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June
2004


June 30, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich joins Mississippi River Water Quality Initiative
Thanks “Grand Excursion” Participants for Visiting Illinois/Quad-Cities events over the weekend
SPRINGFIELD, Ill— As thousands of participants in the historic “Grand Excursion” recreation of a celebrated 1854 trip up the Mississippi River enjoyed events in the Illinois Quad-Cities area over the weekend of June 26, Governor Rod Blagojevich today pledged his administration will continue to take a leadership role in improving water quality in America’s greatest river.


June 29, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces full slate of summer films
Film incentives continue to bring productions to Illinois
CHICAGO, Ill.— Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced four new films will be produced in Illinois and the Chicagoland area this summer. "Roll Bounce," "Intimidation Game," "Amityville Horror," and "Dee Dee Rutherford" are the movies slated for production this summer.


June 29, 2004
Governor Blagojevich Announces Illinois Taps $25 Million in Additional Federal Medicaid Funds
Department of Public Aid beats June 30 deadline to qualify for enhanced reimbursement
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the state will reap $25 million in additional Federal matching funds as a result of paying out $850 million in Medicaid bills ahead of a June 30 deadline.


June 28, 2004
FIRST LADY PATTI BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH THREE SPRINGFIELD GROUPS AIMED AT IMPROVING TECHNOLOGY LITERACY
Boys & Girls Club of Springfield, Springfield Urban League and Lincoln Land Community College receive ‘Eliminate the Digital Divide’ Grants to Prepare People of All Ages for a Better Future
SPRINGFIELD – During an appearance at the Boys & Girls Club of Springfield, Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich announced that three Springfield community organizations are receiving technology grants totaling nearly $136,000 as part of Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns plan for spurring the economy and creating jobs throughout the Central region. These Eliminate the Digital Divide grants, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), 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 people of all ages need to succeed in today’s high-tech world.


June 24, 2004
Governor calls for a second special session
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.-- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today called for a second special session to begin at noon on Friday, June 25, 2004 so that the state's legislature may finish the business of the people and pass a fiscal year 2005 state budget. Governor Blagojevich called for the second special session after Speaker Michael Madigan adjourned the House until Monday, June 28, 2004.


June 24, 2004
QUINN WELCOMES NEW JAPANESE CONSUL GENERAL AND WHITE SOXPLAYER SHINGO TAKATSU TO ILLINOIS
CHICAGO— Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn officially welcomed Shingo Takatsu to Illinois as the Chicago White Sox’ first Asian-born player. Quinn - who will issue an official declaration to Takatsu – was joined by the Japanese Consul General Yutaka Yoshizawa and leaders of Illinois’ Asian American community.


June 23, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $75,000 IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING TO HELP AMERICAN RED CROSS OPEN ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDING WITH GREEN ROOF
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced that $75,000 in Opportunity Returns funding was recently awarded to the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago for the design and construction of a green roof atop its new Disaster Operations Center on Chicago’s near West Side. The project’s completion will be celebrated today during a dedication ceremony of the new facility at 1:30pm at 2200 West Harrison Street. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) provided the grant through Opportunity Returns, Governor Blagojevich’s pro-active, regional economic development plan designed to create jobs and spur growth in the Northeast region.


June 23, 2004
QUINN TESTIFIES BEFORE U.S. CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON PROTECTING RIGHTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR FAMILIES
WASHINGTON—Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn testified before a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing on “Protecting the Rights of Those Who Protect Us”.


June 23, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich calls legislature back to Springfield for special session
Special session to begin Thursday, June 24th, to address FY05 state budget
SPRINGFIELD – Because there is nothing more urgent in state government than passing a budget, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today called the Illinois General Assembly into a special session to deal with pending budget issues. The session will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 24th, and it will last until a budget for fiscal year 2005 is passed. Governor Blagojevich said he and the legislative leaders are only about $200 million apart from reaching a final budget agreement, representing less than one-half of one percent of the total budget.


June 22, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES FOUNDING OF WESTERN ILLINOIS ENTREPRENEURSHIP NETWORK TO SPUR INNOVATION AND CREATE JOBS THROUGHOUT THE WEST CENTRAL REGION
SPRINGFIELD ­ Continuing to deliver on his Opportunity Returns promise to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the West Central region, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the formation of the Western Illinois Entrepreneurship Center Network, which will oversee entrepreneurship centers in Macomb, Galesburg and Quincy. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Western Illinois University are partnering to create and administer this new network. The Entrepreneurship Center Network will serve the western region of Illinois that includes Adams, Brown, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler and Warren Counties.


