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May
2005


May 31, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces upcoming “Supermarket of Veterans’ Benefits” event
Event will link Illinois veterans with information about benefits and job opportunities
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the state will host a “Supermarket of Veterans’ Benefits” on July 9, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., at Navy Pier in Chicago, where veterans from across Illinois will have an unparalleled opportunity to learn about state programs specifically designed for them, apply for federal benefits, find out about job opportunities and get free health screenings and multiple other services.


May 31, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich's landmark film legislation renewed; Legislation responsible for creating thousands of jobs for state’s economy
SPRINGFIELD – In another effort to continue the revitalization of the Illinois film industry, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced he will sign Senate Bill 1965, which would renew the film tax incentive legislation that has proven to be instrumental in bringing major film and television projects back to Illinois. SB 1965 passed overwhelmingly in the House today and passed almost unanimously in the Senate in April.


May 31, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich’s stricter high school graduation requirements earn final legislative approval
Key component of Higher Standards, Better Schools plan awaits Governor’s signature
SPRINGFIELD – After winning approval in the Illinois House tonight, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced he will sign Senate Bill 575 - his proposal to strengthen high school graduation requirements for Illinois schools. The new requirements, which unanimously passed in the Senate last month, are a crucial part of his Higher Standards, Better Schools plan – a comprehensive proposal designed to better prepare students to compete and succeed in today’s economy. Sponsored by Sen. Miguel del Vall


May 30, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich to sign law closing gun show loophole; Governor will veto NRA bill linking gun show loophole and destruction of gun records
Governor applauds General Assembly for passing clean bill that closes gun show loophole that gives criminals easy access to guns
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced he will sign legislation that closes the gun show loophole, and veto legislation that would require the Illinois State Police to destroy records of firearm purchases – a valuable tool in fighting crime.


May 30, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich to sign bill to provide $1.8 billion of federal money over three years for Illinois’ health care network
New Illinois hospital assessment program increases annual funding by $170 million over current plan;
SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that he would sign legislation that establishes a new three-year Hospital Assessment Program that generates $600 million each year for the next three years in new federal funding to support critical health care and Medicaid services throughout Illinois. This new program replaces the current hospital assessment program that provides $430 million in federal funding and sunsets on July 1, 2005.


May 29, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces dozens of families helped by increased benefits for fallen soldiers
SPRINGFIELD – As people across Illinois and the United States prepare for Memorial Day and honor the men and women who have given their lives defending freedom, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that more than fifty families of Illinois soldiers killed in the line of duty fighting the Global War on Terror have received benefits from the state totaling $680,000 since the state increased monetary death benefits to families of fallen soldiers last August.


May 29, 2005
Illinois General Assembly passes most significant structural Pension Reforms in State History
Governor Blagojevich thanks Democratic leaders and legislators for support on pension reforms; vows to continue pursuing additional reforms in FY 2006
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich congratulated Democratic leaders and legislators in the Illinois General Assembly for passing this state’s first major structural pension reforms in history, which will result in billions of dollars in savings for Illinois taxpayers today and future generations.


May 28, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich poised to make Illinois only state in the nation to protect children from violent and sexually explicit video games
Safe Games Illinois Act clears General Assembly; Governor to sign legislation
SPRINGFIELD- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today praised the Illinois General Assembly for passing the landmark Safe Games Illinois Act and reaffirmed his commitment to signing the bill, which will make Illinois the only state in the nation to ban the sale and rental of violent and sexually explicit video games to children. HB 4023, sponsored by state Sen. Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville) and state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), won final legislative approval today.


May 27, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich, Lt. Gov. Quinn and Attorney General Madigan applaud passage of groundbreaking payday loan reform
HB 1100 will protect consumers from predatory and abusive practices
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today commended the General Assembly and the Monsignor Egan Coalition for Payday Loan Reform on the passage of House Bill 1100, which will for the first time regulate the payday loan industry in Illinois and strengthen consumer protection against predatory and abusive practices.


