New Jersey Assembly
Kean was appointed to the New Jersey General Assembly, the lower house of the New Jersey Legislature, in April 2001, to fill out the unexpired term of Alan Augustine, who had resigned due to health reasons. He then was elected to a full term in the Assembly in his own right in November 2001. There he was the Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and served as Vice Chairman for the State Government Committee.
In March 2003, he was appointed to the State Senate, to fill out the unexpired term of Rich Bagger. In November 2003, he was elected to fill the seat he had been appointed to. In 2004, Kean was elected Senate Minority Whip, a position he still holds. He serves on the Judiciary Committee and the Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee, and previously was on the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
In the state legislature, Kean has been a proponent of ethics reform in New Jersey government. He was the original sponsor of legislation banning pay to play practices in New Jersey. He has sponsored legislation to streamline government, promote education, protect the environment, and lower property taxes.
Kean was one of only twenty-four elected officials from across the United States to be chosen as a distinguished Aspen Rodel Fellow in Public Service. In 2002, Kean was named one of forty state leaders from the entire nation to be recognized as a Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments for high achievement and service to state government.
In 2005, the New Jersey Conference of Mayors named Kean as a Legislative Leader. He has also received, for the second year in a row, the Amerigroup Foundation’s Champion for Children award for his advocacy on behalf of children’s health issues. He also has been named Legislator of the year by the Fireman’s Benevolent Association and has received a 100% voting record with the National Federation of Independent Business.”