New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: “Unrelated Spending in Sandy Relief Package Shows Washington at it’s Worst”

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Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee member Joseph Pennacchio (R- Morris) today blasted the Obama Administration and the Democrat- led U.S. Senate for inserting billions in unrelated spending projects into the federal aid legislation for states impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

“It is no wonder our nation has a $16 trillion debt when even hurricane relief gets larded up with unrelated pork barrel spending,” said Pennacchio. “New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut desperately need federal assistance to rebuild from the devastation wrought by this storm. That aid shouldn’t be used as a vehicle to appropriate funding for other projects that wouldn’t otherwise withstand scrutiny and, more importantly, that aid should not be jeopardized by billions of dollars in unrelated add ons that are anathema to the House of Representatives.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Urges Attention to Passaic Basin Flooding Issues

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After today’s tour of Bergen County communities and small businesses devastated by Superstorm Sandy, Senator Joe Pennacchio urged fellow state leaders to remember also the needs of communities in the Passaic River Basin dealing with constant flooding problems.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Allen, Pennacchio Bill Preventing Abuse of Disabled Parking Privileges Approved by Senate

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Aims to Reduce Abuse, Wrongful Issuance of Parking Privileges

Legislation sponsored by Senators Diane Allen (R- Burlington) and Joe Pennacchio (R- Morris) updating state laws to prevent abuse and wrongful issuance of disabled parking placards has been approved by the full Senate.

“Every time someone who is not disabled inappropriately obtains or uses a placard, he or she takes that parking space away from someone truly in need,” said Allen.  “This bill makes commonsense changes to process of obtaining a ‘wheelchair placard’ that ensure proper verification of one’s disability on an ongoing basis.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio on Minimum Wage: So Much for Bipartisan Compromise

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Senator Asks Why Democrats Would Rather Hold Workers Hostage Than Address Minimum Wage

Senator Joe Pennacchio questioned why legislative Democrats fail to consider a bipartisan agreement to increase minimum wage during today’s Senate session.

Today, Senator Pennacchio again submitted an amendment to increase the minimum wage in January 2013, several months before any Democrat plans would be initiated.

“Both parties by and large agree that the minimum wage should be increased, and my amendment hits the Democrats’ mark of $8.50,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “But legislative Democrats still refuse to compromise and would rather hold workers and small businesses as political hostages for next year’s campaigns.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Majority Fails to Compromise on Minimum Wage Legislation

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Senator Joe Pennacchio bashed legislative Democrats for failing to consider a bipartisan agreement to address minimum wage during today’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing on A-2162.

During the Oct. 15 Budget Committee meeting, Senator Pennacchio made a motion to schedule a hearing on A-2162, in lieu of Democrats’ proposal to seek a constitutional amendment. The majority party rejected Pennacchio’s motion, indefinitely tabling compromise and any action on the Democrat Assembly Speaker’s A-2162.

“Today’s committee hearing on A-2162 appeared to reflect a change of heart by Senate Democrats and hopefully a willingness to compromise on a legislative remedy for minimum wage,” said Pennacchio (R-Morris). “But unfortunately for small businesses and those who are unemployed, the majority party is still making minimum wage a partisan exercise and a campaign tactic for next year.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: “Democrats Must Stop Making Minimum Wage a Partisan Political Exercise”

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Senator Rebuffed After Offering Bipartisan Cooperation

With nearly every major newspaper in New Jersey disapproving of SCR-1, a referendum amending the state constitution to raise the minimum wage and tie increases to the consumer price index, Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee member Joe Pennacchio today offered their Democrat colleagues a bi-partisan means to achieve a modest, responsible increase via ordinary statute.

In a show of enormous partisanship, he was summarily rebuffed by his Democrat colleagues.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio, O’Toole Introduce Gov. Christie’s Storm Response Act

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Senators Joe Pennacchio, R-26, and Kevin O’Toole, R-40, introduced the Governor’s Reliability, Preparedness and Storm Response Act of 2012 to significantly decrease or nullify the time New Jerseyans are without utilities in the wake of natural disasters and emergencies.

“This strict accountability measure protects the public from the dangers and hardships caused by deficiencies in New Jersey’s public utility infrastructure and utility communication protocols, which were exposed by last year’s storms,” Pennacchio said. “We expect utility companies to engage in this as a demonstration of corporate citizenship, whereby they take responsibilities to prepare as much as possible for future weather emergencies.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Urges Democrats to End Hypocritical, Misleading Credit Attacks, Rejoin Bipartisan Reform Efforts

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Senate Budget and Appropriations Committeeman Joe Pennacchio, R-26, stated the following in response to hypocritical attacks waged this week by Democratic legislators against the State of New Jersey:

“For the public’s sake, I must first emphasize that New  Jersey’s credit rating is unchanged this week, despite Standard & Poor’s lowered outlook, with both Fitch and Moody’s recently declaring the state’s outlook as stable. Unfortunately, a series of media reports published this week quote Democratic legislators clamoring about artificial state credit rating catastrophes. Their overblown statements distort the state’s solid financial standing, which we largely owe to bipartisan reforms under Gov. Christie.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio, O’Toole Sponsor Gov. Christie’s Storm Response Act

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Senators Joe Pennacchio (R-26) and Kevin O’Toole (R-40) prepared for introduction today the Governor’s Reliability, Preparedness and Storm Response Act of 2012 to significantly decrease or nullify the time New Jerseyans are without utilities in the wake of natural disasters and emergencies.

“This strict accountability measure protects the public from the dangers and hardships caused by deficiencies in New Jersey’s public utility infrastructure and utility communication protocols, which were exposed by last year’s storms,” Pennacchio said. “We need to hold utility companies to the fire to assure they do everything possible in preparation for future weather emergencies.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Mike Doherty

Senate Again Passes Pennacchio, Doherty Measure to Study Rail Systems; Senators Urge Assembly Action

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The New Jersey Senate passed Monday legislation sponsored by Senators Joe Pennacchio and Mike Doherty to create a Passenger Rail Study Commission in response to a recent Office of Legislative Services report that there are no efforts to regionalize rail lines. This volunteer commission will determine how to best utilize existing rail infrastructure.

“All rail systems should be evaluated to assure they operate in the best interest of taxpayers and commuters,” said Pennacchio, R-Morris, Passaic, Essex. “We must dedicate this commission to examine all cost-cutting solutions with our neighboring states, from consolidations to mergers, especially as two new trans-Hudson River crossing plans are being discussed by operators in New Jersey and New York.”

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