New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill Requiring Student IDs to List Suicide Prevention Hotline Number Advances

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio requiring student ID cards to include a telephone number for a suicide prevention hotline was advanced by the Senate Higher Education Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Pennacchio that requires student ID cards to include a telephone number for a suicide prevention hotline was advanced by the Senate Higher Education Committee. (Wikipedia)

“There has been an extremely alarming rise in depression and suicide among students of all ages,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The availability of professional help during times of distress can mean the difference between life and death. Printing the hotline number on every student ID will help stem this tragic epidemic and give young people access to the mental health resources and support they need.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio & Diegnan Anti-Bullying Bill Advances

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Strengthens Laws to Protect Students and Save Lives

Bipartisan legislation that would strengthen laws protecting students from bullying today cleared the Senate Education Committee.

A bill sponsored by Senator Pennacchio and Senator Diegnan that would amend New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights with specific requirements on school districts to help prevent and respond to bullying incidents was endorsed by the Senate Education Committee today. (SenateNJ.com)

Sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Patrick Diegnan, the bill (S-1790) amends New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights with specific requirements on school districts to help prevent and respond to bullying incidents.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Administration’s Nursing Home COVID Policy Still a Recipe for Disaster

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Crest Pointe Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Point Pleasant Admitting New COVID Positive Patients After 19 Residents Died

Senator Joe Pennacchio continues to question the administration and State Department of Health’s policy toward admittance of new COVID patients at long-term nursing facilities. 

Senator Pennacchio questioned the Administration and State Department of Health’s policy for admitting new COVID patients to long-term nursing facilities. (SenateNJ.com)

The Senator’s office received an anonymous call from a resident’s loved one who heard that the center was still accepting new patients who are testing positive for COVID. Office staff confirmed with the nursing home’s admissions office that new patients testing positive for COVID are in fact being admitted.

The State’s current policy for requires nursing homes to have sufficient PPE and staffing to be allowed to admit COVID patients. The State also “wishes” to be notified if those facilities cannot manage the outbreak. Continue Reading…

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Without Oversight, the Administration and the Legislature Own the Current COVID Situation in Nursing Homes

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Just as they did in the spring, COVID outbreaks are now running unchecked through nursing homes in New Jersey, and Senator Joe Pennacchio today said both the Governor’s Administration and the Legislature share culpability for failing to act expediently.

As COVID levels continue to spike in nursing homes in the state, Senator Pennacchio said the Governor and Legislature must do more to protect elderly residents. (Pixabay)

A newspaper report published this week cited an increase of close to 50 percent in COVID outbreaks at nursing homes, and reported almost 80 new hot spots in just 20 days.

“This is exactly what we were trying to prevent in the spring when we started calling for – pleading for – a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, and especially in our veterans and nursing homes,” said Senator Joe Pennacchio. “Utilizing subpoena power to compel witness testimony, we could have discovered which policies failed so changes could be made to ensure the same disastrous mistakes would not be repeated.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Pennacchio’s Holiday Toy Drive Collecting Gifts for Children Through December 11

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This year has been a very trying year for all of us and no less for the children who have faced conditions never confronted by previous generations.

Senator Pennacchio is hosting a holiday toy drive for children and families in need. Donations of unwrapped gifts will be collected at his legislative office in Montville through Monday, Dec. 11. (SenateNJ.com)

As the holiday season approaches, Senator Joe Pennacchio urged residents to remind themselves that although many of us are facing difficult times, there are those less fortunate whose challenges are even greater.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Steve Oroho

Pennacchio & Oroho Warn BPU of Growing Utility Bill Crisis

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Under a moratorium on late fees and service disconnects mandated by Governor Murphy, more than a half million residential customers have fallen behind on their utility bills and the number is growing every day.

Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Steven Oroho today, in a letter to Board of Public Utilities President Joseph Fiordaliso, urged BPU to take pre-emptive measures to address a potentially dire problem.

