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February
2004


February 29, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich urges local seniors to get involved in fight for affordable drugs
Many may qualify for recently-announced class action lawsuit Governor promotes Illinois Rx Buying Club
Bolingbrook, IL – Just back from the nation’s capital where he announced a major class action lawsuit to give American consumers access to affordable prescription drugs, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today met with nearly 300 seniors in suburban Bolingbrook to tell them how they can get discounts on their medications and help push for a permanent solution to skyrocketing drug prices.


February 27, 2004
IMPORTANT METROPOLIS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FACILITY MOVES CLOSER TO COMPLETION
Shawnee Community College Educational Center Will Train Both Students and Workers
SPRINGFIELD - A major initiative of Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program to help business and industry leaders address the ongoing loss of jobs in their own backyard begins today as Shawnee Community College officials broke ground on the Metropolis Regional Education and Training Center. The versatile new job training and economic development facility will hold more than 10,000 square feet of classroom and lab space ready to serve a diverse population of students and area workers in need of upgrading their skills to meet the demands of a high-tech work environment. The facility will open in October of this year and should train between 1500 and 2000 people each year in about 100 courses. Governor Blagojevich first announced $2.2 million in funding for the educational center when he visited Carbondale in November to unveil Opportunity Returns, his comprehensive, economic development plan designed to spur economic growth and create new jobs in the state’s Southern region.


February 27, 2004
LICENSE PLATE REFORM SAILS IN HOUSE COMMITTEE Bill to enable any driver to get low-digit plates heads to House floor
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Legislation to end the practice of high government officials trading prestigious low-digit license plates for campaign cash sailed through an Illinois House committee this week and now heads to the full House.


February 26, 2004
Lt. Governor Pat Quinn joined by Sheila Simon to announce the “Paul Simon Lieutenant Governor Fellowship” in honor of the late Paul Simon and his legacy as an advocate for everyday people
SPRINGFIELD – Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined Sheila Simon to announce the “Paul Simon Lieutenant Governor Fellowship” in honor of the late Paul Simon and his lasting imprint on the state of Illinois as an advocate for everyday people.


February 26, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich Initiates Class Action Lawsuit to Allow Import of Canadian Prescriptions
Could force the FDA to allow individuals and governments to import less expensive drugs Illinois couple first to take on federal government for denying them access to affordable Canadian drugs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the Hall of States, the Washington base for the nation’s Governors, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced legal action that could force the FDA to promulgate rules allowing states and individuals to import drugs from Canada where they cost up to 80% less. The Governor joined Ray and Gaylee Andrews, of suburban Chicago, and their attorney, Robert A. Clifford, after the couple became the first plaintiffs in a major federal class action lawsuit filed today in D.C. federal district court against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration.


February 26, 2004
GOVERNOR’S CLEAN SCHOOL BUS PROGRAM TO OFFER SERIES OF 10 CLEAN SCHOOL BUS WORKSHOPS
School Officials Will Get Information on Reducing Harmful Diesel Emissions
SPRINGFIELD --- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a series of “clean school bus” workshops that will be held throughout Illinois to provide additional information to Illinois school officials on reducing emissions from diesel-powered school bus fleets.


February 25, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich Lays Out Illinois’ Federal Funding Priorities and Needs in Meeting with Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation
Focuses on five key initiatives
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a meeting with members of Illinois’ Congressional delegation today in the nation’s capital, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich outlined major Illinois initiatives he wants to see included in the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2005.


February 24, 2004
Low-Digit License Plate Act of 2004
CHICAGO - Today Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn and Better Government Association Executive Director Jay Stewart held a press conference to push for approval of the “Low Digit License Plate Act of 2004” to reform the way low-digit plates are issued.


February 24, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES MORE VALUABLE JOB TRAINING GRANTS FOR THE ROCK RIVER VALLEY REGION
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of two new workforce-training grants in the Northern Stateline region as a part of his regional economic development plan, Opportunity Returns.


February 24, 2004
GOVERNORS HOLD HISTORIC MEETING ON PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS
~ Capitol Hill summit features governors, congressional leaders on reimportation issue~
Washington, DC – Two of the nation’s leading proponents of prescription drug reimportation, Governors Rod Blagojevich (D) of Illinois and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota (R), hosted an historic meeting of governors and Congressional leaders on Tuesday to discuss reimportation of prescription drugs as a way to cut medicine costs for American consumers. Joining Blagojevich and Pawlenty were Governors Jim Doyle (D) of Wisconsin and Bob Wise (D) of West Virginia.


February 23, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES GRANTS TO INA AND CARRIER MILLS THAT WILL STRENGTHEN TECHNOLOGY LITERACY
‘Eliminate the Digital Divide’ Program Will Prepare Workers for Better Jobs
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Ina and Carrier Mills will receive technology grants as part of his Opportunity Returns plan for job creation in the Southern region. These grants, known as the Eliminate the Digital Divide program, fund technology centers in low-income communities in order to provide technology skills training and access to computers and the Internet. This program provides the critical skills that employees will need to succeed in today’s high-tech workplace.


February 23, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES EMPLOYER TRAINING GRANTS THAT WILL IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY AT ST. CLAIR AND MADISON COUNTY COMPANIES
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced more workforce training grants for the Southwest region as a part of Opportunity Returns, his new regional economic development plan designed to spur economic growth and create jobs.


February 23, 2004
QUINN JOINS U.S. SOLDIER GRANTED CITZENSHIP BEFORE RETURN TO IRAQ Marine Corporal Matthew Prentice receives U.S. citizenship with aid of Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn
CHICAGO—Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined British-born Marine Corporal Matthew Prentice for the granting of U.S. citizenship before his unit - the 1st Marine Division - departs for active duty service in Iraq.