May 27, 2005
Governor Blagojevich congratulates General Assembly for passing unprecedented reforms to the Workers’ Compensation system
Bill provides fundamental change for the first time in almost 20 years
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich tonight applauded the Illinois House for passing the first comprehensive changes to the workers’ compensation system in almost 20 years, House Bill 2137. The Illinois Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure yesterday.


May 26, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces agreement with business and labor leaders for unprecedented reforms to the Workers’ Compensation system
Governor’s State of the State priority would fundamentally change the system for the first time in almost 20 years
SPRINGFIELD – After highlighting this issue as a priority in his 2005 State of the State address and leading negotiations for several months, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced an agreement today with business and labor leaders on the first comprehensive changes to the workers’ compensation system in almost 20 years.


May 25, 2005
Governor Blagojevich Encourages Illinoisans to “Light The Way Home” for Missing Children
Proclaims May 25 Missing Children’s Day in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, along with members of the Illinois AMBER Task Force and the Department of Children and Family Services, joined people throughout the state in observing today, May 25, as Missing Children’s Day in Illinois. “Light the Way Home” is an opportunity for family and friends to plan events in their communities to raise public awareness about the serious issue of missing children.


May 24, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES FOOD SECURITY FORUM TO HIGHLIGHT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN GLOBAL HOMELAND SECURITY MARKETPLACE
State Hosts First in a Series of Forums to Grow Illinois’ Homeland Security Businesses; Team Public-Private Resources to Meet New Market Demand
CHICAGO – Delivering on his commitment to build the state’s economy by growing the homeland security industry, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the first in a series of homeland security business forums that will be held statewide to identify market opportunities to grow and support Illinois’ businesses. The first forum is being staged in partnership with the Illinois Center for Food Safety and Technology on Monday, June 27th, at the Marriott in Burr Ridge.


May 23, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces Memorial Day weekend to bring the largest safety belt enforcement ever in Illinois
3,000 enforcement zones throughout the state; special focus on rural areas
SPRINGFIELD – The Blagojevich administration today announced that state and local law enforcement agencies are partnering together this Memorial Day weekend to set up the largest safety belt enforcement effort ever conducted in Illinois. This year, motorists will find more than 3,000 safety belt enforcement zones throughout Illinois during the Memorial Day “Click it or Ticket” mobilization.


May 22, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces investment agreement with AFL-CIO HIT to invest $250 million for affordable housing in Illinois
Investment partnership with Illinois Housing Development Authority will create or preserve 2,500 affordable units for Illinois residents
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a partnership with the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (AFL-CIO HIT) to invest $250 million of capital in the Illinois Housing Development Authority securities that will help finance the creation or the preservation of affordable rental housing in Illinois. The investment, from the labor sponsored investment company, was outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed last week.


May 19, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $180,000 IN TRAINING FUNDING TO ADDRESS CRITICAL SHORTAGE OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN EAST CENTRAL ILLINOIS
Health Care Worker Shortages Projected, Opportunity Returns Grant Will Attract and Train New Nurses to Help Meet Expected Demand
URBANA – Continuing to deliver on his Opportunity Returns pledge to invest in East Central Illinois’ workforce, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $180,000 to support health care training in the East Central region that will address critical shortages in the local workforce. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin made the announcement today at Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana, alongside health care and educational leaders from throughout East


May 19, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces new tracking system to prepare agriculture industry for terrorist attack or natural disaster
Geographic Information System to ensure quick, effective response in emergency situation
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke today announced the state is developing new, cutting edge technology to help emergency officials respond more quickly and effectively in the event of an agroterrorist attack.


May 19, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich applauds Senate for passing his landmark video game legislation
Safe Games Illinois Act passes by a margin of 52-5-1
SPRINGFIELD- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today praised the Illinois Senate for passing the Safe Games Illinois Act, which would make Illinois the first state in the nation to ban the sale and rental of violent and sexually explicit video games to children. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville) and Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), passed the Senate by a margin of 52 – 5, with one voting “present”.


