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July
2005


July 30, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation requiring gun locks to be included with handgun sales
New law will prevent shooting accidents, protect children
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to promote handgun safety for Illinoisans, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation requiring that all handguns that are sold by federally licensed firearms dealers in Illinois include a safety lock. Senate Bill 1832, sponsored by Rep. Deborah Graham (D-Oak Park) and Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), comes after the Governor signed legislation closing the gun show loophole on Friday. SB 1832 is effective January 1, 2006.


July 29, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation closing gun show loophole in Illinois;New law makes it tougher for criminals to get firearms
Background checks now required at Illinois gun shows
CHICAGO – Taking an aggressive stand against gun violence, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, joined by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, today signed legislation that closes the gun show loophole that allowed gun buyers to avoid comprehensive background checks. Senate Bill 1333, sponsored by Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Rep. Harry Osterman (D-Chicago), requires gun sellers at firearm shows to request background checks for potential gun purchasers. The new law takes effect immediately.


July 29, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation creating important economic development organization that will help open more doors for Illinois companies abroad
and attract more foreign investment across Illinois
CHICAGO – Boosting efforts to spur economic growth in innovative ways, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today creating the Illinois Global Partnership (IGP), a not-for-profit corporation that will build on the state’s successful efforts at spurring international economic development and creating more jobs throughout Illinois.


July 28, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITY RETURNS INVESTMENT IN CHICAGOLAND COMPANY TO FUEL MAJOR ECONOMIC EXPANSION AND JOB CREATION
CHICAGO – Continuing to deliver on his pledge to invest in companies that invest in Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced significant Opportunity Returns support for United Stationers Inc. that will enable the wholesale distributor of business products to relocate, expand and improve its new corporate headquarters in Deerfield. This will result in the creation of approximately 125 new jobs and the retention of more than 550 jobs over a two-year period.


July 28, 2005
Governor Blagojevich signs law to boost use of biodiesel in state and local government vehicles
Innovative effort benefits Illinois agriculture, environment and helps promote energy independence
SPRINGFIELD – In another aggressive effort to promote energy independence, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed into law a measure to boost the use of biodiesel throughout Illinois. The law requires state government, county and local governments, school districts, universities and community colleges and mass transit agencies to fuel their diesel vehicles with 2 percent biodiesel, a renewable fuel typically made from soybeans.


July 28, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs new laws to reduce nursing shortages and improve quality of health care
Laws increase patient safety, create first-in-the-nation externship program, and encourage advanced practice nurses to increase skills
CHICAGO – Delivering on a promise made during his State of the State address last February, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed into law six bills that will help reduce the nursing shortage in Illinois and mean better access to health care across the state. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of several administrative actions by the Blagojevich administration to help reduce the nursing shortage, including streamlining the licensing process for nurses, adding funding to the Nurses Education Scholarship Program, and increasing funding for training nurses and other health care professionals.


July 27, 2005
Governor visits farmers in Northern and Central Illinois to view drought damage, discuss assistance
Gov. Blagojevich tours fields in Peoria and Will Counties
CHANNAHON – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson walked through farm fields in Peoria and Will counties today to get a closer look at the damage caused by this summer’s severe drought conditions.


July 27, 2005
USDA gives swift approval to Gov. Blagojevich’s request for designation of Illinois counties as agricultural disaster areas,
opens door for farmers in need of emergency loans Gov. Blagojevich applauds USDA Sec. Johann for quick response
CHICAGO – After visiting drought-damaged fields in Northern and Central Illinois earlier today, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich tonight congratulated the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for designating all but one of Illinois’ 102 counties as agricultural disaster areas. The Governor formally requested a disaster declaration from the federal government on Monday for Illinois counties hit hard by this summer’s drought. The USDA’s decision will allow farmers and ranchers to apply for federal assistance. The Governor applauded U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and the USDA for their quick response.


July 26, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES A RECORD RISE IN ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TOURISM AND VISITORS TO ILLINOIS
In 2004, Nearly 92 Million Visitors Generated $24.5 Billion and Supported Almost 300,000 Jobs
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced new evidence today that illustrates how the Illinois tourism industry continues to grow at a record pace, generating billions of dollars in economic impact and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs for working families across the state. In 2004, travel to Illinois directly accounted for nearly 300,000 Illinois jobs, including 1,000 new jobs in 2004, that generated nearly $7.8 billion in payroll. Economic impact generated by travel spending in 2004 in Illinois grew to a record high $24.5 billion, an increase of 6.8 percent, generating $1.77 billion in state and local tax revenue, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. This added an additional $81.7 million in state and local taxes in 2004.


