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July
2006


July 31, 2006
Governor Blagojevich urges Illinoisans to take advantage of statewide cooling centers and energy assistance programs to stay safe during period of excessive heat
Governor asks Illinois Municipal League to make additional local cooling facilities available; $9 million in energy assistance funding available starting today
CHICAGO – With searing summer temperatures continuing, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged Illinoisans, especially the elderly, young families and persons with disabilities, to take advantage of statewide cooling centers and sent a letter to the Illinois Municipal League asking its nearly 2,000 local government members to make additional cooling center locations available in their communities. In addition, the Governor reminded residents struggling with high utility costs that up to $9 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding is available starting today.


July 30, 2006
Governor Blagojevich signs legislation to make college more affordable for middle class families
Fiscal Year 2007 budget to help 225,000 college students pay for college
SKOKIE – Joined by students, higher education leaders and elected officials at National-Louis University in suburban Skokie, Gov. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 2225, legislation that creates the first grant program ever in Illinois specifically targeted at helping middle class families pay for college. MAP Plus provides $500 grants to college sophomores, juniors and seniors from families with incomes below $200,000. The Fiscal Year 2007 budget also includes increased funding for the existing MAP program, which serves students from lower income families. In total, 225,000 students will benefit from the creation of MAP Plus and the additional funding for MAP.


July 28, 2006
Governor Blagojevich signs new law strengthening private property rights
Law ensures fairer compensation for private property taken
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law that protects private property owners by raising standards for when and how public entities can seize land. Senate Bill 3086 requires clear and convincing evidence that the land is necessary for a public use before it can be seized. The new law also requires governments to reimburse property owners for relocation expenses and, in some cases, legal fees.


July 28, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces State of Illinois’ July “Veteran of the Month”
Peoria man and Vietnam vet honored for unwavering commitment to helping other veterans get their benefits
Peoria man and Vietnam vet honored for unwavering commitment to helping other veterans get their benefits


July 27, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces start of Summer Cooling Program
Grant applications available statewide on Monday
CHICAGO- As Illinois prepares for the heat of August, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that up to $9 million in cooling grants will be made available this Monday, July 31, 2006, to help protect the most vulnerable populations of Illinois including seniors, the disabled, and families with small children, from the dangerous weather conditions by assisting with household energy bills.


July 26, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich appoints Judge Abner Mikva Chairman of the Illinois Human Rights Commission
Former judge to replace outgoing J.B. Pritzker
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today appointed Judge Abner J. Mikva as Chairman of the Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC). Judge Mikva, who is a Senior Director and Visiting Professor at the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago and a former White House Counsel, will replace J.B. Pritzker, who was appointed by the Governor to the post in 2003. Mikva’s appointment is effective immediately.


July 26, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich asks President Bush for federal disaster declaration covering St. Clair, Madison, Clinton, Jefferson and Washington Counties
Federal declaration would give residents, businesses and local governments access to financial assistance in effort to recover from severe storm damage
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today asked President Bush to declare five Metro East counties as federal disaster areas in the wake of the severe storms that battered that region a week ago and again last Friday. A federal disaster declaration would enable people, businesses and local governments in the affected areas to apply for grants and loans to help with storm-related losses. Counties in the Governor’s request include St. Clair, Madison, Clinton, Jefferson and Washington.


July 25, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich signs groundbreaking Preschool for All legislation
Illinois becomes the first state in nation to give all three- and four-year-olds the opportunity to attend preschool
ROLLING MEADOWS – Joining families, childhood development experts, early childhood education advocates, and elected officials today at John G. Conyers Learning Academy, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed a law that makes Illinois the first state to make preschool available for all three and four-year-olds. Senate Bill 1497, creating the Preschool for All program, was sponsored by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) and Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester). The budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1 includes an additional $45 million for Preschool For All, giving 10,000 more three- and four-year-olds a chance to attend preschool.


