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September
2005


September 30, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces $4.9 million for Illinois trauma centers
Traffic fines give Illinois trauma centers a boost to help critically injured
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that by the end of this month, Illinois trauma centers will receive almost $5 million in new funding to help care for the critically injured. The money from the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) share of the Trauma Center Fund builds on funding trauma centers already received from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). In Fiscal Year 2005, HFS distributed a total of $9.1 million to trauma centers. The funds for the trauma centers are generated by an additional $5 fee that is imposed on traffic fines of $55 or higher and a $100 surcharge that is imposed on convictions or orders of supervision for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


September 29, 2005
First Lady Patti Blagojevich announces new program making Illinois first state in the nation to offer a statewide food allergy education in schools
First Lady urges parents and school personnel to become better educated on life threatening food allergies
OAK PARK – First Lady Patti Blagojevich today announced that Illinois schools will now be better equipped to prevent potentially life threatening food allergy reactions in children. The First Lady launched a new awareness campaign targeted at educating school personnel and students on the dangers of food allergies. Working with The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), the state will offer food allergy educational kits to the approximately 5,000 K-12 schools and licensed child-care centers in Illinois. The kits will help schools keep kids with food allergies safe from reactions. Illinois becomes the first state in the nation to offer a statewide food allergy educational program.


September 29, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES THAT OFFICEMAX IS CONSOLIDATING ITS CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS IN NAPERVILLE
The New Headquarters Will Mean 1,500 Jobs in Chicagoland Area
NAPERVILLE – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that OfficeMax, a leading provider of industrial products, office supplies and business-to-business office solutions, has chosen Naperville as its new corporate headquarters, bringing 600 new jobs to the state. As part of his comprehensive economic development strategy, Opportunity Returns, Gov. Blagojevich is providing an approximately $20 million investment package that is leading to the creation and retention of 1,500 jobs. The company has operated a retail headquarters in Shaker Heights, OH in addition to its corporate headquarters in Itasca, IL since the company completed the acquisition of OfficeMax, Inc. in December 2003. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin joined company, state and local officials for the official announcement today in Naperville.


September 29, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich directs 118 more Illinois firefighters to New Orleans to help city recover from Hurricane Katrina
More than 900 Illinois firefighters have assisted Louisiana since hurricane hit
SPRINGFIELD – In a continuing effort to help the New Orleans Fire Department recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina last month, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today directed an additional 118 Illinois firefighters to Louisiana. With this contingent, more than 900 Illinois firefighters have been deployed to the Gulf Coast to assist with response to one of the nation’s largest natural disasters in history.


September 28, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich sends more Illinois National Guard soldiers to Louisiana
Illinois National Guard Task Force to help provide security support to authorities involved in hurricane recovery effort
SPRINGFIELD – Answering a request from Louisiana for additional National Guard forces to assist in the ongoing hurricane relief effort, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich authorized another 350 National Guard soldiers to travel to Louisiana. The soldiers will help provide security in the greater New Orleans area.


September 28, 2005
Illinois State Board of Education submits plan to make Illinois schools better to Gov. Blagojevich and General Assembly
First Comprehensive Strategic Plan focuses on improving literacy, educator quality and data-driven decision making
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education has submitted its Comprehensive Strategic Plan for Elementary and Secondary Education in Illinois to Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and members of the Illinois General Assembly. The plan, a five-year road map for the State Board of Education, focuses on helping schools meet the needs of their students to prepare them for long-term success after high school. The Board developed the plan with input from education constituents in open forums held around the state in May, June and July. The plan was required for the first time this year as part of the Governor’s sweeping education reform law that he signed in September 2004.


September 28, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces recidivism efforts are helping juveniles and other inmates find jobs and rebuild their lives
Juvenile recidivism drops by more than 15 percent, largest decline on record
SPRINGFIELD – Delivering on his promise to fight recidivism, increase public safety and reduce the cost of crime, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that juvenile recidivism has dropped by 15 percent, the largest decline on record; more than 50 percent of Sheridan parolees have been able to find and retain jobs; and more incarcerated veterans are receiving the necessary skills and support to help them avoid the cycle of returning to prison again and again for the same mistakes.


September 28, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich names Col. Dennis Celletti new Assistant Adjutant General of Illinois Army Guard
SPRINGFIELD - Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Maj. Gen. Randal Thomas, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, today announced the appointment of Col. Dennis Celletti as the new Assistant Adjutant General for Army. As Assistant Adjutant General for Army, Col. Celletti will command the more than 9,400 Soldiers of the Illinois Army National Guard.


