The Vilsack Administration was involved with increasing the number of children covered by health insurance by 300%. He also created a statewide drug-purchasing organization, to lower and reduce the price of prescription drugs for the elderly.
Vilsack also secured 1 million dollars from the federal government for a 17-county task force whose goal is to eliminate methamphetamine production. His budget also provided for the construction of a new $50 million state crime lab.
The first year of his second term saw the creation of the Iowa Values Fund, a $503-million fund designed to help boost the Iowa economy by creating higher-income jobs.
A previous mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa (pop. 8,751), Vilsack was elected to the Iowa State Senate in 1992. As a State Senator, Vilsack worked to require companies who received state tax incentives to provide better pay and benefits. He also helped pass a law which allowed workers to receive their health coverage when changing jobs, and helped redesign the state's Workforce Development Department. In addition, he wrote a bill which required the state to pay for 50% of county mental health costs.