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September
2006


September 30, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich kicks off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month at ABCAP, Inc. and V-103 Health Seminar
Governor proclaims September 29 and 30, 2006 Anaia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Program Days
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich issued a proclamation today at the ABCAP (Anaia’s Breast Cancer Cervical Awareness Program), Inc. and V-103 Health Seminar declaring September 29 and 30, 2006 Anaia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Program Days. The proclamation was issued in honor of Anaia Bedford, who lost her battle with breast cancer in April 2004. Anaia’s husband, Ken Bedford, created ABCAP, Inc. in tribute to his wife and in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness.


September 30, 2006
Chicago Dentist Loses Licenses
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation suspended the dental, controlled substance, sedation, and specialty licenses of Hicham Riba, D.D.S. late on Friday.


September 30, 2006
State Public Health Director issues warning about Carrot Juice Due to Botulism Concerns
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today issued a warning about botulism being linked to a certain brand of carrot juice.


September 30, 2006
Blagojevich Administration officials promote Veterans Care in Chicago’s Hispanic community
Governor Blagojevich announces Illinois’ September “Veteran of the Month”
CHICAGO – In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, officials from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s Administration today hosted a Veteran’s Benefits Fair and Town Hall Meeting in Humboldt Park, reaching out to Hispanic veterans to promote the Governor’s landmark Veterans Care health insurance program.


September 29, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich establishes Illinois Parent Leadership Council
New Council will investigate methods for involving parents in their children’s education
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed an executive order creating the Illinois Parent Leadership Council to advise the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) on encouraging parental involvement in children’s education. Research shows that children with involved parents have higher rates of success in many aspects of their education including higher test scores and grades, better attendance, improved social skills, and elevated rates of graduation. As part of the Governor’s 2006 education plan, the Parent Leadership Council is an intricate part of an overall strategy to continue reforming and improving schools.


September 29, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces acquisition of Coast Guard Cutter for floating maritime museum
180-foot ship “Acacia” to arrive in Chicago in October and open as museum in 2007
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that a 180-foot Coast Guard Cutter will arrive in Chicago next month to serve as a permanent floating museum, thanks to the State’s efforts to acquire this surplus federal property for a nonprofit educational group. The American Academy of Industry will maintain and operate the USCGC Acacia as a public museum to highlight local industry’s contributions to the nation, and as a tribute to veterans of the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines.


September 28, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces $5.3 million in grants for county efforts to fight meth and other drugs across Illinois
State to create new database that will allow all law enforcement agencies in Illinois to report and track meth lab seizures; Funding will aid nearly 30 narcotics enforcement and prosecution units in 66 Illinois counties
CHICAGO ¬— Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced more than $5.3 million in federal funding that will be used to help fight the production, distribution, and use of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs throughout Illinois. Also today, the Governor announced a new database developed by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) that will help the State eliminate existing gaps in the information network that records the growing methamphetamine problem in the US. The database will be ready for use early next year.


September 28, 2006
Governor Blagojevich Provides Opportunity Returns Grants to Help Start New, Innovative Agribusinesses
More than $500,000 now available through state’s AgriFIRST program
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the availability of more than $500,000 in Opportunity Returns grants to encourage innovation and growth in Illinois agriculture.


September 27, 2006
Governor Blagojevich to introduce legislation forcing cell phone companies to be honest with their customers about costs
Illinois would be first state in nation to prohibit phony regulatory charges on cell phone bills
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced he will propose legislation to protect cell phone users from misleading charges that appear on monthly bills as government mandated fees or taxes. Most cell phone companies pad their bills with these phony charges appearing as “regulatory compliance fees,” “administrative charges,” or “regulatory cost recovery charges.” These secret surcharges unfairly increase the costs of wireless service beyond the advertised rate. The Governor’s legislation will require that cell phone companies identify all charges and prohibit surcharges disguised as taxes or mandated fees.