July 25, 2006
Governor Blagojevich requests federal and state agencies to grant gasoline waivers to avoid fuel shortages in Metro East
Assistance necessary to alleviate fuel supply and distribution concerns following devastating storm that ravished the region last week
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod. R. Blagojevich today directed the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) to temporarily waive the requirement that gasoline distributors sell a special gasoline blend in the Metro East region. The Governor also sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA) requesting similar relief. These waivers will help to avoid any fuel shortages following the devastating storms that roared through southwestern Illinois late last week. Both the state and federal agencies must issue a waiver for the fuel requirement to be suspended


July 25, 2006
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH PRAISES THE DECISION THAT THE WORLD’S CLEANEST COAL PLANT IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO COMING TO ILLINOIS
Mattoon and Tuscola Are on FutureGen’s Short List
CHICAGO – After three years of extensive planning and preparation, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich praised the decision today that placed Mattoon and Tuscola on the short list of candidates for the $1 billion FutureGen coal-to-energy project. In May, Illinois submitted four potential locations - Effingham, Marshall, Mattoon and Tuscola - for the state-of-the-art plant that met the rigorous site review standards established by the FutureGen Industrial Alliance. The Alliance will announce its final selection from the four remaining sites in September 2007. The other remaining sites are in Odessa, Texas and near Jewett, Texas.


July 24, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich signs new safeguards for Illinois miners and rescuers
Senate Bill 929 requires miners have additional access to Self Contained Self Rescuers, requires installation of emergency communication devices, requires construction of underground mine rescue chambers
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law providing additional safety precautions for Illinois’ nearly 4,000 miners and rescuers. The Governor proposed the legislation in January following the tragic West Virginia mine accident that killed 12 miners. With nearly 32 million tons of coal produced in Illinois each year, and more than half, 20.4 million tons, produced in Southern Illinois, coal is a vital contributor to the Illinois economy. Senate Bill 929 helps ensure that the men and women who are helping to revitalize Illinois’ coal industry are protected.


July 24, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces statewide Impaired Driving Safety Summit
Leaders in fight against impaired driving convene to stem DUI fatalities and chart “A Safer Road Ahead”
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is bringing together law enforcement officials, judges, traffic safety advocates and substance abuse prevention experts in a statewide driving safety summit designed to step up the state’s efforts to reduce fatalities caused by impaired drivers. The summit will be held at IDOT headquarters in Springfield this week.


July 22, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich adds Clinton and Jefferson counties to the state disaster declaration
Top State Disaster Response Officials discuss coordinated response and cleanup efforts after Metro East storms devastate area
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today declared Clinton and Jefferson counties in southwestern Illinois as state disaster areas, following yesterday’s declaration for St. Clair and Madison counties. The Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety Jill Morgenthaler and the Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Bill Burke held a briefing in St. Clair County today to discuss the state’s response and clean-up efforts, and new steps being taken to get affected communities back to normal after two storm systems caused significant destruction to the Metro East area on Wednesday and again on Friday.


July 22, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, July 22, 2006
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, July 22, 2006.


July 21, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces nearly 1 million passengers take state-sponsored trains during record setting FY 2006
Partnership with Amtrak increases ridership by 11 percent; All routes post gains as gasoline prices climb
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that a record number of passengers took Amtrak trains under contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation in Fiscal Year 2006. In total, 955,529 passengers rode state-sponsored trains, up more than 11 percent from last year and for a second year in a row all state-sponsored routes set ridership records.


July 21, 2006
Governor Blagojevich signs new regulations to make tattoo and body piercing establishments safer
Law aims to increase number of potential blood donors
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law putting in place new health and safety requirements for tattoo and body piercing facilities. With new requirements, Senate Bill 927 aims to increase the number of potential blood donors by allowing individuals to donate blood within a year of getting tattoos or piercings. Sponsored by Senator Edward Maloney (D – Chicago) and Representative Patricia Bellock (R – Westmont), the new law was an initiative of the Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers (ICCBC).


July 21, 2006
Governor Blagojevich declares Madison and St. Clair counties State Disaster Areas
Directs state agencies to continue assistance to communities as damaging storms hit area again
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today declared two southwestern Illinois counties – Madison and St. Clair – as state disaster areas following Wednesday evening’s severe storm system that left hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses without power. The problem was exacerbated by extreme heat on Thursday, with temperatures in the Metro East area reaching over 100 degrees, and the heat index estimated to be 115.


