Since Governor Janet Napolitano was sworn into office in January 2003, she has made her mark as an activist governor who moves quickly to approach the biggest problems facing the state. In her first year in office, she won approval of a budget that erased a billion-dollar state budget deficit without raising taxes or cutting funding for public schools or other vital services. She tackled the spiraling price of prescription drug prices by launching what is now the CoppeRx CardSM, a discount program that is saving Medicare-eligible Arizonans more than $100,000 a week. Last summer, she led Arizona through its second severe fire season, and helped to force an end to the worst gas shortage in state history.
A hallmark of Governor Napolitano’s administration has been government reform on all levels. Her Efficiency Review initiative has identified more than $850 million in efficiency savings over five years. Her various citizens commissions have recommended important improvements to Child Protective Services, Department of Corrections and the Arizona tax code.
Now in her second year as Governor, a centerpiece of her administration is to ensure that all Arizona children will report to first grade safe, healthy and ready to succeed academically. To that end, she is working hard to establish full-day kindergarten and a quality childcare rating system as options available to parents throughout Arizona. She is also working aggressively to redirect Arizona’s economy toward high tech industries offering high-skill, high-wage jobs.
Prior to being elected Governor of Arizona, she served one term as Arizona Attorney General and four years as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Born in New York City and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she is a distinguished alumna of Santa Clara University and the University of Virginia Law School. She has lived in Arizona since 1983, when she moved to Phoenix to practice law.
A leader with many personal interests, Governor Napolitano is a frequent hiker, an avid reader, a regular patron of the arts, and a diehard fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks.