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September
2004


September 30, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois State Fair surplus for second straight year
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the 2004 Illinois State Fair posted revenues in the black. After bills for the fair were paid, the State Fair Fund had a balance of $82,271, more than $25,000 higher than the balance following the 2003 fair.


September 30, 2004
Governor Blagojevich Calls for a State Panel to Investigate Work Related Death Rates in Illinois
Panel will focus on Hispanic and Day Laborer Agencies
CHICAGO – Today, Governor Rod Blagojevich proposed the creation of a special panel to investigate the high incidence of work related death rates among Hispanic workers. The number of fatal work injuries among Hispanic workers has steadily increased for the past decade. Although injury and fatality rates are falling overall, far too many workers are being injured and killed on the job. “Workers and their families should expect that their loved ones return home safely after a hard day of work,” Governor Blagojevich said. “That's why I am naming a panel that will provide recommendations to insure that here in Illinois, we are doing absolutely everything possible to protect our workers.” The Governor's panel will identify and develop best practices for reaching Hispanic workers, and will also recommend training and legislative changes to strengthen worker protections.


September 30, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF AND FUNDING FOR THE SOUTHERN ILLINOIS TOURISM EDUCATION ALLIANCE
Unprecedented Coordination Between Local Colleges Will Produce Tremendous Economic Gains for Nearly $400 Million Regional Tourism Industry
SPRINGFIELD – In an innovative effort to promote and enhance tourism throughout Southern Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced the formation of the Southern Illinois Tourism Education Alliance and $300,000 in Opportunity Returns funding to support this unprecedented initiative. The consortium, which includes Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, John A. Logan College, Rend Lake College, Shawnee Community College, Southeastern Illinois College, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau, is coordinating a regional effort to develop and operate a comprehensive set of nationally recognized hospitality and tourism education programs to promote the growth of this important Southern Illinois industry. In 2003, the economic impact of travel and tourism in the Opportunity Returns Southern region was more than $383 million. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin made the official announcement today, along with other state and local officials, at John A. Logan College in Carterville.


September 30, 2004
STATEMENT FROM GOV. ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH
On Illinois Tollway Board’s approval of Open Road Tolling long-range plan
CHICAGO – “I want to congratulate the Tollway Board for approving a plan today that will reduce commute times by as much as 15 minutes on each trip, create 252,00 jobs, help the environment, fix and widen our roads, build I-355, and make Illinois the first state in the nation to convert its entire system to Open Road Tolling.


September 29, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich praises quick action on Evanston Hospital’s incinerator shutdown
Illinois EPA permit change allows boiler retrofit to provide heat
CHICAGO - In response to community concerns and Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s recent call for voluntary shutdowns of Illinois’ eleven remaining hospital incinerators, Evanston hospital has taken action to begin quickly dismantling its medical waste incinerator and retrofitting it as a heating source. To facilitate this, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expedited its review and approval of Evanston Hospital’s permit application which was received on Sept. 17, just days after the Governor’s request.


September 29, 2004
Governor signs law providing new assurance to patients about quality of genetic counseling services
New law requires genetic counselors be licensed by state
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed House Bill 4200, which requires that genetic counselors be licensed by the state. Genetic counselors are members of a health care team that provide important information and support to those with genetic disorders or birth defects and to families who may be at risk for a variety of conditions. Sponsored by Rep. Donald Moffitt (R-Galesburg) and Sen. Richard Winkel (R-Urbana), the new law authorizes the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to assess the fitness and qualifications of genetic counselors. The law provides new assurance to consumers that their genetic counselors have received the adequate training to provide intensely personal services.


September 29, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES CRITICAL OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT TO TRIGGER DEVELOPMENT OF SPRINGFIELD MEDICAL DISTRICT AND BRING NEW JOBS TO THE REGION
SPRINGFIELD – In a bold effort to unleash the potential of the new Springfield Medical District, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $300,000 in Opportunity Returns funding that will allow the district to form and market its master plan, the essential blueprint needed to move the project forward and begin attracting the research, investment and jobs from across the medical industry that the new area has such great promise to draw. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin represented Governor Blagojevich at the announcement today with various local officials at the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.


September 28, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois receives award for improved accuracy in the food stamp program
State receives additional $4.3 million in federal funding to boost Food Stamp Program for low-income families
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois will receive a $4.3 million bonus from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for improving the accuracy rate in its Food Stamp Program. Illinois has shown dramatic improvement in calculating Food Stamp benefits paid to low-income residents and has one of the lowest payment error rates in the nation. In previous years, Illinois faced penalties of up to $25 million dollars from the USDA for Food Stamp payment errors. Now, the Illinois program is seen as a model for accuracy.


September 27, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich gives go ahead to expand Supportive Living Facility Program
Action paves way for construction of 3,000 new units Supportive living facilities give seniors, disabled more freedom, offer less costly option to nursing homes
BENTON, IL - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today gave the green light to an expansion of the state's Supportive Living Facility (SLF) Program, an innovative, affordable assisted-living model that provides a popular and cost-effective alternative to nursing home care for seniors and the disabled.


September 27, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH RESPONDS TO MITSUBISHI LAYOFFS WITH OPENING OF CENTER DESIGNED TO HELP WORKERS TARGET NEW OPPORTUNITIES
CHICAGO – In light of the first round of layoffs at the Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that state is continuing its efforts to ensure that quality employment opportunities promptly return to the 1,200 men and women losing their jobs by providing comprehensive employment preparation and search services at the Career Link Transition Center located in the Bloomington at 202 North Prospect Road. The Center officially opens today. In July, Governor Blagojevich directed the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to allocate up to $1.5 million to assist employees affected by the layoffs at Mitsubishi Motors, as well as other dislocated workers.


September 27, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich Praises AARP Efforts Stir Federal Action on Prescription Drug Importation
Governor applauds Michigan seniors for hosting prescription drug rallies at Canadian border
CHICAGO- Today, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich voiced his support for AARP rallies being held on Michigan’s three bridges to Canada. The rallies – taking place in Detroit, Port Huron and Sault Ste. Marie – are calling on federal lawmakers to recognize and provide safeguards for the importation of low cost prescription drugs.


September 26, 2004
QUINN HONORS THE MOTHERS OF ILLINOIS’ FALLEN SOLDIERS BY PRESENTING OFFICIAL GOLD STAR BANNERS
CHICAGO—Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn today joined with 29 Illinois mothers whose sons or daughters have died while fighting against terrorism to commemorate Gold Star Mothers’ Day. Quinn and Commander of the American Legion of Illinois Arnold Ambros presented the Gold Stars to the mothers, a tradition which dates back to 1918.


September 24, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich calls on U.S. Education Sec. Paige to stop student loan companies from draining money away from grants
Recent GAO report shows federal government paying hundreds of millions in unnecessary subsidies to loan companies Governor urges Department of Education to direct money to students instead
CHICAGO – After hearing the results of a General Accounting Office review indicating the federal Department of Education has paid as much as $1.7 billion in unnecessary subsidies to companies that provide low-interest loans to students, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today sent a letter to Education Sec. Rod Paige urging him to close the loophole that allows student loan companies to take money that should be going to students.


September 24, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation exempting potluck dinners from state and local health regulations
Events must be no charge and held by individuals or non-profit groups
SPRINGFIELD– Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that allows potluck dinners to be held without state or local government health inspections as long as individuals or non-profit groups are sponsoring the event and not charging for the food.


September 24, 2004
Quinn promotes awareness of historic and heritage-based tourism by driving with a convoy of class cars through eight designated stops aligned on legendary Route 66
CHICAGO -- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn promoted awareness of historic and heritage-based tourism in Illinois by driving in a classic 1954 Chevy Sedan through eight designated stops aligned on legendary Route 66. Quinn first saluted Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant on its commitment to preserve what is known as “the first stop on the Mother Road.”


September 23, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES AGGRESSIVE STATE INCENTIVE PACKAGE THAT WILL BRING PETSMART INC. DISTRIBUTION CENTER AND NEW JOBS TO OTTAWA
Company’s Decision to Build New Distribution Center Brought On by $2.7 Million in Opportunity Returns Financing
CHICAGO - As a part of his historic, regional plan to attract business and create jobs throughout the Northwest region known as Opportunity Returns, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the awarding of nearly $2.7 million in grants and credits to PETsMART Inc., the nation’s leading specialty retail supplier of pet products and services, that will enable the retailer to build a new 1 million-square-foot distribution center in Ottawa and bring 214 new jobs to the area.


September 22, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich appoints three new members to reconfigured Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board
Names former Southern Illinois Congressman Glenn Poshard as chair With quorum in place, board can take action on pending requests
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named the first three new members to the recently-reconfigured Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, including former Congressman and rural health advocate Glenn Poshard who was appointed as the new chairman.


September 21, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF TASK FORCE IN EFFORT TO LAND HIGH TECH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROJECT WORTH $1 BILLION INVESTMENT IN ILLINOIS
CHICAGO - As part of his historic plan to spur economic growth and create jobs throughout the state, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the state is launching a coordinated campaign to help Argonne National Laboratory win its site selection bid to host construction of a major U.S. Department of Energy project that could bring $1 billion in investment and hundreds of jobs to the Chicago area. The Rare Isotope Accelerator (RIA) will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (short-lived nuclei not normally found on earth) for a wide variety of studies in nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, and fundamental interactions. The U.S. Department of Energy recently issued a Presolicitation Notice for the construction of the RIA.


September 20, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich praises Illinois State Board of Education for appointing Interim Superintendent Dr. Randy Dunn
ISBE appoints SIU-Carbondale faculty member as Interim Superintendent of Education
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today commended the Illinois State Board of Education for appointing Dr. Randy Dunn as Interim Superintendent of Education. Dunn, of Chester, was the Governor’s proposed candidate for the interim position and is currently on leave from his position as Chairman of the Education Administration and Higher Education Department at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. The State Board took the action at their first board meeting since the Governor appointed seven new members last week. Dunn will serve in an interim capacity and Gov. Blagojevich expects to propose a candidate to serve as the permanent Superintendent following a nationwide search.


September 16, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich revives medical malpractice reform negotiations
Appoints respected mediator and former Chief Judge of Cook County Circuit Court Donald O’Connell to re-start discussions
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that he is appointing University of Illinois Hospitals’ Special Counsel and former Chief Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court Donald P. O’Connell to serve as mediator in the stalled negotiations over medical malpractice reform in Illinois. The Governor has reached out to all four legislative leaders and the heads of all groups involved in discussions and gained their support for resumed negotiations.


September 16, 2004
Quinn joined with two uninsured patients to call on Resurrection Health Care Corporation to end its discriminatory billing practices and draconian measures in collecting overdue debt from the uninsured patients
CHICAGO -- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined with two uninsured patients to call on Resurrection Health Care to end its discriminatory billing practices and draconian measures in collecting overdue debt from the uninsured patients.


September 15, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation to help spark economic revitalization in St. Clair County
New law grants property tax relief that will serve as vital aid in redevelopment efforts
SPRINGFIELD – In a major effort to help revitalize blighted areas in St. Clair County and spark economic renewal, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed House Bill 623. The legislation amends the property tax code and the Neighborhood Corporation Law to give local governments in St. Clair County the authority to establish neighborhood redevelopment commissions free from property tax rate increases. The property tax relief should help spur development in economically distressed areas such as East St. Louis.


September 15, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich praises Illinoisans aiding hurricane victims
More than 300 Illinois volunteers assisting Florida residents with devastation caused by hurricanes
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today praised the more than 300 Illinois volunteers who left their homes to help victims in Florida devastated by two major hurricanes within the past month. Representing the third largest state contingent, so far, 166 Illinois volunteers under the Citizen Corps program are assisting in hurricane clean up, and a request for additional Citizen Corps volunteers was received by the state on Tuesday.


September 15, 2004
Public Aid Director Announces Blagojevich Administration Back-to-School KidCare and FamilyCare Sign-Up Partnership with Jewel-Osco
Illinois tax booklet updated to help families determine if they are eligible for state-sponsored health programs
CHICAGO – Jewel-Osco, a major Illinois retailer, is teaming up with Governor Rod Blagojevich and the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition to promote the recent expansion of two Illinois healthcare programs, KidCare and FamilyCare. Public Aid Director Barry S. Maram kicked off the new campaign today at the Jewel-Osco on 1710 N. Kostner Ave. in Chicago, along with Tom Rousonelos, regional manager of managed care operations for Jewel-Osco.


September 14, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich signs major education reform; appoints new members to Illinois State Board of Education
New leadership and reform to lead to greater accountability at Illinois State Board of Education
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to hold the Illinois State Board of Education accountable, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 3000 – restructuring the Illinois State Board of Education. Upon signing the critical legislation, Gov. Blagojevich appointed seven new members to state board. The new membership and new sweeping reform shifts the focus of the Illinois State Board of Education from just regulating school districts to improving education of students in Illinois and being accountable to governors, legislators, school districts, parents and children.


September 13, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH COMBATS GALESBURG MAYTAG LAYOFFS WITH SUITE OF SERVICES DESIGNED TO CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES AND JOBS FOR WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES
CHICAGO – In light of another round of layoffs at the Maytag refrigeration plant in Galesburg, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that state is continuing its efforts to ensure that quality employment opportunities promptly return to the 2,000 men and women losing their jobs by providing a comprehensive suite of services that are acting as a dynamic resource for the displaced workers and their families in their transition back to work. Those services are conveniently concentrated under one roof at a new center called Galesburg Works, located at 292 East Simmons in Galesburg. Galesburg Works, formerly know as the Galesburg Transition Training Center, had been operating at another location since April.