June 17, 2004
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PAT QUINN FIGHT FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS LACKING HEALTH CARE Quinn and Dr. Quentin Young respond to national study, which states more than three million Illinois residents lacked health insurance since 2002
SPRINGFIELD— Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and Dr. Quentin Young - a nationally-recognized public health advocate - discussed the alarming number of Illinois working families without health insurance.


June 16, 2004
Blagojevich announces plan to advance school aid payments ahead of schedule
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced his intention to advance the final two state aid payments to schools for the current fiscal year. Advancing the final two payments is critical for school districts around the state as they try to keep their own budgets balanced.


June 16, 2004
Chicago area lawmakers and local School Council Members join the governor and senate president in calling for increase in school funding
Twenty legislators sign letter pledging to fight for more state money for Chicago Public Schools
CHICAGO – Dozens of Chicago area lawmakers and local school council members joined Governor Rod Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones at the Franklin Fine Arts Center today to voice support for their efforts to reach a budget agreement with the other legislative leaders that includes more money for K-12 education. Twenty legislators signed open letters to students of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) vowing to support revenue-generating measures included in the budget approved by the state Senate that will enable the state to boost funding to CPS by $106 million.


June 15, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH EXTENDS INNOVATIVE FINANCING TOOL TO HELP PIKE COUNTY COMPANY GROW ITS OPERATION AND CREATE NEW JOBS
SPRINGFIELD – Delivering on an Opportunity Returns pledge to help stimulate small business growth by increasing access to capital, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of a $200,000 revolving line of credit to JIREH, Inc. that will allow the Pike County tire retreading company to expand its working capital and service many more customers. The key financing will result in the creation of two new jobs and the retention of all 16 existing employees.


June 15, 2004
New Study Demonstrates Ongoing Need for Governor Blagojevich’s Equal Pay Campaign
Census Bureau statistics reveal that out of hundreds of job categories, women earn the same as men in just five categories
CHICAGO – New research highlights why Governor Rod Blagojevich’s equal pay awareness campaign is critically needed to close the wage gap between men and women. According to a recent report compiled by the Chicago Tribune using data pulled from the 2000 Census Bureau statistics, women earn the equivalent of their male counterparts in just five professions out of hundreds of job categories.


June 15, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich names Esther Lopez new Deputy Chief of Staff, Art Ludwig new Director of Illinois Department of Labor
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named Esther Lopez, the acting director of the Illinois Department of Labor, to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff of Labor and Professional Regulation. Lopez will oversee the Illinois Department of Labor, the Department of Employment Security and the proposed consolidation of four regulatory state agencies into one new department - the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Lopez will also oversee outreach efforts to communities and local governmental entities. Labor leader Art Ludwig will take over as the director of the Illinois Department of Labor.


June 14, 2004
As Budget Talks Progress, Governor Blagojevich Continues Push for Education Funding Increase
Governor outlines what is at stake in budget negotiations for Quincy area
QUINCY – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today joined students at Irving Primary School in Quincy on their first day of summer school to talk about why he won’t back down from his push for an increase in state spending for public education. The Governor met twice with Legislative Leaders last week to discuss the state budget. While he reports some progress has been made, the Governor reiterated today that he will not soften his commitment to improving the state’s share of education spending.


June 13, 2004
QUINN SALUTES FLAG DAY WITH THE ILLINOIS ELKS ASSOCIATION AT SOLDIER FIELD Quinn and Elks promote the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund and the Army of Hope Program to help Illinois soldiers called to active duty
CHICAGO—Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn will joined with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks to observe Flag Day and promote the Army of Hope Program and the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.


June 10, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES FOREIGN TRADE MISSION TO EUROPE TO HELP ESTABLISH NEW MARKETS FOR ILLINOIS COMPANIES
Ten Chicago and South Suburban Companies Will Benefit from State-Led Trade Mission to Europe
SPRINGFIELD - In an innovative effort to help stimulate more foreign trade opportunities for Illinois businesses, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced that the state is escorting ten Northeast region companies on a foreign trade mission to Europe. The Illinois Trade Office (ITO) of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is partnering with the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce to stage the trade mission that begins this Friday and will include visits to England, Germany and Poland. Through the efforts of the ITO offices in Europe, the companies will have various appointments with viable business partners in each country. State Senator Debbie Halvorson (D-Chicago Heights) and State Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Hazelcrest) will also be going on the trade mission.


