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October
2004


October 29, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES A NEARLY $15 MILLION REINVESTMENT IN ILLINOIS COAL INDUSTRY
JOHNSTON CITY – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced nearly $10 million in Opportunity Returns funding for coal development and operation projects aimed at expanding use of Illinois coal, creating and retaining jobs and sustaining the infrastructure needed for continued market expansion. The Illinois Coal Competitiveness Program grants, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, will leverage tens of millions of dollars in private sector investment in areas of Southern Illinois where Governor Blagojevich has pledged to make coal industry revival a lynchpin of his Opportunity Returns initiative. The Governor also announced $5 million in grants from the Clean Coal Review Board, which identifies the very best cutting-edge coal-utilization technologies and encourages their application in Illinois. Through this innovative program, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s (SIUC) Coal Research Center and the Clean Coal Review Board will develop strategies to encourage the application of innovative coal technologies in commercial settings. It is comprised of state elected officials, including its newest member State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton), along with industry and educational representatives. The Clean Coal Review Board was established by SIUC after it received a donation of $25 million from the Commonwealth Edison Company after the sale of its western coal fired fossil fuel plants in and near the Chicago area.


October 28, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich and Cong. Emanuel joined by Gov. Bob Holden in announcing addition of Missouri to I-SaveRx prescription drug importation program
Missouri becomes third state to join Blagojevich’s I-SaveRx program
CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) were joined by Missouri Governor Bob Holden at events in Chicago and St. Louis today to announce Missouri is joining the I-SaveRx prescription drug importation program -- the first program in the nation to allow citizens to purchase lower cost, safe prescription drugs from Europe and Canada.


October 27, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces American Airlines will provide free shipping for nearly 300,000 flu vaccines for Illinois
CHICAGO—Gov. Rod Blagojevich today announced that American Airlines has agreed to provide free shipping for the nearly 300,000 doses of flu vaccine that Illinois has secured from wholesalers in Europe. On Monday, after Blagojevich announced that Illinois had located its own supply of flu vaccine from wholesalers in Europe, American Airlines and the Governor’s office began discussing how to ship the supply from the United Kingdom to Illinois. By late Tuesday evening, American Airlines agreed to ship the entire supply – free of charge – to help Illinois provide vaccine to its citizens most vulnerable to the flu. As a result of American's offer, the flu vaccines secured by Blagojevich will be able to be transported to Illinois immediately upon approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


October 27, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN FUNDING TO HELP UTICA AND OTHER COMMUNITIES DEVASTATED BY RECENT DEADLY TORNADOES
UTICA – In order to expedite Utica’s long-term economic recovery plans, Governor Rod Blagojevich announced more than $1 million in funding today that will help rebuild and enhance this and other communities devastated by April’s deadly tornadoes. The storms killed eight people in Utica and damaged or destroyed more than 650 homes and businesses. Governor Blagojevich has directed the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to continue leading the state’s recovery efforts as part of his Opportunity Returns economic development plan for the Northwest region, his unique approach to attracting businesses and creating jobs.


October 26, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich’s Search for Flu Vaccine Nets Up to 200,000 More Doses of Aventis Flu Vaccine From Europe
Illinois Awaits FDA Approval to Ship and Use the Nearly 300,000 Flu Shots the State Has Located Through Its I-SaveRx Contacts in Europe
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod Blagojevich this morning announced that his administration has located and placed an order to purchase an additional 200,000 doses of the Aventis flu vaccine from wholesalers in Europe; 80,000 doses have been guaranteed and 120,000 more is expected to be available.


October 26, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich Accepts National Homeland Security Award for Innovation and Best Practices from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Mitretek Corporation
Award honors State Weapons of Mass Destruction Teams
GLENVIEW – Recognizing the state’s continuing commitment to protect Illinois citizens from terrorism, Gov. Rod Blagojevich today accepted the prestigious Mitretek Innovations Award in Homeland Security for the State Weapons of Mass Destruction Teams during a ceremony at the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA) in Glenview. The national award is the first to recognize the most effective homeland security programs. It’s sponsored by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Mitretek Systems.


