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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: NJ Commuters Still Vulnerable to Forgotten Port Authority

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As legislative Democrats continue their redundant hearings to delay bipartisan, bi-state bill to reform the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Assistant Senate Republican Leader Joe Pennacchio renewed his call for bipartisan, bi-state reform of the long-troubled Delaware River Port Authority, which is the subject of an ongoing federal criminal investigation.

New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio discusses bi-state DRPA reform legislation during a press conference in front of the Ben Franklin Bridge in Camden, NJ on April 24, 2014. (Press Release)

“Democrat leaders in Trenton need to explain to people why they are ignoring a bi-state, bipartisan reform bill for the hard-working families and commuters who rely on the DRPA services,” said Pennacchio, a veteran Transportation Committeeman. “Our constituents need enhanced oversight, accountability and transparency for the DRPA just as much as they do for the PANYNJ.”

Pennacchio classified yesterday’s PANYNJ legislative committee hearing as just another example of New Jersey Democrats wanting the issue of PANYNJ reform to try to hurt the Christie administration, instead of them wanting to be a part of the solution by passing legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Kean, which has already passed in New York.

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove Hail Enactment of Sandy Reform Legislation

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Speaking as the legislative representatives of one of the hardest hit areas by Superstorm Sandy, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove praised the enactment of legislation that will provide assistance to Sandy victims still involved in the recovery and rebuilding process.

Aerial view during an Army search and rescue mission shows damage from Superstorm Sandy to the New Jersey coast, Oct. 30, 2012. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)

Under the recently enacted law, applicants of Sandy assistance programs will be provided with a personal timeline establishing a general estimation of when an applicant can expect to receive assistance. This would apply to the applicants seeking funding from the Low- and Moderate-Income Program (LMI), in addition to the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation Program (RREM) and Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program (TBRA), and the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

Quarterly goals for distributing Superstorm Sandy aid will be established under the newly enacted law. In addition, the state is now required to develop and maintain an Internet website or webpage providing information concerning recovery and rebuilding programs.

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Senator Bob Singer

Senate Adopts Singer Bill Protecting Victims of Identity Theft From Debt Collection

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer protecting consumers who fall victim to identity theft from debt collection was passed by the full Senate.

Senator Robert Singer’s legislation protects consumers who fall victim to identity theft from debt collection. (©iStock)

“Victims of identity theft can be buried in thousands of dollars of debt from fraudulent purchases before they even realize they have been victimized,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “This legislation makes sure victims of identity theft have a means to restore their lives and avoid the financial ruin of wrongly being tied to debt caused by fraud and no fault of their own.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Introduces Legislation to End Sale of Baby Body Parts

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New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) introduced legislation that would close a loophole that has allowed organizations such as Planned Parenthood to be paid for aborted infant body parts.

The Senator’s bill would also prohibit fetal baby tissue from being used for the purpose of researching any cosmetic treatment.  The bill closes a state and federal loophole by denying any payment for the removal, processing, disposal, preservation, quality control, storage, transplantation or implementation of fetal tissue.

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bill Creating Fishing Buddy License Signed Into Law

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho that creates an annual New Jersey “Fishing Buddy License” and amends current law for all around sportsman and fishing licenses was signed into law.

The new law sponsored by Sen. Steven Oroho’s creates an annual New Jersey ‘Fishing Buddy License,’ available for half the cost of a regular fishing license. (NJDEP)

The law, S-2567, allows residents and nonresidents 16 years or older to apply for a fishing buddy license when an application for a fishing license is made at the same time by another person, resident or nonresident, who has not bought a New Jersey fishing license since 2010. The buddy license authorizes its holder to fish only, and costs half the regular fee of a fishing license. The legislation is also sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney.

“This is an exciting effort to introduce more residents, visitors and their families to the many fantastic year-round fishing opportunities that exist across New Jersey,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Generating more interest in fishing through these incentives will also provide a boost to businesses supporting the industry in communities across the state.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Legislation Simplifying Process of Adding a Veteran’s Status on Driver’s License Signed Into Law

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho simplifying the process for veterans to receive a veteran designation on their driver’s license was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.

Sen. Oroho’s legislation simplifies the process for those with military service to add their their status as a veteran to their New Jersey driver’s license. (NJMVC)

“For the thousands of veterans that have already gone through the process of receiving an ID card from their county this legislation will now simplify the process of adding their status as a veteran to their license,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “This special designation on a driver’s license is a well-deserved symbol of a veteran’s life of patriotism, heroism and sacrifice. Now that this legislation has been signed into law I hope more veterans will seek out this worthy distinction on their license and be able to receive the recognition and appreciation they have earned.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bill Reinstating Certain Driving Privileges for Teens Working on Farms Signed Into Law

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) reestablishing certain driving privileges for teenagers working on a farm in New Jersey was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Oroho reestablishing certain driving privileges for teenagers working on a farm in New Jersey was signed into law. (Wikimedia Commons)

Under the legislation, A-535/S-2547, 16-year-olds working on a farm will again be eligible to obtain a special agricultural driver’s license allowing them to drive by themselves during daylight hours while operating a farm vehicle and doing farm-related business. To be eligible the teen would need to complete an approved behind-the-wheel driver training course.