September 26, 2006
Illinois’ E.coli case linked to bagged spinach
FDA says it is safe to eat local, frozen or canned spinach
SPRINGFIELD - Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, announced today a sample of bagged spinach collected from Illinois’ first case of E. coli O157:H7 was positive for E. coli O157:H7.


September 26, 2006
Blagojevich Administration Suspends License of Dependable Locksmith for False License Information
Regulators ask state law enforcement agencies to help fight growing number of unlicensed locksmith complaints
CHICAGO – The Blagojevich Administration announced today that it is taking a series of steps designed to protect Illinoisans when they need to hire a locksmith.


September 26, 2006
Governor Blagojevich Launches E-Mail Alert System to Deliver Real-Time Traffic Updates to Commuters
Iltrafficalert.com will help Chicago-area drivers avoid congestion on Expressways, suburban Tollways
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that Chicago area commuters can now sign up for free, real-time traffic alerts from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).


September 25, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces Amtrak Saluki to start running October 30th
Building on momentum of record passenger growth, additional Carbondale to Chicago passenger train added; Tickets for Saluki on sale today at Amtrak.com or 800-USA-RAIL
CARBONDALE - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that beginning October 30th, Illinois’ partnership with Amtrak will more than double state-sponsored passenger rail service downstate. State-supported roundtrips will increase from three daily roundtrips to seven daily roundtrips between Chicago and downstate destinations – including the Saluki, the new Chicago-Carbondale train. The expanded service comes after news that all state-sponsored Amtrak routes posted record ridership levels for Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2006; the expansion includes an additional round-trip on the Chicago-Carbondale line. Tickets for the new routes go on sale today.


September 25, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces $1 million federal grant to help Illinois families stay connected to their energy service throughout the year
Illinois one of only four states to receive REACH grant
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $1 million federal grant to help Illinois’ most at-risk families stay connected to their energy service throughout the year. The Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program (REACH) grant will provide intensive case management, budget counseling, and energy education to families who are at the greatest risk of disconnection. Illinois is one of only four states to receive the REACH grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this year.


September 24, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich calls on President Bush to release more federal LIHEAP funds for Midwestern states
Home heating bills expected to be higher, at-risk households urged to takes steps before winter heating season; To apply visit: www.liheapillinois.com or call 1-877-411-WARM
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich called on President George W. Bush to release an additional $22 million in energy assistance funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to ensure that Midwestern low-income families can pay their gas bills. The original $80 million dedicated to the project was distributed according to a formula which only counted fuel oil as a source of heat, yet most Midwestern consumers use natural gas. As a result, the low-income families in Illinois and other Midwestern states have not benefited from additional energy assistance.


September 22, 2006
Governor Blagojevich calls on Leaders in Congress to give Americans full access to the global marketplace for safe and affordable prescription drugs
Governor’s urges Republican leaders not to back down on agreement made yesterday to allow Americans to buy 90-day supplies of medication in Canada; calls for more meaningful action to bring long-term relief from high drug costs
CHICAGO – Continuing pressure on the federal government to allow importation of safe and affordable prescription drugs, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged members of the United States Congress to take meaningful action that will give Americans full access to the competitive global marketplace for prescription drugs. Earlier today, news reports indicated House Republican leaders were backing down on an agreement reached yesterday that would allow Americans to bring up to 90-day supplies of prescribed medicines home from Canada, but would still prohibit purchasing prescriptions over the Internet or by mail-order, or from licensed pharmacies in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.


September 22, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces efforts to make it easier for drivers in Illinois to locate E-85 and biodiesel stations
Drivers can visit map at gettingaroundillinois.com and zoom in to find E-85 and biodiesel station locations across the state; IDOT creating new road pamphlet and Interstate signage to include E-85 and biodiesel station identifiers
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced new steps the state is taking to promote the use of E-85 and biodiesel, both fuels are produced from Illinois crops that are better for the environment and will reduce Illinois’ demand for foreign oil. On its travel Web site, www.gettingaroundillinois.com, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is now displaying all E-85 and biodiesel locations around the state to help inform drivers where they can fill up with the clean burning, alternative fuels, one of which is corn-based; the other is soy-based. Additionally, IDOT is developing new pamphlets for rest areas and Interstate signs alerting drivers to exits with E-85 and biodiesel gas station locations.


