About Richard Codey
Richard Codey is a former Governor of New Jersey and is the State Senator representing the 27th Legislative District in Essex County.
Richard Codey began his career in state government in 1973 when he was elected to the Assembly at age 26, becoming the youngest person at the time to ever be elected to the Legislature. He served four terms before being elected to the New Jersey Senate in 1981. As a State Senator, he represents the 27th legislative district in Essex County, which includes the municipalities of Caldwell, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Livingston, Maplewood, North Caldwell, Orange, Roseland, South Orange, West Orange and part of the City of Newark.
After serving three decades in the state legislature, Richard Codey was selected Senate President for the 211th Legislative Session beginning January 13, 2004. When Governor James E. McGreevey resigned before his term expired, he became Governor on November 16, 2004, under a provision in the New Jersey State Constitution which provides for the Senate President to simultaneously assume the powers and responsibilities of the Office of Governor.
In his 30 plus years in the legislature, he has become one of New Jersey's fiercest mental health advocates, spearheading countless improvements that have led to better mental health care throughout the state of New Jersey.
Making New Jersey a safer and healthier place for children and families has also been a high priority. As Governor, he signed landmark legislation requiring GPS tracking of sex offenders and he sponsored a package of laws giving New Jersey some of the toughest tools in the nation to crack down on Internet predators. In addition, he launched an unprecedented school security audit on all 3,758 public, private and charter schools in New Jersey, which led to improved safety and security at New Jersey’s schools. He also made New Jersey the first state to require chemical plant security measures to protect against terrorism.
As Governor, he also signed into law the landmark Indoor Smoke-Free Air Act, and sponsored the law that raised the tobacco purchasing age to 19. As the lead sponsor of the NJ Hero Act, he has positioned New Jersey to become a leader in saving lives through organ and tissue donation by requiring all drivers to make a decision about being a donor when they apply for a license and requiring education on the issue at the high school level.
Throughout his career, Richard Codey has been a champion for the rights of New Jersey’s hardworking citizens. As Governor, he raised the state’s minimum wage, implemented critical safeguards against the growing problem of identity theft, accelerated the implementation of one-way tolling at the Essex and Bergen toll plazas on the Garden State Parkway, and negotiated an agreement to keep the Giants and Jets in New Jersey and construct a new stadium at the Meadowlands. He also sponsored the law that provides community college scholarships to high school seniors who graduate in the top 20 percent of their classes.