October 26, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich breaks ground on West Central Illinois Highway - moving vital construction project forward
Illinois 336 to bring new economic development to region and improve quality of life for area residents
CARTHAGE—Governor Rod Blagojevich joined state and local officials to officially break ground and begin construction on an important new segment of Illinois 336. Illinois 336, a four-lane highway that will connect Quincy and Macomb, is a major transportation initiative that will spur economic development in West Central Illinois, a largely rural area of our state. Responding to the overwhelming demand for extending this project even further east, Governor Blagojevich announced earlier this year his support for building an Illinois 336 western bypass around Macomb, which will eventually connect Illinois 336 to US 67, through his Opportunity Returns plan for the West Central region. Preliminary engineering is also underway for Illinois 336 from Macomb to Peoria.


October 26, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME IS COMING TO PEORIA
Tourist Attraction Will Be A Part of New Regional Riverfront Museum
PEORIA – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that the Illinois High School Association Hall of Fame/Peak Performance Center (IHSAHF/PPC) will be located in Peoria. The IHSAHF/PPC will be part of the 100,000 square foot Central Illinois Regional Museum, a new facility being built on Peoria’s downtown riverfront. The new museum with the Hall of Fame is expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors annually, bringing approximately $14 million into the local economy. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin made the official announcement in Peoria today with other state and local leaders.


October 26, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ALMOST $800,000 IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING TO REVITALIZE JACKSONVILLE COMPANY AND ENSURE THE SAFETY OF 100 JOBS
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that AGI Media (AGI), part of the Consumer Packaging Group of MeadWestvaco Corporation, is receiving nearly $800,000 to improve manufacturing capabilities at their Jacksonville facility. The grants and incentives will help retain 100 jobs. The important project is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns program for the Central region, his pro-active, comprehensive plan to promote economic growth and create more jobs throughout Central Illinois.


October 25, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich locates 62,000 to 87,000 doses of flu vaccine, negotiates deal to quickly provide flu shots from Europe for Illinois’ most vulnerable residents
Through His Prescription Drug Importation Program Network, Blagojevich Identifies up to 87,000 Doses of Aventis Flu Vaccine That Could Be Shipped This Week to Meet Need for State’s Nursing Home Residents and Hospitalized Children Governor Calls on FDA to Further Reduce Shortage by Expediting Approval Process for GlaxoSmithKline Flu Vaccine Used in European Countries
CHICAGO – Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Illinois) today announced that his administration has negotiated a tentative agreement -- subject to approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- to immediately ship at least 30,000 doses of flu vaccine from Europe for Illinoisans at critical risk. Another 32,000 to 57,000 will be available to the State for purchase by mid-week. The flu vaccine was made available to Illinois through wholesalers in the United Kingdom that the state has been in contact with through the Governor's I-Save Rx program, which offers Illinois and Wisconsin residents access to affordable, safe prescription drugs from pharmacies in the United Kingdom and Canada.


October 22, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich lauds businesses and organizations for achievements in pollution prevention
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod Blagojevich today named 15 Illinois companies and organizations winners of the Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards for significant achievements in helping the environment and the economy.


October 22, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich appoints new members to Health Facilities Planning Board, Executive Ethics Commission
Governor’s appointments complete membership on both boards
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today made his final appointments to the Heath Facilities Planning Board and the Executive Ethics Commission. After a careful selection process, the Governor named Dr. Ron Winters, a recently retired Family Practitioner from Elgin, and Courtney Avery, an experienced public heath professional from Chicago, to fill the final two vacancies on the Health Facilities Planning Board.


October 21, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich applauds Illinois State Board of Education for taking initial steps to reduce rules and regulations imposed on local school districts
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today applauded the Illinois State Board of Education and Interim Superintendent Dr. Randy Dunn for taking quick action to develop a plan to reduce the 2,800 pages of rules and regulations burdening local school districts.


October 21, 2004
Health Facilities Planning Board approves plan for the former Lincoln Developmental Center site
Work may begin soon on 4 10-bed units for persons with developmental disabilities
CHICAGO - Gov. Rod Blagojevich today said the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board has approved construction of Lincoln Estates, an innovative housing development plan at the former site of the Lincoln Developmental Center (LDC). Today, the HFPB approved a certificate of need for the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to develop four 10-bed housing units for persons with disabilities.


