Rod R. Blagojevich was sworn in to serve a second term as the 40th
Governor of Illinois on January 8, 2007.
As Illinois' chief executive officer, Gov. Blagojevich is working
aggressively to create jobs, build stronger communities, provide
Illinois families the tools they need to improve their lives, and
restore the people's confidence in state government.
Gov. Blagojevich's top priority is ensuring access to quality healthcare for
everyone in Illinois. That is why Gov. Blagojevich proposed a historic and
comprehensive plan to give every Illinoisan access to affordable and quality
health coverage. While the Governor’s “All Kids” plan, which took effect last
year, extended coverage to all children in the state, approximately 1.4 million
adults in Illinois are currently uninsured. The Governor’s plan will provide
affordable coverage to the uninsured and will also help many middle-income
families and small businesses that are currently enrolled in health insurance
plans save thousands a year on healthcare costs. The plan will also reform the
existing healthcare system to improve quality and require more accountability.
Providing safe and affordable prescription drug medication is also an
important initiative of the Governor. In fact, Gov. Blagojevich has been a
leading advocate for providing Americans access to safe and affordable
prescription drugs from Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as
expanding their healthcare coverage. Gov. Blagojevich created the Illinois Cares
Rx Program to make sure no seniors fell through the gap when the new Medicare
drug benefit went into effect on January 1, 2006. The new “wrap around coverage”
provided to Illinois seniors and persons with disabilities helps cover the
increased costs of the Medicare program, including premium costs, coinsurance,
coverage during the “donut”, and the deductible.
Additionally, the Governor is committed to improving the quality of
education in Illinois. During his first four years in office, Gov.
Blagojevich dedicated $3.8 billion of new funding into Illinois schools. This
represents more new money invested in education than any other state in the
Midwest, more than 43 other states in the nation, and more than any
administration in one term in Illinois history. In addition to new PreK-12
education funding, last year’s budget also funds new initiatives proposed by the
Governor, including universal preschool, a pilot program to reduce class sizes
in kindergarten through 3rd grade, and a grant program for families struggling
to afford the high costs of college.
Prior to his election, Gov. Blagojevich was a Cook County Assistant
State's Attorney. During his tenure, he prosecuted domestic abuse cases and
felony weapons charges, which made him a strong advocate for tougher sentencing
laws when he was elected to the General Assembly in 1992.
In 1996, he was elected to represent Illinois' 5th District in the U.S.
House of Representatives. While a congressman, he secured funding for
after-school tutoring programs and distinguished himself as an advocate for
education. He was also a leader in the fight to establish a Patients' Bill of
Rights, to assure prompt access to mammograms, and to require higher safety and
care standards at nursing homes.
Gov. Blagojevich was born December 10, 1956, on the Northwest side of Chicago.
He graduated from Northwestern University in 1979 and earned his law degree from
Pepperdine School of Law in 1983. He and his wife, Patti, have two daughters,
10-year-old Amy and 4-year-old Annie.
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