New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Bill Creates The Title of ‘Commissioner’ Dropping Outdated ‘Freeholder’ Term

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Pennacchio: Through Change New Jersey is More Inclusive of All Residents Participating In Local Government

Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) allows county governments to adopt the inclusive title of “commissioner,” replacing the pre-revolutionary term of “freeholder” has passed the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s bill would create public awareness of county government positions. (SenateNJ.com)

“County freeholder is not a term known to many New Jerseyans,” said Pennacchio. “Allowing counties to adopt the name of ‘county commissioner’ while replacing ‘freeholder’ will increase public awareness and bring county government into the 21st century.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Urges Action on Legislation to Hold Utilities Accountable for Ineffective Power Outage Response

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Legislation to Improve Utility Reliability, Preparedness & Accountability Has Languished Since 2012

Outraged by repeated power outages following recent nor’easters that left tens of thousands of New Jerseyans without electricity for days on end, Senator Joe Pennacchio is pushing for action on legislation that would hold utility companies accountable for their failure to provide reliable service.

A New Jersey street without power following Sandy. (SenateNJ.com)

“After a string of long-term power outages in 2011, I began working on an effort to require utility companies to improve their preparedness and reliability, and to hold them accountable when they fail to restore service in a timely fashion,” said Pennacchio. “When Sandy resulted in even longer outages, the critical need for this legislation became even more evident. Our recent week-long outages following this winter’s nor’easters proved the point yet again. After six years of inaction, we can no longer ignore the need to improve the reliability of the electric service that our families are dependent on to be safe and secure in their homes.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Statement in Support of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Steel & Aluminum Tariffs

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) issued the following statement of support regarding executive orders signed yesterday by President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum:

Sen. Joe Pennacchio expressed support for executive orders signed by President Trump to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. (Wikimedia Commons)

“I would like to lend my voice in support of President Trump’s placement of tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. In doing so he is once again following up on a campaign promise. We as a country should no longer sit on the sidelines under the guise of ‘free trade,’ and watch our industries, our jobs, and our communities wither away. Free trade works when there is an honest and level playing field.

“With President Trump’s executive order America now begins to practice trade which is fair, reciprocal, and no longer encourages the de-industrialization of America.

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio/Bucco/Ruiz Legislation to Protect Students from Chronically Abusive Teachers Heads to Governor’s Desk

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Seeks to End Process of “Passing the Trash”

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25), and Senate Education Committee Chair M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) to help flag teachers with allegations of child abuse or sexual misconduct during a school’s hiring process has received final legislative approval and heads to Governor Murphy for his signature.

The bipartisan legislation will help to flag teachers with allegations of child abuse or sexual misconduct during a school’s hiring process. (Flickr)

“It’s been a long road, but I’m glad to see that our effort to protect students from chronically abusive teachers is finally heading to the Governor’s desk,” said Pennacchio. “Parents need to trust that schools are able to screen out teachers with histories of sexual abuse before they ever get into a new classroom. That’s what our bill will ensure.”

The legislation, S-414, seeks to end the practice of “passing the trash,” a process through which teachers under investigation or subject to allegations of abusive behavior or sexual misconduct move from one school to the next to avoid being held accountable for their actions.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Amendment to Eliminate $10k Cap on State Property Tax Deduction Blocked

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Offered as Sensible Alternative to Governor Murphy’s Charitable Contribution Scheme

A tax relief amendment offered by Senator Joe Pennacchio as a sensible alternative to Governor Phil Murphy’s scheme to mask property taxes as charitable contributions was blocked by the Senate today.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s tax relief amendment was offered as a sensible alternative to Gov. Phil Murphy’s scheme to mask property taxes as charitable contributions. (SenateNJ.com)

“Nobody in New Jersey is happy with the federal limitation of the SALT deduction to $10,000,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Governor Murphy’s response, however, is a gimmick that is almost certain to be shot down by the IRS. There are more sensible approaches to tax relief that we can and must advance.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio/Bucco Legislation to Help Local Farm Markets Succeed Advances

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Will Help Farm Markets to Compete, Enhance Economic Growth

Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) and Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) to provide economic growth and variety to local farm markets by removing regulatory hurdles when their sell baked goods has passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

Senator Pennacchio and Bucco’s legislation to provide economic growth for New Jersey farm markets (Wikimedia Commons)

