Changes in Illinois’s Government
The end of 2008 was very exciting for the state of Illinois. In November, Illinois Senator Barack Obama resigned when he was elected President of the United States of America.
Crimes at the State Capitol
Not all of the excitement in Illinois was good. When Obama resigned as senator, someone needed to replace him. The law says that when a senate seat is empty, the governor should choose someone else for the job. Governor Rod Blagojevich was supposed to choose someone he thought would do a good job to replace Obama.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Governor Blagojevich tried to sell the open senate seat to the person willing to pay the most money to be a senator. Governor Blagojevich was also charged with planning to bribe people. A bribe is something given or promised to a person in order to influence a decision or action dishonestly. Both of these actions are crimes.
The New Senator from Illinois
Right before his trial with the Illinois State Senate, Governor Blagojevich chose Roland Burris to replace Obama. Many people were upset that Blagojevich nominated someone after he was charged with crimes. Burris took over as senator on December 31, 2008. The controversy over him being chosen by Blagojevich lasted for several months after he took office.
Impeaching the Governor
On January 29, 2009, The Illinois state senate impeached Governor Blagojevich. The senate voted unanimously to remove him from office. The decision also prevents him from holding public office in Illinois ever again.
Illinois’s 41st Governor
When the governor was removed from office, the state senate had to choose someone to replace him. Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn was sworn in as Illinois’s 41st governor within hours of the impeachment. Governor Quinn has served the state of Illinois for more than 20 years.
There were lots of changes in Illinois’s government during 2008–2009. People came and left and that’s why it’s called history!