September 28, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich calls on Congressional Leadership to include over $1 Billion for energy assistance funding in supplemental budget
28 governors join forces to push for more energy assistance
CHICAGO – In preparation for skyrocketing energy prices in the upcoming winter months, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and 27 other governors from across the country today sent a letter to U.S. Congressional Leadership and House Appropriations Leaders urging them to include $1.276 billion in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds in the next supplemental funding request as part of our nation’s response to Hurricane Katrina.


September 27, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces state employees donated $90,000 to American Red Cross Katrina Fund
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that State of Illinois employees have donated more than $91,000 to the American Red Cross Katrina Fund. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Governor encouraged state employees to contribute to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.


September 26, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich directs law enforcement, fire services, medical and emergency management to debrief on Hurricane Katrina response to Illinois Terrorism Task Force
Experience responding to one of nation’s largest disasters increases Illinois’ emergency preparedness
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today directed the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) to receive reports from Illinois emergency response personnel who took their expertise in law enforcement, fire services, medicine and emergency management to Louisiana and Mississippi to help those hurricane-ravaged states deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.


September 26, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces traffic fatalities approach 80 year low as record number of Illinois drivers buckle up
First-half of 2005 indicates fewer traffic deaths than previous year, could be safest year on highways in more than 80 years
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a record number of drivers are wearing their seat belts and that the state is on pace to set a new safety record on Illinois roads. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that 86% of drivers observed were wearing their seatbelts, up ten percent from just two years ago. At the same time, 2005 is on pace to record the fewest number of persons killed on Illinois highways since 1924. Forty-one fewer people have lost their lives on Illinois highways during the first six months this year than the same time period last year.


September 25, 2005
Governor Blagojevich announces state and private employers helping to find jobs for hurricane victims in Illinois
State contacts businesses to list additional jobs at IllinoisSkillsMatch.com, these positions also available to Illinois residents
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that a partnership between state government and the private sector is helping find jobs for people displaced by two major Gulf hurricanes who are now living in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) contacted the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and Illinois employers with 250 or more employees to ask them to identify job openings for hurricane evacuees living in Illinois. More than 70 companies responded to the call and have identified hundreds of jobs.


September 23, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich sends Illinois Army National Guard helicopters, crews to Texas to support Hurricane Rita efforts
Illinois stands ready to receive Hurricane Rita evacuees
SPRINGFIELD – As Hurricane Rita moved closer to the Gulf Coast, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today authorized the Illinois National Guard to send aviation assets and personnel to Texas to help with rescue and response. The Illinois Army National Guard will send three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and four air crews (approximately 15 people) to Texas in response to the Category 4 storm.


September 23, 2005
FIRST LADY PATTI BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES KICK-OFF OF ANNUAL STATE AND UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEE CHARITY CAMPAIGN
CHICAGO – First Lady Patti Blagojevich announced the kick-off of the 2005 State and University Employees Combined Appeal (SECA) campaign in her first year as Honorary Chair for the statewide charity effort. She leads the drive to promote charitable giving on the part of state and university employees to a vast array of charitable organizations all over the state. Through SECA, state and university employees have become a major source of charitable giving, and the First Lady says this year’s goal of $3 million represents a milestone.


September 22, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MAJOR PARTNERSHIP WITH LOWE’S TO HELP SUCCESSFUL HOME IMPROVEMENT RETAILER BUILD NEW DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN ROCKFORD AND BRING 500 JOBS TO THE REGION
ROCKFORD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the awarding of more than $11.2 million in Opportunity Returns support for Lowe’s, which will allow the home improvement retailer to build a 1.4 million square foot Regional Distribution Center in Rockford that will bring 500 new jobs to the area. The dynamic new facility, which will be the size of approximately 30 football fields under one roof, will have more than five miles of conveyors moving 32,000 products through the facility. The center, its first in Illinois, will serve more than 100 Lowe’s stores in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan.


September 22, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich applauds U.S. recognition of Historic Rt. 66 and Illinois River Road
U.S Department of Transportation names famed routes “National Scenic Byways”
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today applauded the “National Scenic Byways” designation by the U.S. Department of Transportation for two storied transportation routes in Illinois: Route 66 and the Illinois River Road. The designation means that the routes are added to the national list of Scenic Byways and are eligible to apply for grant funding that can be used for marketing, visitor centers, landscaping and other amenities.


