In a protest against a requirement to show proof of vaccination to enter the New Jersey statehouse complex, Senate Minority Whip Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville) will vote remotely from outside the Paramus Veterans Home for a meeting of the Senate Economic Growth Committee on Thursday.
Pennacchio and other GOP lawmakers have called for legislative oversight hearings after about 10,000 New Jerseyans died in nursing homes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 200 of the deaths came from state-run veterans nursing homes in Paramus and Menlo Park.
“There seems to have been no concern when the state forced the Covid virus into nursing homes, prohibited testing and watched how it spread, killing frail and elderly residents,” Pennacchio said. “Now we see the opposite, a pseudo-science being applied to duly elected officials and preventing them from doing the people’s business.”
Pennacchio, who is slated to move up to the post of Assistant Minority Leader when the Senate reorganizes in January, has asked Democratic leaders to reconsider a policy that bocks legislators from being in the statehouse unless they provide either evidence of vaccination or a negative Covid test from the last 72 hours.
“During this season of ‘good will,’ I am appealing to Democrat leaders to put aside their efforts of political brinkmanship and allow all legislators to perform their legal and constitutional obligations of serving the people we represent,” Pennacchio stated.