Tuesday, January 8, 2002 Acting Governor Donald DiFrancesco's term expired concurrent with the installation of the new legislature in New Jersey. Co-Senate Presidents Senator John O. Bennett (R) and Senator Richard J. Codey (D) consecutively served as acting governors of New Jersey until Governor-elect James E. McGreevey (D) was sworn in on Tuesday, January 15, 2002 for his four-year term.
Donald T. DiFrancesco was born in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. He graduated from Penn State University in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in business. He earned a law degree in 1969 from the Seton Hall School of Law and he is a partner in a Warren Law firm. He was first elected as assemblyman to the New Jersey legislature in 1976. Three years later, he was elected to the senate. During his tenure in the senate, he helped pass the 1989 New Jersey Family Leave Act, which served as the model for a federal law that protects the jobs of workers who take leaves of absence to care for seriously ill family members. He was named president of the senate by his peers in 1992. He was dedicated to reducing property taxes, providing children with a quality education, protecting the environment and increasing the affordability of health care, He sponsored the Property Taxpayers' Protection Act, which provided $30 million in direct property tax relief. His Congestion Relief and Transportation Trust Fund Renewal Act secured billions of dollars for new roads and infrastructure improvement. He sponsored the historic Garden State Preservation Trust constitutional amendment and legislation that dedicates $98 million each year for protection and conservation of 1 million acres of open space. He spearheaded the Building a Healthier New Jersey initiative, which protects the health and safety of New Jersey's children and families. In January 2001, Acting Governor DiFrancesco replaced Governor Christine Todd Whitman who was named to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As required by the state constitution, he retained his position as Senate President.