September 21, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH INVESTS NEARLY $15 MILLION INTO MAKING ILLINOIS COAL MORE COMPETITVE WHILE ALSO CREATING HUNDREDS OF NEW JOBS
CUTLER – Furthering his pledge to revitalize the Illinois coal industry and create better opportunities for working families across Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced nearly $15 million in Opportunity Returns grants to coal-related projects that will result in the opening of a new Southern Illinois mine, expand existing mines and create hundreds of new mining jobs. He made the announcement at the site of the new Knight Hawk Coal-Prairie Eagle Mine that is creating 80 new jobs.


September 21, 2005
State of Illinois employees return home after helping Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana
Volunteers helped 25,000 evacuees find needed social services
SPRINGFIELD - The last group of State of Illinois employees who volunteered to help victims of Hurricane Katrina receive social services benefits returned home to Illinois today. For nine days, 75 volunteers staffed three emergency mobile command centers that the Illinois Department of Central Management Services set up 750 miles away -- in Bogalusa, Gonzales and Slidell, La. The centers helped 25,000 evacuees register in the State of Louisiana system to receive emergency food stamps, unemployment benefits, temporary housing and other assistance. All totaled, about 130 state employees representing more than a dozen agencies assisted Hurricane Katrina victims in the Gulf Coast region.


September 21, 2005
Governor Blagojevich Takes Unprecedented Steps to Respond to Consumers’ Needs in the Face of Looming Energy Crisis
Names Special Director of Emergency Energy Assistance in Anticipation of Record Heating Costs this Winter
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced several unprecedented steps his administration is taking to protect consumers from what is expected to be one of the most difficult winters in memory due to record energy costs. Blagojevich is naming a Special Director of Emergency Energy Assistance to marshal resources from the public and private sectors and to coordinate assistance to vulnerable populations impacted by record-high heating costs.


September 21, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich breaks ground at Union Square Park – final component of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Complex
Plan for Library and Museum’s “Front Yard” revealed
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and other officials broke ground today on Union Square Park, the fifth and final element of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) complex. The complex also includes the Presidential Library, Museum, parking garage and Union Station. The park, which will feature an amphitheater, open lawn seating and a garden honoring the late Mrs. Lincoln, will serve as a gathering place for visitors. Since the Presidential Museum opened in April, nearly 350,000 people have visited it.


September 20, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces more than $1.6 million in grants for women’s health initiatives
Grants dispersed throughout the state to raise awareness and help prevent common diseases and health conditions in women
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced more than $1.6 million in grants for women’s health programs geared toward awareness and prevention of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, menopause and eating disorders – some of the leading health conditions facing women.


September 19, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich thanks volunteers for responding to Hurricane Katrina
Nearly 150 law enforcement officers return from two-week deployment
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today thanked the more than 2,000 Illinoisans who traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi to help those hurricane-ravaged states deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Today, nearly 150 law enforcement officers returned to Illinois from a two-week deployment in Louisiana. Meanwhile, on Friday, a new contingent of law enforcement officers left Springfield to replace this returning group. That group, which included 130 local law enforcement officers and 18 Illinois State Police Technical Response Team members, will assist in that region through the end of September.


September 16, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich Calls on Utilities to Halt Administrative Reconnection Fees and Deposits for LIHEAP customers as Natural Gas Prices Expected to Skyrocket this Winter
Prepares Illinoisans for cold winter months
CHICAGO – In preparation for skyrocketing energy prices during the upcoming winter months, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today called on the Illinois utility companies to help maximize the effectiveness of the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by waiving administrative re-connection fees and security deposits for LIHEAP customers.


September 15, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich calls on California Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign legislation that would restrict children’s access to violent and sexually explicit video games
Bill on Schwarzenegger’s desk similar to Safe Games Illinois Act
CHICAGO –Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today appealed to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign Assembly Bill 1179, legislation passed by the California legislature that would prohibit minors from buying or renting violent or sexually explicit video games. Gov. Blagojevich lobbied strongly for a similar law in Illinois. Signed in July, the Safe Games Illinois Act made Illinois the first state to limit minors’ access to such graphic games.


September 15, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces new HIV/AIDS awareness effort targeting African Americans
Campaign increases spending ten-fold to focus on population with largest increase in HIV cases; files emergency rules for statewide rapid HIV testing; establishes partnerships with media, churches and colleges; More than half of 2004 reported HIV cases were African American; Over 70 percent of African American women and over 60 percent of African American men were under the age of 40; Illinois third state to join South Africa Partnership to gain more information
CHICAGO– In order to address alarming trends that show HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacting African Americans, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced an expanded social marketing effort designed to reach the African-American community with education, prevention and testing.