September 13, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich Calls for Voluntary Shutdowns of Hospital Medical Waste Incinerators
Announces veto session plans to ban all hospital incinerators
CHICAGO— Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today called on the 11 hospitals across the state that still burn medical waste to voluntarily shut down their incinerators. For those that don’t comply, the Governor will seek legislation during the fall veto session banning all hospital incinerators. He also instructed the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to work with the hospitals on implementing cleaner disposal methods.


September 13, 2004
Quinn joins with the Brookfield Zoo to launch a statewide campaign for students and citizens to participate in the first-of-its-kind online election of the official State of Illinois Amphibian and Reptile
CHICAGO -- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined with the Brookfield Zoo to launch a statewide campaign for students and citizens to participate in the first-of-its-kind online election of the official State of Illinois Amphibian and Reptile.


September 10, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces final phase of State employee ethics training
CHICAGO - A new group of Illinois state employees will begin participation in annual ethics training as required by the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act signed by Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich last December. This group of about 60,000 individuals includes employees of nine state universities, members of more than 300 state boards and commissions, and contract employees of the state.


September 10, 2004
Governors from Illinois, New Hampshire and Wisconsin call on U.S. Senate Majority Leader Frist to allow Drug Importation Vote
Governor Blagojevich along with Governors Craig Benson and Jim Doyle send letter to Senator Bill Frist pushing for vote on Dorgan-Snowe Bill vote
CHICAGO- Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich along with Governors Craig Benson (R-NH) and Jim Doyle (D-WI) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist today, calling on him to allow a vote on an important prescription drug importation bill.


September 10, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich issues proclamation designating September 11 as Patriot Day in Illinois
State offices will fly flags at half-staff to honor victims and their families
SPRINGFIELD –Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today issued a proclamation designating Saturday, September 11, 2004, as Patriot Day in Illinois. The proclamation instructs state offices to honor victims on Saturday by flying flags at half-staff and calls on citizens to observe a moment of silence at 7:46 a.m. (8:46 EST), the time when the first plane struck the World Trade Center three years ago.


September 9, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH BRINGS ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND JOBS TO SOUTHEASTERN ILLINOIS
$4.8 Million Opportunity Returns Grant Announced For Ethanol Production Facility
CHICAGO – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Lincolnland Agri-Energy in Crawford County has received a $4.8 million Opportunity Returns grant to build its new ethanol production facility on 130 acres near the town of Palestine. This project is boosting demand for Illinois corn by some 15 million bushels a year, increasing Illinois’ energy independence and creating almost 40 new jobs for the Southeast region. This aggressive effort to promote the use of ethanol as a viable and efficient source of fuel in Illinois is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the Southeast region. The funding comes through the new Renewable Fuels Development Program of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.


September 9, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH BRINGS ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND JOBS TO SOUTHEASTERN ILLINOIS
$4.8 Million Opportunity Returns Grant Announced For Ethanol Production Facility
CHICAGO – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Lincoln Land Agri-Energy in Crawford County has received a $4.8 million Opportunity Returns grant to build its new ethanol production facility on 130 acres near the town of Palestine. This project is boosting demand for Illinois corn by some 15 million bushels a year, increasing Illinois’ energy independence and creating almost 40 new jobs for the Southeast region. This aggressive effort to promote the use of ethanol as a viable and efficient source of fuel in Illinois is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the Southeast region. The funding comes through the new Renewable Fuels Development Program of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.


September 9, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $200,000 IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING TO HELP SMALL MANUFACTURERS MARKET THEIR BUSINESSES AND INCREASE COMPETITIVENESS
CHICAGO – In an aggressive effort to strengthen the competitiveness of small manufacturers throughout the Northeast region, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced $200,000 in funding to the Tooling and Manufacturing Association (TMA) that will assist small to medium sized Illinois manufacturers across Chicago and its outlying suburbs to individually and collaboratively market their businesses. The initiative was announced by Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin at Atlas Tool and Die Works in Lyons - one of the several small manufacturers receiving training from the TMA. This grant is a part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns program for the Northeast region, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the area, which he will announce in the coming months.


September 9, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $80,000 OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT FOR CHAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND REDUCE COST OF DOING BUSINESS
Helping Local Businesses Reduce Costs Through Energy Efficient Lighting Grants
CHICAGO - Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that $80,000 in Opportunity Returns funding is being made available for local businesses in Champaign to help cover the costs of installing energy efficiency lighting. The grant funding comes from the Regional Energy Program (REP), an initiative administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, that is designed to strengthen the local economy and business competitiveness within communities through increased energy efficiency. Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn will talk about the importance of this grant today at 2:00pm at the Great Impasta restaurant, located at 114 West Church in Champaign.


