed them onto crowded Manhattan streets on September 11, 2001, 2,606 people were lost. Other terrorist hijackings the same morning elevated the death toll to 2,996.

Almost 7,000 New Jersey senior citizens in nursing homes died from COVID-19 and Senator Pennacchio warned a recurrence is likely if the Legislature doesn’t conduct a thorough investigation into the Administration’s pandemic response. (Pixabay)

When the deadly coronavirus rampaged through New Jersey nursing homes in the spring of 2020, the loss of life eclipsed 6,800.

The contrast is striking, Senator Joe Pennacchio said today.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Kristin Corrado
Senator Michael Testa
Senator Steve Oroho
Senator Tom Kean

Republican Senators: Senate Must Act Now to Investigate Deadly Pandemic Mistakes

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Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, joined by Republican Senators Joe Pennacchio, Anthony M. Bucco, Steve Oroho, Kristin Corrado and Michael Testa, issued the following statement in response to coverage in The Star-Ledger questioning why the Legislature has failed to act on important hearings to investigate the State’s pandemic preparedness.

Senator Tom Kean and Senate Republicans today called for a Senate Select Committee to immediately begin investigating the Administration’s response to COVID-19. (SenateNJ.com)

“The hearings we called for more than two months ago aren’t happening, and we’re all angry and frustrated. Mistakes were made that cost thousands of people their lives in nursing homes, and we recognize the crucial need to understand what led to the mistakes. Delays and foot-dragging are costing us time we cannot afford to lose.

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