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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio to Murphy: Stop Politicking and Find a Way to Make Federal Unemployment Relief Work

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Murphy-Trump Honeymoon Over?

Senator Joe Pennacchio today called on Governor Murphy to help make federal unemployment relief a reality for almost 700,000 out-of-work New Jersey residents.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Saturday that would provide an extra $400 more than basic unemployment benefits, replacing the $600 federal contribution that expired on July 31.

Senator Pennacchio urged Governor Murphy not to allow politics to interfere with $400 per week of additional federal aid for unemployed residents. (Wikimedia)

The federal government would pay $300 per week, and individual states would pick up $100, but Murphy has called the plan “unworkable.”

“Like Cuomo in New York and other Democrat governors, Murphy criticized this solution,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “He wants federal money to go to the state so he can spend it at will. That’s the wrong priority when so many New Jersey residents remain out of work through no fault of their own. Once again, he is prioritizing partisanship and politics over the people of our state.”

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Senator Jim Holzapfel

Bill Package Co-Sponsored by Holzapfel Clears Transportation Committee

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Legislation aims to reduce overcrowding at MVC and prioritize health of seniors

A group of bills co-sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel of the 10th Legislative District that would better assist residents with services at the the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) has cleared the Senate Transportation Committee. These legislative measures, sponsored by Senator Pat Diegnan, who is also Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, aim to lessen the influx of people going to the Motor Vehicle Commission for standard appointments and services.

Sen. Jim Holzapfel’s bill package to better assist residents at the MVC has cleared the Senate Transportation Committee. (SenateNJ.com)

The first bill, S-2748 establishes a MVC Virtual Check-In pilot program to allow customers to reserve a spot in the queue through the commission’s website, move through the queue without being physically present and check-in remotely from the parking lot of the MVC agency or a kiosk.

“In the days and weeks following the reopening of the MVC, we saw massive lines and crowds of people waiting for hours on end for standard appointments,” said Senator Holzapfel. “This bill creates a virtual check-in for residents that will drastically reduce delays at already crowded Motor Vehicle agencies in addition to reducing any potential spread of the virus at these locations.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Greenstein/Oroho Bill to Boost New Jersey Manufacturing Clears Committee

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In an effort to improve the competitiveness of New Jersey manufacturers, legislation to establish a permanent new source of funding for the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP), cleared the Senate Labor Committee today. The funding would be up to $1.5 million. The bill is sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein and Senator Steve Oroho.

Senator Oroho’s legislation to help increase the competitiveness of manufacturers in the state and establish permanent funding for the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. was advanced by the Senate Labor Committee today. (SenateNJ.com)

“As a member of the Manufacturing Caucus, I am proud to sponsor this legislation to ensure the State’s support of the manufacturing sector that New Jersey residents depend on,” said Senator Oroho (R-Morris/Sussex/Warren). “The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program will help grow jobs and strengthen the State’s manufacturers in the competitive global market. Without costing taxpayers anything, this bill will help increase our share of high-paying jobs and encourage manufacturers to expand here.”

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: Murphy Administration Must Address Staff Shortages to Reopen Voorhees and Fort Mott State Parks

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Senator Michael Doherty called for the reopening of Voorhees State Park in Hunterdon County and Fort Mott State Park in Salem County in response to an announcement that both parks will be closed until further notice due to staffing issues.

Sen. Michael Doherty called for the reopening of Voorhees State Park and Fort Mott State Park in response to an announcement that both parks will be closed until further notice due to staffing issues. (NJ Division of Parks & Forestry)

“There’s no better place to enjoy fresh air and sunshine while socially distancing than at New Jersey’s beautiful State parks,” said Doherty (R-23). “While the governor is encouraging residents to stay local and not travel far, and with few outlets to exercise while gyms remain closed by executive order, the loss of access to these two parks will negatively impact the health and well-being of New Jerseyans. During this unprecedented year of harsh restrictions, the Murphy Administration should make every effort to ensure that residents are able to utilize all of New Jersey’s outdoor recreational areas. It’s imperative that Governor Murphy find ways to fully staff and reopen these parks.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls for More Robust Power Grid, Stronger Leadership to Prevent Mass Outages After Storms

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More than three days after Tropical Storm Isaias crossed the state Tuesday, more than 60,000 families in Morris County are still without power today.