June 10, 2004
Governor Blagojevich announces tentative contract agreement reached with AFSCME
State and union negotiators agree to 4-year contract
SPRINGFIELD – After months of negotiations, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the state and AFSCME Council 31 have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract. Over the next several weeks, AFSCME’s 85 local unions will vote on ratification the agreement, before the new fiscal year begins on July 1.


June 9, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $500,000 OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT TO EAST DUBUQUE FERTILIZER PRODUCER TO STRENGTHEN COMPANY AND CREATE HUNDREDS OF JOBS
SPRINGFIELD – In an aggressive effort to promote clean burning coal as a cost-efficient alternative to the escalating natural gas prices, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of a $500,000 grant to an Illinois fertilizer producer to start the process of using advanced clean coal technology as a replacement for natural gas to operate its East Dubuque facility. The Opportunity Returns grant, which comes from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Coal Development, will allow Royster-Clark Nitrogen, Inc. to begin the development process that will ultimately supplant natural gas with coal gasification as its source of energy for fertilizer production. The shift will pay huge dividends for Royster-Clark, as well as the economic vitality of the Northwest region, greatly reducing the company’s cost of doing business and eventually creating more than a 100 new plant jobs, more than 200 coal mining jobs, and about 1500 construction jobs in all.


June 9, 2004
Blagojevich announces grants for Alzheimer’s disease research in Illinois
Funds generated by voluntary taxpayer contributions
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an ongoing effort to help unravel the medical mystery of Alzheimer’s disease, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the awarding of six grants totaling $195,000 to Illinois researchers who are trying to find a cure or improve treatment for the degenerative brain disorder.


June 9, 2004
QUINN SPEAKS OUT AGAINST SBC’S PLAN TO INCREASE THEIR RATES LEVELS OF “PHONELESSNESS” TO INCREASE IF SBC’S RATE HIKE SCHEME IS GRANTED
Chicago, IL- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn released a study today, Wednesday, June 9, 2004 detailing - county-by-county - the number of Illinois households without access to a telephone.


June 9, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES NEARLY $2.5 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING TO SUPPORT EXPANSION OF MAJOR WILLIAMSON COUNTY EMPLOYER
New Aisin Electronics Illinois Facility Will Create 120 New Jobs in Southern Region
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today Opportunity Returns funding for Aisin, a worldwide manufacturer of automotive components with a significant presence in Southern Illinois. These funds will assist Aisin with the cost of constructing a new Williamson County manufacturing facility, which the company will announce today at 1:30pm at the Herrin Civic Center. In total, Aisin Electronics Illinois will receive nearly $2.5 million in grants and tax credits that will create 120 new jobs. Aisin’s new Williamson County facility will break ground in July and is scheduled to be fully operational by June 2005.


June 8, 2004
Governor Blagojevich names Interstate 88 “The Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway”
Governor asks Illinois State Toll Highway Authority to name Tollway portion of I-88 for Reagan as well
SPRINGFIELD – As the nation grieves the loss of Ronald Reagan, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today issued an executive order, renaming the portion of I-88 managed by the Illinois Department of Transportation, “The Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway.” Governor Blagojevich also sent a letter to Tollway Chairman John Mitola asking the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority to name the portion of I-88 under their jurisdiction for President Reagan as well.


June 8, 2004
Initiative expanded to promote healthy eating and physical activity among children
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that 14 additional elementary schools have been selected to participate in an initiative designed to promote good nutrition and exercise habits.


June 8, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT FOR LAKE VERMILION
Improvements Would Benefit Primary Water Source for Danville
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that he is awarding a $136,000 Illinois Clean Lakes grant to Aqua Illinois, Inc. to improve water quality in Lake Vermilion as part of his Opportunity Returns plan to reinvigorate the economy of East Central Illinois that will be announced shortly. Improvements will include reduction of sedimentation, protection of the shoreline, and improvements for the fish population.


June 8, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $1.2 MILLION IN FUNDING TO HELP FORTUNE 500 COMPANY GROW IN ROCHELLE
Expanded Facility Will Create More Than 100 New Jobs in Northern Stateline Region
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of more than $1.2 million in Opportunity Returns funding that will help a major food products manufacturer expand its production in the Northern Stateline region and create more than 100 new jobs. Hormel Foods Corporation, a Fortune 500 multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, will expand its current facility in Rochelle by 18,700 square feet. The planned expansion, scheduled to open in early 2005, will significantly increase the company's bacon production capacity. Though the company has facilities worldwide, the timely incentive package provided through Opportunity Returns ensures that Hormel Foods will expand its operation right here in Illinois.


