New Jersey's 11th Legislative District

Senator Jennifer Beck

Senator Jennifer Beck

Gov. Signs Beck Bill Establishing ‘Senator Joseph Palaia Day’

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February 3, of every year will now be known as “Senator Joseph Palaia Day” thanks to a resolution sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.

Sen. Jennifer Beck’s resolution designates February 3 of each year as “Senator Joseph Palaia Day” in honor of the longtime Monmouth County Senator’s dedicated service. (

“Joe Palaia was a dedicated educator loved by the Monmouth County community and a model legislator respected by his colleagues in Trenton and across the state,” Senator Beck said. “Before I was even elected to the Legislature, I knew Senator Palaia for his work in the community as a kind man with a true passion for helping people. I remember that his example of dedication and advocacy to the residents of Monmouth County was always something that I admired. He was well known for his hard work in the statehouse, but for many, he will always be remembered first as a beloved principal and tireless advocate for students across New Jersey.”

Senator Beck’s SJR-87 designates February 3 of each year as “Senator Joseph Palaia day,” in honor of his incomparable public service and his many outstanding contributions to this state.

Senator Joseph Palaia (Feb. 3 1927-Aug. 20 2016) served as a Monmouth County Senator from 1989 until 2007, in the seat now occupied by Senator Beck. His career in public service spanned four decades, including service in the General Assembly, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the Ocean Township Municipal Council. “Senator Joe,” as he was lovingly known, also served as the Mayor of Ocean Township from 1971 until 1979.

Senator Palaia was also the longtime principal at Wanamassa Elementary School, where he was first appointed in 1956. He brought his lifelong passion for education to the legislature and was known as one of the strongest advocates for expanding educational and medical services for children. He was a prime sponsor of the lifesaving New Jersey Childproof Handgun Law and fought fiercely to increase federal and state funding for programs that support children with disabilities.

To commemorate the first “Senator Joseph Palaia Day” on Friday, Senator Beck is hosting an event along with Palaia’s daughter, Denise Palaia, at Wayside Elementary School in Ocean Township where Denise is the principal. There, Beck will present the school with two memorial tress in remembrance of Senator Joe.

“Senator Joe dedicated his life to working to improve the lives of families across this state,” Senator Beck said. “He is sorely missed, but establishing ‘Senator Joe Palaia Day’ ensures he will never be forgotten.”

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