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August
2003


August 29, 2003
GOVERNOR CUTS RIBBON ON NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART ILLINOIS STATE POLICE FACILITY
DuQuoin, Ill. – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, along with other state and local dignitaries, attended a ribbon cutting ceremony today at the new Illinois State Police (ISP) District 13 headquarters in DuQuoin. The new facility will serve the law enforcement needs of the citizens of Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Perry, Randolph, Washington, and Williamson counties.


August 29, 2003
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES LAND ACQUISITION FOR WORLD SHOOTING COMPLEX IN RANDOLPH COUNTY
SPARTA - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is acquiring 1,179 acres of land in southwest Illinois near Sparta in Randolph County for the proposed World Shooting Complex.


August 27, 2003
Governor Announces Launch of Edwardsville Entrepreneurship Center
EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the opening of a new Entrepreneurship Center located on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). The SIUE Entrepreneurship Center will focus its efforts primarily in Madison and St. Clair counties, delivering a broad range of traditional and enhanced business services for entrepreneurs throughout the region.


August 26, 2003
Governor signs corporate responsibility bill
Law drafted by Comptroller Hynes bars corporate felons from securing state contracts
(Mount Vernon) – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich Tuesday signed legislation drafted by Comptroller Dan Hynes that bars corporations involved in financial crimes from getting state contracts.


August 26, 2003
Governor approves crackdown on methamphetamine drug manufacturers
Signs bills to help prosecutors bring to justice those involved in making the illegal stimulant
BENTON, ILL. – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed two bills to help prosecutors crackdown on all individuals involved in the illegal and dangerous process of manufacturing methamphetamine


August 26, 2003
Governor Continues Support for the Illinois Coal Industry
$17.2 million in FY2003 Coal Infrastructure Grants announced
HARRISBURG, IL -- Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced 37 grants through the Coal Infrastructure program totaling more than $17 million. The grants are aimed at improving coal production, transportation and utilization systems in Illinois.


August 26, 2003
Governor Announces Funding for Gallatin County Courthouse
Renovations to repair crumbling exterior
SHAWNEETOWN, IL– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the release of state funds to assist in renovating the Gallatin County Courthouse in Shawneetown. The project will repair and help preserve the historic courthouse while improving its energy efficiency.


August 26, 2003
Governor Announces Funding for New Pope County Sheriff’s Office
Project includes construction of new communications tower
GOLCONDA, IL – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the release of state funds to assist the Pope County Sheriff’s Office with the purchase of a new headquarters facility. The new office at 216 E. Decatur Street in Golconda will replace the current headquarters, which is in poor condition with buckling floors, a leaky roof and a basement that floods. Funds will also be used to construct a new communications tower.


August 25, 2003
Governor eases burden of prescription drug costs for Medicaid patients
Signs legislation capping cost of prescription drug co-payments
METROPOLIS, ILL – Kicking off his bus tour of Southern Illinois at the Happy Hearts Senior Home in Metropolis, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that protects Medicaid patients and providers from costly hikes on the amount of prescription drug co-payments.


August 25, 2003
Governor Announces Tourism Grant for Pulaski County
Lodge Construction Creates New Jobs and Travel Opportunities
NEW GRAND CHAIN -- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $445,000 grant to the Pulaski County Development Agency for construction of a tourist lodge at the Ohio River Recreational Area. The lodge will include a general store and four guest rooms and will be able to accommodate future expansion. Once open, the facility is expected to employ approximately 25 people.


August 25, 2003
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ALEXANDER COUNTY AS A TEAM ILLINOIS SITE
State Agencies to combine programs to rejuvenate Southern Illinois area
TAMMS Governor Rod Blagojevich designated today Alexander County as a Team Illinois site. Team Illinois is a State initiative that forges partnerships between State agencies and communities to address and resolve challenges the area faces.


August 25, 2003
Blagojevich Brings End to Privatization of Anna Veterans’ Home
Signs legislation allowing state to assume operations
ANNA, ILL—In order to maintain consistent quality care for aging Illinois veterans, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed into law legislation that will allow the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs to assume operations of the Anna Veterans Home in Anna, Illinois.


August 22, 2003
BLAGOJEVICH COMMENDS CIVIL SERVICE DECISION
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich hailed today’s unanimous ruling by the Illinois Civil Service Commission supporting his decision in March to take action against state employees who, under the prior administration, manipulated personnel rules in order to protect their term appointments.


August 21, 2003
Blagojevich signs legislation to boost pay for workers earning minimum wage
Hourly wage to rise for 450,000 Illinoisans Jan. 1, 2004
CHICAGO – Describing it as an overdue pay raise for hard-working men and women, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing a law boosting Illinois’ minimum wage by $1.35 an hour over the next 16 months.


August 20, 2003
Governor signs legislation to help ease state teacher shortage
New law assists 3,000 immigrant teachers
CHICAGO – With severe teacher shortages looming throughout the state, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that will help more than 3,000 immigrant teachers to remain certified to teach in Illinois schools.