September 14, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich expands Hurricane Katrina Victim Assistance Hotline to serve thousands of self-evacuated victims, and the people, organizations and local governments caring for them in Illinois
Hotline hours extended, additional staff answering calls, ensures self-evacuees will have access to full range of resources
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the state’s Hurricane Katrina Victim Assistance Hotline (800-843-6154) is offering a broader range of services and will be more available each day to the thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims who made their own way to Illinois, as well as the individuals, community organizations and local governments that have taken them in. The hotline connects displaced victims to state services available to them, ranging from housing assistance to medical care to employment. The American Red Cross estimates that there are more than 6,000 victims displaced by Hurricane Katrina living in Illinois with friends, family or in other temporary housing. Approximately 430 people traveled to Illinois on flights arranged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


September 14, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich launches nationally recognized initiative to help prevent child abduction and exploitation in Illinois’ 3,200 elementary and middle schools
Child Lures Prevention program teaches parents and children to recognize potential dangers and make smart decisions to avoid child predators
ELMWOOD PARK, IL—In an effort to protect children and prevent child abduction and exploitation in Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today launched the nationally recognized Child Lures Prevention Initiative, which teaches parents and children to recognize potential danger signs and make smart decisions to avoid child predators. The Child Lures Prevention Program, founded by renowned child personal safety expert Ken Wooden, will be introduced in all 3,200 public elementary and middle schools (grades 1-8) statewide in October as a resource to help protect children against predatory crime. Illinois is the first state to implement the program in schools on a statewide level.


September 14, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich announces high school dropout rate hits all time low
Results show greatest one-year improvement in dropout rate since 1994
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that the dropout rate for Illinois students the past year showed the greatest one-year improvement since 1994, the year the State began tracking this information. As the dropout rate dropped to an all-time low of 4.0 percent, the graduation rate increased to 87.4 percent, the highest rate in the State’s history. These improvements follow the implementation of a new Illinois law increasing the dropout age in Illinois from 16 to 17. The law, which the Governor signed in August 2004, took effect on January 1, 2005.


September 13, 2005
Governor announces more than 400 students displaced by Hurricane Katrina enrolled in Illinois schools
Illinois State Board of Education takes emergency action to help teachers displaced by Hurricane Katrina
SPRINGFIELD – Nearly two weeks after Governor Blagojevich directed Illinois schools to waive residency requirements and immediately enroll children displaced by Hurricane Katrina, more than 400 children are enrolled in 46 school districts across the state. Districts worked quickly to welcome children into their classrooms and partnered with other state and local agencies to provide support for the children and their families. Some of the students traveled to Illinois on flights arranged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), while others traveled to Illinois alone or with their families to stay with friends, family or in campgrounds and shelters.


September 11, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich welcomes Hurricane Katrina victims to Chicago and Rockford
Approximately 80 individuals receive immediate medical care, housing
ELGIN –Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Doug Scott today welcomed more displaced individuals and families left homeless by Hurricane Katrina to Chicago and Rockford. The displaced victims, 30 in Chicago and 51 in Rockford, arrived on flights from Louisiana arranged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Upon their arrival, the Governor directed state agencies to immediately provide medical care, housing and any forms of assistance necessary for victims of one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. In the past week, Illinois also welcomed displaced victims to Chicago and the Metro East area.


September 9, 2005
Kaiser Foundation Report Shows Illinois Ranks #1 in Nation for Providing Health Care to Working Parents Who Need It;#2 In Enrolling Children in Health Care Programs
Ranking Comes As Result of Blagojevich Expansion of Health Care Programs for Working Parents and Their Children
CHICAGO –The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, one of the nation’s most respected independent health policy research organizations, released a report today finding that Illinois, for the second year in a row, is leading the nation in delivering health care coverage for children and parents. Illinois’ ranking comes as a result of Governor Rod Blagojevich’s expansions of KidCare and FamilyCare: health care programs that provide affordable coverage to working men and women and their children.


September 9, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich, University of Illinois team up to create state-of-the-art transportation center
Governor earmarks $6.6 million to launch Illinois Center for Transportation - to harness technology to build safer, more durable highways
RANTOUL - On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, the Illinois Department of Transportation today announced the creation of a state-of-the-art research program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign designed to produce safer, less congested highways, more environmentally friendly transportation solutions and longer lasting roads. The state is providing $6.6 million over the first three years to build the Illinois Center for Transportation, or ICT.