July 26, 2005
Governor Blagojevich signs legislation to expand workers’ picketing rights
New law allowing workers to use public rights of way underscores Governor’s commitment to workers’ rights
CHICAGO – Building on his long-standing commitment to protect workers’ rights and improve conditions for hard working men and women across the state, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that broadens picketing rights for labor unions and other workers involved in labor disputes with their employers.


July 25, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $750,000 IN FUNDING TO HELP LOCAL COMMUNITIES REHABILITATE HOMES OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that $750,000 in funding is now available to be used to enhance the living environments of disabled residents across the state. This aggressive effort comes as part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active strategy for restoring economic opportunity throughout Illinois.


July 25, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich seeks disaster declaration to aid Illinois farmers
Request includes every Illinois county and would make farmers eligible for federal drought relief
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today requested federal disaster assistance for drought-stricken Illinois farmers who have sustained substantial crop losses this year.


July 25, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs law making Illinois the only state in the nation to protect children from violent and sexually explicit video games
Safe Games Illinois Act prohibits the sale or rental of excessively violent or sexually explicit video games to minors under age 18
AURORA- Surrounded by parents and pre-teens in a public library in Aurora, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed the landmark Safe Games Illinois Act, making 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 in May. The governor first proposed the Safe Games initiative in December.


July 22, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH CELEBRATES BUSINESS FACILITIES MAGAZINE RANKING ILLINOIS THE TOP STATE IN THE NATION FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY
CHICAGO – In another strong indication of the emerging bioscience industry throughout the state, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that Business Facilities Magazine’s July edition has ranked Illinois the top state in the nation for biotechnology. Illinois is at the center of a vibrant Midwest life sciences region that is leading the next generation of bioscience medical, agricultural, industrial and environmental solutions. With world-class research institutions, global companies and exceptional support resources, Illinois is putting science to work and creating good jobs throughout the state. Business Facilities defined biotechnology as encompassing a variety of different fields, including agricultural feedstock and chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, and research and testing.


July 21, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs law to protect homebuyers in at-risk communities from predatory lenders
Bill creates pilot database designed to reduce home loan foreclosures in Cook County
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today moved to protect homebuyers from predatory lending in Cook County’s at-risk communities and reduce the incidence of foreclosures by signing into law a bill that provides borrowers with critical information on home loans and helps state regulators and law enforcement track and crack down on dishonest lenders.


July 20, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs landmark Workers’ Compensation reform
Major overhaul of Illinois’ system for the first time in nearly 20 years
LINCOLNSHIRE – Celebrating a major victory for both business and labor, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today that dramatically changes the workers’ compensation system to reduce costs for businesses, increase benefits for workers, and fight fraud. After the Governor made workers’ compensation reform a top priority in his 2005 State of the State address, he convened negotiations over several months with business and labor leaders and members of the General Assembly that resulted in the first major overhaul of Illinois’ workers compensation system in nearly 20 years.


July 18, 2005
Governor Blagojevich and partners in I-SaveRx drug importation program announce major supply expansion
Illinois releases results of comprehensive study of pharmaceutical systems in Australia and New Zealand
CHICAGO – Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, and U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) today announced plans to expand the I-SaveRx prescription drug importation network to Australia and New Zealand. The expansion comes on the heels of a comprehensive study conducted by Illinois’ Prescription Drug Advocates into the safety and savings of prescription drugs in Australia and New Zealand.


July 16, 2005
Governor Blagojevich signs law strengthening penalties for those who injure or kill emergency management workers
Penalties same as for assaults against police, firefighters and EMS workers
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation to strengthen penalties for people who injure or kill emergency management workers and volunteers while they are responding to an emergency. The new law also increases penalties for individuals who attempt to prevent emergency management workers from performing their jobs and imposes a mandatory sentence of natural life in prison for first degree murder of an emergency management worker.


