New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: “Me Thinks Democrats Protest Too Much”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Trenton Democrats’ budget theatrics:

“Months of public hearings by the Senate Budget Committee were set aside by the Democrats in favor of an early start to the election season. The Democrat’s budget which was ‘unconstitutionally unbalanced, ‘ was a political document challenging the Governor to cut programs that Democrats thought could be used to score political points in the upcoming legislative races.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: “Democrats Holding Suburban School Aid Hostage”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R- Morris), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, today called Democrat plans to tie school aid to an income tax increase “blatant, political posturing at the expense of suburban taxpayers”:

“Taxpayers should not be forced to choose between job creation and property tax relief,” Pennacchio said. “The current school funding formula is horribly unfair to property taxpayers in suburban school districts. The Democrats proposal adds insult to injury by tying enhanced suburban aid to a tax increase that will cost our state jobs and future tax revenues. Their bill is a purely political document that shows the Majority isn’t serious about equitable school funding and property tax relief for the vast majority of New Jersey’s citizens.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Statement of Senator Joe Pennacchio on the Pension and Health Benefits Reform Bill Vote

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and a Prime-Sponsor of the pension and health care benefits reform measure, issued the following statement regarding the Senate passage of S-2739.

“Every one acknowledges that the State Pension system is in serious financial trouble. In fact, in 2005 then Governor Codey ordered a study on the viability of the state’s pension system by a task force headed by Philip Murphy. The commission recommended sweeping and fundamental changes to the state’s pension system. We did nothing.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Statement on Rescue of Pension and Health Benefits System

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Measure Will Save Property Taxpayers More Than $100 Billion

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the compromise reached on pension and health benefits reform by the Legislature and the Governor. Senator Pennacchio will be a Co-Prime sponsor of the legislation, S-2397.

“The pension and health benefits reform agreement reached today will save the taxpayers of New Jersey more than $100 billion. This tax relief will help middle-class families preserve the high quality of life in New Jersey.

“It is clear to everyone that the current pension and health benefits package is unsustainable. Public employees were made promises that were unsustainable, that the state could never keep.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio, DeCroce & Webber: Parsippany Sick Leave Payouts the Reason Stringent Reform Is Needed

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Senator Joe Pennacchio, Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce and Assemblyman Jay Webber, all R-Morris and Passaic, issued the statement below in response to a recent media report that the Parsippany Town Council is expected to approve today an emergency appropriation of $895,944 to pay retiring employees for unused sick and vacation time:

“This emergency appropriation is exactly what is wrong with the public employee sick leave benefits system. It is unfathomable that taxpayers should be on the hook for such astronomical payouts whether on the local or state levels. Sick pay is for when you are sick, not a supplemental retirement fund for workers who, in the future, will be receiving taxpayer-funded pensions. Use it or lose it. It’s that simple.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Tax Abatements’ Effect on Education Funding Is A “Race to the Bottom”

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Municipal Tax Abatements Unfairly Skew Education Funding

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement calling for deep and fundamental reforms on how municipal tax abatements are awarded. The Senator noted that a report by State Comptroller Matt Boxer was extremely critical of the process.

“State Comptroller Boxer was extremely clear in his executive summary stating that Payments in lieu of Taxes (PILOTS) shortchange school districts and the taxpayers by hundreds of millions of dollars. The PILOTS can artificially suppress the ratable property tax base.

“The Comptroller’s report further states that municipalities often pursue tax abatements and PILOTS for direct monetary gain, creating a windfall that does not benefit local schools.

“Most importantly, the taxpayers of New Jersey are directly affected by tax abatements.

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Mike Doherty
Senator Steve Oroho

Budget Committee Republicans: “Fear Mongers Distort Christie Budget’s Commitment to Healthcare”

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Following a hearing on Governor Christie’s FY 2012 proposed budget appropriations for healthcare, Republican Members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today praised the administration for maintaining quality healthcare services for those in need:

“The Administration’s proposed budget maintains New Jersey’s commitment to providing access to quality healthcare for those most in need. No amount of politically heated rhetoric can change the fact that this budget proposal increases Charity Care funding by $10 million to $675 million, fully funds PAAD for seniors, or invests $90 million in Graduate Medical Education for our next generation of healthcare providers.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Democrat Health Care Demands Will Deny Care to Many

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Commissioner Testifies That No Woman Has Been Denied Health Care

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and a health care provider issued the following statement regarding assertions by Senate Democrats that people are being denied health care services:

“I have been a student and a professional health care provider for almost 40 years. I take great exception to contentions by Senate Democrats that Governor Christie’s budget denies people health care. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Pass Pension System Rescue Bill to Save NJ Bond Rating

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Moody’s Downgrades $600 Million in Transportation Bonds

Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, and the primary sponsor of a measure that would rescue New Jersey’s dangerously underfunded pension systems, issued the following statement regarding an announcement that Moody’s has downgraded $600 million worth of transportation bonds.

“The action taken by Moody’s today is sobering. More sobering is the projections issued that up to 30 percent of the state budget could be earmarked for debt, pensions and health benefits costs, in less than 8 years.

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Mike Doherty
Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Republican Budget Committee Members: “Senate Democrats Must Stop Defending Indefensible on Sick Leave Payouts”

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South Brunswick Borrowed $500K to Pay 18 Retiring Employees

Five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today asked the Majority Democrats to stop defending the continuation of grotesquely large sick leave payouts to public employees:

“This is simply a waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars.  We are baffled as to why the Majority continues to defend the indefensible. It is totally incomprehensible why they would go to such great lengths to protect this sort of abuse of the taxpayers.”

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