September 21, 2006
Blagojevich administration officials and SIU President Glenn Poshard unveil new Springfield Combined Laboratory Addition
Expanded Public Health and State Police labs serve vital Homeland Security and public safety functions
SPRINGFIELD – Officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois State Police and the Capital Development Board today joined Southern Illinois University (SIU) President Glenn Poshard to unveil the Springfield Combined Laboratory Addition, a new facility that expands vital testing space for Homeland Security, public safety and medical research.


September 21, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces nearly $20 million in federal funds secured for grants to help provide services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault
$1 million state grant to Chicago Foundation for Women will fund the Anti-Violence Initiative to fight human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, the sex trade, street harassment and other forms of gender based violence
CHICAGO – Addressing dozens of community, not-for-profit, and business leaders at the Chicago Foundation for Women’s 21st Annual Luncheon and Symposium, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced more than $20 million in funding for grants to help provide services throughout Illinois to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Governor highlighted a $1 million grant to the Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) that will help launch a comprehensive Anti-Violence Initiative to fight against human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, the sex trade, street harassment and other forms of gender based violence.


September 21, 2006
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH TOURS SITE OF FUTURE EXPANSION OF WILL COUNTY BIOFUELS PLANT THAT WILL LESSEN ILLINOIS’ DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL
The Governor is Providing $3 Million Grant for Expansion of Biodiesel Production Facility in Elwood
ELWOOD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today toured Stepan Company’s existing biodiesel production facility in Elwood. The Governor recently announced that Stepan Company is receiving a $3 million Opportunity Returns grant to help pay for a $24 million future expansion of the facility that will significantly increase production and lessen Illinois’ dependence on foreign oil.


September 20, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich urges U.S. Senate Committee to oppose bill that would undermine Illinois’ ability to ensure food safety
The National Uniformity of Foods Act weakens state food safety standards
SPRINGFIELD – In light of the deadly E.Coli outbreak announced last week, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions urging them to vote against a bill before them that would preempt state food safety rules and regulations that are stronger than federal requirements. The National Uniformity for Foods Act of 2006, S.3128, is intended to provide uniform food safety warnings and notifications. But, the act goes beyond its purpose and will threaten state food safety programs and the ability to respond without delay to local food safety concerns.


September 20, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich, Lt. Gov Quinn, State Board of Education announce Technology Immersion pilot project schools
New initiative provides “one-to-one” educational technology learning programs in Illinois’ schools
SPRINGFIELD– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois State Board of Education today announced the selection of seven school districts across Illinois to participate in the Technology Immersion Pilot Project. More than 1,700 students from these seven school districts will benefit from their own lap-top computers as they learn in a “One-to-One” environment.


September 19, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces plans to expand I-SaveRx drug importation program to State employees, retirees and others
In letter to the FDA, Governor vows that I-Save Rx will continue and expand operations despite finding by Auditor General that the program violates federal law
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the State of Illinois will expand its innovative I-SaveRx drug importation program to state employees and dependents. Currently, the program is available and intended for senior citizens and the uninsured, and covers the citizens of Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri and Vermont.


September 19, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich, Restaurant Association and Retail Merchants Association reiterate call to grocery stores and restaurants to pull spinach from shelves and menus
Illinois Department of Public Health stresses urgency of contacting health care providers and local health authorities upon onset of symptoms
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, the Illinois Restaurant Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association today joined together to reiterate their call to all grocery stores and restaurants in Illinois to help prevent E. Coli contamination by pulling spinach, and spinach-related products from shelves and menus.


September 19, 2006
West Nile virus claims two more lives
McDonough County - newest county with positive bird sample
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received reports of two deaths from West Nile. A DuPage County man in his 70's who was previously reported died due to neuroinvasive disease and a DuPage County woman in her 60’s died of complications from West Nile.