July 15, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs laws to protect teenage drivers and their passengers
Illinois bans cell phone use by drivers under 18
SPRINGFIELD - On the heels of releasing new statistics showing that Illinois is on pace to witness the lowest number of traffic fatalities in over 80 years, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed several new laws focused on teenage drivers. One new law bans drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phones. A second law requires drivers under 18 to make sure that their teen passengers are properly buckled up in the front and back seats. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of teenage fatalities – and teenage drivers have a fatality rate that is nearly two times higher than older drivers. Illinois joins a handful of states that restrict teenagers from using cell phones while driving.


July 13, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $1.5 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR CENTRAL REGION HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECTS
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced more than $1.5 million in funding for the rehabilitation of 58 owner occupied homes throughout the Central region. These home improvements will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled Central region residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active strategy for restoring economic opportunity to the Central region.


July 13, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES NEARLY $3.4 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR SOUTHERN REGION HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECTS
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced nearly $3.4 million in funding for the rehabilitation of 125 owner occupied homes throughout the Southern region. These home improvements will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled Southern residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active strategy for restoring economic opportunity to the Southern region.


July 13, 2005
First Lady Patti Blagojevich launches new Website so women can learn how to have their birth control covered by insurance
Mrs. Blagojevich also announces that seven contraceptives are now available through I-Save Rx at 79% less than American pharmacy prices
CHICAGO—First Lady Patti Blagojevich today launched a new website designed to help women learn how to have their birth control costs covered by their insurance companies. Mrs. Blagojevich also announced that seven leading contraceptives are now available through the state’s I-Save Rx program at discounts of as much as 79 % off the price currently charged at pharmacies in Illinois.


July 13, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation creating important economic development tool for Eastern Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – In an innovative attempt to spur economic growth and create more good jobs for working families in Eastern Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today creating the Eastern Illinois Economic Development Authority (EIEDA). House Bill 690 authorizes EIEDA to issue bonds in order to encourage economic development projects in Ford, Iroquois, Piatt, Champaign, Vermilion, Douglas, Moultrie, Shelby, Coles and Edgar counties.


July 13, 2005
State agencies join Gov. Blagojevich initiative to get fit
Fit 4 Life kicks off
SPRINGFIELD – State employees from ten different agencies are lacing up their tennis shoes and strapping on their pedometers to participate in the Fit 4 Life State Agency Walking Challenge, part of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s comprehensive fitness and wellness initiative. The six-week program will challenge state employees to walk 10,000 steps per day. The program began Monday and will end the last day of the Illinois State Fair, August 21.


July 13, 2005
Governor Blagojevich awards grants to help make schools healthier and environmentally responsible
School Greening grants part of Governor’s Safe and Healthy Schools Initiative
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency today awarded School Greening grants to 10 more Illinois schools for projects to promote water and energy conservation, waste reduction and use of nontoxic materials. With today’s announcement, 50 schools around the state have received grants of up to $2,500, for a total of $109,282.


July 12, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES AN ALMOST $400,000 OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT FOR BOND COUNTY HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECT
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $375,950 in funding for the rehabilitation of 15 owner occupied homes in Greenville. These home improvements will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled residents in the Bond County, as well as building the capacity for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active strategy for restoring economic opportunity to the Southwest region.


July 12, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES A $376,000 OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT FOR EFFINGHAM COUNTY HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECT
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $376,000 in funding for the rehabilitation of 12 owner occupied homes in the Southeast region. These home improvements in the Village of Beecher City in Effingham County will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active strategy for restoring economic opportunity to the Southeast region.


July 12, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ALMOST $1.2 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR WEST CENTRAL REGION HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECTS
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced almost $1.2 million in funding for the rehabilitation of 40 owner occupied homes throughout the West Central region. These home improvements will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled West Central residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active strategy for restoring economic opportunity to the West Central region.


July 12, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich, Comptroller Hynes announce $10 million stem cell research program to fund medical cures
Governor signs Executive Order to award grants for stem cell research
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Comptroller Dan Hynes today announced that Illinois will become the first state in the Midwest, and only the fourth state in the nation, to commit public funds to the life-saving work of stem cell research. Studying stem cells allows scientists and doctors to better understand what causes serious medical illnesses and conditions in hopes of discovering new ways to treat or even cure them.