“Teenagers growing up on a farm are often heavily involved in the family business from an early age and their ability to operate farm equipment and vehicles is a key part of the farming operation,” said Oroho. “Today’s bill signing reinstates important driving privileges that for decades were a great benefit to many farm families. Allowing 16-year-olds to again be able to operate a farm vehicle by themselves to drive from one field to another or deliver produce or pick up supplies will increase the role they can play on the farm and the productivity of the business as a whole.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bills Protecting Honeybee population, Strengthening Beekeeping Industry Signed Into Law

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho designed to protect and grow the state’s commercial and recreational bee industry was signed into law by Acting Governor Kim Guadagno.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho designed to protect and grow the state’s commercial and recreational bee industry was signed into law by Acting Governor Kim Guadagno. (SenateNJ.com)

“Bees play a crucial role in the food chain and New Jersey’s agriculture industry as a whole,” said Oroho. “With honey bee populations hit hard by disease in recent years, beekeepers’ efforts to manage and maintain bee populations have become increasingly important. These new laws recognize that importance by making it easier for commercial and hobbyist beekeepers to operate throughout New Jersey.”

One of the bills signed into law today, S-1328/A-1294, extends “Right to Farm” protections to commercial beekeepers to protect them from restrictive municipal ordinances and public and private nuisance complaints. Under the “Right to Farm Act” complaints against agricultural operations are referred to county agricultural boards rather than municipal courts, eliminating the burden of lengthy and expensive litigation.

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Questionable DRPA Appointee Proves Immediate Need to Pass Bi-State Reform Bill

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Assistant Senate Republican Leader Joe Pennacchio stated the following about a troubling unilateral appointment by Pennsylvania’s governor to the Delaware River Port Authority board, which was exposed by the Philadelphia Daily News:

Sen. Joe Pennacchio said an exposé by the Philadephia Daily News on the questionable qualifications of DRPA board member Whitney White, pictured, further demonstrates the need for reforms to increase legislative oversight of the troubled agency. (Facebook)

“This Daily News exposé is yet another example of why the DRPA, with its continuing history of corruption, cronyism, waste, abuse and billions of dollars in debt, simply cannot operate unchecked. Our bi-state, bipartisan reform legislation would prevent unilateral DRPA appointments by Pennsylvania’s governor, just as any DRPA commissioner nominees by New Jersey’s governor must be approved in public by New Jersey’s Senate before being allowed on the board.

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District 9

Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Time to Take the Fight to Heroin Dealers

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Heroin dealers must face harsher sentencing in light of the devastating consequences of their criminality activity, says the 9th District Legislative Delegation. Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove want the New Jersey Legislature to follow through on enhancing penalties for heroin possession as a direct measure to curb New Jersey’s deadly heroin epidemic.

Legislation sponsored by Connors, Rumpf and Gove would increase penalties for certain heroin offenses. (Victor/Flickr)

Connors, Rumpf and Gove have worked closely with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office on heroin-related policy matters, including the drafting of legislation. The 9th District legislators pointed to two recent major announcements regarding the deadly consequences and costs related to heroin use in their call for legislative action to go on the offensive with heroin dealers:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that, nationwide, heroin-related deaths have nearly quadrupled from 2002 to 2013. Confirming what many already suspected, our own state statistics show that New Jersey’s death rates are higher than the national average which was 2.7 per 100,000 people for that time period whereas the death rate in our state for 2013 was 8.3 deaths per 100,000. The number of heroin deaths in New Jersey was 781 in 2014, including those in which morphine was found to be present according to the New Jersey Office of the State Medical Examiner.”

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Republican Senators

Steven Oroho

Steven Oroho

District 24 - Republican Leader

Jon Bramnick

Jon Bramnick

District 21

Anthony M. Bucco

Anthony M. Bucco

District 25

Chris Connors

Chris Connors

District 9

Kristin Corrado

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Edward Durr

Edward Durr

District 3

Jim Holzapfel

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Declan O'Scanlon

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Vince Polistina

Vince Polistina

District 2

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

District 39

Robert Singer

Robert Singer

District 30

Jean Stanfield

Jean Stanfield

District 8

Doug Steinhardt

Doug Steinhardt

District 23

Michael Testa

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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