June 7, 2004
First Lady Patti Blagojevich launches summer reading initiative to improve literacy
Governor’s office partners with First Book and HarperCollins to give thousands of brand new books to Illinois children in need
CHICAGO – In an effort to promote reading this summer, Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich today distributed new books to thousands of children from low-income families in Chicago. At the CMS Office Facility at the Chicago Medical Center, the First Lady gave 100,000 books, provided by HarperCollins Children’s Books, to local organizations that will distribute them to children from low-income families. The book distribution is part of the “First Book Summer Reading Initiative,” sponsored by First Book and Governor Blagojevich, to promote reading and improve literacy during the summer months.


June 7, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich’s budget means nearly $141 million in new money for downstate schools
Governor's budget increases funding for education and health care
SPRINGFIELD - During visits to pre-schools in three different Illinois communities, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today called on members of the Illinois House of Representatives to approve a state budget that includes new funding to enroll more at-risk children in pre-school and new funding for education and healthcare. The Governor's budget, that passed in the Illinois Senate a week ago, funds this state's priorities without raising the sales or income taxes.


June 7, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $1.65 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR CENTRAL REGION HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECTS
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced $1.65 million in funding for the rehabilitation of 62 owner occupied homes throughout the Central region. These home improvements will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled Central region residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the Central region.


June 7, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ALMOST $1.7 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR WEST CENTRAL REGION HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECTS
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced almost $1.7 million in funding for the rehabilitation of 64 owner occupied homes throughout the West Central region. These home improvements will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled West Central residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the West Central region.


June 7, 2004
Governor Blagojevich proclaims June 5, 2004 until July 3, 2004 “Days To Commemorate The Honorable Ronald Wilson Reagan”
SPRINGFIELD – As the nation prepares to mourn the death of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich issued a proclamation today ordering all state facilities to fly flags at half-mast. The proclamation instructs Illinois state offices to fly flags at half-mast starting on June 5, 2004 throughout July 3, 2004, and return flags to full-mast on the morning of July 4, 2004.


June 7, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ALMOST $600,000 IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR NORTH CENTRAL REGION HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECTS
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced almost $600,000 in funding for the rehabilitation of 22 owner occupied homes throughout the North Central region. These home improvements will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled North Central residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents comes as a part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the North Central region.


June 4, 2004
QUINN HONORS D-DAY VETERANS ON 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LANDING ON NORMANDY BEACH Quinn pays tribute with French Consul General Dominique Decherf at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD—Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn joined with French Consul General Dominique Decherat at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield to pay tribute to the veterans of D-Day on the 60th Anniversary of the landing on Normandy Beach.


June 4, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE EFFORT TO TRY AND SAVE SPRINT CALL CENTER IN BOLINGBROOK
CHICAGO – Responding to the disheartening news that Sprint plans to close its Bolingbrook call center later this summer, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced an immediate course of action to try and save the facility and it 1,000 jobs. Governor Blagojevich has directed the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to lead the state’s effort and will deploy the state’s Rapid Response Team to support these workers in Bolingbrook in the event that the closure does take place.


June 4, 2004
QUINN JOINS OTHERS TO CELEBRATE GROUNDBREAKING OF WETLAND RESTORATION PROJECT
Manito, IL - Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined others today, Friday, June 4, 2004, in celebrating the official groundbreaking of the Spring Lake Bottoms project, a 411-acre wetland restoration project along the Illinois River in Tazewell County, IL. Ducks Unlimited recently acquired this land and enrolled it into the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) for long-term conservation.


June 3, 2004
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn observed the 3rd Annual National Hunger Awareness Day and announced a $50,000 capacity building grant to the Illinois Food Bank Association
CHICAGO -- In observance of the 3rd Annual National Hunger Awareness Day, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn announced a $50,000 capacity building grant to the Illinois Food Bank Association (IFBA). This grant will improve the ability of Illinois’ nine food-bank facilities to deliver food to Illinois’ hungry and increase food distribution by 5%.


June 3, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $4.1 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR SOUTHERN REGION HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECTS
Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced more than $4.1 million in funding for the rehabilitation of 160 owner occupied homes throughout the Southern region. These home improvements will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled Southern residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth.


