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March
2015


March 30, 2015
Illinois Mayors to Celebrate National Service
April 7, 2015 Designated as “Mayors Day of Recognition”
SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 2,000 participating officials will mark April 7, 2015 as the Mayors Day of Celebration for National Service. As of the date of this release, 66 Mayors in Illinois have signed on to participate. On this day, mayors and county executives will hold public events and use traditional and social media to highlight the value of national service to the nation’s cities. Last year, 1,760 mayors representing more than 110 million citizens participated in the second-annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. The initiative is being led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the National League of Cities, and Cities of Service.


March 27, 2015
Governor Rauner Takes Bill Action
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rauner took action on the following bills today: Bill No.: HB 317 Appropriations & Bill No.: HB 318 Finance


March 27, 2015
Governor Announces Appointments B.R. Lane to lead Illinois Lottery; John Holden to continue leading Dept. of Aging
CHICAGO - Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he has made appointments to two cabinet-level positions. The appointments include the Illinois Lottery, the Illinois Department of Aging and the Illinois Human Rights Commission.


March 27, 2015
USDA Awards Grant to Illinois' JTED-SNAP Employment & Training Grant
Program helps participants find jobs and promotes business growth
CHICAGO, Illinois – Illinois has been selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to receive a $21.9 million grant to develop and test a robust Employment and Training Program that will assist Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to find jobs with local businesses and work toward self-sufficiency, IDHS’ Acting Secretary Gregory Bassi announced today.


March 26, 2015
Health Matters: 2015 Illinois Minority Health Efforts
Creating & Sustaining Healthy Communities
LISLE – Building on the idea that community empowerment is one of the strongest strategies to improve public health, the 2015 Illinois Minority Health Conference, hosted by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Center for Minority Health Services and the Illinois Public Health Association earlier this week, offered sessions focused on community health workers, strategies to develop effective partnerships, and conducting outreach to specific minority populations.


March 26, 2015
Nominating Petitions Available For Illinois Commodity Board Seats
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Farmers who would like to run for a three-year term on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board or Illinois Sheep and Wool Marketing Board now can start circulating nominating petitions. Petitions are available at county Extension offices and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The deadline to complete and return them is May 15 for corn and soybean board candidates, and May 29 for sheep and wool board candidates.


March 24, 2015
Know, Act, Treat - Eliminate Tuberculosis!
March 24 is World TB Day
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner has issued a proclamation declaring that Illinois will observe World TB Day, on March 24, 2015. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) observes this day annually to encourage Illinoisans to learn about TB and to help stop the spread of the disease. Illinois ranks sixth in the nation for the highest number of TB cases.


March 24, 2015
Motorists Urged to ‘Expect the Unexpected’ in Work Zones this Construction Season in Illinois
Work Zone Safety Week Reminder: See Orange. Slow Down. Save Lives.
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and the Illinois Tollway were joined by their industry partners today to kick off National Work Zone Awareness Week with a reminder to all Illinois motorists: Expect the unexpected driving through work zones. To signal the start of construction season and call attention to the dangers of driving in work zones, Governor Bruce Rauner has signed a proclamation designating this week as “Work Zone Safety Week” in Illinois.


March 24, 2015
New Illinois Server Training Law effective July 1
State currently offering FREE responsible beverage server classes
SPRINGFIELD—New regulations will take effect impacting all Beverage Alcohol Sellers/Servers Education & Training (BASSET) trainees throughout the state, as well as Cook County bars and restaurants. Beginning on July 1, 2015 all current and future BASSET cardholders will need to renew their certification every three years. In addition, all Cook County servers and “bouncers” (ie, those whose job description entails the checking of identification when alcohol is consumed on the premises) must be trained and certified.


March 24, 2015
‘Text First, Talk Second’ Often Best Way to Contact Loved Ones When Disaster Strikes
IEMA Encourages People to Have Plan for Communicating with Family Members, Friends during Emergencies
SPRINGFIELD – When disaster strikes, your first instinct probably is to call loved ones to make sure they’re OK or let them know you’re safe. It’s likely everyone else affected by the emergency is thinking the same thing. In these instances, telephone lines can quickly become overloaded, preventing not only your call from going through but also blocking critical 911 calls. During Severe Weather Preparedness Month in March, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging people to develop a Family Communications Plan that includes the “Text First, Talk Second” concept.


March 23, 2015
18 Groups to Receive $353,100 in Grants Thanks to Veterans Cash Lottery Ticket Sales
Springfield – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today announced a total of $353,100 in grants from Veterans’ Cash scratch-off lottery ticket sales to help 18 non-profits and local governmental entities deliver specialized programs and services to the Illinois veteran community in 2015.


