New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Democrats Covet More Power, but Won’t Use Their Might to Check Governor’s Unilateral Control

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Questions Why Majority Legislators Want More Power Yet have Remained Silent During the Pandemic Crisis

Senator Joe Pennacchio today dismissed a Democrat proposal to delay New Jersey’s constitutionally mandated legislative redistricting until after the 2021 elections.

Senator Pennacchio today said the majority Democrats should worry less about gaining more control and more about using the power they have to limit the Governor’s mandates. (

The move, introduced Monday in Trenton, would benefit incumbent legislators and protect Democrat majorities in both houses.

“As a legislator, my priorities begin and end with the interests of the people in my district who selected me as their representative,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “If I placed a higher value on partisan power, the Democrat plan would make more sense, but for the local residents who depend on us when they send us to Trenton, this is an injustice. I firmly reject this ploy to gain legislative dominance.”

The State Constitution requires a new legislative map every 10 years, corresponding with data from the federal census. Districts are drawn to meet geographical and equal population requirements.

The Democrats’ proposed a constitutional amendment (SCR122/ACR188) that would allow legislators to run for re-election in 2021 in their existing districts, postponing new boundaries until the 2023 election.

“If the Democrats want to use their power, I urge them to move my resolution (SCR-117) to give legislators their proper seat at the table and, with voter support, limit the duration of emergency orders and rules issued by any New Jersey governor to 14 days,” said Pennacchio.

“That is the power our residents intended when they put their trust in our hands. Let’s not abuse that power, let’s use it.”

Under the Democrat initiative, the Legislative Apportionment Commission would be required to certify the new legislative map late in 2021, after the November election but prior to the New Year.

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