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November
2004


November 30, 2004
Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius announce addition of Kansas to I-SaveRx prescription drug importation program
Kansas becomes fourth state to join Gov. Blagojevich’s program providing access to safe and affordable prescription drugs
TOPEKA, KS – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich joined Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius today in Topeka to announce Kansas 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 state-approved pharmacies in Europe and Canada.


November 30, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces World AIDS Day observances
Lights to be dimmed at State Capitol and other state buildings
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Gov. Rod Blagojevich today announced that on the nation’s 17th annual observance of World AIDS Day, the state will hold an afternoon remembrance ceremony and an evening candlelight vigil. Both events Wednesday are sponsored by the Illinois Department of Public Health. World AIDS Day also will be observed by dimming the Capitol dome lights and lights at other state government buildings.


November 24, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich calls on U.S. Department of Education to stop proposed changes in Pell Grant funding that could force 52,000 Illinois students to pay more for college
Action would strip $7 million in Pell Grants for state students
CHICAGO – In response to the proposed changes that would slash college aid, Gov. Rod Blagojevich sent a letter today to U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige urging him to stop attempts to make a college education more expensive by altering the way the federal government funds the Pell Grant program, which greatly impacts Illinois students and their families.


November 23, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR MAJOR COMPANY EXPANSION IN DANVILLE
State Support Helps Keep New Quaker Oats Product Line And 25 Jobs in Danville
CHICAGO - Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today the Quaker Oats Company will receive a $375,000 Opportunity Returns grant to relocate its pancake mix production from Lincoln, Nebraska to Danville. This expansion project is expected to retain 25 full-time jobs for the East Central region. Quaker will also receive a $12,500 Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) grant for employee technology training. These grants are part of Opportunity Returns, Governor Blagojevich’s comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the East Central region.


November 23, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich signs law restricting zoning of adult entertainment facilities
New law increases required distance between adult entertainment stores or clubs and schools, churches, or parks
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 2277, legislation that increases the distance required between adult entertainment stores or clubs and schools, places of worship, or parks from 1,000 to 3,000 feet.


November 23, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH LEADS GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR I-355 SOUTH EXTENSION
Relief On the Way for Congestion-Weary Residents, Businesses in Will County as Part of Illinois Tollway’s Long-Range Plan Road Building Project to Create More Than 180,000 Jobs For Region
HOMER TOWNSHIP, Ill. – Gov. Rod Blagojevich today launched the long-awaited groundbreaking of the I-355 South Extension, which will bring needed congestion relief, reduced travel times and jobs for residents of Will County, one of the fastest growing counties in Illinois. Local residents, elected officials, county, union and business leaders were in attendance to see the Governor and other advocates for the new road ceremoniously dig into soil that will be removed to make way for the 12.5-mile south extension of the North-South Tollway (I-355).


November 23, 2004
Toll Collection Ends at Cherry Valley Toll Plaza Fulfilling Governor’s Promise to Tollway Drivers
Governor Blagojevich on Hand to Kick-Off Improvements to Ease Traffic Congestion as part of the Tollway’s Long-Range Plan
ROCKFORD – Governor Rod Blagojevich returned to Rockford today to make good on his promise to the Rock River Valley region – elimination of all tolls at the Cherry Valley Toll Plaza on the Northwest Tollway (I-90). The total elimination of toll collection at the plaza is the first step in realizing the congestion relief solutions outlined for the Rockford area in the Illinois Tollway’s 10-year, $5.3 billion Capital Plan -- Open Roads for a Faster Future.


November 22, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich delivers on early childhood education pledge
Illinois early childhood education program ranks high in national study
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced today that a new national survey gives Illinois’ early childhood education program high marks. Illinois’ Early Childhood Education Block Grant program ranks among the top three in the nation in the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) 2004 State Preschool Yearbook. NIEER’s State Preschool Yearbook grades state programs on quality criteria including curriculum standards, teacher training, class size and support services.


November 18, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH PRAISES GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR PASSING RESOLUTION SUPPORTING STATE’S EFFORTS TO LAND HIGH TECH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROJECT WORTH $1 BILLION INVESTMENT IN ILLINOIS
CHICAGO - Governor Rod Blagojevich praised the General Assembly today for passing House Joint Resolution 0100, which urges the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to select Illinois and Argonne National Laboratory as the home of a major project that could bring $1 billion in investment and hundreds of jobs to the Chicago area.


November 18, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich applauds new State Board of Education for accountability plan
Governor encourages $2.6 million in savings be redirected to fund school district consolidation grants
SPRINGFIELD –Gov. Rod Blagojevich praised the new State Board of Education for its cost savings and accountability plan, announced today at the State Board meeting in Springfield. The plan calls for streamlining agency operations, resulting in savings of $2.6 million in FY 2005 and $3.8 million in FY 2006. Governor Blagojevich supports redirecting the savings to fund school district consolidation grants.