September 18, 2006
Gov calls on tobacco companies to halt covert efforts to increase cigarettes’ addictiveness; directs Illinois Department of Public Health to begin collecting and making public data on nicotine content
Massachusetts study finds tobacco companies increased nicotine content in cigarettes by an average of 10% from 1998 to 2004
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today sent a letter to top tobacco company executives urging them to halt a practice uncovered by a recent Massachusetts Public Health Department study that shows the industry increased the amount of nicotine in cigarettes by an average of ten percent from 1998 to 2004, making them more addictive and dangerous to consumers. To help raise consumer awareness in Illinois about the tobacco industry’s efforts to hook more smokers, the Governor also directed the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to begin collecting information on nicotine levels from cigarette makers and reporting it annually to the public.


September 18, 2006
First case of E. coli O157:H7 related to consumption of bagged spinach in Illinois
E.Coli O157:H7 case that matches the national pattern
SPRINGFIELD – An elderly woman from north-central Illinois is the first state resident whose E. coli O157:H7 isolate matches the national outbreak associated with spinach consumption.


September 18, 2006
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO HELP COMPLETE SOUTHEASTERN ILLINOIS COLLEGE PROJECT
Funds will Help College Pay for Increased Costs Associated with Natural Disasters, Higher Fuel Prices
HARRISBURG – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced up to $568,000 in new funding to Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg to complete its new addition to the Robert I. Gregg Technology Center. The project will be competitively bid in the fall of 2006, and the additional funds will allow the college to begin construction on the facility by paying for increases in construction costs caused by recent natural disasters and higher fuel prices.


September 17, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, September 17, 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 Sunday, September 17, 2006.


September 15, 2006
State Public Health Director issues warning about food borne illness linked to fresh spinach consumption
No confirmed cases of E. coli from consumption of bagged fresh spinach in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today issued a warning about an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7, a specific strain of E. coli, in multiple states that may be associated with the consumption of bagged spinach.


September 15, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces more than $1 million in grants to protect threatened and endangered species
Grants will help fund up to 80 projects in the Lower Sangamon River Watershed and Alton Bluffs area to restore and enhance habitat for at-risk species
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the state will provide nearly $491,000 in matching funds to support a $946,000 grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect threatened and endangered species.


September 15, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich and Lt. Gov. Quinn urge U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs to expand health services for veterans
Governor and Lt. Governor’s letter responds to report highlighting the federal government’s inadequate assessment of returning veterans’ health needs
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn today urged the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to do a better job of assessing returning veterans’ health needs and challenges, and to lay out specific plans to expand health care coverage and treatments. In a joint letter to USDVA Secretary Nicholson, the Governor and the Lt. Governor said it is unacceptable that the federal authorities do not have a clear grasp of our Iraq and Afghanistan returning veterans’ health needs, in spite of a recent report that says that nearly a third of them are suffering from multiple medical issues, including mental health conditions.


September 14, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich awards $416,000 in Off-highway Vehicle Recreational Trails grants
Grants will develop and improve riding areas throughout the state
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded $416,500 in grants to develop and improve Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) riding areas throughout the state.


September 14, 2006
State launches first-ever live and online auction of surplus property
Adding online aspect to traditional live auction will expand bidder pool globally Interested bidders can view available items at www.bidspotter.com
SPRINGFIELD – Access to government surplus property will increase exponentially as the State of Illinois hosts its first simultaneous live and Internet-based auction on Wednesday, September 20. Bidders from across the country and around the world will be able to purchase the state’s liquidated property from their home or office when they log in to www.bidspotter.com; bids will also be accepted in person at the State Surplus Property Warehouse, as has been customary for years.


September 14, 2006
West Nile virus claims another life
Fulton, Jasper and Moultrie - newest counties with positive bird or mosquito sample
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public (IDPH) has received a report of another death from West Nile. A Chicago woman in her 80’s has died from neuroinvasive disease.