October 20, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH HIGHLIGHTS NEW STUDY LAUDING ILLINOIS AS ONE OF THE TOP STATES IN ATTRACTING FOREIGN INVESTMENT
CHICAGO - Governor Rod Blagojevich today noted a key national study released Tuesday that ranks Illinois fourth in the nation in attracting foreign companies that are creating almost 300,000 jobs in the state. The study revealing Illinois as one of the nation’s best at attracting foreign investment is an important indication of a diverse and vibrant statewide economy. The Washington, D.C. based Organization for International Investment (OFII) conducted the new report.


October 20, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich meets with East-Central Illinois seniors to promote I-SaveRx and encourage enrollment
Governor continues to barnstorm state explaining to seniors how new prescription drug plan can save them money
DANVILLE – At CRIS Senior Services in Danville, Governor Rod Blagojevich continued his statewide effort to promote the new I-SaveRx program and how it can save Illinois seniors money. I-SaveRx is the nation's first program that allows individuals and families to purchase safe, less expensive prescription drugs directly from pharmacies in Canada, England, Scotland and Ireland. Prescription drugs from those countries cost, on average, 25-50% less than the exact same medicines sold here in the United States.


October 20, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich meets with hundreds of Chicago area ministers to promote I-SaveRx and encourage enrollment of church members
Governor continues to barnstorm state talking to seniors, uninsured workers about how I-SaveRx can save them money
CHICAGO – At the Statewide Ministers’ Breakfast at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, Governor Rod Blagojevich continued his effort to heighten awareness about how the I-SaveRx program can save seniors money. The Governor explained the program to more than 200 Chicago area ministers and urged them to help members of their congregations, especially those who work but are uninsured, enroll in the program.


October 19, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich launches outreach campaign for Health Benefits for Workers with Disabilities Program
People with disabilities can enter workforce without fear of losing health benefits
SPRINGFIELD - Gov. Rod Blagojevich today launched a major outreach campaign to raise awareness of a state program that enables people with disabilities to enter the workforce without losing their health benefits.


October 18, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $8.2 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FINANCING TO FACILITATE MERGER THAT WILL CREATE AND RETAIN HUNDREDS OF JOBS
CHICAGO – As a part of his historic, regional plan to spur economic growth and create jobs throughout Illinois, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced more than $8.2 million in Opportunity Returns financing to ensure that the North American corporate headquarters of Astellas Pharma Inc., a company to be created by the merger of two leading pharmaceutical companies, is located in Illinois. Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc., currently based in Deerfield, and Yamanouchi Pharma America, Inc., currently in Paramus, New Jersey, will merge their North American headquarter operations at Fujisawa’s headquarters, leasing additional space to accommodate the new operations. This critical support will help create 75 new jobs and retain 350 more within the next two years.


October 18, 2004
Governor Blagojevich signs legislation providing additional benefits to families of fallen soldiers in War on Terrorism
Family members of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to receive additional compensation from the state
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today signed legislation that establishes significant, additional death benefits for Illinois soldiers killed in the Global War on Terrorism. The State of Illinois will now offer the survivors of soldiers killed in the line of duty monetary benefits that are in addition to those already provided by the federal government and the state.


October 18, 2004
Nearly 15,000 enrollment forms requested during first two weeks of Gov. Blagojevich's prescription drug program
Governor talks with Quad Cities seniors about I-SaveRx
EAST MOLINE – At North Hill Retirement Village in East Moline, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced that since the launch of the I-SaveRx program October 4th, almost 15,000 people have either downloaded the enrollment form from the program's website (www.isaverx.net) or requested enrollment forms through the program's toll-free hotline (1-866-ISAVE33).