November 17, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES U.S. CELLULAR’S PLANS TO OPEN NEW CALL CENTER IN BOLINGBROOK
Governor’s Opportunity Returns Regional Economic Development Program Provides Approximately $4 Million in Incentives Creating 450 New Jobs
CHICAGO – Governor Rod Blagojevich and U.S. Cellular, motivated by its success growing its business nationwide and in its home market of Chicago, today announced plans to open a new customer call center in southwest suburban Bolingbrook. As a part of his historic, regional plan to spur economic growth and create jobs throughout Northeast Illinois, Governor Blagojevich announced that U.S. Cellular will receive approximately $4 million in Opportunity Returns grants and tax credits to help open the new center. The facility, which will open in the middle of next year, will employ as many as 450 people within its first two years of operation.


November 16, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITY RETURNS SUPPORT FOR AMERIQUEST MORTGAGE COMPANY PLAN TO OPEN AND EXPAND MAJOR ILLINOIS FACILITIES CREATING 2,100 JOBS
SCHAUMBURG - Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Ameriquest Mortgage Company is expanding its loan servicing operation in the Schaumburg area. As a part of his historic, regional plan to spur economic growth and create jobs throughout Northeast Illinois, Governor Blagojevich is providing almost $25 million in support for the new operation, which will create 1,500 new jobs over the next two years. The company is also pledging to bring another 600 jobs to Illinois through its affiliate in Rolling Meadows, Argent Mortgage Company, within the next three years. Governor Blagojevich and Ameriquest representatives made the official announcement in Schaumburg today with various state and local officials.


November 16, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich receives first ever AARP “Senior Independence Award”
Governor honored for creating I-SaveRx and for improving support services to help seniors stay in their homes
SPRINGFIELD – During a ceremony in the State Capitol Rotunda, Governor Rod Blagojevich today accepted the first ever “Senior Independence Award” from the AARP. The Senior Independence Award honors the Governor for his hard fought efforts to help seniors maintain their independence by providing them with better access to safe and affordable prescription drugs and by signing important legislation supporting home-based care for seniors.


November 16, 2004
STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH
On House of Representatives’ Action to Uphold Veto of Bill To Raise the Speed Limit for Trucks to 65 Miles Per Hour
SPRINGFIELD – “Today, members of the Illinois House of Representatives were asked to vote on a bill that would have raised the speed limit for trucks from 55 miles per hour to 65 miles per hour.


November 15, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich’s green youth awards recognize outstanding projects
Students in Chicago, Carlyle, Pontiac and Waukegan honored this year
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the winners of the 2004 Governor’s Green Youth Awards, recognizing students in Chicago, Carlyle, Pontiac and Waukegan for outstanding environmental protection and conservation projects.


November 15, 2004
Governor Blagojevich, AAA urge lawmakers to stress safety on trucking speed limits
Victim’s family joins call for safety on state’s highways Veto Override will Endanger Motorists
CHICAGO—Governor Rod Blagojevich -- joined by AAA officials, leading national safety organizations, family members of a crash victim, and supportive legislators -- today called upon lawmakers to put the safety of their constituents first, and uphold his veto on increasing the trucking speed limit to 65 miles per hour. Gov. Blagojevich vetoed Senate Bill 2374 because of his concern for safety on our state’s highways. The members of the Illinois Senate voted to override the veto last week and it could be called for a vote in the House this week.


November 11, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces new, multi-agency initiative to better serve Illinois veterans and military members
“Serving Those Who Have Served” to make it easier for soldiers to access benefit information
BELLEVILLE – While participating in an annual Veterans Day program in Belleville, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced a new, multi-agency initiative designed to arm the state’s more than one million veterans and military service members with important information about state benefits and programs available to them. Speaking to Belleville residents, local veterans, families of military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and members of a dozen local veterans organizations, Gov. Blagojevich explained the Serving Those Who Have Served initiative consolidates critical information for veterans and military members housed in various state agencies into one, user-friendly website, www.il.gov/iserved, and one comprehensive guide.


November 10, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES THE WINNERS OF THE ANNUAL GOVERNOR’S HOME TOWN AWARDS
SPRINGFIELD – The hard work and dedication of thousands of volunteers across Illinois whose efforts have greatly improved the communities in which they live were acknowledged today at the 23rd annual Governor’s Home Town awards in Springfield. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin, who represented the Governor, was joined by a host of other state and local leaders to recognize their outstanding achievements and to present one winner with the celebrated Governor’s Cup award.


November 10, 2004
Governor announces KidCare tops enrollment target
Successful outreach campaign extends health coverage
SPRINGFIELD - Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced today that the state’s KidCare health insurance program for children has reached 110 percent of its enrollment target.