September 14, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces the State will recover thousands of dollars for two female employees in equal pay case
State’s Department of Labor investigation uncovers Equal Pay Act violations
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that the State will recover thousands of dollars for two female employees as a result of an Illinois’ Equal Pay Act investigation. The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) found that Rodriguez and Sons, a construction services business in Cook County, violated the Act by paying male employees higher wages for performing the same work as female employees. The Department demanded the employer to pay $8,976 in total backwages -- $4,488 for each complainant.


September 14, 2006
State employees begin annual outpouring of support to meet important social service needs statewide
Employees contribute millions of dollars each year through SECA campaign; support helps Illinois’ most vulnerable
SPRINGFIELD – Highlighting both the current effectiveness and future needs of Illinois’ social service agencies, state leaders today launched the State and University Employee Combined Appeal (SECA) campaign that raises millions of dollars each year to support efforts to help some of Illinois’ most vulnerable people statewide.


September 13, 2006
Governor Blagojevich and State Supt. Randy Dunn name fifteen outstanding students to State Board’s Student Advisory Council
Illinois students offer front-line view of education policies and programs
SPRINGFIELD – As more than 2.1 million students statewide get back into the swing of things for the 2006-07 school year, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and State Superintendent Randy Dunn today announced that 15 outstanding sophomores, juniors and seniors from across Illinois have been selected to represent their peers on the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) Student Advisory Council.


September 13, 2006
Illinois returns stolen African artifact to Kalume Mwakiru family
Kenya’s National Heritage Minister accepts artifact on behalf of family at ceremony at the Illinois State Museum
SPRINGFIELD – At a ceremony at the Illinois State Museum today, Illinois officials returned a Kenyan ceremonial post to its rightful owners. Officials with the Illinois State Museum presented the post to a delegation from Kenya, headed by the Honorable Suleiman Shakombo, Minister of State for National Heritage, and including His Excellency Peter Ogego, Kenyan Ambassador to the United States, and representatives from the National Museums of Kenya, for return to the family. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich made the announcement in early September at the African Festival of the Arts in Chicago that the post would be returned.


September 12, 2006
Harvest Season Begins, Motorists and Farmers Must Share the Road
Motorists Urged to Slow Down; Farmers Reminded to Get Overweight Permits
SPRINGFIELD-Harvest season is underway throughout Illinois and The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) today are urging motorists to be aware that tractors and farm equipment are out on the roadways.


September 12, 2006
West Nile virus claims two more lives in Illinois
Douglas County newest county reporting positive West Nile virus bird sample
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public (IDPH) has received reports of two deaths from West Nile. A DuPage County woman in her 80’s died due to neuroinvasive disease and a Sangamon county man in his 90’s, previously reported to have West Nile, has died.


September 12, 2006
Governor Blagojevich asks President Bush for federal assistance for Winnebago County following flash flooding
Federal disaster declaration would help people and businesses recover from losses related to Labor Day flood
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today asked President Bush to declare Winnebago County a major disaster area as a result of flash flooding on Labor Day that damaged numerous homes and businesses. A federal disaster declaration would enable people in the area to apply for grants and loans to help with storm-related losses, while businesses would be eligible to apply for low-interest loans.


September 12, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces funding to help 250 disabled individuals live independently
Illinois Housing Development Authority pledges $2 million to help more Illinoisans leave nursing homes and live in the community
CHICAGO– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $2 million in funding to help up to 250 disabled persons around the state leave nursing homes, and go back to live independently in their own communities.


September 12, 2006
Blagojevich Administration launches statewide Back-to-School All Kids Training Tour
Events will provide important enrollment information on several state healthcare programs
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the launch of the statewide Back-to-School All Kids Training Tour to make sure that community leaders, services providers, and social service agencies are informed about the new or recently expanded healthcare programs offered by the state as families send their kids back to school. Local providers and agencies are encouraged to attend, and can register for the events online at www.allkidscovered.com. The All Kids Training Tour, which starts today in Berwyn and Charleston, will hold nine events statewide over the next two weeks.