July 21, 2006
Governor Blagojevich activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield to respond to Metro East storms; establishes Unified Area Command in affected communities
State develops preliminary plans to assist with potential drinking water shortages
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield to continue to coordinate state response efforts to the storm-ravaged Metro East. Additionally, the Governor dispatched the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s Unified Area Command vehicle to the Metro East where it will establish a Unified Area Command, or UAC. The UAC will be able to provide coordinated assistance with the recovery efforts in the entire region. Earlier today, the Governor declared two southwestern Illinois counties – Madison and St. Clair – as state disaster areas following Wednesday evening’s severe storm system that left hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses without power.


July 20, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich signs new law to protect health benefits for service men and women
Law will preserve private health insurance for returning military service members
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law to protect health insurance benefits for service men and women returning from active duty. Senate Bill 916 protects military personnel and their families against the inadvertent loss of health insurance after a tour of duty or an honorable discharge from military service.


July 20, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich directs $5 million from FY07 budget to stem cell research in Illinois
Governor's action comes one day after Pres. Bush shuts down hope of federal funding for stem cell research
CHICAGO - Just one day after President George Bush vetoed bipartisan legislation that would expand scientists' access to new, healthy uncontaminated stem cell lines, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced he is directing $5 million to stem cell research in Illinois in fiscal year 2007. For the second year in a row, the Governor is using his executive authority to bypass stalemates in Springfield and Washington, D.C, and ensure stem cell research continues in Illinois.


July 20, 2006
Metro East cooling locations identified
Severe storms cause power outages, state and local agencies offer cooling centers and tips to stay safe
Springfield – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency, in cooperation with Madison and St. Clair County and Granite City Emergency Services and Disaster agencies and the local Red Cross, has established cooling centers in the Metro East area due to the extreme heat and loss of power. The temperature in the Metro East is forecast to reach 103 degrees this afternoon, with the heat index predicted to be 115.


July 20, 2006
Madison County – newest county testing positive for West Nile virus
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced a bird collected in Madison County, is the first positive test results for West Nile virus in Madison County this year.


July 20, 2006
Aging budget increased to help seniors remain independent
Director outlines new programs and services in statewide community meetings
ROCKFORD, Illinois – Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) Director Charles D. Johnson today continued a series of statewide sessions at Help at Home in Rockford to educate seniors about how the increase in the state’s budget will help ensure they are able to age in the comforts of their own homes.


July 20, 2006
IDNR expands public hunting opportunities and bird habitat in Central Illinois
313 acres added to the Habitat Wheel initiative
SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today an expansion of public hunting opportunities while preserving more bird habitat in Central Illinois.


July 18, 2006
Governor Blagojevich signs law toughening penalties for driving without car insurance
Suspension of license will provide incentive to always have car insurance
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law increasing penalties for those caught driving without car insurance. Senate Bill 624 suspends the licenses for drivers convicted of driving without car insurance and requires them to pay a $100 fine to reinstate their licenses.


July 18, 2006
Trapt Cancels Appearance at 2006 DuQuoin State Fair
DUQUOIN, Ill. – DuQuoin State Fair manager John Rednour, Jr. today announced Trapt, a rock band scheduled to play a free concert Saturday, Aug. 26 on the DuQuoin Grandstand stage, has canceled their appearance.


July 18, 2006
National High School Finals Rodeo Moves Onto Illinois State Fairgrounds
Trade Show opens in Orr Building July 22; Rodeo events kick off with opening ceremonies and country concert July 23
SPRINGFIELD, Ill – Illinois Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke along with State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick welcome contestants and spectators from across the globe to Springfield as the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) prepare to get underway.


July 17, 2006
2006 Midwest Folk Festival Makes Illinois Debut August 5 & 6
Sponsored by the Illinois Arts Council and Bishop Hill Heritage Association
The sixth annual Midwest Folk Festival makes its Illinois debut August 5 & 6 this year in historic Bishop Hill, Illinois.


July 17, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces safety belt use reaches all time high; fewer fatalities in first-half of 2006
Since Governor Blagojevich signed primary safety belt law, usage has increased by 12 percent, on average nearly 100 fewer fatalities per year
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois motorists are buckling up at an all time record rate, with almost nine in ten drivers and front seat passengers wearing their safety belts. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports that 88% of front seat occupants observed were wearing their seatbelts, up two percent from last year and 12% from when Governor Blagojevich signed the primary safety belt enforcement law in 2003. Also, through June 30th of this year there were 607 people killed on Illinois highways, one fewer than a year ago, and 64 fewer than the same period in 2003, before the primary seat belt law was in place.