February 22, 2004
LT.GOV. QUINN JOINS VICTIMS OF TOXIC CHEMICAL POLLUTION Urges legislative approval of the “Toxic Chemical Disclosure Act of 2004”
CHICAGO- Today Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn was joined by victims of toxic waste pollution to push for approval of the “Toxic Chemical Disclosure Act”, the top environmental reform bill facing the General Assembly this session.


February 22, 2004
LT.GOV. QUINN SOUNDS ALARM ON DANGEROUS MERCURY Submits testimony at U.S. EPA hearing regarding toxic mercury emissions
CHICAGO- Today Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined environmentalists and concerned citizens from across the Midwest to voice objections to the U.S. EPA proposed mercury emission standards.


February 20, 2004
Lt. Governor Pat Quinn launched a statewide campaign to promote Employer Assisted Housing, an employer-provided program to help employees obtain homeownership status closer to work
GURNEE – Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn launched a statewide campaign to promote Employer Assisted Housing (EAH), an employer-provided program to help employees reach homeownership status closer to work. Quinn partnered with the Affordable Housing Corporation of Lake County and Fannie Mae Corporation to kickoff this campaign in the Lake County area.


February 20, 2004
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn Salutes Three Lake County Main Street Communities – Waukegan, Libertyville and Mundelein – for Innovative Initiatives that Revitalize Historic Downtown Districts
Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn toured Lake County to visit three Illinois Main Street communities in the area today. Quinn first saluted the Waukegan Downtown Association at 9:15 a.m. at the Genesee Theater, on its dedicated efforts to redevelop and revitalize downtown Waukegan, and helped it to win a Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization at the 2003 Main Street state conference.


February 19, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich’s school funding and accountability plans win support of Chicago educators
Governor Says State Must Choose Between Schools and Corporate Loopholes Governor joined by Chicago Public Schools’ CEO Arne Duncan in calling for overhaul of education system in Illinois, more money for classrooms
CHICAGO – One day after he delivered his second annual budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly in Springfield, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich was joined by Chicago Schools’ CEO Arne Duncan as he rallied support for his plans to increase funding and accountability for schools in Illinois.


February 19, 2004
Blagojevich awards $14.3 million for terrorism readiness efforts
Hospitals, emergency providers receive funding
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the awarding of $14.3 million to hospitals, emergency medical providers and healthcare organizations to better prepare the state for dealing with a terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction.


February 18, 2004
Illinois EPA budget will enhance protection of the environment
Two divisions from other agencies to be moved into IEPA
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich has recommended a fiscal year 2005 budget for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency that will enhance and continue the Agency’s programs to protect the environment in the state.


February 18, 2004
Public safety, improved information systems among Governor’s top initiatives for Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
Authority targets funds to more effectively combat guns, drugs and violence in Illinois communities
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod. R Blagojevich announced today the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, with the assistance of federal grants and state funding, will continue to make law enforcement in Illinois more efficient and effective. Even faced with tight fiscal times, the authority will target resources to underserved areas of the state and toward the problems of guns and drugs.


February 18, 2004
Community colleges hold the line next fiscal year
Governor Blagojevich budget recognizes community college role in workforce training
SPRINGFIELD - Despite the $1.7 billion deficit the state is faced with, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich held the line on Illinois community colleges operations funding, leaving Fiscal Year 2005 funding at the same level as the current year. Base Operating Grants represent the most flexible funds for the colleges and they can be applied to areas of greatest need by each college.


February 18, 2004
Eliminating health disparities and improving physical fitness among Governor's initiatives in Public Health budget
Higher spending proposed for HIV/AIDS and women’s health
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today unveiled a $355 million budget for the Illinois Department of Public Health that calls for creation of new statewide initiatives to eliminate health disparities and to promote physical fitness, and recommends increased spending for HIV/AIDS and breast and cervical cancer programs.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s budget plan for Office of the State Fire Marshal boosts frontline positions and increases services to local fire departments
FY05 budget proposal more than doubles funding for firefighter training
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich unveiled plans to put more State Fire Marshal officers on the frontlines. In fact, the Fiscal Year 2005 State Fire Marshal budget increases the number of frontline positions by 28 percent. The new frontline positions will include more fire prevention inspectors, arson investigators, and boiler and pressure vessel inspectors. As a result of this enhanced inspection force, the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) will inspect approximately 10,000 additional sites.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s proposal for Illinois Department of Employment Security will net millions of dollars in savings
IDES turns to technology to streamline administrative costs and promote job opportunity
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today new management techniques and restructuring at the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) that will lead to millions of dollars in savings. Cornerstones of the Governor’s plans for Fiscal Year 2005 include restructuring the disbursement network for unemployment insurance and creating new ways to support the Governor’s Opportunity Returns economic blueprint.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s plan for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources focuses on core programs
FY05 plan includes consolidation of services, new dollars for parks
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today plans to expand recreational and educational opportunities across the state through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The proposed budget for IDNR includes funding for new and upgraded facilities and programs at state parks.


February 18, 2004
Five-agency merger will net $14 million in savings
Governor unites five agencies and programs with similar missions
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the historic uniting of five state agencies and programs into the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR). The merger will provide Illinois consumers and professionals with more efficiency and greater service for significantly less money in Fiscal Year 2005. The newly consolidated agency will include the Office of Banks and Real Estate, Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Insurance and Department of Professional Regulation and administration of the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (CHIP).


