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June
2005


June 30, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES A NEARLY $300,000 WORKFORCE TRAINING GRANT TO ENHANCE THE SKILLS OF ALMOST 1,100 EMPLOYEES AT ROCKFORD PACKAGING COMPANY
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the awarding of a $283,500 workforce training grant to Anderson Packaging Inc. in Rockford as a part of Opportunity Returns, the Governor’s pro-active, comprehensive economic development strategy designed to spur the economy and create jobs across the Northern Stateline region. The grant is being awarded through the Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) and will be used to upgrade the skills of nearly 1,100 workers at the company’s Rockford facility.


June 30, 2005
AS UNEMPLOYMENT RATES CONTINUE TO FALL ACROSS ILLINOIS, GOV. BLAGOJEVICH SAYS SEVERAL KEY LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES WILL DRAMATICALLY ENHANCE THE
STATE’S BUSINESS CLIMATE AND SPARK EVEN MORE ECONOMIC GROWTH
CHICAGO – With additional evidence released today illustrating Illinois’ expanding economy, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich says several key legislative initiatives will make the state’s business climate even more attractive to companies looking to expand or to relocate and spark more growth. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that in May unemployment rates fell from previous year levels in all 12 metropolitan areas. This was the fifth month in a row in which unemployment rates were down in at least 10 of the metro areas. Danville, Rockford and Decatur metro areas all posted unemployment rate declines greater than one percentage point. Earlier this month, IDES also announced that the state has experienced a rate of job growth that exceeds the nation’s rate of growth for the third consecutive month. This is the first time this has happened in nearly eight years.


June 30, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces a record-breaking $1 billion in child support collections
Governor signs new laws to further strengthen child support enforcement Illinois increase in collections nearly triples the national average
CHICAGO – Gov. Blagojevich today announced that the State of Illinois will collect a record-breaking $1 billion in child support payments this year. The funds will provide 386,000 Illinois parents with the money they need to care for their children. This dramatic turnaround follows years of poor child support collection. But, over the past two years, Governor Blagojevich launched a number of innovative and aggressive programs to improve collection to help working parents, including the Deadbeat Parents Website and the New Hire Directory hotline.


June 30, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich Announces $175 Million Available to Help Working Families Become Homeowners
I-LOAN Mortgage program run by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is available on a first-come-first-served basis through local lenders
CHICAGO – In celebration of National Homeownership Month and recognition of the economic and social benefits of homeownership creates for individuals, families and communities, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the Illinois Housing Development Authority has committed $175 million dollars to the I-LOAN Mortgage Program. Designed to help first-time homebuyers gain the stability and security that come from homeownership and begin to build equity in their homes, the I-LOAN Mortgage is available through IHDA’s local lender partners on a first-come-first-served basis throughout Illinois.


June 29, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs “No Senior Left Behind” law
New law fills gaps created by federal drug benefits program
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed the ‘No Senior Left Behind’ law – critical legislation that protects Illinois seniors from the shortfalls created by the federal prescription drug program. In January of 2006, Medicare begins its new prescription drug benefit program and it is expected to increase out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors. The Governor’s bill provides a safety net to seniors from those increasing costs. This new law is the nation’s most comprehensive state response to fill in the gaps created by the federal Rx drug program.


June 28, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces $2 million for teen pregnancy prevention grants
Cites continued decline in births to teen moms, boosts funding in areas that still need help
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $2 million in grants for teen pregnancy prevention. The grants included in the Fiscal Year 2006 budget will be distributed by the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to 35 community-based agencies throughout the state.


June 28, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich launches “July is Health Care Month”
Governor focusing month ahead on improving and expanding access to health care
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed July Health Care Month in the state of Illinois, launching a month-long effort to expand, improve and promote access to health care for Illinois families. During the month of July, the Governor will sign new laws designed to improve access to health care for working families and seniors, enact meaningful medical malpractice reform, ease the nursing shortage, provide hospitals with nearly $2 billion in new federal funds, help senior citizens afford the high cost of prescription drugs, increase critical cancer screening for women, raise awareness about various diseases, and increase funding for diabetes research. The Governor kicked off July is Health Care Month by signing three bills that expand access to pharmacy services, dental care and provide another health care option to people who need it.


