St. Louis Public Radio News
3:44 pm
Mon January 13, 2003

Illinois Has New Governor

Springfield, IL – Rod Blagojevich was sworn in as Illinois' 40th Governor this afternoon.

Inaugural events this afternoon include open houses at the governor's mansion and the offices of the five constitutional officers who also take their oaths today.

The inaugural ball is schedule to begin about 8:30 this evening at the State Fairgrounds.

Blagojevich inherits the biggest challenges Illinois has faced in decades.

He must restore confidence in a government tainted by scandal. He must balance a budget that, in his speech, he said is $5 billion in the red. And he must find consensus on the question of the state's death penalty system.

There are a lot of questions about how he do it when he takes office. During the campaign he made a lot of promises. One was to protect many areas of government from budget cuts. Another was to balance the state budget without tax increases. He says he'll say how he'll accomplish that feat later this week.