November 9, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $110,000 IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING TO SPARK COMPANY EXPANSION AND JOB CREATION IN LITCHFIELD
CHICAGO - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of $110,000 in funding to Worksaver, a farm equipment manufacturer in Litchfield, to help the company build a new 18,000 square foot shipping and warehouse building that will increase its production, distribution and sales. The important project, which will allow Worksaver to create 20 new jobs, comes as a 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 the area.


November 8, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH AND TARGET ANNOUNCE MAJOR NEW TARGET DISTRIBUTION CENTER BRINGING NEW JOBS TO DEKALB
Target’s Decision to Build New Distribution Center Brought On By More Than $9.6 Million in Opportunity Returns Grants and Incentives
DEKALB - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced that Target is building a new 1.5 million-square-foot regional distribution center in DeKalb. As a part of his historic, regional plan to spur economic growth and create jobs throughout Northeast Illinois, Governor Blagojevich will award more than $9.6 million in support for the new distribution center, which will pay dividends for the local economy by creating 500 new jobs over the next two years and several hundred additional jobs during the first five years of the facility’s operation. Hiring for the facility will begin in early 2006. Governor Blagojevich and Target representatives made the official announcement in Dekalb today with various state and local officials.


November 8, 2004
Illinois awards 18 Illinois officers with the prestigious Law Enforcement Medal of Honor
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Eighteen Illinois law enforcement officers received the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor today during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Springfield. The annual awards ceremony honors law enforcement officers who have distinguished themselves by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty. This year’s ceremony recognized officers for their acts of heroism for the years 2002 and 2003.


November 5, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH’S OPPORTUNITY RETURNS PROGRAM ANNOUNCES MAJOR INCENTIVE PACKAGE TO SUPPORT HOSPIRA’S CONSTRUCTION OF NEW TECHNICAL CENTER IN LAKE FOREST
LAKE FOREST – As a part of his historic, regional plan to spur economic growth and create jobs throughout Illinois, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of significant state incentives in the form of grants and tax credits to Hospira, Inc., a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company, to help construct its new Technical Center building in Lake Forest.


November 4, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH HEWLETT FOUNDATION TO ACCELERATE GROWTH OF ETHANOL MARKET AND ENERGY INDEPENDENCE IN ILLINOIS
CHICAGO - Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today a new partnership between the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Governors' Ethanol Coalition to accelerate the commercialization of ethanol production from non-traditional cellulosic biomass resources. Governor Blagojevich, the chair of the Governors' Ethanol Coalition, accepted a $75,000 grant award on behalf of the Coalition from the Hewlett Foundation to facilitate the new partnership.


November 4, 2004
Lombard woman first to receive medication from Illinois’ I-SaveRx drug savings program
Says she would “recommend I-SaveRx to anyone”
Chicago, Illinois–Concetta “Connie” Tosti, a retired retail salesperson from Lombard, is the first Illinois resident to receive a shipment of medication from the state’s new prescription drug savings program, I-SaveRx. Gov. Rod Blagojevich launched I-SaveRx in early October to offer Illinois residents a safe and affordable way to purchase their medication refills from Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Wisconsin and Missouri have since joined the I-SaveRx program.


November 4, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois to join national Coastal Management Program
Program to potentially net millions of dollars for Lake Michigan shoreline
SPRINGFIELD - To further protect Illinois' valuable coastal resources, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the state will join the national Coastal Management Program (CMP). The CMP is a voluntary effort administered by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which could bring up to $2 million in federal funding annually to enhance and protect Illinois' Lake Michigan shoreline.


November 3, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES FOREIGN TRADE MISSION TO CHINA TO HELP ESTABLISH NEW MARKETS FOR WEST CENTRAL ILLINOIS BUSINESSES
CHICAGO - In an innovative effort to help West Central Illinois businesses establish new markets across the world, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced that the state would be escorting a delegation of West Central region companies on a foreign trade mission to China. The State of Illinois West Central Region Trade Mission to China, which gets underway Friday and runs through November 17, comes as part of Opportunity Returns, the Governor’s regional economic development plan designed to create jobs and spur economic growth in the region and throughout the state. This mission will help small to medium size companies explore the vast business opportunities in the Chinese marketplace. The following companies and organizations are participating in the trade mission: Broadcast Electronics Inc., City of Quincy, Farm Pride, Great River Economic Development Foundation, Klingner Associates, International Trade Center at Bradley University, Mid-America Port Commission, Quincy Compressor and Quincy University.


November 3, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich creates Elected Officials Working Group for Homeland Security
Group will increase communication, interaction between local officials and the Illinois Terrorism Task Force
SPRINGFIELD –To ensure municipal leaders have a strong voice in the state’s homeland security and disaster planning efforts, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the creation of the Elected Officials Working Group for Homeland Security. Fifteen mayors from throughout Illinois participated in the group’s first meeting today in Springfield.

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