June 27, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH HOLDS FOOD SECURITY FORUM TO CREATE JOBS IN THE ILLINOIS HOMELAND SECURITY INDUSTRY
Governor also Signs Legislation forming the Food Systems Policy Council to Advise Measures to Further Secure the Illinois Food Supply
BURR RIDGE – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program held the “Market Opportunities in Food Security” forum today, the first in a series of homeland security business development forums to identify market opportunities to grow and support businesses in the homeland security industry. Experts in food security and homeland defense highlighted current and emerging needs for products, as well as strategies to protect our food supply. Gov. Blagojevich made a commitment to building the Illinois homeland security industry in his State of the State address in February. Illinois is already a national leader in homeland security, and it is only natural to develop, promote and expand this industry and create more jobs across the state.


June 27, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs law to help raise awareness about one of the top 10 leading causes of death
Illinois Department of Public Health to create Chronic Kidney Disease awareness program
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation to raise awareness and save lives from a treatable illness – chronic kidney disease. According to the latest data, more than 2,000 Illinoisans died in 2002 as a result of Chronic Kidney Disease and it’s the ninth leading cause of death in Illinois and nationally. Senate Bill 1461 requires the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to create a Chronic Kidney Disease Awareness, Testing, Diagnosis and Treatment Program.


June 26, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs laws to further protect Illinoisans from discrimination and hate crimes
New laws create civil penalties against housing discrimination, extends protection from hate crimes
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed into law two bills that will further protect residents from hate crimes, by reinforcing guarantees against discrimination in housing, and extending current legislation to shield individuals from harassment through electronic communication.


June 26, 2005
Governor Announces Drought Response Task Force Activated
Support Services in Place as Dry Conditions Continue
SPRINGFIELD –As Illinoisans experience one of the driest weather periods since records have been maintained, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich has activated the Drought Response Task Force. Although water supply and agricultural impacts are not acute at this time, a team has been formed to respond, should emergency situations develop.


June 26, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich Announces $10 Million Homeownership Initiative to Revitalize Homes in Chicago’s South and West Sides
HOME ADVANTAGE will boost local community development efforts with financing to help homebuyers purchase and rehabilitate their first homes
CHICAGO - Like many first-time homebuyers, Lee Wells had looked for a home he could afford in Chicago’s North Lawndale community, but everything was either too expensive or needed costly renovations that he could not afford. Thanks to a pilot program today announced by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Lee Wells is a new homeowner in North Lawndale. Through HOME ADVANTAGE, more than 35 aspiring first-time homebuyers in Chicago’s South and West Side communities will be able to use a new below-market interest rate program to buy and rehabilitate their first homes.


June 25, 2005
Governor ends state investment in Sudan
Governor signs Senate Bill 23, making Illinois first state in nation to cut financial ties with genocidal Sudanese regime
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 23, a bill that cuts all state financial ties with the oppressive and genocidal Sudanese government. Once signed, Illinois will become the first state in the nation to divest itself of financial interest in the repressive state.


June 23, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $300,000 BUSINESS INVESTMENT IN MATTOON PRECISION MANUFACTURING IN SOUTHEASTERN ILLINOIS
CHICAGO – Continuing his Opportunity Returns pledge to support businesses and create jobs in the Southeastern region, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $300,000 in support to help Mattoon Precision Manufacturing, Inc. (MPMI) expand its operations in Mattoon. As a result of the state’s support, the company will create 28 new jobs and retain 114 jobs and spur more than $5 million in private investment. Mattoon Precision, Inc. is retooling existing and installing new machinery as it continues to build its automotive parts business.


June 23, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich takes steps to advance K-12 state aid payments
Advanced payments help schools keep their budgets balanced
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 23, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs law requiring firearm license to own a stun gun
Illinois first in the nation to require FOID card for Taser and other stun gun purchase
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to keep dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today regulating the sale and purchase of stun guns and Tasers. The new law, Senate Bill 1962, requires Tasers and other stun gun purchasers to obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and submit to background checks, just like they would to obtain a gun. Illinois becomes the first state in the nation to require a firearm license to own a stun gun, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.


June 23, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $250,000 IN FUNDING FOR LAUNCHING OF ILLINOIS HISPANIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTER DESIGNED TO HELP SPUR INNOVATION AND JOB CRE
CHICAGO - Delivering on his Opportunity Returns pledge to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the Chicagoland area, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $250,000 in funding to launch the Illinois Hispanic Entrepreneurship Center (IHEC). Established through an innovative partnership between the state and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the e-center is the first of its kind focusing on Hispanic businesses. The center will offer targeted services to all high-growth potential enterprises to accelerate their development into economically viable and sustainable companies that will grow and create jobs in Illinois. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Jack Lavin and Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Director Juan Ochoa, joined by other state and local officials, made the announcement today at Universal Steel Works, 1135 S. Kolmar, to a collection of local business owners whose companies could benefit from the e-center’s services.