February 18, 2004
Governor’s proposal for Department of Corrections budget increases efficiency through restructuring, expands supervision of parolees and re-entry management
Sheridan and Operation Spotlight to deter crime, reduce recidivism Cost-saving initiatives address organizational restructure
SPRINGFIELD – At a time when the state has reached its highest recidivism rate in history of 54 percent, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proposed today a budget for the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) that highlights smart investments designed to reduce crime by strengthening law enforcement supervision of parolees as well as enhancing prevention programs to move offenders toward responsible alternatives to crime and drugs.


February 18, 2004
Military Affairs budget reduces operations funding and continues commitment for Illinois Military Family Relief
FY 2005 budget proposal includes initiatives to improve efficiency, consolidate operations
SPRINGFIELD - Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today continued his commitment to support Illinois military families in his Fiscal Year 2005 budget proposal for the Department of Military Affairs. The budget proposal streamlines operations, supports a new armory facility, and continues to place the Military Family Relief Fund as a high priority.


February 18, 2004
Governor stresses Higher Education’s core mission, accountability in FY05 budget
SPRINGFIELD – A $2.26 billion general funds budget recommended by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today places emphasis on access and affordability, economic development, and accountability.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s proposed budget maintains tax enforcement efforts, strengthens operations to maximize tax collections
Budget provides full year’s savings from Lottery, Liquor Control, Racing Board savings and moves Circuit Breaker and pharmaceutical assistance
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the Illinois Department of Revenue will continue to focus on collecting the revenues needed to pay for critical state services and will continue to emphasize tax law enforcement in Fiscal Year 2005.


February 18, 2004
Improving procurement and information technology initiatives in Fiscal Year 2005 among highlights in the Department of Central Management Services
Through continued procurement efficiency alone Illinois projects savings of $200 million in 2005
SPRINGFIELD –Looking ahead to Fiscal Year 2005, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) will focus efforts on making the most of taxpayers’ dollars. Among the key budget initiatives to continue to take priority in 2005, are the state’s procurement and information technology issues, which CMS oversees.


February 18, 2004
Governor makes education top priority in state construction
New leadership increases level of service and reduces bureaucracy in school construction program
SPRINGFIELD- The state’s School Construction Program is a $500 million per year initiative directed at replacing aging school buildings and alleviating overcrowded classrooms. Governor Blagojevich recently proposed legislation to expand CDB’s role in this program by allowing them to fully administer the grant program and manage the construction of downstate schools. If approved by the legislature, CDB will acquire an additional 13 positions to ensure the success and quality of this program next fiscal year.


February 18, 2004
Governor Blagojevich boosts frontline personnel at Illinois State Police in FY 2005
Law enforcement divisions from various state agencies consolidated into ISP in effort to centralize state law enforcement
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced plans today to centralize state policing under one roof, to better protect Illinois citizens. The Governor’s budget proposal consolidates special agents from Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and the Department of Central Management Services' (CMS) Police into the Illinois State Police (ISP). Front line personnel will also be expanded by funding of two new cadet classes of 110 state police officers and returning officers in administrative roles to positions in patrol and investigative services.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s proposal Historic Preservation Agency will open and staff Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Main Street program also receives funding commitment
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today outlined his budget plan for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) and it includes funding to open and staff the much anticipated Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The new complex under construction in downtown Springfield will honor the legacy of Illinois favorite son and the Nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. The proposed budget will further help IHPA achieve its’ goal to save and share Illinois’ past, demonstrate its’ relevance in the present and provide direction for the future.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s budget plan streamlines operations while maintaining quality of care for Illinois veterans
FY 2005 budget proposal includes ways to improve accessibility, veteran home operations and lower prescription drug costs
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today introduced his fiscal year 2005 budget proposal that will help the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs better achieve its’ mission to assist veterans, their dependents and their survivors. The Department of Veterans Affairs is aggressively pursuing new ways to streamline administration and improve accessibility to services to meet the Governor’s initiative to reform state government.


February 18, 2004
Governor recommends $18.5 million Arts Council budget
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proposed a Fiscal Year 2005 budget of $18.5 million for the Illinois Arts Council (IAC). The introduced General Revenue budget of $17.8 million represents a $100,000 decrease from the FY04 General Revenue budget of $19.7 million. The savings will be realized through reductions in operating costs. IAC’s budget also includes $741,000 in spending authority for federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a $66,000 increase over the FY04 level.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s budget proposal makes service top priority in Illinois Department on Aging
In-home and community-based services grow in FY05 proposal
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced plans to strengthen programs for vulnerable Illinois seniors through increased levels of service at the Illinois Department on Aging. The Governor’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2005 of $401.7 million supports the growth of in-home and community-based services to help frail elderly people remain in their homes and to offer them a voice in the direction of their own care.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s budget for Agriculture designed to ensure food safety through increased testing, inspections
Proposed budget will boost number of frontline meat inspectors, feed inspections and consolidate operations
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s budget proposal unveiled today will enable the Illinois Department of Agriculture to focus more sharply on its’ main mission to safeguard public health and ensure public confidence in Illinois’ food supply.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s budget plan includes administrative merger of Human Rights Commission into Department of Human Rights
Merger will increase efficiency and accessibility to services
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2005 for the Illinois Department of Human Rights (DHR) that will increase efficiency and improve service delivery. The proposed FY 2005 of $10.8 million includes $2.4 million in federal funds and $8.4 million from the General Revenue Fund. The budget reflects the Governor’s commitment to streamlining government while investing in human rights services.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s plan for Illinois Department of Transportation streamlines costs and increases efficiency
FY2005 plan includes consolidating administrative functions, increased federal dollars
SPRINGFIELD – Following his message to reform state government, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today presented a Fiscal Year 2005 operations budget for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) that will make the Department more streamlined and effective.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s budget proposal for Illinois Student Assistance Commission continues financial aid commitment to Students
Ensuring College Affordability Among Governor’s Top Priorities
SPRINGFIELD – Even during tough fiscal times, Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today he will preserve funding in the Illinois Student Assistance Commission for the state’s largest student financial aid program, the Monetary Award Program, commonly known as MAP.