October 15, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH’S OPPORTUNITY RETURNS PROGRAM LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE E-LEARNING INITIATIVE IN MADISON AND ST. CLAIR COUNTY
Almost $370,000 Will Help Students Earn Degrees Online And Prepare For World Of Work
MADISON – In an innovative effort to ensure more at-risk young people are earning their high school degrees and are better prepared to thrive in the world of work, Governor Rod Blagojevich announced almost $370,000 in Opportunity Returns funding for a pilot program in Madison and St. Clair County called the Illinois e-Learning Initiative. This comprehensive plan will explore the potential uses and cost-effectiveness of an Illinois e-Learning network for achieving three objectives with at-risk students still in school and out-of-school students. The goals are for each student to earn a high school diploma, develop career and educational plans to assist in managing the transition from school to postsecondary education and/or employment, and attain reading and math levels necessary to enter employment and community college credit programs without further help. The project will also provide youth the opportunity to achieve the information technology skills necessary for competing in the 21st Century economy. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Jack Lavin, whose agency is providing the grants, announced the Opportunity Returns funding today with other state and local leaders at Madison High School, which will be one of the four e-learning locations in Madison and St. Clair County.


October 15, 2004
First Lady Patti Blagojevich leads effort to increase breast cancer awareness and prevention on National Mammography Day
State funded early detection program has provided access to life saving resources and health care for more than 19,000 uninsured women
CHICAGO – Taking a significant stand in the fight against breast cancer, Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich today emphasized the importance of early detection and screening for breast cancer. Speaking at Northwestern Hospital, the First Lady reminded women that the Governor proclaimed October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Illinois, and that there is no better time to take charge of their health.


October 14, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES CRITICAL OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FINANCING TO HELP PEORIA START-UP INCREASE COMPETITIVENESS
CHICAGO - As a part of his historic, regional plan to spur economic growth and create jobs throughout the North Central region, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of $300,000 in Opportunity Returns low-interest state financing, along with an additional $350,000 in equity investment, to help a Peoria start-up firm purchase new equipment that will increase its competiveness at a critical stage in its lifecycle. Firefly Energy Inc. is an early stage technology company that is developing new battery technologies, which significantly enhance the performance of battery power for use in a variety of industries, including the automotive and heavy equipment industry. The infusion of capital will allow the firm to purchase equipment needed to develop that battery power technology.


October 14, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $270,000 IN FUNDING FOR EXPANSION OF CHICAGOLAND ENTREPRENEURIAL CENTER SPURRING INNOVATION AND JOB CREATION
CHICAGO - Delivering on his pledge to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the expansion of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC). CEC, which has been in operation since 1997, is receiving $270,000 in Opportunity Returns funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The funding will greatly increase the CEC’s capacity through the addition of two new staff members and will help it assist more than 150 new firms with one-on-one service. CEC helps 750 firms each year through workshops, seminars and individual consultation – a number that will now increase by 20 percent thanks to the Opportunity Returns grant. DCEO Director Jack Lavin made the announcement today at the CEC, which is affiliated with Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, with other state and local officials.


October 14, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich opens the much-anticipated Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Governor dedicates reading room to late Chicago Sun-Times columnist Steve Neal
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today opened the long-awaited Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in downtown Springfield - the first completed building in a complex being constructed to honor the 16th President.


October 14, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich convenes Livestock Summit
Governor, agriculture leaders work to strengthen Illinois livestock industry
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor Rod Blagojevich today called together leaders of the agriculture community to lay the groundwork for future plans to build up Illinois’ diminishing livestock industry. The Livestock Summit, held at Illinois Department of Agriculture in Springfield, gathered representatives from the Illinois Pork Producers, Beef Association, Poultry Association, Meat Processors, Milk Producers, Sheep Industry, Corn Growers and Soybean Association along with various state agencies to discuss concerns that will help in formulating future solutions.


October 14, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich signs new law giving bargaining rights to grad students
New law defines role of teaching assistants
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich today signed legislation enabling graduate teaching assistants at public universities to organize for purposes of collective bargaining.


October 13, 2004
Governor Blagojevich announces strong new initiatives to increase security, emergency preparedness in schools
Pilot program to focus on improving, implementing school crisis response plans
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today unveiled three new initiatives to ensure greater protection for the state’s schoolchildren during major emergencies and disasters. In addition to the precautionary measures, the Governor called on school officials and first responders to join forces to update school emergency plans so they better address the broad range of hazards facing schools today.


October 12, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $100,000 OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT TO FUND EMERGENCY REPAIRS FOR DEWITT COUNTY SEWER SYSTEM TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH
CHICAGO – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced $100,000 in emergency funding for the town of Farmer City in Dewitt County that will allow critical repairs to be made to its sewer system and quash the threat of additional flooding in residents’ homes. The aggressive effort to improve the quality of infrastructure and public facilities is a major theme of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative for the North Central region, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the area.