June 22, 2005
Governor announces funding to develop former strip mine
Sahara Woods on track to be Southern Illinois tourist destination
CARRIER WOODS – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $325,000 grant to fund some of the actions that are transforming an abandoned Southern Illinois strip mine into a place where tourists will be able enjoy hiking, hunting and fishing. The grant brings to $1.125 million dollars the amount of funding in the new state budget to improve the Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area. The governor’s budget also provides funding to hire a new Department of Natural Resources site technician to oversee activities at Sahara Woods in Saline and Williamson Counties.


June 22, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs bill that delivers $600,000 to the new Shawnee Mass Transit District
Funds will boost service in new agency serving Alexander,Johnson, Massac, Pulaski and Union Counties
VIENNA – During a stop today at the Johnson County Courthouse in Vienna, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation that will enable the state to pump $10.7 million into several downstate mass transit districts to cover costs associated with service expansions and other operating expenses. These funds will enable working families from throughout the area to get better access to their jobs, homes and schools.


June 22, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs bill that delivers nearly $11 million to help downstate mass transit districts meet expansion needs
Metro East area transit systems to receive nearly $6 million for service expansions in St. Clair and Madison Counties
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS – Visiting a Fairview Heights MetroLink stop today, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation that will enable the state to pump an additional $10.7 million into several downstate mass transit districts to cover costs associated with service expansions and other operating expenses. These funds will enable working families throughout Illinois to have better access to their jobs, homes and schools.


June 21, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich continues to develop new markets for clean-burning Illinois coal and the creation of new jobs across the state
MT. VERNON – In another important step towards revitalizing the Illinois coal industry and creating more jobs for Illinois families, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation which will help increase the use of Illinois-mined coal by supporting the use of clean-coal technology, providing energy security and promoting economic development throughout the state.


June 21, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs law reconstituting Rend Lake Conservancy District Board
New board to be appointed by local officials
REND LAKE – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 299, legislation that immediately dissolves the current Rend Lake Conservancy District (RLCD) Board and allows for new members to be appointed. The current board has been plagued by investigations and allegations of mismanagement. The bill was sponsored by State Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton) and State Rep. Kurt Granberg (D-Centralia).


June 21, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich takes another important step towards landing historic FutureGen project and other coal gasification projects for Illinois
JOHNSTON CITY – In another important step towards revitalizing the Illinois coal industry and creating more jobs for Illinois families, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today making it possible for Illinois to remain highly competitive as a site for FutureGen, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) $1 billion, 10-year demonstration project to create the world's first coal-based, zero-emissions power plant. This public-private project would make Illinois the leader in the development of the most advanced technologies for hydrogen production from coal – coal gasification.


June 20, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH CONTINUES HIS COORDINATED CAMPAIGN TO SAVE ILLINOIS MILITARY BASES THAT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IS TARGETING
The Governor Testifies at BRAC Hearing that DOD’s Recommendations Threaten Homeland Security and Will Not Achieve Significant Savings
ST. LOUIS – Testifying today before a Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Regional Hearing with other elected and local officials, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich presented Illinois’ detailed and comprehensive analysis refuting the U.S. Department of Defense’s recommendations that would take almost 1,900 jobs from the Rock Island Arsenal, strip the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield of its F-16 aircraft and more than 600 jobs, and eliminate more than 2,000 jobs from the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. The Governor has been leading a coordinated effort for more than two years with the Illinois Congressional Delegation, other elected officials and local leaders to prevent Illinois’ military bases from ending up on the BRAC list that will be announced in September. He stressed that these actions are a threat to our national and homeland security and are not cost effective.


June 20, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich praises Illinoisans generosity, announces nearly $200,000 for Alzheimer’s research grants
Funds voluntarily contributed by taxpayers
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded six grants totaling $189,997 from voluntary contributions to Illinois researchers who are trying to find a cure or improve treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.