July 17, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois Flags with be flown at half staff for Army Chief Warrant Officer 2, Christopher B. Donaldson, United States Army


July 17, 2006
First Lady Patti Blagojevich announces July selections for Children’s Reading Club: Beverly Cleary’s The Growing-up Feet and Henry Huggins
CHICAGO – First Lady Patti Blagojevich today announced the July selections for her Children’s Reading Club – Beverly Cleary’s The Growing-up Feet and Henry Huggins. The Children’s Reading Club, a recommended reading list made up of books the First Lady and her daughters enjoy at home, encourages parents to read with their children and engage in early development of reading skills.


July 16, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces $8 million energy grant program to begin July 31, reminds Illinois families to stay safe and healthy during hot temperatures
Keep Cool Campaign’s statewide cooling centers open Monday
SPRINGFIELD – With temperatures soaring past the 90s for the next several days, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the state will make $8 million in funding available starting July 31, 2006, for a summer energy assistance program and reminded Illinoisans to take advantage of statewide cooling centers and to take steps to avoid complications and health risks that can come with scorching hot temperatures.


July 14, 2006
Governor Blagojevich signs Illinois’ Apprentice Hunter License Program
New law encourages those who don’t hunt to join family and friends who do
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law creating the Illinois Apprentice Hunter License Program. The law creates a new special hunting license to give those who do not hunt a chance to try it before buying a regular Illinois hunting license.


July 14, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation to protect wages for thousands of Illinois workers
New law will give the Illinois Department of Labor increased tools to enforce minimum wage, overtime and wage payment laws
SPRINGFIELD – Building on efforts to help working families and individuals across the state, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today that will give the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) stronger authority to enforce the minimum wage, overtime and wage payment laws. Senate Bill 2339 will further protect workers by penalizing employers who cheat them of their earned wages, make illegal deductions from their paychecks or refuse to pay wages owed to workers.


July 14, 2006
Blagojevich administration announces Illinois to screen newborns for cystic fibrosis
Announcement puts Illinois in the top tier of March of Dimes’ Newborn Screening Report Card
CHICAGO – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, announced today at Children’s Memorial Hospital the state is moving forward with plans to require screening of all newborns for cystic fibrosis. After sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis is the most common life-shortening genetic disorder in the U.S.


July 13, 2006
Illinois’ war heroes to be honored during Veterans’ Day at the Illinois State Fair
Truck that memorializes fallen soldiers of the War on Terror will be on display, world famous U.S. Marine Silent Drill Platoon to perform
Truck that memorializes fallen soldiers of the War on Terror will be on display, world famous U.S. Marine Silent Drill Platoon to perform


July 13, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces sweeping reforms to improve patient safety; reduce costly medical errors
Governor proposes computerizing all prescriptions by 2011
EVANSTON – In an effort to reduce the number of medical errors that claim the lives of more than 4,000 Illinoisans and nearly 100,000 Americans each year, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proposed sweeping and comprehensive changes to cut down on errors and improve patient safety. Medical errors cost $1.5 billion a year – in Illinois alone – contributing to higher insurance premiums, higher costs for hospital visits and treatments, higher co-pays, higher insurance rates for doctors and higher costs of prescription drugs. At Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, the Governor today proposed that all providers use “e-prescribing” to reduce errors and save time and money by eliminating paperwork. E-prescribing, or computerizing prescriptions, would mean doctors could easily see what other medications the patient is taking so there are no allergic reactions or other interactions, and then send the prescription to the patient’s pharmacy electronically to avoid mix ups.


July 13, 2006
Bureau, Henry and St. Clair Counties – newest counties testing positive for West Nile virus
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced mosquito samples collected in Bureau and St. Clair counties and a crow collected in Henry county are the first positive test results for West Nile virus in these counties this year.


July 12, 2006
Dry June in Illinois
Experts continue to closely monitor climate data
Preliminary data for Illinois indicate that June’s 3.49 inches of precipitation was 0.59 inches below normal.