February 18, 2004
Procedural reforms to boost efficiency at Department of Labor in FY 2005.
By cross-training investigators and merging two disparate divisions, the Illinois Department of Labor will reduce costs and increase efficiency in FY 2005.
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) in Fiscal Year 2005 will seek to increase efficiency and improve public awareness by cross-training its investigators and merging two currently separate divisions.


February 18, 2004
Five key initiatives for fiscal discipline highlight Governor’s Office of Management and Budget Proposals for FY 2005
Proposed legislation would reform “Business as Usual” in state’s spending habits
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Spend only what you have. Pay your bills on time. Save for a rainy day. Budget for emergencies. Balance your checkbook regularly.


February 18, 2004
DCEO leads governor’s comprehensive plan to restore economic opportunity throughout Illinois
Agency continues to position Illinois communities for growth and new jobs by implementing “Opportunity Returns”
SPRINGFIELD- - In a bold, historic effort to jumpstart the Illinois economy in the face of budget shortfalls and limited fiscal resources, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is leading the most aggressive, innovative approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history through Opportunity Returns.


February 18, 2004
Governor Blagojevich delivers on pledge in Public Aid budget to expand access to health care for Illinois families
FamilyCare program will cover 56,000 more uninsured working parents
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today unveiled the Fiscal Year 2005 budget for the Illinois Department of Public Aid (IDPA) that ensures Illinois will remain in the forefront of the fight to deliver quality health care for its most vulnerable citizens and will continue an aggressive crackdown on parents who shirk their child support obligations.


February 18, 2004
Governor’s budget plan for DCFS reflects strategic focus on accountability and providing high quality services to Illinois children and families
Aggressive reforms funded include statewide implementation of the Integrated Assessment Program and establishment of a new residential monitoring program
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proposed a Fiscal Year 2005 budget for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) that more effectively provides high quality care to the state’s most vulnerable citizens - abused and neglected children.


February 18, 2004
Fiscal responsibility and streamlined services highlight the Governor’s proposal for Illinois Department of Human Services
Budget increases funding for in-home care for persons with disabilities, raises pay for home care workers and transfers Early Intervention funding to IDHS
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich provides a much-needed boost for an array of community-based human service programs in his Fiscal Year 2005 budget proposal for the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), including Maximizing Accountability and Excellence (MAX). MAX is the pilot initiative of IDHS, intended to increase the number of contracts awarded on a competitive basis, increase the use of fee for service, and introduce the use of performance-based contracts. The new MAX initiative is also aimed at increasing federal funding and making service providers more accountable.


February 18, 2004
Blagojevich balances $1.7 billion deficit without increasing income and sales taxes; boosts funding for education, health care and public safety
Governor streamlines state agencies and operations, proposes permanent fiscal discipline legislation
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today unveiled a budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2005 that delivers on his promise to reform education, further protect the citizens of Illinois and better spend taxpayers’ dollars. Just as he proposed last year, the Governor’s budget plan fulfills these promises without raising the state sales or income tax.


February 17, 2004
GOVERNOR HELPS STRENGTHEN TECHNOLOGY LITERACY IN FREEPORT
‘Eliminate the Digital Divide’ Program Will Prepare Workers for High-Tech Jobs
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Freeport will receive a technology grant as part of his Opportunity Returns plan for job creation in the Northern Stateline region. This grant, known as the Eliminate the Digital Divide program, funds technology centers in low-income communities in order to provide technology skills training and access to computers and the Internet. This program provides the critical skills that employees will need to succeed in today’s high-tech workplace.


February 17, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT GRANT TO HELP ELIMINATE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IN ALTON
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Alton will each receive a technology grant as part of his Opportunity Returns plan for job creation in Southwestern Illinois. These grants, known as the Eliminate the Digital Divide program, fund technology centers in low-income communities in order to provide technology skills training and access to computers and the Internet. This program provides the critical skills that employees will need to succeed in today’s high-tech workplace.


February 15, 2004
Governor proposes balanced budget act
Governor’s Bill Would Require Any New Spending to Match Revenues In Every Piece of Legislation Considered by the General Assembly
CHICAGO – During a preview of his upcoming budget address, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today unveiled the Balanced Budget Act – legislation he will unveil on Wednesday that would require every spending increase considered by the General Assembly to identify corresponding revenues or spending cuts in order to help keep state spending in check.


February 11, 2004
LIEUTENANT GOVERNORS LAUNCH NATIONWIDE DRIVE TO AID MILITARY FAMILIES
WASHINGTON D.C. - A nationwide movement to aid financially-strapped families of National Guard members and reservists was launched today by Lieutenant Governors Pat Quinn (D-Illinois), André Bauer (R-South Carolina), Cruz Bustamante (D-California), Beverly Daggett (D-Maine), Brian Dubie (R-Vermont), Mary Fallin (R-Oklahoma), Charles Fogarty (R-Rhode Island), Kerry Healey (R-Massachusetts), Cathy Baker Knoll (D-Pennsylvania), Mitch Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Loren Leman (R-Alaska), Beverly Perdue (D-North Carolina) and other lieutenant governors.