June 20, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs laws to enhance environment and farm economy
Legislation promotes alternative fuels; helps soybean producers, and protects consumers from pesticide exposure
WATERLOO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a law to expand the use of cleaner, alternative fuels to benefit the environment, farmers and Illinois drivers. House Bill 931 will now allow rebates for drivers using fuels with a minimum 20 percent biodiesel blend. Until today, only 80 percent or higher biodiesel fuel blends had been eligible, and most diesel vehicles cannot use 80 percent blends without major modifications.


June 19, 2005
On Father’s Day, Governor reminds dads to take care of their health
State to invest $2 million for prostate cancer awareness, screenings and research
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to heighten awareness and educate Illinois men about one of the greatest risks to their health, on this Father’s Day Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced that the state will invest nearly $2 million in the coming fiscal year on prostate cancer awareness, screenings and research.


June 17, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich welcomes new State Police Cadet Class; Announces rule change that broadens recruitment base by opening door for experienced militar
Revision allows State Police to count candidate’s active military service as relevant law enforcement job experience
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry G. Trent announced today that on Sunday, June 19, 2005, 55 applicants have been invited to report to the Illinois State Police Academy to begin training as Cadet Class 110. Each individual received certification by the Illinois State Police Merit Board to attend the intense 26-week training.


June 17, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation to extend the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit
Five-year extension will leverage millions from private and public sectors to create and preserve affordable housing across Illinois
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed into law House Bill 603, which immediately extends the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit for five more years.


June 16, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs new laws protecting Illinois consumers from identity theft
Illinois second state in the nation to require companies to notify consumers of security breaches
SPRINGFIELD – After several high profile financial information security breaches across the nation, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed several pieces of legislation designed to safeguard consumers against identity theft.


June 16, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $300,000 TO SUPPORT LEWIS AND CLARK CONFLUENCE TOWER TO BUILD ON SOUTHWEST ILLINOIS TOURISM ASSETS
Opportunity Returns Investments Total $580,000 for Key Regional Project
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to support key regional projects identified through his Opportunity Returns strategy in Southwest Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced an additional $300,000 for the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower being built by the Village of Hartford.


June 16, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH HIGHLIGHTS THAT ILLINOIS’ JOB GROWTH RATE CONTINUES TO LEAD NATION
Three-Month Trend Indicates Economic Development and Job Creation Strategies are Working for Illinois
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich highlighted additional evidence today that the Illinois economy continues to improve. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the state has experienced a trend of job growth that exceeds the nation’s rate of growth for the third consecutive month. This is the first time this has happened in nearly eight years. The IDES statistics also show that, through the past three months, nearly 40,000 new jobs have been created and more people across Illinois are at work. This job creation and rate of growth is a good indication that Gov. Blagojevich’s economic development initiatives and workforce investments are paying important dividends for the state.


June 15, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich works with State Board of Education and General Assembly to restore Special Ed funding
Saves programs serving most critical needs in the State
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced their plan to restore funding for a number of key Special Education Programs in Illinois. These programs serve critical needs that cannot be met by local school districts. When the Governor learned that Fiscal Year (FY) 06 funding for these programs was at risk, he took quick action to restore support for programs serving children with autism, deafness and severe behavioral disorders.


June 15, 2005
Governor signs bill allowing for paid time off work to give blood
New law designed to help ease blood shortages
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to encourage more people to give blood, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation to allow employees to take up to an hour off work to donate blood. House Bill 324, sponsored by Rep. Robert Rita (D-Crestwood), and Sen. William R. Haine (D-Alton), creates the Employee Blood Donation Leave Act, which allows local government and private sector full-time employees who work for companies with more than 50 employees to take an hour of paid leave to donate blood.


June 15, 2005
Gov.Blagojevich signs legislation offering additional assistance to Illinois’ military families
New laws provide childcare vouchers and insurance coverage
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed two pieces of legislation that will help Illinois soldiers and their families maintain health coverage and childcare assistance when they are deployed to fight in the War on Terror.


June 15, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation expanding mental health services for children in state care
Unprecedented step reflects DCFS goals and priorities under Blagojevich administration
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod. R. Blagojevich signed legislation today that puts Illinois on the cutting edge of addressing the mental health needs of children in state care and reflects an ongoing commitment to improving services for children.