October 12, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES NEARLY $100,000 OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT TO FUND EMERGENCY REPAIRS TO HANCOCK COUNTY WATER SYSTEM TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH
CHICAGO – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced nearly $100,000 in emergency aid for the town of Warsaw in Hancock County that will fund critical repairs to its water treatment system and prevent the threat of a potential public health hazard that has become increasingly serious. The aggressive effort to improve the quality of infrastructure and public facilities is a major theme of the Governor Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns initiative for the West Central region, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the area.


October 12, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces new assistance to fund DNA technology in Illinois
Federal government responds to Governor’s call with awards to State Police Crime Labs
SPRINGFIELD, IL – In response to the state’s drastic need for more funding to help solve old and new criminal cases in Illinois, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the Illinois State Police received grants from the United States Department of Justice totaling more than $3.2 million to help clear the DNA backlog. These awards follow the Governor’s call in April to the federal government to provide desperately needed dollars that could save lives by taking violent criminals off the street.


October 12, 2004
Over 11,000 Enrollment Forms Requested During First Week of Governor Blagojevich's Prescription Drug Program
Governor visits Putnam County, LaSalle County seniors
STANDARD—Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced that since the launch of the I-SaveRX program last week, more than 11,000 people have either downloaded the enrollment form from the program's website (www.isaverx.net) or requested enrollment forms through the program's toll-free hotline (1-866-ISAVE33).


October 12, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $6 MILLION TO SUPPORT USE OF CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGY TO REDUCE EMISSIONS
BEDFORD PARK – As a part of an ongoing effort to promote the use of clean coal technologies, Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program today announced that the state has awarded $6 million to Corn Products International, Inc. to enable the Westchester-based corn refiner to replace three antiquated coal-fired boilers at its plant with one environmentally friendly fluidized bed boiler. The project will reduce the plant’s emissions, provide more efficient energy production, and significantly increase the competitiveness of a company that employs more than 500 workers at the facility and is a major consumer of Illinois corn. The funding was announced by Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin, along with other state and local officials, today at an event at its Argo facility.


October 11, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich appoints a state panel to investigate work related death rates in Illinois
Panel will focus on Hispanic and Day Laborer Issues
CHICAGO – In an effort to protect immigrant laborers from unsafe working environments, Governor Rod Blagojevich today appointed a special panel to investigate the high incidence of work related death rates among Hispanic immigrant workers. The rising number of injuries and fatalities among immigrant workers in the transportation, construction, agriculture, retail and service industries prompted the Governor to create this worker safety panel.


October 11, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH WELCOMES GOV. WENYUE ZHANG OF NORTHWEST CHINESE PROVINCE TO ILLINOIS
Meeting Focused On Establishing New Markets for Illinois Companies, Attracting More Foreign Direct Investment
CHICAGO – As part of his ongoing effort to help Illinois businesses establish new markets aboard and increase foreign direct investment at home, Governor Rod Blagojevich met today with Governor Wenyue Zhang of China’s Liaoning Province. Liaoning, which is located in Northwest China, is an important agricultural and industrial province with 41 million residents and a gross domestic product of $65 billion. In 2003, Liaoning imports totaled $13.3 billion.


October 8, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich signs law to help rapidly growing school districts
Fast growth grants now available to Illinois Schools
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today signed House Bill 766, establishing Fast Growth Grants for Illinois schools. This new grant program helps school districts meet the expense of educating quickly growing student populations.


October 7, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich calls on State Board of Education to authorize charter school in Venice
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today called on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to authorize a charter school in Venice. In March of this year, Venice residents voted to close Venice High School, effective at the end of the school year, because of its extreme financial distress. At the time, residents hoped that a charter school could be established to serve the children of Venice. Although regional and local school officials worked continually through the summer to try to establish a charter school, the State Board has yet to approve the proposal - scattering nearly 60 Venice students to other school districts.


October 7, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich names Gerardo Cardenas as his New Chicago Press Secretary and Hispanic Liaison
CHICAGO – Governor Rod Blagojevich today named Gerardo Cardenas as his new Chicago Press Secretary, the first Latino to hold this position. Cardenas is a trilingual journalist with 20 years of experience, including over 13 years as a foreign correspondent for an international wire service in Mexico and Europe.


