New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senate Republican Whip Pennacchio Blasts Democrats for Refusing to Recognize Sen. Vince Polistina

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Says Senate Democrats Are Making Specious Argument in Weak Attempt to Justify Not Holding a Quorum

Senator Joe Pennacchio said Senate Democrats are making specious arguments in a weak attempt to avoid holding a Senate quorum that would force them to recognize the swearing-in of Senator Vince Polistina (R-2).

Sen. Joe Pennacchio said Senate Democrats are making specious arguments in a weak attempt to avoid holding a Senate quorum that would force them to recognize the swearing-in of Sen. Vince Polistina. (

“It’s unbelievable that Democrats are saying they won’t hold a quorum because doing so would result in dozens of their bills becoming law,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “You would think the majority party would want the bills they chose to sponsor and move through the legislative process to be enacted. It’s a specious argument that’s clearly just another excuse to keep Vince Polistina from getting to work immediately for the people of the 2nd Legislative District.”

According to published reports, Senate Democratic leadership has suggested they’re concerned that holding a quorum would result in bills that are languishing on Governor Murphy’s desk automatically becoming law.

Nearly 70 bills passed by the Legislature in June that Governor Murphy has failed to act upon in a timely manner would become law if a Senate quorum call were held now under timelines established by the New Jersey Constitution.

The Senate Democratic leadership has said they will not call a Senate quorum until after the general election in November.

“To be clear, the majority’s refusal to hold a Senate quorum has absolutely nothing to do with legislation, policy, or good government,” said Pennacchio. “This is about the willingness of Democrats to hurt hundreds of thousands of Atlantic County residents for partisan political purposes. It’s sad.”

Vince Polistina was selected in accordance with New Jersey law to fill the Senate seat in the 2nd Legislative District that was left vacant following the appointment of former Senator Chris Brown by Governor Phil Murphy to a new position in July.

Although Polistina took the oath of office earlier this week, Senate Democratic leadership has said he’s not officially a senator until a quorum occurs, pointing to the real reason for the delay.

“There are a lot of people in Atlantic County who are struggling with unemployment delays, MVC issues, access to rental assistance and countless other problems,” added Pennacchio. “It’s disturbing that Democrats are saying they’ll have to wait three months before Vince Polistina can start working to help them. All of those Atlantic County families who are struggling deserve representation today.”

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