May 18, 2005
Governor Blagojevich meets with CPS Chief Arne Duncan and Chicago area legislators to discuss his plan to increase school funding and raise high sch
As parents and educators gather at Capitol to rally for more school funding, Governor urges lawmakers to support proposal to pump $440 million more
SPRINGFIELD – As hundreds of parents, teachers and supporters of public education descended on the State Capitol today to rally for more education dollars, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich met with Chicago Public Schools’ CEO Arne Duncan, Chicago Board of Education president Michael Scott, former Chicago Board of Education president Gery Chico, and several Chicago area lawmakers to discuss his Higher Standards, Better Schools Plan. The Governor’s proposal would boost school funding by $440 million witho


May 17, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich recognizes Illinois heroes for quick response and selfless actions
Professional emergency responders and citizen heroes honored during Emergency Medical Services Week
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Eric E. Whitaker are hailing some of Illinois’ unsung heroes. Twenty-five citizens and emergency responders from around the state received recognition for their heroic acts of courage as part of IDPH’s 18th Annual Emergency Medical Services Awards. Gov. Blagojevich proclaimed May 15th - 21st “Emergency Medical Services Week,” as an opportunity to highlight the heroic acts of some of Illinois’ citiz


May 17, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich hosts the Amir of Qatar at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
Gulf State leader and Governor enter into official agreement establishing friendly relations
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich hosted His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Amir of Qatar, at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, marking the second Head of State to visit the museum. The first visit by a Head of State was President George W. Bush who was joined by the First Lady on April 19th for the museum’s official dedication ceremony. During today's visit, the Governor and the Amir signed an official agreement to establish a shared understanding and friendship bet


May 16, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich calls on education leaders to help pass new money, new standards for schools
Illinois Education Excellence Task Force will lobby legislators to pass Governor’s Higher Standards, Better Schools Plan
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the new Illinois Education Excellence Task Force (IEETF), a group of education leaders from around the state that will work to pass his Higher Standards, Better Schools Plan. Chaired by former president of Chicago Board of Education Gery Chico, the group will lobby the Illinois General Assembly to pass the Governor’s plan that increases education funding and toughens high school graduation standards.


May 16, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich and Attorney General Lisa Madigan applaud General Assembly for passing landmark consumer protection legislation
Personal Information Protection Act ensures Illinoisans will be alerted to all breaches of personal and financial information
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Attorney General Lisa Madigan today applauded the General Assembly for passing the Personal Information Protection Act, which requires all companies and organizations, regardless of where they are based, to notify Illinois residents in the event of a security breach. HB 1633, sponsored in the House by Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago) and in the Senate by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), now moves to the governor’s desk for approval.


May 13, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich visits Scott Air Force Base to applaud defense department's decision to keep base off its closure list
Governor vows to continue coordinated campaign
MASCOUTAH - Arriving at Mid-America Airport just a short time after the U.S. Department of Defense released its list of military installations recommended for closure or realignment, Gov. Rod Blagojevich gathered with local leaders to deliver the news that Scott Air Force Base will continue its crucial mission of defending our country.


May 13, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich honors Illinois’ seniors as he proclaims Older Americans Month in Illinois
Celebration underscores the state’s leadership in providing health care, prescriptions, independent living and other protections to seniors
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today honored Illinois’ two million seniors as he proclaimed May, 2005, Older Americans Month in Illinois, and highlighted the state’s different programs and initiatives designed to give elderly citizens the care and protection they deserve. The governor’s proclamation coincides with the nationwide celebration of Older Americans Month this May.