October 7, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH AGGRESSIVELY PURSUES NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES BY BRINGING FOREIGN TRADE REPRESENTATIVES FROM 21 COUNTRIES TO PEORIA
PEORIA – Delivering on a promise to increase direct foreign investment in the North Central region, Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program is escorting a delegation of Chicago-based, foreign trade commissioners representing 21 countries to Peoria today. The reverse foreign trade mission, sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), is designed to capitalize on the presence of foreign trade offices in Chicago and Illinois’ status as a world-class, strategic location to promote the region as a great place for direct foreign investment and to provide the strategic links needed to increase exports from the North Central region.


October 6, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Encourages women to get regular screenings
SPRINGFIELD– Gov. Rod Blagojevich today proclaimed October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Illinois and Oct. 15, 2004, as Mammography Day and encouraged women to undergo regular cancer screenings.


October 5, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich hits the road on three-day statewide tour to promote new I-SaveRx prescription drug buying program
Governor spends first day of tour reaching out to Chicago-area seniors
CHICAGO—Governor Rod Blagojevich today embarked on a three-day tour of Illinois to promote the new I-SaveRx prescription drug importation program— the first program in the nation to allow citizens to purchase lower cost, safe prescription drugs from Europe and Canada. The outreach effort will target senior citizens’ centers across the state to reach those most affected by the high cost of prescription drugs. The Governor crisscrossed the Chicago area today, stopping at Mather’s Cafe on the City’s northwest side, Bernardin Manor in Calumet City, the Chinese American Service League in Chinatown, and Casa Central in Humboldt Park.


October 5, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces community forums and trainings in three Illinois communities as part of the Project X initiative targeting Ecstasy and Methamphetamines
Forums on club drugs scheduled in Macomb, Springfield and Urbana
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich today announced a series of community awareness events as part of Project X, the aggressive campaign against illegal drugs including Ecstasy and Meth. The community forums are being held in three areas that are receiving funding for the initiative. The community forums, in Springfield, Urbana and Macomb will bring together community stakeholders, law enforcement, treatment providers and the public in an effort to crack down on the growing problem of club drugs.


October 4, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich urges local health agencies to approve mutual aid assistance pact
Calls for sharing resources in the event of an emergency
SPRINGFIELD– In an effort to strengthen the preparedness of the public health system in Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today called on local health departments throughout the state to approve a mutual aid and assistance pact that provides for the sharing of resources in the event of an act of bioterrorism or other emergency.


October 4, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich and Cong. Emanuel joined by Wisconsin Gov. Doyle in launching I-SaveRx prescription drug importation program; Citizens of IL and WI now able to purchase Rx drugs from Europe and Canada
Governors invite other states to sign on
CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) were joined in Chicago today by Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle to launch the new I-SaveRx prescription drug importation program -- the first program in the nation to allow citizens to purchase lower cost, safe prescription drugs from Europe and Canada. Wisconsin is joining the new program developed by Illinois, providing approximately 18 million residents in the two states with access to lower-priced prescription drugs through a network of 45 inspected and approved pharmacies and wholesalers in Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Consumers in Wisconsin and Illinois can lookup I-SaveRx prices and start the enrollment process by calling toll-free 1-866-ISAVE33, or visiting www.I-SaveRx.net.


October 1, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims October “Domestic Violence Awareness Month”
During his first two years in office, Governor Blagojevich has focused state resources on preventing abuse and assisting victims. He has signed five pieces of legislation that call for stiffer penalties for batterers and other safeguards for victims of domestic and sexual battery.


October 1, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich continues commitment to protect victims of domestic violence from employment discrimination
Illinois Department of Labor launches statewide awareness campaign on Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA)
CHICAGO – Fueled by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s proclamation of October as Illinois Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) today launched a statewide awareness campaign to educate the public about protecting victims of domestic violence against discrimination in the workplace. The Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA), provides employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence, and their family or household members with job security in the workplace, the financial independence necessary to leave abusive situations, and 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in any 12-month period to seek medical attention, legal advice and counseling.

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