July 12, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces innovative plan to power executive branch state buildings in Springfield with wind energy
Plan builds on the Governor’s commitment to promote renewable energy and clean air in Illinois
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the State of Illinois intends to begin powering 141 Springfield-based facilities under his control with clean renewable wind energy purchased through City Water Light and Power (CWLP).


July 11, 2006
Illinois Arts Council Presents Arts & Accessibility Workshop July 20, ADA Celebration Day
“Community Arts for All,” 1:00-3:00pm, July 20, 2006
Chicago, IL – July 11, 2006 – The Illinois Arts Council announces “Community Arts for All,” an arts and accessibility workshop to be held during ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Celebration Day at the James R. Thompson Center, July 20.


July 11, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich signs critical nursing law
Measure will help stem nursing shortage; ensures adequate level of frontline healthcare providers as baby-boomers age
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law that will allow Illinois to recruit, train and retain nurses that will be critically needed to help provide quality health care to Illinois patients, and to meet the growing health care needs of Illinois’ aging baby boomer generation. The legislation, first proposed during the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Address, will increase the number of faculty available to train nurses, make it more affordable for nursing students to attend school, and improve working conditions for nurses through a new Center for Nursing. Senate Bill 931 was sponsored by Senators Maggie Crotty (D-Oak Forest) and Carol Ronen (D-Chicago), and Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie).


July 11, 2006
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Newsbits
Highlighting IDNR programs and upcoming events for the month of July
Firearm Deer Permits: Resident firearm and muzzleloader deer hunters who applied for 2006 season permits in the first lottery drawing can check the status of their permit online through the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/neon1.htm.


July 10, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich signs new law for school district reorganization
New law gives districts more flexibility and voters more control over how districts are run
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law that will make it easier for school districts to merge with each other in order to improve operations. Senate Bill 2795, sponsored by Sen. George Shadid (D-Peoria) and Rep. Michael Smith (D-Canton), streamlines the reorganization process and could help districts save administrative costs, provide increased educational opportunities and create a more unified curriculum between middle and high schools.


July 9, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois’ 2006 child support collections reach $1.14 billion, most collected in any single year ever
National Child Support Enforcement Association Selects Illinois for the 2006 Most Improved Program Award; Innovative, aggressive programs lead to improvements; 11 percent increase in collections since 2005
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that in fiscal year 2006 the State of Illinois’ child support collections reached $1.14 billion, which is over 11 percent higher than last year’s $1 billion in record-breaking collections, and more than 50% percent higher than the $729 million collected in fiscal year 2001. As a result of the continued improvements and turnaround of Illinois’ child support enforcement on behalf of Illinois parents, the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) has named Illinois as the 2006 Most Improved Program in the country.


July 8, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, July 8, 2006
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, July 8, 2006.


July 8, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, July 8, 2006
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, July 8, 2006


July 7, 2006
Public auction to sell unique items from State government on July 19
Used farm equipment, commercial food and beverage equipment, construction tools, computers, and furniture to be on the auction block at Illinois’ Surplus Property Auction
SPRINGFIELD – Residents from across the state are sure to find bargains at the State of Illinois’ Surplus Property Auction being held on Wednesday, July 19.


July 7, 2006
First Lady Patricia Blagojevich and DCFS present 48 full-ride, four-year scholarships to high achieving Illinois adoptees and youth in state care
Mrs. Blagojevich announces expansion of DCFS’ Youth in Scholarship Program through $80,000 donation from Midwest Generation
CHICAGO – First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today joined the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Walter & Connie Payton Foundation to present 48 full-ride, four year scholarships to high achieving Illinois youth who have been adopted or are in state care. At the event, Mrs. Blagojevich also announced an expansion of the Youth in Scholarship program through an $80,000 donation from Midwest Generation, which will provide an additional 10 students $2,000 per year during their four-year college education.


July 7, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation providing law enforcement with funding to maintain safe and reliable squad car fleet
Fine on traffic offenders who get court supervision designated to help police replace high mileage patrol cars
CHICAGO – Continuing with his commitment to giving law enforcement the tools they need to protect the public, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 1089, giving the Illinois State Police (ISP) and local law enforcement agencies additional funding to purchase new squad cars and maintain current vehicles. The new law levies a $25 fine on traffic offenders who are granted court supervision and transfers $20 of the fine to the police agency that issued the citation.