May 13, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH VOWS TO CONTINUE COORDINATED CAMPAIGN TO SAVE THE ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL
MOLINE - Arriving in the region just a short time after the U.S. Department of Defense released its list of military installations recommended for closure or realignment, Gov. Rod Blagojevich gathered with local leaders to deliver the news that he will do everything humanly possible to ensure that the Rock Island Arsenal continues playing its critical role in defending our country. Gov. Blagojevich also thanked the military and civilian workers at the Arsenal for their service and dedication an


May 13, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH VOWS TO FIGHT FOR GREAT LAKES NAVAL TRAINING CENTER AND DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO SAVE ANY JOBS IN JEOPARDY
CHICAGO – Responding immediately to the U.S. Department of Defense’s decision to place the Great Lakes Naval Training Center on its list of military installations recommended for closure or realignment, Gov. Rod Blagojevich expressed his deep disappointment with the Defense Department’s recommendation to eliminate some 2,0000 jobs from Great lakes, the only Naval training center in the country, and vowed to keep vigorously fighting to save the station. The Governor has been leading a coordinat


May 13, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH VISITS PEORIA AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE TO APPLAUD DEFENSE DEPARTMENT’S DECISION TO KEEP BASE OFF ITS CLOSURE LIST
PEORIA - Arriving at the Peoria Air National Guard Base on the day the U.S. Department of Defense released its list of military installations recommended for closure or realignment, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich gathered with local leaders to deliver the news that the base will, as it has for nearly 60 years, continue defending our country. Gov. Blagojevich also thanked the airmen and women at the Peoria ANGB for their service and dedication and reaffirmed his commitment to helping secure additional


May 13, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH VISITS SPRINGFIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE AND VOWS TO CONTINUE COORDINATED CAMPAIGN TO SAVE VITAL FACILITY
SPRINGFIELD - Arriving at the Springfield Air National Guard Base on the day the U.S. Department of Defense released its list of military installations recommended for closure or realignment, Gov. Rod Blagojevich gathered with local leaders to express his deep disappointment with the Defense Department’s recommendations and vowed to keep vigorously fighting to keep the 170th Fighter Squadron in Springfield at the 183rd Fighter Wing. The U.S. Department of Defense recommended relocating the squa


May 12, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich honors fallen firefighter, recognizes 23 other firefighters for extraordinary acts of bravery
Thousands of firefighters attend 12th annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Medal of Honor Awards Ceremony in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD – As thousands of firefighters from throughout Illinois gathered in Springfield today to pay tribute to their fallen brethren and honor nearly two-dozen others for their bravery, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich expressed gratitude for their dedication and personal sacrifice.


May 12, 2005
Illinois highlights National Women’s Health Week
State celebrates 10th Anniversary of Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to heighten awareness and educate Illinois women about health issues particular to them, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Conference of Women Legislators (COWL) sponsored a women’s health fair and ceremony today at the Capitol to acknowledge Women’s Health Week. The health fair included a variety of health screenings and informational material on health concerns pertaining to women and the state services and programs available to them.


May 12, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich thanks IEPA Director Renee Cipriano for a job well done
Cipriano to return to private sector; Former Rockford Mayor Doug Scott to become IEPA director - Scott and Cipriano to work together through June
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that after almost four years of distinguished public service as the director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), Renee Cipriano will return to the private sector. The Governor will appoint Doug Scott, formerly the mayor of Rockford and a state legislator, to succeed her.


May 11, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich asks President Bush to stop unfair deportations and prevent families from being separated
Congressman Luis Gutierrez joins the Governor in plea to protect families
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today sent a letter to President George W. Bush, asking him to rescind the deportations of several hard-working immigrants, and help them reunite with their spouses and their U.S.-born children, and joined U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) in pleading for a system that keeps families together.


May 11, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich unveils sweeping campaign finance reform proposal
Governor’s plan applies McCain-Feingold law to state elected offices; unveils series of new ethics reforms
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today outlined a comprehensive campaign finance reform package to overhaul the state’s political fundraising system and strengthen state ethics requirements. Modeled after the federal McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act of 2002, the Governor’s plan would apply to all state elected officials, including candidates for state senator, state representative and executive branch constitutional offices, political committees and state party committees.