March 20, 2015
Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Sammy Hagar Among Top Performers At 2015 Illinois State Fair
SPRINGFIELD – The grandstand lineup at the 2015 Illinois State Fair is beginning to take shape. Illinois State Fair management is pleased to announce Sammy Hagar and The Circle will take the stage opening night, August 14. Hagar has been rocking the music industry for nearly 40 years. In addition to a successful solo career, Hagar is well known as the former lead signer of Van Halen and Montrose. Hagar has produced hits such as “I Can’t Drive 55,” “There’s Only One Way to Rock,” “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy,” and “Three Lock Box.” Joining Hagar as he takes the stage will be fellow musicians Michael Anthony, Vic Johnson and Jason Bonham. The trio call themselves “The Circle.”


March 20, 2015
Governor Announces Appointments
CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he has appointed the Illinois Secretary of Education and the Illinois Fire Marshal. He also made appointments to the Illinois Gaming Board, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Board and the Executive Ethics Commission.


March 20, 2015
Department of Juvenile Justice Unveils Its Strategic Operating Plan for 2015
Governor Rauner attends in support of the Department
Chicago – On Friday afternoon, Governor Bruce Rauner joined the Director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ), Candice Jones, at an event to unveil the Department’s operational plan to reduce recidivism of juvenile offenders. Also in attendance: Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul, 13th District; Illinois State Representative, Elaine Nekritz, 57th District; Illinois State Representative, Will Guzzardi, 39th District; Paula Wolff, Director of the Illinois Justice Project; Adam Gross, Housing Director at Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI); and Ryan Shanahan, Research Director & Chansi Powell, Senior Program Associate from the Vera Institute of Justice


March 19, 2015
COOK COUNTY FOOD COMPANY RECALLS MEAT PRODUCTS DUE TO POSSIBLE CONTAMINATION
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – El Cubano Wholesale Meats, a Chicago establishment, is recalling approximately 169,620 pounds of beef cheek meat products that may be contaminated with E.coli 0157:H7, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced today.


March 19, 2015
Philip Nelson Confirmed as Director of Illinois Department of Agriculture
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Senate voted today to confirm Philip Nelson as the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The fourth-generation grain and livestock farmer was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner on January 16, 2015.


March 19, 2015
Senate Confirms Hugo Chaviano as Director of the Illinois Department of Labor
SPRINGFIELD — This afternoon Hugo Chaviano was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the Director of the Illinois Department of Labor.


March 19, 2015
Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries Confirmed by Illinois Senate
Springfield – Erica Jeffries was confirmed as the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) by the Illinois Senate in a unanimous vote today. “I am honored with this confirmation, and look forward to working with the men and women of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide great services and support to our Illinois veterans and their families,” Director Jeffries said. “Under the leadership of Governor Rauner, we will strive to improve the lives of our veterans, focusing on mental healthcare, employment, and education. Our mission is to create opportunities for our veterans to thrive.”


March 18, 2015
Illinois Department of Human Rights Celebrates Women’s History Month
Agency Hosts Event Featuring Chicago Broadcasting Legend Merri Dee
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) hosted its annual event to commemorate March as Women’s History Month, focusing on the 2015 theme of “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.” The hour-long event featured Chicago broadcasting legend and beloved media maven Merri Dee, who shared her motivating story of achievements in the face of adversity. Over 75 people attended the event held at the Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago.


March 18, 2015
Illinois Celebrates National Ag Day
SPRINGFIELD, IL--Governor Bruce Rauner and Acting Director Philip Nelson joined together with producers and commodity groups from across the State today to celebrate National Ag Day in Illinois. The two took the opportunity to recognize the hard work of generations of families and agribusinesses, as well as discuss the priorities of the Department to ensure that agriculture continues to be the #1 industry in Illinois and increase its market share, both domestically and internationally.


March 17, 2015
More Than 1,000 Youth to Compete in Illinois State Archery Tournament for Grades 4-12
Top finishers will Advance to National Tournament
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Illinois State Tournament on Saturday, March 21 at the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Participation continues to grow as 1,056 archers from 38 schools have qualified to compete. Participation in the State Tournament has climbed steadily from 400 in 2012 to 700 in 2013 and 873 in 2014. Top finishers qualify for the NASP National Tournament to be held May 7-9 in Louisville, Kentucky.


March 17, 2015
College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program Announces Draw Your Dreams Coloring Contest For Kids
Contest Offers a Chance to Win $529
CHICAGO- College Illinois!®, the state’s only 529 prepaid tuition program, has announced its first "Draw your Dreams" coloring contest, offering future college students an opportunity to win one of three $529 gift cards. College Illinois! offers families a unique, flexible, and tax advantaged option in planning for the cost of college, and the contest is one of the many ways the program seeks to foster early college awareness and planning.