February 10, 2004
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PAT QUINN LAUNCHES DRIVE TO CREATE “PUBLIC HEALTH ADVOCATES” DESIGNED TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF ILLINOIS HEALTH CARE CONSUMERS
Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn and Rep. Mike Boland (D – E. Moline) launched a drive today to create “Public Health Advocates,” a new public interest group designed to give Illinois health care consumers a greater voice


February 10, 2004
Governor announces $437,500 to Nameoki Township
Grants to be used for infrastructure improvements
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $437,500 in grants to Nameoki Township. These grants will allow for the Arlington Drive resurfacing project and sewer project for Arlington Heights subdivision.


February 10, 2004
Governor awards $12,500 to Braceville Township
Public meeting space to be constructed
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $12,500 in grants to Braceville Township in Grundy County for construction of an addition to the township maintenance facility at 7900 E. Braceville Road. The space will be used for public meetings and will include handicapped accessible restroom facilities. This is the final installment on a $25,000 grant for this project.


February 9, 2004
QUINN SALUTES NATIONAL HOSPITALIZED VETERANS WEEK Quinn urges citizens to send Valentine’s Day cards to local Veterans hospitals
CHICAGO—Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn kicked off National Hospitalized Veterans Week to urge citizens to send Valentine’s Day cards to their local veterans hospital to pay tribute and express appreciation to our nation’s veterans.


February 9, 2004
GOVERNOR TAKES ANOTHER IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS ELIMINATING THE DIGITIAL DIVIDE IN BELLEVILLE
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Belleville will receive a technology grant as part of his Opportunity Returns plan for job creation in Southwestern Illinois. These grants, known as the Eliminate the Digital Divide program, fund technology centers in low-income communities in order to provide technology skills training and access to computers and the Internet. This program provides the critical skills that employees will need to succeed in today’s high-tech workplace.


February 9, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES TECHNOLOGY GRANTS TO CAIRO AND VIENNA FOR ELIMINATING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Cairo and Vienna will receive technology grants as part of his Opportunity Returns plan for job creation in the Southern region. These grants, known as the Eliminate the Digital Divide program, fund technology centers in low-income communities in order to provide technology skills training and access to computers and the Internet. This program provides the critical skills that employees will need to succeed in today’s high-tech workplace.


February 9, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES VALUABLE JOB TRAINING GRANTS FOR THE NORTH CENTRAL REGION
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of three new workforce-training grants in the North Central region as a part of Opportunity Returns, the Governor’s new, regional economic development plan designed to spur the local economy and create jobs.


February 9, 2004
Governor appoints taskforce of school administrators to help shape new Department of Education
Former State Superintendent Michael Bakalis to chair task force
CHICAGO – In moving forward with his plan to shift responsibility for overseeing Illinois’ schools to a new Department of Education, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today appointed a 38-member taskforce of school administrators to help guide the process of structuring the new agency and developing policies for improving service to local schools.


February 9, 2004
Governor announces $37,500 grant to City of Champaign
Grant to be used for business park infrastructure
CHICAGO– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a grant of $37,500 to the City of Champaign for infrastructure improvements at a business park. This is the final installment on a $75,000 grant for this project.


February 9, 2004
Governor announces $50,000 to Danville YMCA
Grant used for multiple improvements
CHICAGO– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today authorized the release of $50,000 in state funds to the Danville YMCA as part of a project to improve the facility’s lobby, parking lot and handicapped accessibility. This is the final installment on a $100,000 grant for this project.


February 9, 2004
Governor awards $100,000 to the Village of LaGrange Park
Funds to be used for sewer system improvements
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $100,132 grant to the Village of LaGrange Park for construction of the East Side Relief Sewer. The funds are part of a $300,000 grant for the project, which has a remaining balance of $5,840.


February 9, 2004
Governor announces $21,000 grant for Midwest Youth Services
New roof for youth center in Jacksonville
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $21,779 grant for a roof replacement project at the Youth Attention Center in Jacksonville. The funds are part of a $50,000 grant for the project, which has a remaining balance of $3,221.


February 8, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES FIRST GRANTS IN CREATIVE COW POWER PROGRAM
Almost $500,000 for two Northern Stateline region farms who will turn waste into electricity
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the first Cow Power grants to a pair of Stephenson County farms that will help both the environment and the economy by turning animal waste into electricity. A $225,000 Opportunity Returns grant is going to Scheidairy Farms in Freeport, while Hunter Haven Farms in Pearl City will receive a grant of almost $225,000. The funds will be used to install state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion systems at both facilities. The Governor unveiled the Cow Power program last October as part of his Opportunity Returns plan for the Northern Stateline region to spur economic growth.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces funding for Big Rock Historical Society
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $12,500 grant to the Big Rock Historical Society to help offset costs associated with moving a donated home as part of a library and museum complex. This is the final installment on a $25,000 grant for this project.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $75,000 to Shimer College
Grant supports renovations to Community Center
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $75,000 grant for renovations to the Shimer College Community Center in Waukegan. The community center houses the college’s Learning Center, which is an after-school tutoring service for disadvantaged elementary school students.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $37,500 for Deer Creek, Minonk and Rutland
Funds to help with capital improvements
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded $37,500 in grants for capital improvement projects in the Village of Deer Creek, the City of Minonk and the Village of Rutland. The Village of Deer Creek is receiving $12,500 towards an extension of East First Avenue; the City of Minonk is getting $12,500 for sanitary sewer repairs on Maple Street; and, the Village of Rutland is receiving $12,500 for street paving and water system work. These funds represent the final installments being paid on $25,000 grants for each project.