May 11, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich urges the House to pass his Higher Standards plan
The governor’s plan to implement strict new high school graduation standards one step closer to passing
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today applauded the Elementary and Secondary Education committee for passing SB 575, the Governor’s proposal to strengthen high school graduation requirements for Illinois schools, and urged members of the House to approve his plan. The new requirements, which passed a House Committee by a vote of 15-5-1, are a key component of his Higher Standards, Better Schools plan


May 10, 2005
Governor Blagojevich urges commuters to get involved in pressing lawmakers for approval of CTA funding proposal
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich took his plan to increase funding for the Chicago Transit Authority directly to commuters today, urging them to lobby their lawmakers to support his proposal to close the canned software tax loophole – a move that would generate $65 million in revenue for transit funding.


May 10, 2005
First Lady Patti Blagojevich Unveils New Spanish Educational Materials Available For Children
Illinois Department of Natural Resources books will give Latino children a fun insight in Spanish into the state’s wildlife
CHICAGO-Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich today joined officials from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to unveil a series of children’s books that have been translated in Spanish. The books, available for free from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, help foster an appreciation for Illinois natural resources while providing a variety of activities that are fun and educational for the entire family.


May 9, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MAJOR BUSINESS EXPANSION AND JOB CREATION IN LINCOLN
CHICAGO - Continuing to deliver on his Opportunity Returns pledge to spur economic development in Central Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich today announced an important partnership with Robert’s Sysco Food Service, Inc., a foodservice distribution subsidiary of SYSCO Corporation (NYSE: SYY), which will help the company expand to a new 190,000 square-foot facility in Lincoln and is anticipated to create more than 170 new jobs.


May 9, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich spotlights women’s health issues
State celebrates 10th Anniversary of Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program
SPRINGFIELD – Heart Disease, stroke, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and osteoporosis are some of the top health concerns facing women and Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich is bringing these concerns to the forefront to heighten awareness and save lives. The Governor proclaimed this week, May 8th – 13th Women’s Health Week, a time to remind women about health issues particular to them and the state services and programs available to them.


May 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich praises General Assembly for approving legislation to boost biodiesel
Bill expands biodiesel fuels eligible for state rebates and grants; benefits Illinois agriculture and environment
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R Blagojevich today praised the Illinois General Assembly for approving legislation to help boost the use and sale of biodiesel fuel, much of which is made from Illinois soybeans. The Illinois House last night unanimously approved Senate Bill 769, after unanimously passing the Illinois Senate in early April. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville) and Rep. Roger Eddy (R-Hutsonville), changes the Alternate Fuels Act to make biodiesel fuel blends of 2


May 6, 2005
Illinois awards 13 officers with the prestigious Law Enforcement Medal of Honor
SPRINGFIELD, IL - On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent presented thirteen Illinois law enforcement officers with the prestigious Law Enforcement Medal of Honor today during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Springfield.


May 6, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ATTENDS CELEBRATION OF CUTTING-EDGE SCIENCE FACILITY AT ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY MADE POSSIBLE BY $36 MILLION IN STATE SUPPORT
ARGONNE – Gov. Rod Blagojevich today attended the cornerstone-laying ceremony celebrating the establishment of the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. $36 million in construction costs for this dynamic new facility was provided as part of the Governor’s aggressive strategy to spur scientific and economic growth and create jobs throughout Northeast Illinois.


May 6, 2005
First Lady Patti Blagojevich joins State Rep. Monique D. Davis to raise awareness of local domestic violence prevention efforts
Verizon Wireless'HopeLine Program donates funds received from discarded cellular phones to local shelters
CHICAGO– First Lady Patti Blagojevich today joined State Representative Monique D. Davis (D-Chicago) and representatives from Verizon Wireless in an effort to bring awareness to Verizon’s HopeLine program, which collects previously owned cellular phones and uses them to provide resources for local domestic violence prevention. The phones are refurbished and sold, with the proceeds going to local shelters.