“By making it easier for farm markets to compete, we can encourage small business and help our farms to remain financially viable,” said Pennacchio. “We sell baked goods by the dozen and pies individually, not by weight. Farm markets should be placed on the same playing field as bakeries and other retail shops, allowing entrepreneurship to flourish.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Warns on Murphy’s Scheme to Replace Property Taxes with Charitable Contributions

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Says Taxpayers Need Real Solutions, Not False Hope

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris and Passaic) warned that Governor Phil Murphy’s proposal to allow homeowners to contribute to municipal charitable funds as an alternative to making property tax payments likely will not be approved by the federal government.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio warned that Governor Murphy’s proposal to allow homeowners to contribute to municipal charitable funds as an alternative to making property tax payments likely will not be approved by the federal government. (SenateNJ.com)

“While I agree with the governor’s sentiment that we need to provide property tax relief to New Jerseyans, his charitable contribution scheme provides false hope rather than real solutions,” said Pennacchio. “I have no doubt that the Internal Revenue Service or Congress will strike down this concerted effort to evade federal taxes. We should focus on real solutions that actually lower the cost of government.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Introduces Resolution Praising Plan to Move U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) has introduced a Senate Resolution praising the decision to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s resolution praises the decision to move the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. (Flickr)

Pennacchio said the move reflects the historical and political fact that Jerusalem has always been Israel’s capital city and the seat of that country’s government, and is consistent with a 1995 mandate by Congress to make the move.

“The United States and Israel have been among the closest of allies since that nation’s founding following the horrors of the Holocaust,” said Pennacchio. “The relocation of our embassy to Jerusalem sends a strong sign to the rest of the world that the United States still stands strong with Israel. The President deserves credit and support for his decision to move the embassy.”

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Senator Anthony Bucco
Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio/Bucco Bill Stops Chronic Child Abusers Access to Students Passes Senate

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Will End Schools from “Passing the Trash” to Other Districts

Legislation led by Senators Joe Pennacchio (R-26) and Anthony Bucco (R-25) that will end the practice of “Passing the Trash,” preventing teachers who have abused children from moving from school to school unnoticed, was approved by the State Senate unanimously.

“Pass the Trash” legislation by Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Anthony Bucco. (©iStock)

“It is time to put the welfare of our students before union self-interest. The reckless behavior of underhandedly passing child abusers from school-to-school must end, ” said Pennacchio. “The Legislature and my Democratic colleges must see that continuing patterns of covering for a predator like Morris County teacher Jason Fennes, who confessed to sexually assaulting six young girls, snaked through school systems while teaching for five years after his first documented complaint must end. The structure for reporting and hiring teachers must be reformed!”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls on Democrats to Demand Return of Chesimard During Cuba Visit

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With an unofficial delegation of legislative Democrats set to visit Cuba in early February, Senator Joe Pennachio (R-Essex, Morris, and Passaic) called on legislators taking the trip to demand the return of domestic terrorist Joanne Chesimard at every opportunity.

With an unofficial delegation of legislative Democrats set to visit Cuba, Sen. Joe Pennachio called on legislators taking the trip to demand the return of domestic terrorist Joanne Chesimard. (FBI)

“A group of Democrat legislators is set to visit communist Cuba, a country that has harbored the murderer of a New Jersey State Trooper for decades,” said Sen. Pennacchio. “Any New Jersey legislators who visit Cuba must demand Joanne Chesimard’s immediate extradition to the United States. She is a cop killer who must face justice.”

Convicted and serving a life sentence for the 1973 murder of Trooper Werner Foerster, Chesimard escaped from prison and fled to Cuba where she has received asylum since 1984.

Pennacchio has been a vocal advocate for the return of Chesimard. He is the primary sponsor of SR-15, urging Cuba to extradite Joanne Chesimard to the United States.

This is not the first time a group of New Jersey politicians has visited Cuba. In 2016, an unsanctioned delegation of legislators toured the communist island. Although Joanne Chesimard was said to be brought up in conversations with Cuban government officials, the legislators efforts were ineffective.

“It’s time for New Jersey elected officials to get tough on bringing back a convicted cop killer,” said Pennacchio. “We must stand unified in our demand for Chesimard’s extradition. It must be made clear that our relations will not progress with the regime until Chesimard is rightfully returned.”

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