February 6, 2004
Governor awards $434,000 to schools in Northeastern Illinois
Eight Illinois school districts to benefit from local projects
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced over $434,000 in grants for projects benefiting eight school districts in the Chicagoland area. The projects range from improved accessibility for the disabled to roof repairs.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $37,500 for Village of East Dundee
Funds used for highway and sewer improvements
CHICAGO- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $37,500 grant to the Village of East Dundee to offset construction costs of a new turn lane on State Route 68 and sanitary sewer replacement along State Route 72. These funds represent the final installments on two grants totaling $75,000 for these projects.


February 6, 2004
Governor awards more than $45,000 to Village of Elburn
Grant to be used for sidewalk construction
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded $45,791 to the Village of Elburn to construct sidewalks connecting several important locations along North Main Street. This is the final installment on a $100,000 grant for this project.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $225,000 for housing and homeless projects
Four suburban organizations to benefit from funds
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $225,000 in grants to four Chicagoland organizations that address the issues of affordable housing and homelessness. P.A.D.S. of Elgin is receiving $125,000 towards construction of a new homeless shelter; McHenry County P.A.D.S. is getting $12,500 to offset costs related to construction of a day services center; $37,500 is going to the Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb for construction of a new building; and, the Village of Glendale Heights will use a $50,000 grant for redevelopment of a home for use by low-income residents.


February 6, 2004
Governor awards more than $164,000 for capital projects
Three Illinois communities to benefit from funding
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $164,619 in state grants to three Illinois communities for capital projects including bridge repairs and sewer system improvements. The Village of Fox River Grove is getting $32,500 for sewer system rehabilitation, the Village of Wauconda is receiving $125,000 to help pay for replacement of sanitary system lift stations, and $7,119 is going to the Village of Round Lake for a new footbridge.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $50,000 grant to Fox Valley YMCA
Will help build new child care center
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today authorized a $50,000 grant to the Fox Valley YMCA to offset costs related to construction of a new childcare center. This is the final installment on a $100,000 grant for this project.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $48,000 for two Eastern Illinois communities
Communities to get road repairs, fire equipment
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today authorized the release of $48,000 in state funds for two projects in East Central Illinois. The Village of Loda is receiving $28,000 to offset the costs of road, curb and gutter work throughout the village. This is the final installment on a $70,000 grant for this project. The Papineau Township Fire Protection District is getting a $20,000 state grant towards the purchase of fire equipment.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $75,000 grant to Montgomery County
Grant to be used for new courthouse improvements
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $75,000 state grant for improvements at the Montgomery County Courthouse located on the square in Hillsboro. The courthouse was placed on the National Historic Register in 1994.


February 6, 2004
Governor awards $25,000 to SHORE Community Services
Funds benefit the developmentally disabled
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $25,000 grant to SHORE Community Services, Inc., for bathroom renovations at the organization’s training facility in Morton Grove. Improvements include a number of upgrades that are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) such as wider doorways, sinks and bathroom stalls. This is the first installment of a $50,000 grant for this project.


February 6, 2004
Governor awards $2.5 million for projects in Chicago’s Northern Suburbs
Five Illinois communities to benefit
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded $2.5 million in grants for eleven projects in Morton Grove, Niles, Norridge, Park Ridge and Skokie. The projects include public safety and infrastructure improvements.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces release of $48,000 to City of Oakbrook Terrace
Funds to be used to offset the cost of water system expansion
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today authorized the release of $48,000 to the City of Oakbrook Terrace for costs related to an expansion of the city’s water system. This is the final installment on a $500,000 grant for this project.


February 6, 2004
Governor awards $40,000 to Oswegoland Park District
Grant to be used for pedestrian/bicycle bridge
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $40,000 grant to the Oswegoland Park District for construction of a bicycle and pedestrian bridge across Waubonsie Creek. The bridge will connect the Fox River Trail to Hudson Crossing Park and two adjacent, recently acquired properties. This is the first installment on an $80,000 grant.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $4,700 grant to City of Plano
Grant to be used for downtown revitalization project
CHICAGO– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $4,789 grant to the City of Plano for a downtown business district revitalization. The funds are part of a $100,000 grant for the project, which has a remaining balance of $40,500.


February 6, 2004
Governor awards $25,000 to Rolling Meadows Park District
Fire safety system to be renovated
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today authorized a $25,000 grant to the Rolling Meadows Park District to offset costs of renovating the fire safety system at the park district’s sports complex. The Rolling Meadows facility serves approximately 30,000 people. This is the final installment on a $50,000 grant for this project.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces over $127,000 for Central Illinois water and sewer projects
Five Illinois communities to benefit from local projects


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $47,000 grant to Sterling Township
Project to benefit residents of two subdivisions
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $47,348 grant to Sterling Township for construction of a sanitary sewer collection system. The new system is being connected to the existing City of Sterling sanitary sewer system and will serve over 200 residents in the Steelton and Grimes subdivisions. This is the final installment on a $100,000 grant for this project.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $1.25 million to Central Stickney Fire Protection District
Grant to be used for new equipment
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $1.25 million state grant to the Central Stickney Fire Protection District for the purchase of new firefighting vehicles and repairs and renovations to its fire station.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $200,000 to Village of Stone Park
Grant to be used for water main improvements
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today authorized a $200,000 state grant to the Village of Stone Park for the replacement of a water main in the 1700 and 1800 blocks of 35th Avenue.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces over $500,000 for suburban public safety projects
Eight Illinois communities to benefit
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today authorized the payment of over $500,000 for eight projects in McHenry County, Calumet City, Gilberts, Glenside, Highwood, Lakewood, Villa Park and the Newport Township Fire Protection District in northwest Lake County. The projects focus on public safety improvements and initiatives.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $25,000 grant for public works vehicle
Will benefit the Village of Sun River Terrace
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $25,000 state grant to the Village of Sun River Terrace for the purchase of a public works vehicle.


