New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill Expanding Veteran Benefits to Discharged National Guard Members Signed

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Legislation by Senator Joe Pennacchio making discharged members of the New Jersey National Guard eligible for county veterans’ benefits is now law.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s legislation making discharged members of the New Jersey National Guard eligible for county veterans’ benefits is now law. (Flickr)

Pennacchio’s measure, S-2538, allows former Guard members discharged with an NGB-22 to access veterans’ benefits, including a county veteran identification card and a “veteran” designation on their driver’s license. Previously, a DD-214 form from the military was required.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Murphy’s Frivolous SALT Lawsuit Is a Waste of Taxpayer Dollars

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Senator Joe Pennacchio criticized Governor Murphy’s lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service, claiming it is a waste of state resources and taxpayer money.

Sen.Joe Pennacchio criticized Gov. Murphy’s lawsuit against the IRS, claiming it is a waste of state resources and taxpayer money. (Flickr)

“The Murphy Administration is lawsuit happy,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The Governor should not be using New Jersey taxpayer dollars to play politics. Rather than fighting with the federal government, I urge Governor Murphy to focus on genuine and immediate tax solutions that we have the power as state lawmakers to advance.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls for Immediate Legislative Action on Greenwood Lake Fund

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Second Largest Recreational Lake Shutting Down Due to Toxic Algae Bloom

In light of news that Greenwood Lake will close due to a toxic algae bloom, Senator Joe Pennacchio called for the State Assembly to immediately vote on his legislation that would create and annually dedicate half-a-million dollars to the New Jersey Greenwood Lake Fund.

In light of news that Greenwood Lake will close due to a toxic algae bloom, Sen. Joe Pennacchio has called on the Assembly to vote on his bill that would establish the “NJ Greenwood Lake Fund.” (GoogleMaps)

“New Jersey is in the midst of a water crisis – toxic algae is spreading across our freshwater lakes at an alarming rate,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The expense of protecting Greenwood Lake shouldn’t fall on the backs of the local residents and business owners in West Milford alone. The State of New Jersey must prioritize funding to safeguard one of Passaic County’s most popular and scenic waterways.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Pushes State to Fully Support Our Most Vulnerable Students

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Calls for Legislative Action this Fall

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) has introduced legislation to strengthen State support for special education students throughout New Jersey.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio has introduced legislation to strengthen State support for special education students throughout New Jersey. (Flickr)

“School districts shouldn’t have to choose between funding special education programs or providing services to other students,” Pennacchio said. “With extraordinary special education costing enormous amount of dollars, we must ensure every child has an equal educational opportunity without negatively impacting a school’s budget. My proposal would make certain that our most vulnerable students, regardless of their zip code, are provided with the resources they need to succeed.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Recognized by American Conservative Union for Legislative Voting Record

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State Senator Has Strong Record of Serving as an Advocate for Fiscal Responsibility and Securing Justice for New Jerseyans

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) has been honored with the prestigious “Award for Conservative Achievement” by the American Conservative Union in recognition of his legislative voting record in 2018.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio has been honored with the prestigious “Award for Conservative Achievement” in recognition of his 2018 legislative voting record. (ACU Foundation)

“I am honored to receive this recognition by the oldest grassroots conservative organization in the United States,” Pennacchio said. “I’ve always believed that overtaxed and vulnerable New Jerseyans deserve to have a fighting voice in Trenton. This award proves it is possible to be fiscally conservative and maintain a social conscience at the same time.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls for Action on Bill Prohibiting Golden Parachute Payouts to Departing University Faculty

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Blasts $480k Sabbatical Handout to Departing Rutgers New Brunswick Chancellor

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) called for legislative action on his bill to end golden parachute payouts following news that Rutgers University is granting a $480,000 payout to the hastily departing New Brunswick campus Chancellor for a one-year sabbatical.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio called to end golden parachute payouts following news that Rutgers is granting a $480,000 payout to the hastily departing New Brunswick campus Chancellor for a one-year sabbatical. (SenateNJ.com)

“The state’s largest public research university is forking over nearly half-a-million dollars to pay for an early departing administrator’s one-year vacation,” Pennacchio said. “This handout is a gross misuse by Rutgers of the tuition they receive from students and the tax dollars they receive from the State. Every dollar Rutgers wastes on these payouts is a dollar not spent on teaching and research. With tuition and student debt on the rise, I am calling for the State Legislature to take action to end this fiscally-irresponsible practice.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Editorial: Why the NJ budget deal was a win for families, commuters, homeowners

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The following editorial by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) regarding New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget was published on July 2, 2019 on NorthJersey.com.

