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March
2003


March 31, 2003
Blagojevich unveils latest plans to streamline state government and improve efficiency
14 agencies consolidated or their operations transferred; duplicative services and positions eliminated
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – As part of an ongoing effort to streamline state government and improve efficiency, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a series of moves to consolidate or transfer operations of 14 existing state agencies and five major functions that will initially save approximately $40 million in the next fiscal year.


March 30, 2003
Gov. Blagojevich Leads Rally for Minimum Wage Increase
Elected Officials, Labor, Business, and Community Groups Join Effort
CHICAGO – Today Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and nearly one thousand Chicago area residents, labor union members, business owners, and elected officials rallied in support of a proposed increase in Illinois’ minimum wage to $6.50 an hour.


March 27, 2003
Blagojevich announces plan to advance school aid payments ahead of schedule
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced his intention to advance the final two school aid payments for the current fiscal year so the quality of education in Illinois is not disrupted due to the state’s fiscal challenges.


March 26, 2003
Illinois’ First Responders Call on the Senate to Pass Blagojevich’s Pension Finance Plan, Allow the State to Invest More in Public Safety
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn today called upon the Illinois Senate to approve the governor’s pension financing plan to help solve a massive state deficit and provide room for additional investments in public safety.


March 25, 2003
Blagojevich appoints Chicago physician to lead Public Health
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today appointed Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, an attending physician at Cook County Hospital and founder of a south side Chicago clinic that uses free haircuts and social services to draw African-American men in for medical care, as the new director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.


March 21, 2003
Statement by Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich on resignation of Jess McDonald
Today, Jess McDonald resigned as Director of the Department of Children and Family Services. His resignation will be effective April 30.


March 20, 2003
Blagojevich’s pension financing plan wins crucial House backing
Proposal could save nearly $2 billion; help plug $5 billion budget deficit
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich applauded the Illinois House’s approval today of a pension financing plan that is a cornerstone of the governor’s strategy to resolve the worst budget deficit in the state’s history.


March 19, 2003
Gov. Blagojevich announces key public safety appointments
Strengthens Homeland Security Leadership Team
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today named new directors to two key agencies involved in responding to homeland security threats.


March 17, 2003
Blagojevich announces creation of 300 new jobs
NORMAL, ILL – Heralding it as an economic “shot in the arm” for Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today joined executives and union workers at Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. in announcing a $200 million expansion of the company’s car manufacturing plant here that will create an estimated 300 new jobs.


March 14, 2003
Governor accepts Velasco’s resignation
CHICAGO – Governor Rod Blagojevich today accepted the resignation of Ernesto Velasco, the director of the Department of Corrections.


March 13, 2003
Blagojevich promotes proposal to give business owners the chance to build, grow innovative companies
Governor continues his push—unveiled in State of the State speech—for creation of six Entrepreneurship Centers
CHICAGO -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich continued on Thursday to promote an innovative proposal to spark economic activity and create jobs in Illinois, one day after unveiling the plan to lawmakers during his first State of the State speech.


March 13, 2003
Blagojevich promotes proposal to revitalize state’s coal industry, create jobs
CANTON – As part of an aggressive effort to create thousands of new jobs, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today promoted the use of advanced technology to allow companies to burn coal mined in Illinois.


March 12, 2003
Blagojevich outlines bold agenda to bring change to Illinois, move the state forward
SPRINGFIELD -- Offering a “new approach for governing,” Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich on Wednesday used his first State of the State address to urge members of the Illinois General Assembly to join him in enacting an agenda to improve the quality of life for the people of Illinois.


March 6, 2003
Blagojevich makes two key appointments
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the appointment of Leticia Peralta-Davis as chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and state Rep. Joel Brunsvold as director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


March 6, 2003
Blagojevich moves to discharge top-level state employees locked into jobs by the Ryan Administration
Governor moves against those who tried four-day scheme
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Continuing his efforts to root out fraud and fight for reform of state government, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that disciplinary proceedings have begun against top-level state employees who last year improperly sought to lock in their state employment.


March 5, 2003
Governor Appoints Former Soldier to Head Department of Veterans’ Affairs
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Vietnam veteran Roy L. Dolgos as his choice as director of the state’s Department on Veterans’ Affairs.


March 5, 2003
Blagojevich reforms vacation time policy for state workers
SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today instituted important reforms of a system that has allowed state employees to run up unused vacation time and cash-in at a cost to the state that amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars.


March 3, 2003
Doug Scofield to Depart Blagojevich Administration to Focus on Family, Consulting Practice
CHICAGO -- Doug Scofield today announced that he would be leaving the Blagojevich Administration this month to spend more time with his family, which includes two small children.

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