September 8, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Announces $300,000 in grants to local health departments to offer screening and education to highest risk communities
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed that, in conjunction with a national awareness campaign, September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in Illinois. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer detected in American men, and is the second-leading cause of death within the African American population. The Governor announced $300,000 in state grants will go to public health departments throughout the state for prostate cancer awareness and screening efforts in high risk communities.


September 8, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich, Attorney General Madigan take legal battle to U.S. Supreme Court to stop the Pentagon from moving F-16 aircraft from Springfield’s 183rd Fighter Wing
CHICAGO – Attorney General Lisa Madigan, on behalf of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, today filed an application for an emergency injunction with the U.S. Supreme Court to stop U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) from moving F-16 aircraft from and otherwise realigning the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield.


September 8, 2005
Governor Blagojevich makes additional services available for Hurricane victims, relief efforts
IDES will help process unemployment claims at Tinley Park and Alton where displaced victims have been housed
CHICAGO-Stepping up his efforts to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today ordered his state agencies to make additional services available to both displaced victims currently housed in Illinois, and to the relief efforts being conducted in the Gulf Coast states. The Governor has directed the Illinois Department of Employment Security to help displaced victims housed in Tinley Park and Alton process unemployment claims and facilitate job searches and job training. The Governor has also asked banks and thrifts in Illinois to help victims open checking accounts and get access to other basic financial services. Additionally, the Governor will send up to 100 state employees to Louisiana to help officials process services to citizens in the more remote areas of the state.


September 7, 2005
Illinois welcomes Hurricane Katrina evacuees; approximately 175 individuals receive medical care, housing tonight
Plane arrives in Metro East
EAST ST. LOUIS – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Deputy Chief of Staff for Social Services Louanner Peters, and State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville) tonight received 175 individuals and families displaced from Gulf Coast states by Hurricane Katrina and directed state agencies to immediately provide medical care, housing and any forms of assistance necessary for victims of one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. At East St. Louis’ MidAmerica Airport, where a triage area was set up to provide comprehensive care to individuals and families, Peters and Rep. Hoffman welcomed displaced victims from the hurricane-ravaged areas, and made sure they were bused to appropriate housing. Illinois stands ready to receive a total of up to 10,000 displaced victims. Last night, Gov. Blagojevich welcomed the first 180 displaced victims to Illinois at Chicago’s House of Hope.


September 7, 2005
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH PRAISES GROUNDBREAKING FOR SANFILIPPO’S NEW FACILITY BACKED BY $5 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS SUPPORT
The Governor is Helping to Keep Almost 1,000 Jobs in Illinois
ELGIN - Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program today helped Sanfilippo and Son, Inc. launch an exciting new era with a groundbreaking ceremony for the company’s new 1,000,000 square foot facility in Elgin. The nut and snack food producer’s move into the 90-acre complex, which will house both its processing facilities and corporate offices, was largely made possible through $5 million in Opportunity Returns support. The major business development project will allow the company to retain 930 employees at the consolidated Elgin facility and create at least 25 new jobs. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Jack Lavin joined company and local officials for the groundbreaking ceremony today in Elgin.


September 7, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich, Attorney General Madigan continue legal battle to stop the Pentagon from moving F-16 aircraft from Springfield’s 183rd Fighter Wing
Emergency appeal filed in U.S. Court of Appeals
CHICAGO – Attorney General Lisa Madigan, on behalf of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, today filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit of yesterday’s decision that dismissed the Governor’s lawsuit to stop U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) from moving F-16 aircraft from and otherwise realigning the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield.


September 6, 2005
Governor Blagojevich creates Broadband Deployment Council to ensure all Illinois residents have access to the Internet
Governor issues Executive Order to bridge the state’s digital divide
SPRINGFIELD – Under Executive Order, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the creation of the Broadband Deployment Council to improve high-speed Internet access for all Illinois residents. According to a 2004 Pew Research report, only 10-percent of rural Americans have high-speed Internet access in their homes, about one-third the rate of non-rural Americans.


September 6, 2005
Governor Blagojevich receives first displaced victims from Gulf Coast states; approximately 180 individuals receive medical care, housing tonight
First plane load arrives in Chicago
CHICAGO- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich tonight received the first 180 individuals and families displaced from Gulf Coast states by Hurricane Katrina and directed his state agencies to immediately provide medical care, housing and any forms of assistance necessary for victims of one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. At Chicago’s House of Hope church, where a triage area was set up to provide comprehensive care to individuals and families, Gov. Blagojevich welcomed displaced victims from the hurricane-ravaged areas, and made sure they were bused to appropriate housing. Illinois stands ready to receive a total of up to 10,000 displaced victims.