The following editorial by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) regarding New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget was published on July 2, 2019 on NorthJersey.com. (SenateNJ.com)

It’s no secret that New Jersey has some of the most crushing financial problems of any state nationwide. We are dealing with a governor that continuously overtaxes and overspends, with little regard to how this impacts hardworking families and business owners. Sky-high taxes are forcing long-time Garden State residents to pack up and flee to more affordable states.

That’s why, when Governor Murphy advocated for $600 million in tax increases in his budget proposal, a number of courageous Republicans reached across the aisle to fight back.

Because of our efforts, this Legislature was able to pass a budget that eliminated Governor Murphy’s $600 million in proposed tax hikes. In fact, there are no new broad-based tax increases in this budget.

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Steve Oroho

Pennacchio, Bucco & Oroho Support NJDEP’s Recommendation to Close Lake Hopatcong’s Public Beaches to Protect Public Safety

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Three State Senators who represent areas surrounding Lake Hopatcong today announced their support for the NJ DEP’s recommendation that local health authorities close all public swimming beaches along the lake, due to a toxic and dangerous overgrowth of algae that could public health and safety in jeopardy.

Sens. Pennacchio, Bucco, and Oroho said they support the NJ DEP’s recommendation that local health authorities close all public swimming beaches along the lake, due to a toxic and dangerous overgrowth of algae that could public health and safety in jeopardy. (Lake Hopatcong Fund)

Recent water tests have shown that the bacteria level in Lake Hopatcong is more than double the level considered safe, according to a report by NJ.com. Bacteria in the algae blooms can cause skin rashes, and accidentally consuming lake water can lead to serious health reactions, including pneumonia, blisters, and gastrointestinal distress. Any fish caught in the lake are also currently unsafe to eat.

“Our number one priority must be to protect the public, and right now, Lake Hopatcong could be dangerous. I fully support the NJ DEP’s decision. There is no other choice. The public swimming beaches along the lake must be closed immediately,” Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) said. “We sponsored legislation to create the Lake Hopatcong Fund because we care deeply about this lake, as well as the people who live there, and the many who visit every year. It’s one of New Jersey’s crown jewels. We will work diligently with the NJ DEP  to ensure we can clean up the lake and reopen public beach access as quickly as we can.”

“We have spent many years fighting for Lake Hopatcong, because we understand how important this resource is to our region,” Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) said. “Lake Hopatcong drives our local economy and generates tourism and economic revenue for the entire state. It’s a beloved destination for families throughout the country. The NJ DEP’s recommendation is the right call, and we will do everything we can to restore safety conditions as soon as possible.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio’s Anti-Bullying Measure, Mallory’s Law, Passes Senate

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Comprehensive legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) and Senator Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) to strengthen New Jersey’s anti-bullying laws has passed the New Jersey Senate. The bill is named in honor of Mallory Grossman, a twelve-year-old Rockaway resident who committed suicide in 2017 after being bullied.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s “Mallory’s Law” to toughen NJ’s anti-bullying laws has passed the Senate. Pictured: the Senate honors Mallory’s Army on Dec. 18, 2017 for its fight against bullying. (SenateNJ.com)

“Incidents of bullying should not be solely handled by the schools – the problem is much larger than that,” said Pennacchio. “Parents must be engaged in the process as well. This legislation standardizes the reporting process while increasing transparency and accountability at every level. There is no doubt that Mallory’s Law will go a long way to combating bullying in every school in New Jersey.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Mallory’s Law: Pennacchio Anti-Bullying Effort Advances

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) and Senator Patrick Diegnan’s (D-Middlesex) legislation to standardize and strengthen New Jersey’s anti-bullying laws was advanced by the Senate Education Committee. “Mallory’s Law” is named in honor of Mallory Rose Grossman, a 12-year-old Rockaway student who committed suicide after being the victim of relentless bullying.

Dianne Grossman, the mother of Mallory Grossman, and Sen. Joe Pennacchio testify in support of “Mallory’s Law.” (SenateNJ.com)

“School bullying is killing our children,” said Pennacchio. “I cannot fathom the pain Mallory’s family suffers through every day. Bullying is preventable and addressable, so we shouldn’t have to just tolerate or accept it. ‘Mallory’s Law’ is recognition that stopping the culture of bullying requires a multi-faceted approach that involves students, parents, teachers, and school administrators.”

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