September 9, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces new funding available for BSE Surveillance
Funding provides incentive to continue testing at-risk cattle
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced additional funds are now available to continue critical, on-the-farm surveillance for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a fatal brain-wasting disease commonly known as Mad Cow Disease. To guard against Mad Cow Disease outbreaks, in February, the Governor unveiled an incentive plan to pay producers for their downer cattle submitted for testing and reimburse them for mileage. The response to the plan was so great that the funds were quickly depleted and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) recognized the need to make additional incentive funding available to Illinois.


September 9, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims September “Homeland Security Begins at Home Month”
Public Service Announcement encourages government, businesses and citizens to prepare for disasters
SPRINGFIELD – On the federally-proclaimed National Preparedness Day, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged Illinois citizens to develop preparedness plans so they will be prepared for any type of disaster, whether it be a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. Gov. Blagojevich also issued a state proclamation naming September “Homeland Security Begins at Home Month.”


September 9, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH BRINGS ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND JOBS TO SOUTHEASTERN ILLINOIS
$4.8 Million Opportunity Returns Grant Announced For Ethanol Production Facility
CHICAGO – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that Lincoln Land Agri-Energy in Crawford County has received a $4.8 million Opportunity Returns grant to build its new ethanol production facility on 130 acres near the town of Palestine. This project is boosting demand for Illinois corn by some 15 million bushels a year, increasing Illinois’ energy independence and creating almost 40 new jobs for the Southeast region. This aggressive effort to promote the use of ethanol as a viable and efficient source of fuel in Illinois is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the Southeast region. The funding comes through the new Renewable Fuels Development Program of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.


September 8, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois selected as finalist for homeland security award
Mitretek Innovations Award in Homeland Security recognizes nation’s most effective programs to address homeland security concerns
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the State Weapons of Mass Destruction Team (SWMDT) program is one of five finalists for a prestigious award for innovations in dealing with homeland security. The Mitretek Innovations Award in Homeland Security is the first major national award program of its kind created since 9/11 to recognize the most effective programs designed to address homeland security.


September 3, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich announces more than $1 million in additional funding for WIC nutrition program
Award-winning nutrition program celebrates 30 years of nurturing healthier families
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, also known as WIC, received nearly $1.2 million in additional federal funding this year. The funding will boost the food supply for the program that serves 280,000 persons each month.


September 3, 2004
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH BREAKS GROUND FOR EXPANSION OF MORRIS LIBRARY AT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY-CARBONDALE
SIUC Is Receiving $30 Million in Opportunity Returns Funding For Critical Project
CARBONDALE – Delivering on an Opportunity Returns pledge to strengthen education and job training in Southern Illinois, Governor Rod Blagojevich was in Carbondale today to attend the groundbreaking for the 45,000 square foot expansion and renovation of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s (SIUC) Morris Library that is being made possible by $30 million from the state’s Capital Development Board (CDB). The expansion will add three new computer classrooms, an Internet café, and new study rooms with Internet access. All of these important additions are designed to give students the tools they need to excel in the classroom, while continuing to expand the resources of a university that has earned a reputation as one of the leading research institutions in the Midwest.


September 3, 2004
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL FUNDING AND CELEBRATES SUCCESS OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTER IN SPURRING INNOVATION AND CREATING JOBS
CARBONDALE ­ Continuing to deliver on his Opportunity Returns promise to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the Southern region, Governor Rod Blagojevich visited the Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center today to announce an additional $250,000 in funding and to celebrate its impressive accomplishments since opening just last summer. The center has already received $250,000 in funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), who is administering the initiative, and has worked with more than 50 clients throughout the region. The Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center serves the 19 counties that encompass the Southern region of Illinois.


September 2, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation improving the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant program
Tuition grants will become more flexible, with a stronger focus on students
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to help more students afford to go to college, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 1971 – adding new flexibility to the Monetary Award Program which provides grants to help pay tuition and mandatory fees to Illinois students based on financial need.


September 1, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich Proclaims September “College Savings Month”
Urges parents to take advantage of state’s college savings programs
SPRINGFIELD – On behalf of the State of Illinois’ two tuition savings plans, College Illinois! and Bright Start Savings, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich has proclaimed September as “College Savings Month” in the State of Illinois. Both programs help families save money now for the future cost of sending their children to college.

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