September 5, 2005
Governor Blagojevich directs nearly 1,100 more Illinoisans to Louisiana to assist with hurricane effort
New deployment includes 500 Illinois National Guard, nearly 600 firefighters, 50 fire trucks and other firefighting equipment
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that he is deploying nearly 1,100 more Illinoisans to help Louisiana respond to the devastation resulting from Hurricane Katrina, one of the largest natural disasters to every occur in the U.S. The latest deployments include nearly 600 firefighters who are leaving today and 500 National Guard troops that are preparing to depart for Louisiana on Wednesday.


September 4, 2005
Governor Blagojevich announces Illinois will open its doors this week to 5,000 to 10,000 Hurricane Katrina victims
Governor calls on community leaders, legislators, not-for-profits, social service providers, ministers and businesses to work together in coordinated relief effort
CHICAGO –Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois will likely take in 10,000 displaced victims from the Gulf Coast states ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The State will immediately provide housing, medical care, food, clothing and any emergency services displaced families and individuals need at this time of crisis. The Governor also called on the entire community to match the State of Illinois’ coordinated relief effort to assist displaced victims. The Governor’s announcement and call to the community underscores Illinois’ response to the humanitarian crisis in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Since the onset of the tragedy, Illinois has provided medical personnel, troops and other forms of assistance to the disaster area, while making services available here to victims.


September 3, 2005
Governor Blagojevich sets up hotlines making it easier for public to help hurricane victims; Provides Gulf Coast evacuees one-stop access for state assistance
Department of Human Services’ operators will help displaced families get critical state services
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced two new hotlines that will make it easier for the general public to help Hurricane Katrina victims, and that will help Gulf Coast evacuees arriving in Illinois find out what state services are available to them.


September 2, 2005
First Lady Blagojevich tours Eldorado Wildflower Garden
Eldorado Garden Club was recipient of funding through the State Beautification Initiative
ELDORADO – First Lady Patti Blagojevich today toured the Eldorado Wildflower Garden with members of the Eldorado Garden Club. Eldorado is one of many communities across the state that receive funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) through the First Lady’s State Beautification Initiative, a product of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s focus on environmental issues. State Representative Brandon Phelps (D – Harrisburg) and Bob Briddick, the Mayor of Eldorado, were also in attendance.


September 2, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich dispatches Incident Management Team to support Mississippi emergency management personnel
Two IEMA employees part of 11-member team
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today dispatched an 11-member Incident Management Team (IMT) to George County, Mississippi to help emergency management personnel dealing with one of the largest natural disasters in U.S. history.


September 1, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich opens Illinois public schools to children displaced by Hurricane Katrina
Governor orders schools to waive residency requirements for displaced families
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today ordered Illinois public schools to waive residency requirements and enroll any child displaced by Hurricane Katrina who relocates to live with family, friends or in a shelter in Illinois. Hundreds of thousands of children in the Gulf States were displaced by the devastating storm and many schools may not re-open for months, if not the entire school year.


September 1, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich urges Illinois Congressional Delegation to protect energy assistance funding; announces winter heating grants available today
Home heating bills expected to be higher, vulnerable households advised to take steps before winter season starts
CHICAGO – With home heating bills expected to rise this winter, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich sent a letter today to the Illinois Congressional Delegation urging them to protect critical Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding during upcoming budget negotiations. He also announced that starting today vulnerable households and those currently without home heating due to service disconnections are able to apply for one-time grants through the LIHEAP winter program.


September 1, 2005
Gov. Blagojevich, Attorney General Madigan ask for temporary restraining order in legal battle to stop the Pentagon from moving F-16s from Springfield’s 183rd Fighter Wing
Latest legal action by the Governor, Attorney General follows BRAC Commission’s endorsement last week of Pentagon’s recommendation
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in federal court today to stop U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) from moving F-16 aircrafts from the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield. Gov. Blagojevich and Attorney General Madigan have said that the Pentagon’s May 13th recommendation, which the BRAC Commission also endorsed last week, violates federal law, which dictates that he must give his consent for this type of realignment. Attorney General Madigan filed the motion for a temporary restraining order on behalf of the Governor in United States District Court for the Central Division of Illinois, Springfield Division. This latest legal action follows a lawsuit that was filed in federal court on July 21st blocking the Pentagon’s initial recommendation.

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