July 11, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH TELLS U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE RUMSFELD AND BRAC COMMISSION CHAIRMAN THAT HE WILL NOT ALLOW THE PENTAGON TO MOVE F-16s
FROM SPRINGFIELD’S 183rd FIGHTER WING
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich sent letters today to both U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) Chairman Anthony Principi saying that he will not consent to the Department of Defense’s recommendation to move F-16 aircraft from the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield. This action can’t proceed since federal law dictates that the Governor must give his consent for this type of realignment.


July 11, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH SIGNS RENEWAL OF LANDMARK FILM LEGISLATION THAT IS BRINGING MAJOR PRODUCTIONS BACK TO ILLINOIS AND CREATING THOUSANDS OF JOBS FOR STA
CHICAGO – Expanding on the tremendous success of the Illinois film industry in 2004, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich continued the revitalization of movie and television production in Illinois by extending the film tax incentive legislation today that has proven to be instrumental in bringing major film and television projects back to Illinois. Much of this success is due to the legislation that the Governor helped the General Assembly pass in 2003. Today, the Governor extended the film tax credits through 2006 by signing Senate Bill 1965 on the set of Universal Pictures The Break-Up, a romantic comedy currently filming in Chicago starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. Many other major motion pictures from a cross-section of Hollywood’s studios featuring popular talent, including Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dustin Hoffman, Will Ferrell and John Malkovich, are now filming or have filmed in the Chicagoland area in 2005.


July 11, 2005
Illinois Department of Central Management Services and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Receive Award for E-Initiatives
Awards highlight State's Ongoing Efforts to Integrate Technology to Streamline Government Services and Save Resources
CHICAGO -- In recognition for its efforts to save resources to benefit taxpayers across the state, the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) received a CIO Partnership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


July 10, 2005
Governor signs law requiring lifetime supervision for most dangerous sex offenders
Governor signs additional laws tightening restrictions and registration, and defining parameters to better help citizens keep track of sex offenders residing in their communities
SPRINGFIELD – To help safeguard Illinois communities from sex offenders, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed several important pieces of legislation today that will strengthen the state’s efforts to keep close tabs on sex offenders following their release from prison. The laws signed today will better protect children and the public by tightening restrictions and supervision of sex offenders. The cornerstone of the package, House Bill 2386, creates a lifetime supervision program for the most serious sex offenders.


July 9, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich earmarks $1 million to Illinois mass transit to cover added security during Orange alert
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today designated more than $1 million in homeland security funding to the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and St. Louis area Metro East transit districts to help pay for added security costs associated with this week’s national threat level being raised from code “Yellow”, (elevated), to code “Orange,” (high), for the mass transit portion of the transportation sector. The Federal Department of Homeland Security raised the nation’s threat level for mass transit systems after terrorists struck London’s mass transit system. The elevated alert applies to regional and inner city passenger rail, subways and metropolitan bus systems.


July 8, 2005
Governor signs laws to help increase colorectal cancer awareness and to help fund sarcoidosis research
New laws create Vince Demuzio Memorial Colon Cancer Fund and Sarcoidosis Research Fund
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to increase awareness and fund more research for serious diseases, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed two bills that will allow Illinoisans to contribute to the fight against disease. The first law provides an avenue for more money to fund colorectal cancer awareness and honors longtime State Senator Vince Demuzio. Sen. Demuzio, the longest serving member of the Illinois State Senate, lost his battle to colon cancer in April of 2004. The second law provides the same avenue to raise money for Sarcoidosis research. Sarcoidosis is a disease that causes inflammation, or swelling, of the body's tissues.


July 8, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $565,000 IN FUNDING TO ADDRESS CRITICAL SHORTAGE OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS
Health Care Worker Shortages Projected, Opportunity Returns Grant Will Attract and Train New Nurses to Help Meet Expected Demand
PEORIA – Delivering on his State-of-the-State pledge to address the important needs facing the health care industry, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program today announced $565,000 to support health care training in the North Central region that will address pressing nursing shortages in the local workforce and improve the quality of health care provided to its citizens. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Jack Lavin made the announcement today at Methodist Medical Center in Peoria alongside health care and educational leaders from throughout North Central Illinois.


July 7, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces nearly $357,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to expand essential services for area’s homeless in Northeast Illinois
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling nearly $357,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout Northeast Illinois. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 7, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces $156,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to expand essential services for area’s homeless in East Central Illinois
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling $156,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout East Central Illinois. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 7, 2005
Governor Blagojevich’s Drought Response Task Force reports on dry conditions
SPRINGFIELD – Activated by Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich on June 26th, the Illinois Drought Response Task Force met today to report on the state’s condition after weeks of drought. Climatologists report that since March, the state has only received about half as much rain as it normally does. The Governor directed state agencies, top scientists, and policymakers in Illinois to use all available state resources to minimize the impact of dry conditions on the Illinois economy, and the health and safety of state citizens.