July 7, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces $3 million for University of Illinois’ Lincoln Hall
Funds are first step in renovation of the historic campus icon
URBANA – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Capital Development Board Executive Director Jan Grimes today announced $3 million for historic Lincoln Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Funds for planning and design are the first step in the renovation of what may be the University’s most recognizable building. State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson and University President B. Joseph White joined Director Grimes in making the announcement today.


July 7, 2006
First Lady Patricia Blagojevich and DCFS present 48 full-ride, four-year scholarships to high achieving Illinois adoptees and youth in state care
Mrs. Blagojevich announces expansion of DCFS’ Youth in Scholarship Program through $80,000 donation from Midwest Generation
CHICAGO – First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today joined the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Walter & Connie Payton Foundation to present 48 full-ride, four year scholarships to high achieving Illinois youth who have been adopted or are in state care. At the event, Mrs. Blagojevich also announced an expansion of the Youth in Scholarship program through an $80,000 donation from Midwest Generation, which will provide an additional 10 students $2,000 per year during their four-year college education.


July 6, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich opens World Shooting and Recreational Complex
State-of-the-art shooting and recreational facility will generate millions of dollars, hundreds of new jobs, and spur economic development throughout the state
SPARTA – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today, joined by state and local officials, business leaders and sportsmen from across the nation, opened the long-anticipated World Shooting and Recreational Complex (WSRC) in Sparta. The newly constructed, state-of-the-art facility will become an economic boon for Southwestern Illinois, bringing more than 250 new jobs to the region, and hundreds of thousands of visitors to the state.


July 5, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich signs landmark legislation to protect cell phone records and other private information from identity thieves
Illinois among the first states to combat “pretexting”
SPRINGFIELD – Taking action to protect Illinoisans’ private information from identity thieves, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 2554 outlawing the practice of “pretexting” in Illinois. Pretexting is pretending to be an account holder, or to have authorization to access an account, to obtain cell phone records, long distance call records, a person’s physical location and other personal records, such as GM OnStar information and any other account information relating to that person, such as dating service information or post office boxes. The Governor called for tough new restrictions on the practice in January. According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Illinois is among the first states in the nation to fight cell phone record pretexting.


July 5, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich urges Illinois college students to apply for $790 million in new federal grants
Students can apply at www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov
CHICAGO—Continuing efforts to help college students afford the high costs of tuition, Gov. Blagojevich today urged qualified Pell Grant-eligible students to apply for new federal grants worth between $750 and $4,000 that will help make college more affordable. The new Academic Competitiveness (AC) grants and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) grants provide $790 million in funding this fall and $4.5 billion over the next five years.


July 3, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich signs bill to extend profiling study as state releases second annual traffic stop report
2005 report shows slight dip in minority stops; Governor follows through on commitment to create oversight board to help curb bias-based policing
SPRINGFIELD - As the state released results of its second annual study of racial profiling in police stops, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation to extend Illinois’ landmark traffic stop study. The measure delivers on the Governor’s pledge last year to extend the study and to create an advisory board that will be charged with tackling the problem of bias-based policing. The Illinois Racial Profiling Study, which began in 2004 and is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), was scheduled to end December 31, 2007, but Senate Bill 2368 extends the study through July 1, 2010.


July 3, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces success in state’s winter energy conservation plan; nearly $5 million saved by turning down the thermostat in state buildings last winter
Governor also announces initiative to reduce cooling costs at state buildings this summer
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the success of his administrative order to lower the thermostats in thousands of government facilities this past winter.


July 3, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, July 3, 2006
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, July 3, 2006.


July 2, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich signs new laws boosting law enforcement’s ability to protect families and communities from sex offenders
Sexual predators on parole to be monitored by GPS
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed several new laws today in an effort to give law enforcement agencies more tools to protect Illinois families and communities from sex offenders. This comprehensive package authorizes Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring of paroled sexual predators, includes stricter guidelines for sex offenders who are near child care facilities, prohibits custody or visitation by a father of a child who is convicted of sex crimes that resulted in the conception of the child, and clarification of disclosure of sex offenses in teacher endorsement or certification.


July 1, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, July 1, 2006
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, July 1, 2006.

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