February 6, 2004
Governor awards $200,000 to City of Taylorville
Grant to be used for new Emergency Services Center
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $200,000 state grant to the City of Taylorville for construction of an Emergency Services Center, which will house the city’s police and fire departments as well as the Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (ESDA) facilities. These departments currently operate out of the Taylorville Municipal Building.


February 6, 2004
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OUTLINES “HEALTHY SMILES INITIATIVE” LEGISLATION MANDATING DENTAL SCREENS FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN AT KICK-OFF OF “GIVE KIDS A SMILE DAY” Quinn celebrates Children’s Dental Health Month
Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn kicked off “Give Kids A Smile Day” and National Children’s Dental Health Month with the Infant Welfare Society by outlining his “Healthy Smiles Initiative” legislation that calls for mandatory dental screenings for every public and private school student.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $24,000 to City of Trenton
Funds used to provide safe and reliable source of water
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today authorized the release of just over $24,000 in state funds to the City of Trenton for new water mains to replace portions of the existing system, which is failing. This is the final installment on a $100,000 grant for this project.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces $236,000 for infrastructure improvements in Southern Illinois
Four communities to benefit from local projects
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich is providing $236,000 in funding for infrastructure projects in four Southern Illinois communities including Hurst, Mound City, and Johnson and Saline counties.


February 6, 2004
Governor announces over $127,000 for Central Illinois water and sewer projects
Five Illinois communities to benefit from local projects
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today authorized over $127,000 in grants for five projects in Berlin, Petersburg, Rockbridge, Sawyerville and White Hall. The projects are for various water and sewer improvements.


February 5, 2004
Governor unveils legislation to create new Department of Education
Bi-partisan coalition of sponsors vow to push reform through the legislature
(SPRINGFIELD) –Flanked by lawmakers from both political parties and both legislative chambers, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today unveiled legislation to transfer all administrative responsibilities from the Illinois State Board of Education to a new Department of Education that will be directly accountable to the Governor.


February 5, 2004
GOVERNOR IMPROVES TECHNOLOGY LITERACY IN ROCKFORD
‘Eliminate the Digital Divide’ Grants Will Prepare Workers for Better Jobs
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Rockford will receive three technology grants as part of his Opportunity Returns plan for creating jobs throughout the Northern Stateline region. These grants, known as the Eliminate the Digital Divide program, fund technology centers in low-income communities in order to provide technology skills training and access to computers and the Internet. This program provides the critical skills that employees will need to succeed in today’s high-tech workplace.


February 5, 2004
Governor announces more than $42,000 for Village of Caseyville
Funds to be used for new Village Hall complex
CHICAGO– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $42,963 grant to the Village of Caseyville to offset costs related to construction of a new Village Hall. This is the final installment on a $500,000 grant for this project.


February 5, 2004
Governor announces $51,500 grant to Church Road Fire Protection District
Grant to be used to for new fire station
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $51,500 state grant to the Church Road Fire Protection District to help pay for a new fire station.


February 5, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF WETLAND HABITAT
SPRINGFIELD, IL. – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the state has acquired a 90-acre tract of property in Jackson County that contains wetlands and provides habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.


February 5, 2004
Governor awards $50,000 for firefighting equipment
Funds benefit the LaHarpe Fire Protection District
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $50,000 grant to the LaHarpe Fire Protection District to help pay for a new firefighting vehicle the department acquired.


February 5, 2004
Governor announces more than $67,000 for Villages of Stillman Valley and Lena
Grants to be used for water and wastewater projects
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the release of a $50,000 grant to the Village of Stillman Valley for a new well. This is the final installment on a $100,000 grant for this project. The Village of Lena is receiving $17,635 for a new connection to the existing wastewater treatment system.


February 5, 2004
Governor announces over $21,000 grant for Midwest Youth Services
New roof for youth center in Jacksonville
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $21,779 grant for a roof replacement project at the Youth Attention Center in Jacksonville. The funds are part of a $50,000 grant for the project, which has a remaining balance of $3,221.


February 5, 2004
Governor announces $545,000 for Northwest Illinois capital projects
New lodge in Savanna to bolster region’s tourism efforts
CHICAGO- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded more than $545,000 in grants for three capital projects in Northwest Illinois. The City of Savanna is receiving $345,440 for development of a lodge adjacent to the Mississippi Palisades State Park; the Village of Erie is getting a $100,000 grant for sewer work; and, a $100,000 grant is being used for construction of a new building to house the Florence Aldridge Child Development Center in East Moline.


February 5, 2004
Governor announces over $258,000 for City of Olney
Funds for new fire station
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded $258,477 in grants to the City of Olney for the new fire station at 501 North Walnut Street. The funds are the final installments on two $375,000 grants. The new station is twice as large as a previous facility.


February 5, 2004
Governor announces $12,500 grant to City of Peoria
Grant to be used by Neighborhood Development Commission
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded a $12,501 grant to the City of Peoria for the Neighborhood Development Commission. The Commission is building retaining walls along the 1700 and 1800 blocks of Bigelow Street in Peoria. This is the final installment on a $35,000 grant for this project.


February 5, 2004
REWARD WHISTLEBLOWERS, SAY QUINN, CLAYPOOL, MOORE URGE END TO “CORRUPTION TAX”
CHICAGO -- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool and Chicago Alderman Joe Moore today called on all units of government in Illinois to join in adopting provisions of the state Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act.