August 20, 2003
Blagojevich takes action to protect consumers against abusive lenders
Signs bill strengthening law against predatory home lending practices
Chicago, Ill. – At a South Side news conference in front of a vacant home that was repossessed as a result of predatory lending practices, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed into law strict new protections for home loan consumers. The Governor was joined by the bills sponsors, state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) and state Sen. Terry Link (D-Lake Bluff), as well as Attorney General Lisa Madigan, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Commissioner of Banks and Real Estate Lorenzo Padron and local advocates for fair lending.


August 19, 2003
Blagojevich signs law to protect the public from vicious dogs
Legislation spurred by attack on Leyden Township youth
CHICAGO – Accompanied by a Chicago-area boy who was the victim of a vicious dog attack, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed into law legislation authorizing all county boards to enact laws to protect the public from dangerous dogs and increase penalties against the dog’s owner if the animal is not properly supervised.


August 18, 2003
Governor Signs Bill to Attract Film Industry Back to Illinois
New incentive expected to generate jobs
CHICAGO – On the set of Barbershop 2, now being filmed in Chicago, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 785, which creates a new tax incentive designed to attract the film industry back to Illinois.


August 18, 2003
GOVERNOR NAMES DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR EDUCATION
Holmes brings 34 years of experience as teacher and education policy expert
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today named Brenda Holmes, a former high school teacher and education policy expert, as his new deputy chief of staff for education.


August 16, 2003
GOVERNOR APPOINTS SPECIAL TASK FORCE TO REVIEW ILLINOIS’ ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE
Initiates effort to investigate Illinois’ vulnerability to major outage
CHICAGO – After this week’s power outage affecting major portions of the northeast United States and southeast Canada, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the creation of a Special Task Force on the Condition and Future of the Illinois Energy Infrastructure. The committee will conduct a comprehensive analysis of Illinois’ energy infrastructure, and recommend any necessary changes to meet demand and respond to widespread outages similar to the August 14 Niagara Electric Grid failure.


August 14, 2003
Governor Continues Commitment to Cut Waste
Announces Reduction of State Vehicle Fleet by 1,000 Up to700 more to come
SPRINGFIELD, ILL – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced in a press conference today at the Department of Central Management Services Surplus Property Warehouse that the state will soon sell 1,000 surplus vehicles, saving $3.6 million this year and adding $1 million in new revenue from the sales. The action is a result of Executive Order 2, which the Governor signed on January 14, 2003.


August 12, 2003
Governor Signs Agriculture Production Code
First state law designed to protect contract farmers
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – On the day set aside at the Illinois State Fair to celebrate the state’s agricultural industry, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich enacted the state’s first law designed specifically to protect its growing number of contract farmers.


August 11, 2003
Governor signs bill to improve homestead tax exemption for seniors during Senior Day at the Illinois State Fair
Honors four selected to the senior citizens hall of fame
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – During “Senior Day” at the Illinois State Fair, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation to ensure senior citizens remain eligible for a property tax break no matter if they happen to move during the tax year.


August 8, 2003
Governor signs Mattie Hunter legislation promoting family-friendly workplaces
CHICAGO – Recognizing the challenges workers face in trying to meet family and professional responsibilities, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed into law legislation sponsored by state Sen. Mattie Hunter that allows the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to establish a program to study and promote family-friendly work environments.


August 5, 2003
Blagojevich signs bills to strengthen public and educational workers’ rights to unionize
Governor moves to protect low income and migrant workers from temporary labor exploitation
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed three labor bills designed to strengthen the rights of public and educational workers to organize and another law to protect low income and migrant workers from exploitation.


August 4, 2003
Governor takes action to provide job security for Illinois Guardsmen and Reservists
Signs bill protecting employment for public employees called to service
Aurora, Ill. – As the nation continues its military efforts abroad, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that protects the job security of public employees in Illinois who may be called to military duty.


August 4, 2003
Governor Asks Judges To Drop Their Lawsuit Seeking More Pay, Says Judges Should Consider the Public Good
New Evidence Reveals That Judges’ Pay Raises Would Cost the Taxpayers $13 million – Not Just The $3 Million The Judges Previously Claimed
CHICAGO -- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today asked the state’s judges “to think about the public good” and to drop their lawsuit that gives themselves a $13 million pay raise.


August 4, 2003
Governor Signs Official Snack Bill
School Project Becomes Law
JOLIET, IL – Second and third graders from Cunningham Elementary, along with their teacher Miss Fran Hollister, witnessed today Governor Rod R. Blagojevich sign Senate Bill 185 that made their class project, to make popcorn the official snack food of the State of Illinois, become law.


August 4, 2003
New State Law Closes Emergency Disconnection Loophole
Measure to help Fire Departments be pro-active
CRESTWOOD – By signing House Bill 2489, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich made today it mandatory for telecommunications carriers to alert municipal Emergency Services at least two weeks prior to discontinuing service on dedicated fire alarm phone lines. Fire alarms, which use dedicated phone lines, are the primary notification source for Fire Departments.


August 4, 2003
Governor signs legislation ensuring fairness and openness in firefighter promotions
Bolingbrook, Ill. – Joined by legislators and firefighters at the Bolingbrook Fire Station, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation ensuring fairness and openness in the promotion process for firefighters in Illinois.

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