New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Murphy Administration Refuses to Share Docs Detailing Rationale for Closing NJ Lakes

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NJDEP Denies OPRA Request for Information Related to HAB Advisories for Lake Hopatcong & Greenwood Lake

Senator Joe Pennacchio said the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has denied legal requests for public records related to the decision to issue advisories for Lake Hopatcong and Greenwood Lake for harmful algal blooms (HAB), lending credence to the suggestion that the Murphy Administration intentionally utilized the local economic pressures associated with lake closures to create a false sense of urgency for nearby communities to create expensive new stormwater utilities permitted through the “rain tax” recently enacted by the Governor.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio said the Murphy Administration’s refusal to release records related to the effective closure of several lakes for the summer lends credence to the suggestion that the actions were politically motivated. (SenateNJ.com)

“If the decisions to issue the advisories that have effectively closed Lake Hopatcong and other New Jersey lakes for much of the summer were based purely on public health concerns, there’s no reason for the Murphy Administration to deny public record requests for internal documents containing discussions of the rationale behind those actions,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “The fact that the Governor’s staff refuses to share the deliberative documents that we requested leads us to believe that they have something to hide. Perhaps they don’t want the public to see the political underpinnings of their economically damaging decision to close Lake Hopatcong and Greenwood Lake to recreation, unnecessarily, during prime summer months.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls for Enacting Important Anti-Bullying Legislation

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After a recent television news investigation into school bullying found the danger may be more prevalent than state statistics show, Senator Joe Pennacchio urged the General Assembly to pass his Mallory’s Law legislation bolstering New Jersey’s anti-bullying statutes.

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

The News 12 New Jersey report indicates school districts may be significantly under-reporting bullying cases. One district reported nine incidents to the state in three years, while school board minutes showed 27 in the same period.

“We need to stop this nonsense and prevent the under-reporting of bullying that is going on, and my bill will help do that,” said Pennacchio, whose bipartisan bill (S3433) passed the Senate in June with unanimous support, although the Assembly version has not moved. “We’re going to force schools to keep better records.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Votes Against Flawed Vote-by-Mail Bill

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Democrats Block Amendment to Prevent Voter Fraud

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) voted against flawed vote-by-mail legislation today saying the measure fails to address the significant issue of voter fraud.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio voted against flawed vote-by-mail legislation saying the measure fails to address the significant issue of voter fraud, including voting by illegal aliens. (SenateNJ.com)

“The vote-by-mail expansion that we were here to fix was flawed for more reasons than those recently identified by the Secretary of State,” said Pennacchio. “Voter fraud is very real in New Jersey, and much of that fraud centers on ballots not cast in a polling place. This legislation does nothing to prevent illegal aliens from voting or to stop campaign operatives from illegally registering people, collecting ballots, and rigging elections.”

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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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