March 13, 2015
Governor names members of Local Government and Unfunded Mandates Task Force
CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner announced today the members of the newly created Local Government and Unfunded Mandates Task Force. The task force is comprised of municipal and county leaders, representatives of school districts, state legislators, and experts in consolidation. They represent all areas of Illinois. The task force is chaired by Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti.


March 13, 2015
Governor Announces Appointments
CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner today announced he has filled openings on the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, the Illinois Criminal Justice and Information Authority, the Illinois Employment Security Review Board, the Illinois Pollution Control Board and the Illinois Labor Relations Board.


March 13, 2015
Governor announces members of Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission
CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner today announced the appointment of members to the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission. The commission provides guidance on Holocaust and genocide education and commemoration across the state. The governor will continue to make appointments to this commission in the coming days.


March 12, 2015
IDOT, Illinois State Police, Local Law Enforcement: Luck Alone Will Not Get You Home on St. Patrick’s Day
Designate a sober driver before the party begins or risk arrest
SPRINGFIELD – Leading up to the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, many Illinoisans will don their green, white and orange to celebrate. If your celebration involves alcohol at a local parade, pub or party, no luck of the Irish will protect you from the dangers presented by drunk or impaired drivers.


March 12, 2015
IDNR to Host Public Hearing on Federal Disaster Resilience Grant Competition
Meeting to be Held March 18 at IDNR Headquarters in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host a public hearing on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) National Disaster Resilience Competition, a grant program designed to help states and their communities better prepare for and withstand natural disasters.


March 9, 2015
State to Host Small Business Event to Connect Communities to Illinois Business Opportunities
‘Make a Connection’ networking event is intended to expand pool of businesses with state contracts
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) announced today it will host a resource and networking event designed to connect small and diverse business owners, and to raise awareness about opportunities to participate in the state’s procurement and contracting processes.


March 6, 2015
CHANGE YOUR CLOCK, CHANGE YOUR BATTERIES
The Office of the State Fire Marshal Reminds Residents to Change Their Smoke Alarm Batteries as Clocks are Set Forward This Sunday
SPRINGFIELD – As a biannual initiative to keep Illinois families safe, the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds the public to change their smoke alarm batteries as clocks are set forward one hour this Sunday, March 8th, 2015. Daylight savings is the perfect time to ensure your smoke alarms are working properly. Smoke alarm batteries should be changed twice a year in an effort to prevent injuries and deaths in case of a fire emergency.


March 6, 2015
Liquor Control Commission February Underage Compliance Report
SPRINGFIELD – In February 2015, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) conducted compliance checks around the state and visited 287 businesses licensed to sell liquor. They cited 59 for violations of liquor control laws. Seventy-nine percent of the licensees visited complied with Illinois liquor laws and refused to serve underage customers.


March 6, 2015
Illinois Celebrates AmeriCorps Week
March 9-13, 2015 designated as a week to recognize 3,700 volunteers
SPRINGFIELD – Each year, the nation celebrates the service that thousands of Americans perform through AmeriCorps. It is a time to salute the AmeriCorps members and alums for their hard work and thank the community partners that support them.


March 6, 2015
Governor Bruce Rauner today announced appointments to boards and commissions
CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner today announced appointments to the following boards and commissions: the Illinois Board of Education, Illinois Community College Board, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, the Illinois Court of Claims and the Illinois Civil Service Commission.


March 5, 2015
Statewide Financial Aid Workshops Help Improve Illinois FAFSA® Completion Rates
Illinois Student Assistance Commission Encourages Students to Continue to Complete Their FAFSAs
CHICAGO – During February’s Financial Aid Awareness Month, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) was pleased to conduct or help support more than 240 workshops across the state to assist students and families in navigating the financial aid process and in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Supported this year by Governor Rauner’s proclamation of Financial Aid Awareness Month, annual workshops during February highlight the importance for students of completing the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal, state, and many college financial aid programs.


March 3, 2015
White-Nose Syndrome Found in Four Additional Illinois Counties
Disease That Has Killed Millions of Bats in North America Confirmed For First Time in Union, Saline, Johnson and Jackson Counties
SPRINGFIELD –White-Nose Syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed millions of bats in North America, has been found in four new Illinois counties. Tests conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin found five bats submitted from Union, Saline, Johnson, and Jackson Counties were positive for the disease. These are the first confirmed records in these counties. The disease was first discovered in Illinois in 2013 in Hardin, LaSalle, Monroe and Pope Counties.


March 2, 2015
IDHR Introduces Training on Preventing Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace
Program will focus on proactive compliance with new law
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Human Rights’ (IDHR) Institute for Training and Development will present its first training aimed at preventing pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, following a measure providing job protection for pregnant women that went into effect this year. The training, to be held March 25th in Chicago, will be introduced as part of IDHR’s regular public training schedule and will be available to public and private entities.

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