July 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces nearly $170,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to expand essential services for homeless in Aurora and Joliet
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling nearly $170,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people in Aurora and Joliet. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces more than $120,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to support low-income residents in Southeast Illinois
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling more than $120,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout the Southeast region. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces $38,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to support low-income residents in Centralia
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $38,000 in grants to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people in Centralia. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces $123,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to expand essential services for area’s homeless in West Central Illinois
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling more than $123,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout West Central Illinois. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces $110,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to expand essential services for area’s homeless in Northwest Illinois
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling nearly $110,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout the Northwest region. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces nearly $300,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to support low-income residents in Southern Illinois
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling nearly $300,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout Southern Illinois. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces nearly $315,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to support local low-income residents in Southwest Illinois
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling nearly $315,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout Southwest Illinois. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces $280,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to support essential services for area’s homeless in North Central Illinois
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling $280,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout the North Central region. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 6, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces nearly $360,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to support low-income residents in Central Illinois
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling nearly $360,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout Central Illinois. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.


July 4, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich toughens drunk driving penalties
Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police conduct state’s largest DUI crackdown during Fourth of July holiday weekend
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed several bills aimed at cracking down on drunk drivers, including more jail time for drunk drivers. While 2004 was the safest on Illinois roads in more than 60 years, the Governor wants to do even more to make Illinois highways the safest they’ve ever been. Governor Blagojevich signed these new laws as the Illinois State Police and Illinois Department of Transportation conduct the largest DUI crackdown in state history during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The stepped up enforcement effort began June 27th and runs through July 10th.


July 3, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich launches the nation’s largest rental assistance program
Rental Housing Support Program will help 4,000 to 5,000 families afford safe and decent homes
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law creating the largest state rental assistance program in the nation. The Rental Housing Support Program will help 4,000 to 5,000 families find safe housing that they can afford.


July 3, 2005
Governor Blagojevich directs state agencies to conserve water
Drought conditions in Illinois continue; 2005 has tenth driest June on record; precipitation just half of normal
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to weather current drought conditions, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today directed state agencies to conserve water and asked for a similar effort from all Illinoisans. After the tenth driest month of June on record in Illinois, public water supplies are stressed and some private shallow wells are experiencing a decline in water levels.


July 1, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich appoints new Inspector General
Tollway Inspector General to serve Executive Branch
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today named James A. Wright, the current Inspector General of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, as the new Executive Inspector General. Wright has nearly a quarter of a century experience in law, investigation and government. His experience includes several years at the United States Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s office and Chicago Board of Education. Wright follows Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott as the Executive Inspector General, who held the post for two years.


July 1, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich appoints new members to Arts Council and Gaming Board
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today named new members to both the Illinois Arts Council and the Illinois Gaming Board. Carbondale resident Sheila Simon will join the Arts Council, and the Governor appointed Joe Moore, Jr. and James E. Sullivan to the Gaming Board.


July 1, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich signs law to fund more Diabetes research
Cubs legend and diabetic Ron Santo joins Governor to support new diabetes check-off on tax returns
CHICAGO – Joined by Cubs legend and diabetic Ron Santo and a longtime Cubs fan on a crusade to raise money for diabetes research, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that will clear the way for even more money to be raised for Diabetes research. House Bill 1581 creates the Diabetes Research Checkoff Fund. Money collected in this fund will be given to the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide grants for Diabetes research. About 620,000 Illinoisans have Diabetes – including Santo who had a 14-year career with the Cubs on the field and is now the radio voice of the Cubs.


July 1, 2005
First year report on racial profiling released
Governor calls for permanent collection of racial profiling data, more training on consent searches
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod. R. Blagojevich today announced actions the state will take to eliminate racial disparities in traffic stops, as results from the first year of Illinois' racial profiling study were released. The study, which involved approximately a thousand police agencies statewide, found that minorities are more likely to be pulled over than whites for a traffic stop and two and a half times as likely to have their car searched when pulled over.

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