May 5, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims Chicago Defender Day in Illinois
Day to coincide with newspaper’s 100th anniversary
CHICAGO – In recognition of the Chicago Defender’s tremendous achievements over the last 100 years, Gov. Rod Blagojevich today proclaimed Thursday, May 5, 2005 as Chicago Defender Day in Illinois. The proclamation coincides with the kickoff of the Defender’s yearlong centennial celebration.


May 5, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich joins law enforcement officials from around the state to honor 12 officers killed in the line of duty
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich joined elected officials and law enforcement officers from around the state today for the Illinois Police Officers' Memorial Day ceremonies at the State Capitol to honor twelve Illinois police officers killed in the line of duty. The fallen officers' names will be added to the 862 names already on the monument.


May 5, 2005
Governor Blagojevich applauds the success of the Illinois Business Portal as it surpasses 63,000 visitors
Updated Web site solicits input from business owners on workers’ compensation, health insurance costs, and cutting red tape
CHICAGO – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced that over 63,000 individuals have visited and used the Illinois Business Portal since it was launched last February. The Web site – located at www.business.illinois.gov - offers a one-stop shop for any business to interact with state government, containing all the critical information, forms, and resources to make it easier to operate in Illinois. Starting today, the portal launched a new homepage that asks visitors to send feedback on Gov. Bla


May 5, 2005
Adjutant General of Illinois National Guard promoted to Major General
Gov. Blagojevich pins second star on Randal E. Thomas
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich pinned a second star on the shoulder of State Adjutant General Randal E. Thomas today, promoting him to the rank of Major General.


May 4, 2005
Illinois National Guard breaks ground on new regional training institute
New facility will house state-of-the-art education tools to train future military leaders
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois National Guard today broke ground on a much-anticipated Regional Training Institute (RTI) facility at Camp Lincoln. The specially designed educational training facility will provide more than 110,000 square feet of teaching and training space for more than 200 soldiers.


May 4, 2005
Blagojevich administration recognizes Corrections Officers of the Year
Five Illinois Department of Corrections front line employees receive top honors
SPRINGFIELD – On behalf of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois Department of Corrections Director Roger Walker today recognized five outstanding front line employees as 2005 Correctional Officers of the Year. The recognition comes during Correctional Officer Week in Illinois May 2nd – 6th.


May 4, 2005
First Lady Patti Blagojevich helps kick off new exhibit at the Chicago Children’s Museum
First of its kind English and Spanish interactive exhibit invites families to share in activities explaining how language is learned
CHICAGO- First Lady Patti Blagojevich today underscored the importance of parents getting involved in their children’s education from the earliest stages, as she spoke at the Now You’re Talking! The Story of How Children Acquire Language Exhibit Opening at the Chicago Children’s Museum.


May 3, 2005
Blagojevich administration announces $9.15 Billion Multi-Year Road Program
Plan moves forward with economic development; Focuses on maintaining existing system
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Tim Martin today unveiled the state’s proposed Highway Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2006 - 2011. The $9.15 billion Multi-Year Highway Program moves forward with key modernization and expansion efforts while also focusing on maintenance of the current system. Separate from the plan is $1.5 billion for transportation improvements under the Opportunity Returns program - the Governor’s innovative regional approach to job creation.


May 3, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES CONTINUED EMPLOYEE TRAINING INVESTMENTS IN NORTHEAST ILLINOIS MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE
Valley Industrial Association’s Ongoing Efforts to Upgrade Worker Skills Highlighted
NORTH AURORA – Continuing to deliver on his Opportunity Returns commitment to upgrading the skills of the regional workforce, Gov. Rod Blagojevich today announced that Valley Industrial Association has received a $880,000 grant to assist with training costs of its member companies. At least 2,600 employees at 65 companies throughout Kane, Kendall, DeKalb and DuPage counties will benefit from the grant. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Jack Lavin made the announcement today in North Aurora at DACO, Inc., one of the companies receiving training through this grant.

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