June 3, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH SENDS REPRESENTATIVE TO WASHINGTON, DC TODAY IN ONGOING CAMPAIGN TO SAVE ALL ILLINOIS MILITARY BASES
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin takes part in strategy session with Illinois Congressional Delegation
SPRINGFIELD – Continuing the campaign to protect Illinois’ four major military bases, Governor Rod Blagojevich sent the state’s top economic development official to Washington, DC today for an important meeting with the Illinois Congressional delegation on Capitol Hill. Through Opportunity Returns, his comprehensive plan to promote economic growth and create more jobs throughout the state, the Governor is leading a coordinated effort with the Illinois Congressional delegation, other elected officials and local leaders to prevent these four bases from ending up on the Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list that will be announced next year. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin is meeting today with the Illinois Congressional delegation in this ongoing effort. The Governor has already made two trips to Capitol Hill in February and May concerning this critical issue. In total, Scott Air Force Base, the Rock Island Arsenal, and the Air National Guard bases in Peoria and Springfield contribute more than $2.5 billion to Illinois’ economy and support 70,000 jobs.


June 3, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ALMOST $600,000 IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR SOUTHWEST REGION HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECTS
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced almost $600,000 in funding for the rehabilitation of 25 owner occupied homes throughout the Southwest region. These home improvements will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled Southwest residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the Southwest region.


June 3, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $295,000 IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR SOUTHEAST REGION HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECTS
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced more than $295,000 in funding for the rehabilitation of 10 owner occupied homes in the Southeast region. These home improvements in the Village of Ramsey in Fayette County will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the Southeast region.


June 3, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO FACILITATE NEW PRODUCTION AND JOB CREATION FOR NORTHWEST REGION COMPANY
SPRINGFIELD – Delivering on an Opportunity Returns promise to help reduce the cost of doing business and strengthen the competitiveness of Northwest region companies, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of a $150,000 grant to Schafer’s Fisheries, which will allow the Fulton company in Whiteside County to create 10 new jobs, reduce operating costs, and improve its bottom line. Schafer’s, the Midwest’s largest processor and wholesale distributor of fresh fish and frozen seafood, is using the state funding to develop a production plant that will recycle fish waste into a new marketable product: organic fish fertilizer.


June 2, 2004
Quinn launches innovative green solutions initiative to help reduce flooding. Quinn also announces Illinois River Coordinating Council Grant for green infrastructure projects along the Des Plaines River where communities were recently flooded
DES PLAINES -- To curb the devastating effects of flooding, such as those the Des Plaines River experienced last week, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined 4th and 5th grade students from Cumberland Elementary School to kickoff the “Illinois Rain Garden Initiative,” a green solutions initiative to help reduce flooding, improve storm water management and restore native prairie habitat.


June 2, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES NEARLY $4 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING FOR CRITICAL CENTRAL REGION INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced nearly $4 million in funding for new sanitation and water drainage improvement projects in the Central region. These key initiatives will improve the health and quality of life of Central region residents, as well as provide necessary infrastructure for economic growth.


June 2, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $2.2 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING FOR IMPORTANT NORTH CENTRAL REGION INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced more than $2.2 million in funding for new sanitation and water drainage improvement projects in the North Central region. These key initiatives will improve the health and quality of life of North Central residents, as well as provide the necessary infrastructure for economic growth.


June 2, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $400,000 OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT FOR VITAL SANITATION PROJECT IN PEMBROKE TOWNSHIP
Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced $400,000 in funding for construction of a new sanitation and water drainage system for Pembroke Township in Kankakee County. This crucial initiative will improve the health and quality of life of local residents, as well as provide the necessary infrastructure for economic growth.


June 2, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR CRITICAL NORTHERN STATELINE REGION INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced more than $1 million in funding for new sanitation and water drainage improvement projects in the Northern Stateline region. These key initiatives will improve the health and quality of life of Northern Stateline residents, as well as provide the necessary infrastructure for economic growth.


June 2, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES NEARLY $2 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING FOR IMPORTANT NORTHWEST REGION INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced nearly $2 million in funding for new sanitation and water drainage improvement projects in the Northwest region. These key initiatives will improve the health and quality of life of Northwest region residents, as well as provide the necessary infrastructure for economic growth.


June 2, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR CRUCIAL WEST CENTRAL REGION INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced more than $1 million in funding for new sanitation and water drainage improvement projects in the West Central region. These key initiatives will improve the health and quality of life of West Central region residents, as well as provide necessary infrastructure for economic growth.

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