February 4, 2004
Governor Blagojevich Calls for Passage of “Mercury Reduction Act”
LEGISLATION AIMED AT REDUCING HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS IN THE ENVIRONMENT
SPRINGFIELD --- Governor Rod Blagojevich today called on legislators to support his initiative to further reduce mercury-containing products that pose a potential health hazard to Illinois residents.


February 4, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES CREATIVE GRANT TO STRENGTHEN TECHNOLOGY LITERACY IN CARBONDALE
‘Eliminate the Digital Divide’ Program Will Prepare Workers for Better Jobs
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Carbondale will receive a technology grant as part of his Opportunity Returns plan for job creation in the Southern region. These grants, known as the Eliminate the Digital Divide program, fund technology centers in low-income communities in order to provide technology skills training and access to computers and the Internet. This program provides the critical skills that employees will need to succeed in today’s high-tech workplace.


February 4, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT GRANTS TO STRENGTHEN TECHNOLOGY LITERACY IN EAST ST. LOUIS AND VENICE
‘Eliminate the Digital Divide’ Program Will Prepare Workers for Better Jobs
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that East St. Louis and Venice will receive a technology grant as part of his Opportunity Returns plan for job creation in the Southwest region. These grants, known as the Eliminate the Digital Divide program, fund technology centers in low-income communities in order to provide technology skills training and access to computers and the Internet. This program provides the critical skills that employees will need to succeed in today’s high-tech workplace.


February 3, 2004
Governor Announces 100% Increase in Revenue at Illinois Film Office
CHICAGO – Governor Blagojevich announced that revenues in the Illinois Film Office would be up 100% in 2004 from 2003. With the new legislation attracting studios and filmmakers, film production is expected to increase to an estimated $50 million in 2004, from $25.6 million in 2003.


February 3, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation intended to pump $430 million into Illinois’ health care network
SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that will significantly improve the state’s ability to adequately reimburse health care providers in a timely fashion by leveraging $430 million more in federal Medicaid resources.


February 3, 2004
Governor announces more than 107,000 Illinois families cashed in on Earned Income Credit
New tax law leads to higher refunds for Illinois working families
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that so far this tax season, more than 107,000 Illinois taxpayers have received larger Illinois tax refund payments as a result of new legislation that made the Illinois Earned Income Credit refundable.


February 3, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES VITAL GRANT TO STRENGTHEN TECHNOLOGY LITERACY IN NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS
PEORIA - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced a $50,000 Opportunity Returns grant to the Tri-County Urban League in Peoria to increase access to technology for low-income residents. The Eliminate the Digital Divide program awards funding to local community technology centers (CTCs) to provide technology training and access to computers and the Internet in low-income communities. More so than ever before, technology literacy is a necessity to competing for and succeeding in nearly all jobs in the 21st century marketplace. By empowering these residents with these crucial skills, the program offers a bridge to higher education and better paying jobs.


February 3, 2004
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES INNOVATIVE GRANTS TO STRENGTHEN TECHNOLOGY LITERACY IN NORTHWEST ILLINOIS
SPRINGFIELD – Thanks to Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns plan, two Northwest Illinois communities are a step closer to eliminating the digital technology divide and improving the caliber of their local workforce. The Eliminate the Digital Divide program grants funding to local community technology centers in low-income communities in order to provide technology skills training and access to computers and the Internet. Since technology literacy today is a necessity to competing for and succeeding in well-paying jobs, this critical program teaches essential skills to people whom often lack access to important educational opportunities that will help prepare them for a 21st century job.


February 3, 2004
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn promotes “homegrown” All-American energy sources at Conservation Foundation’s annual winter membership luncheon
AURORA, IL- Today Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn promoted the importance of developing All-American energy sources in his keynote speech at the Conservation Foundation’s annual winter membership luncheon.


February 2, 2004
Governor Blagojevich Announces Community Forums in Nine Illinois Communities As Part of Project X – the $2.5 Million Dollar Initiative targeting Ecstasy and Methamphetamines
Forums Scheduled for Thursday in Springfield and Champaign
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a series of community awareness events to kick off Project X, the aggressive campaign against the illegal drugs Ecstasy and Meth. The community forums are being held in the nine areas that are receiving funding for the initiative. The community forums will bring together community stakeholders, law enforcement, treatment providers and the public in an effort to crack down on the growing problem of these so-called club drugs.


February 2, 2004
Governor finds strong support for bold education plan
Legislators and educators join Blagojevich in rallying for more accountability and less bureaucracy in education
BLOOMINGTON – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today found overwhelming support for his sweeping plan to reform Illinois education. At Bloomington’s Adlai Stevenson Elementary School, the Governor was joined by state Senator Bill Brady; state Representative Dan Brady; Vickie Slagell, principal at Adlai Stevenson Elementary; Dr. Bob Nielsen, superintendent of Bloomington District #87, and Anne Davis, president of the Illinois Education Association.


February 1, 2004
Governor announces new safeguard to prevent animal diseases and protect public health
Permits to be required for all imported livestock
SPRINGFIELD, ILL – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that Illinois will put in place an additional safeguard to prevent the introduction of animal diseases that might pose a threat to public health or endanger the state’s livestock industry.


February 1, 2004
June bill signed by Blagojevich nets $10 million to purchase fire trucks
State Fire Marshal seeking fire truck revolving loan applicants
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Fire Departments have a new and better way of purchasing their much-needed fire equipment thanks to a law signed by Governor Rod Blagojevich in June that created the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program. Today the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is inviting Illinois fire departments to qualify for the nation’s only zero-interest loan program. The $10 million program aids fire departments to purchase new trucks and will focus on the local fire departments most in need of equipment.

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