June 15, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH LAUNCHES PROGRAM TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES REDUCE ENERGY COSTS THROUGH ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Small Business $mart Energy Program supported with $1.5 million Opportunity Returns grant to the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois
CHICAGO – Delivering on his Opportunity Returns commitment to help Illinois small businesses reduce their energy costs, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a pioneering new partnership between the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


June 14, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs law giving Illinoisans greater access to information about health care costs
New law designed to inform and empower consumers
SPRINGFIELD – Continuing his efforts to improve access to health care for Illinois families, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed the Illinois Health Care Consumer’s Right-to-Know bill, which makes health care price and performance information for outpatient procedures available to all Illinois consumers.


June 14, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich awards $2 million in grants for West Nile virus surveillance and control
Local health departments receive funding
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded grants totaling $2 million to local health departments as part of this year’s efforts to detect and control mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus or other mosquito-borne diseases.


June 13, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs bill closing DNA legal loophole; Gives law enforcement more information to address unsolved crimes
New law requires DNA testing for those sentenced to life in prison
SPRINGFIELD – To aid investigators in solving more crimes, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that requires DNA samples from all people in prison – including those who have received life sentences or the death penalty. A person’s DNA is a genetic fingerprint that can be used to solve crimes when biological evidence is left at the scene.


June 10, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $500,000 IN FUNDING TO SUPPORT MAJOR ADVANCEMENTS IN INFORMATION TRUST AND SECURITY
Also Unveils Key Opportunity Returns Initiatives for East Central Region That Are Creating Jobs And Fueling Widespread Economic Growth
URBANA-CHAMPAIGN – Taking his Opportunity Returns message of job creation and economic growth directly to the communities it is working to serve, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus to announce $500,000 in state support for the Information Trust Institute (ITI), a promising technology initiative that is addressing the security, reliability and survivability of our vital information systems.


June 10, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MAJOR OPPORTUNITY RETURNS SUPPORT FOR DECATUR MANUFACTURING EXPANSION, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS CONTINUES
Also Highlights Central Region Opportunity Returns Strategy to Increase Economic Potential and Spur Job Growth Throughout the Region
DECATUR - Continuing to deliver on his Opportunity Returns pledge to spur economic development in Central Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced an almost $7.4 million investment package for Decatur-based Mueller Co. The investment will help retain 500 existing positions and support upgrades to and expansion of Mueller’s production facilities.


June 10, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH DELIVERS FUNDING TO LAUNCH HIGH TECH BUSINESS INCUBATOR IN PEORIA AND FUEL ECONOMIC GROWTH ACROSS REGION
PEORIA - Continuing to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the North Central region, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today delivered $1.2 million in Opportunity Returns funding to help launch the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, a high-tech business incubator designed to support technology innovation, convert innovative ideas into market successes and fuel economic growth and job creation throughout the area.


June 9, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH PRAISES RENEWABLE ENERGY STUDY RESULTS; URGES ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION TO MAKE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PLAN A REALITY
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today commended an authoritative new study of Illinois’ energy resources, released by the University of Illinois at Chicago, that found that the Governor’s Renewable Energy Plan would not only create cleaner air, but would also add 7,800 jobs and boost economic growth by approximately $7 billion across the state by 2012. The Governor’s Renewable Energy Plan is one portion of the Sustainable Energy Plan that he submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission


June 9, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs law requiring school districts to teach student athletes about steroid risks
Law focuses prevention efforts on those students at greatest risk
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation to help student athletes better understand the dangers associated with steroid use. Senate Bill 64 requires Illinois school districts to provide targeted steroid abuse prevention education to all students participating in interscholastic sports.


June 9, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs groundbreaking payday loan reform into law
Law sets caps on interest rates and gives unprecedented protection to borrowers
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed the landmark Payday Loan Reform Act that for the first time will regulate the payday loan industry in Illinois and strengthen protection to consumers, especially working families and members of the military against predatory and abusive practices.


June 8, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation making Illinois first in the nation to ban dangerous child toy; provides new resource to parents to keep kids safe
Illinois first state to ban “yo-yo waterballs” - Illinois Department of Public Health to post child product recalls
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today making Illinois the first state in the nation to ban a dangerous child toy – “yo-yo waterballs.” The toy is a rubber-like ball filled with liquid and is attached to an elastic cord that can wrap around a child’s neck when the child swings the toy. The Consumer Product Safety Commission received about 400 reports nationwide of injuries to children from yo-yo waterballs.