Senator Pennacchio and Senator Oroho today urged the Board of Public Utilities to compile plans to prevent a financial crisis as hundreds of thousands of utility customers are falling behind in their payments under Gov. Murphy’s moratorium on late fees and service disconnections. (SenateNJ.com)

“There is more than $354 million owed. It’s essential that we have a workable plan in place,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “If residents are struggling to pay their monthly utility bills now, how will they be able to pay for a whole year in one chunk. If these payments aren’t made, it will fall on the backs of ratepayers, and we don’t want them stuck holding the bill. We need to come up with a plan now.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Taxpayers on the Hook for Murphy’s Needless $4.28 Billion Emergency Bonding Plan

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Full Investigation of Administration’s Pandemic Response is Warranted

Senator Joe Pennacchio today called Governor Murphy’s move to take on $4.28 billion in state debt unnecessary and imprudent, and said it will have long-lasting impact on New Jersey’s already over-burdened taxpayers.

Senator Pennacchio denounced the Murphy Administration’s borrowing of more than $4 billion as an unnecessary maneuver that will hurt New Jersey taxpayers for decades. (Pixabay)

“The more responsible approach would have been to wait. Why the hurry? It is possible New Jersey could get a second round of CARES Act relief funds, and the state revenue is coming in stronger than the worst-case scenario painted by the Governor,” said Pennacchio. “These bonds will handcuff the state budget for many years to come, and taxpayers will be saddled with ever-growing tax obligations. This was uncalled for, and it demonstrates a lack of empathy for residents who continue to struggle with the effects of the pandemic and protracted state shutdown while paying some of the highest taxes in the nation.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Governor’s Executive Orders Continue to Skirt the Law

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Civilian Defense and Control Act Subjects Governor’s Edicts to Mandatory Business Compensation

Montville, NJ – State Senator Joe Pennacchio is calling on Governor Murphy to uphold the Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act often cited by the Governor in shuttering businesses.

The Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act often cited by the Governor as giving him the power to shutter businesses also requires those businesses to be compensated, Senator Pennacchio contends. (Wikimedia Commons)

“The act likely allows the Governor to close businesses and services,” said the Senator, “however, the act also states clearly (NJSA App. A:9-34) that those closed businesses and services must be compensated because of his actions.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Questions Gov’s Decision to Halt Indoor Restaurant Service at 10 p.m.

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Asks Governor and Department of Health for the Science and Data Behind This Order

Senator Joe Pennacchio today questioned the logic of Governor Murphy’s decision that restaurants and bars in the state must stop indoor service at 10 p.m.

Senator Pennacchio questioned the logic of Governor Murphy’s decision that restaurants and bars in the state must stop indoor service at 10 p.m., calling the move arbitrary and unnecessary. (Pixabay)

“This is just another random edict from a governor who continues to fight the pandemic without the benefit of logic or science,” said Pennacchio. “Is the governor suggesting diners are more susceptible to the virus later in the night?

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Blasts Administration for Worrying More About Prisoners than Long-Term Care Residents

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Says They Knew Virus Was Dangerous in Confined Areas, but Failed to Protect Veterans’ and Nursing Homes

This week’s high-profile release of more than 2,200 prisoners from state custody is indicative of the double-standards and jumbled priorities that have marked the Governor’s administration throughout the COVID outbreak, said Senator Joe Pennacchio.

After this week’s early release of 2,200 prisoners to protect them from COVID, Senator Pennacchio said the administration’s concern for criminals is in stark contrast to its treatment of senior citizens confined to long-term care facilities, where more than 7,100 people died. (Pixabay)

“From Day 1 of the pandemic, Trenton has been playing favorites – from picking winners and losers when selecting businesses that could remain open, to prioritizing the well-being of prisoners while ‘sentencing’ innocent senior citizens to locked-down nursing homes where the virus was spreading like wildfire,” Pennacchio said. “This latest maneuver once again demonstrates the administration is more concerned about releasing criminals than protecting elderly New Jerseyans.”

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