Senator Pennacchio called for legislative action on his Reliability, Preparedness, and Storm Response Act bill and urged utility company leadership to step up efforts to prevent repeated storm-related power outages. (SenateNJ.com)

“It’s frustrating for everyone. If you are without lights, refrigeration and air conditioning or fans, every passing hour is excruciating,” said Senator Joe Pennacchio. “We all appreciate the work of the linemen who are working around the clock to restore power. We’ve had a good relationship with the regional liaisons who have been responsible and helpful, but utility company leadership needs to have a better plan. New Jersey’s utilities must be more proactive to prevent massive outages and strengthen the grid State residents depend on.”

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Senator Michael Testa

Testa Calls for Renewed Emphasis on Preventing Power Outages from Storms

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Senator Michael Testa today said the massive power outages resulting from Tropical Storm Isaias prove there is much work remaining to make New Jersey’s power grid more robust.

The power outages resulting from Tropical Storm Isaias prove there is much work remaining to make New Jersey’s power grid more robust, Senator Testa said. (Pixabay)

“Every time a storm hits, the results are the same. Trees come down, wires come down, people go without power for days,” said Testa. “Trees growing too close to electrical lines is a recipe for trouble in storms, and as long as there’s resistance when the utility companies plan to cut back vegetation that jeopardizes power delivery to residents, we’re going to continue to suffer massive outages like the ones this week.

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senate Republicans Call to Strengthen Power Grid in Aftermath of Storm Isaias

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After ratepayers have subsidized billions of dollars to improve the resiliency of the power grid since Superstorm Sandy, more than 100,000 households remain without power almost 72 hours after a tropical storm impacted New Jersey.

The fifteen members of the Senate Republican caucus sent the following letter (click here for PDF) to New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph Fiordaliso calling for strengthening the resilience of the State’s electrical power grid and formulating comprehensive plans for emergency responses in the future.

The Senate Republican caucus sent the following letter to BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso calling for strengthening the resilience of the State’s electrical power grid and formulating comprehensive plans for emergency responses in the future. (SenateNJ.com)

The full text of the letter is below:

August 7, 2020

Dear President Fiordaliso,

As you are well aware, New Jersey was recently hit by Tropical Storm Isaias. While the storm initially knocked out power to nearly 1.5 million residents, it is our understanding that days later, hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans are still without power. This is one of several storms over the past several years that has caused widespread power outages and wreckage throughout the state.

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco: Restaurant Closings Rest at Governor’s Feet

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The popular Market Taverne restaurant in Morristown is the latest causality due to New Jersey’s prohibition on indoor dining.

Financial pressures from the pandemic are forcing many restaurants to go out of business and Senator Bucco is calling on the Governor to help. (Pixabay)

The decision to shut this restaurant down forever leaves 30 employees without jobs, and became public only days after another popular restaurant in the town, La Campagna announced they were going out of business.

“This is real life, and the Governor is letting it happen,” said Senator Anthony M. Bucco, a tireless advocate for a more business-supportive approach from the Administration. “I’ve heard of seven restaurants that can’t hold on, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Businesses are dying, dreams are fading, jobs are being lost and the Governor has done little to help.”

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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: In the Face of COVID, Doctors Must Be Unshackled and Allowed to Treat with HCQ

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Coronavirus numbers are on the increase across the United States, and so is the debate about hydroxychloroquine as a treatment and preventative. Senator Joe Pennacchio today said the politically fueled controversy is interfering with doctors who are scrambling to save lives.

Citing a series of credible medial studies and reports, Senator Pennacchio renewed his call for the Murphy Administration to allow doctors to prescribe HCQ to protect patients from COVID-19. (©iStock)

“Across the nation, the politicization of medicine has made hydroxychloroquine a cause célèbre,” said Pennacchio. “Here, in New Jersey, we should be above that. Our priority must be on saving lives and keeping residents healthy. We can’t allow petty partisanship to obstruct sensible medical protocol and solid science.”

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Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Bill Package Addresses Long Lines and Delays at Motor Vehicle Commission Locations

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As frustrations continue to mount with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s inability to deal with the volume of motorists seeking services at agencies around the state, Senator Anthony M. Bucco has introduced a legislative package to provide a solution to the problems at the long-beleaguered agency.

Senator Bucco sponsors a package of legislation addressing inefficiencies and poor service at New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. (SenateNJ.com)

“MVC’s performance during the pandemic has been abysmal, from top to bottom,” said Bucco. “The coronavirus simply exposed systemic shortcomings and inefficiencies that have plagued operations at the commission for far too long. Steps that should have been taken to improve services and productivity were ignored, and the added pressure of the state shutdown resulted in the mess we see there today.”

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony M. Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Steven Oroho

District 24

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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