June 8, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES CONTINUED GROWTH OF ILLINOIS FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY
Illinois Film Office Releases Blockbuster Lineup of Movies and Television Projects Shooting in Illinois Bringing 5,000 Jobs and $68 Million to State’s Economy
CHICAGO – Expanding on the success of the Illinois film industry in 2004, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the continued revitalization of movie and television production within the state and introduced an impressive lineup of movies that are scheduled to be filmed in the state in the coming months. The major motion pictures come from a cross-section of Hollywood’s studios and feature popular talent, including Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dustin Hoffman, Will Ferrell and Jennifer Aniston. Illinois’ own acting and directing stars Vince Vaughn and John Malkovich play key roles in several of the productions. These exciting projects are estimated to create 5,000 jobs and inject $68 million into the state’s economy. In 2004, projects filmed throughout the state created nearly 15,000 jobs and generated $77 million, 200 percent higher than in 2003.


June 7, 2005
CMS Partners With Microsoft To Create New Web Portal That Will Improve Storage And Access Of Purchasing Data
CHICAGO, IL -- The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) is set to launch the next generation of its purchasing database by partnering with Microsoft Corp. to develop a procurement management system that will enable the State to be better educated about the items it buys.


June 7, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs landmark legislation to combat human trafficking
Illinois joins the federal government in launching the nation’s largest assault on the growing problem
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod Blagojevich today signed House Bill 1469 making it easier to prosecute human trafficking offenders and to assist victims. Illinois also joined the federal government in launching the nation’s largest coalition to address the growing phenomenon of human trafficking. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in conjunction with the Blagojevich administration today unveiled a public awareness campaign to combat human trafficking.


June 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces more than $67 million returned to 685,000 hard-working Illinois families
Record number of filers take advantage of Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has returned more than $67 million for 685,000 low-income working families, the highest amount in the five-year history of the state EITC. Additionally, state-funded tax assistance programs served more than 34,000 tax filers, a 12 percent increase over last year.


June 4, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces federal grant to provide services for homeless victims of domestic violence in Chicago
Funds will allow Chicago Department of Human Services to provide help for nearly 2,000 victims in the area
CHICAGO — Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $235,000 federal grant for the Chicago Department of Human Services (CDHS) Victims of Domestic Violence Project that will enable CDHS to provide domestic violence services to homeless victims in need.


June 4, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims June 5, 2005 “Danica Patrick Day” in Illinois
Day will honor the one-week anniversary of Illinois native’s record setting-finish in the Indianapolis 500
CHICAGO- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proclaimed tomorrow, Sunday, June 5, 2005 “Danica Patrick Day” in Illinois in recognition of the female driver raised in Roscoe, Illinois who placed fourth last Sunday at the Indianapolis 500 auto race, the highest placing ever for a woman on one of the world’s top professional racing competitions.


June 4, 2005
Governor continues mission of the Council on Responsible Fatherhood
Bill signing coincides with 5th Annual Fatherhood Conference & Resource Fair
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 1438, legislation that extends the existence of the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood. Created in August of 2003, the Council is charged with developing a comprehensive plan that promotes the positive involvement of fathers in their children’s lives.


June 2, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich visits Vincent de Paul Center to mark major achievement on behalf of Illinois children;
Early Childhood community joins Governor to celebrate gains for local children
CHICAGO -- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today visited the Vincent de Paul Center in Lincoln Park to mark the state’s success in providing funding to give 25,000 more children in Illinois access to pre-school, a goal he set in his first State of the State address in 2003. Including the $30 million increase in the new budget for the coming fiscal year, Illinois has increased preschool funding by $90 million – or 50 percent – over the first three years of Governor Blagojevich’s administration.


June 2, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich visits the Metro East to mark major achievement on behalf of Illinois children
Early Childhood community joins Governor to celebrate gains for local children
BELLEVILLE - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today visited Learning Journey in Belleville to mark the state’s success in providing funding to give 25,000 more children in Illinois access to pre-school, a goal he set in his first State of the State address in 2003. Including the $30 million increase in the new budget for the coming fiscal year, Illinois has increased preschool funding by $90 million – or 50 percent – over the first three years of Governor Blagojevich’s administration.


June 1, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces $42.7 million to help create and preserve safe, affordable housing for Illinois families
Single-family homes and family rental units will provide affordable housing for more than 450 Illinois families
Chicago – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Board of Directors has approved more than $42.7 million of financing for affordable family housing. Financing for 10 developments will leverage additional public and private investment to create or preserve affordable homes for more than 450 families in the counties of Champaign, Christian, Cook, Kankakee, Marion, Menard, Montgomery, Moultrie, Peoria and Tazewell.

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