September 11, 2006
Illinois Department of Corrections cadet training class begins
Sixty-two correctional officer cadets to take six-week training course
SPRINGFIELD, IL— The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) announced today that 62 correctional officer cadets will begin a six-week paramilitary training course Monday, September 11 at the agency’s training academy in Springfield.


September 11, 2006
"Day of Rememberance"
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, September 11, 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, September 11, 2006.


September 11, 2006
Governor Blagojevich Proclaims Day of Remembrance for those who Died in the September 11 Attacks
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today joined with firefighters and Illinois leaders outside the Holy Name Cathedral to observe a moment of silence and remember the horrific September 11th terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC. The Governor proclaimed a Day of Remembrance, ordered all Illinois state facilities to fly their flags at half-staff, and invited Illinoisans to observe a moment of silence at 7:46 am. At that time, bells rang to mark the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center.


September 11, 2006
Governor Blagojevich requests federal assistance for Rockford-area homeowners, renters and businesses after Labor Day flooding
Governor seeks Small Business Administration Physical Disaster Declaration
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today requested federal assistance for Winnebago County, a request that if granted would make low-interest loans available to homeowners, renters and businesses hard-hit by the flash flooding caused by severe storms on Labor Day.


September 11, 2006
Governor Blagojevich asks President Bush for federal assistance for Winnebago County following flash flooding
Federal disaster declaration would help people and businesses recover from losses related to Labor Day flood
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today asked President Bush to declare Winnebago County a major disaster area as a result of flash flooding on Labor Day that damaged numerous homes and businesses. A federal disaster declaration would enable people in the area to apply for grants and loans to help with storm-related losses, while businesses would be eligible to apply for low-interest loans.


September 10, 2006
On the eve of 9/11 anniversary, Governor Blagojevich announces mutual aid response system to improve vital emergency communication services
IL-TERT will train and deploy 911 operators to help handle major increase in emergency call volume during natural disasters or terrorism events
CHICAGO – As the nation prepares to observe the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the state is creating a mutual aid program that will train 911 operators to handle the huge volume of emergency calls that come in during natural disasters and terrorism events, and then deploy those operators to areas in Illinois when they are needed. The Illinois Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (IL-TERT) program is expected to be operational by January 1, 2007.


September 9, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, September 9, 2006.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor's Blagojevich's Office to fly the United Sates and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, September 9, 2006.


September 8, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich calls on President Bush to Address Nation’s Oil Addiction and Boost Energy Independence
Governor urges President to pursue national policy modeled on Illinois’ plan to meet 50 percent of state’s motor fuel needs with homegrown resources by 2017; Governor launches taskforces to help implement his plan
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today called on President Bush to take bolder steps to address the nation’s addiction to foreign oil. In a letter to the President, the Governor referred to Bush’s repeated references to America’s “addiction” to foreign oil and called on him to step beyond rhetoric and follow Illinois’ lead in achieving energy independence. The Governor stressed the importance to national security of energy independence from countries like Iran and Venezuela and the great economic benefits of investing in homegrown energy resources.


September 8, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich urges changes to No Child Left Behind after Pres. Bush’s Education Secretary declares law nearly perfect
Governor sends letter to U.S. Education Secretary with recommendations to help states meet the goals and challenges of NCLB
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings urging changes to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which is up for reauthorization by Congress for the first time since President George W. Bush signed it into law in 2002. The letter comes on the heels of comments made by Secretary Spellings where she hailed NCLB as nearly perfect, saying specifically “There’s not much needed in the way of change.” NCLB has been widely criticized by state governments, local communities, school boards, principals and teachers charged with meeting its goals and implementing it policies since its implementation.


September 8, 2006
Emergency preparedness since 9/11; Illinois a national leader in mutual aid, special response teams
SPRINGFIELD – With the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks just days away, Illinois is considerably more prepared today for a catastrophic disaster because the state has focused on a comprehensive statewide strategy that has trained and equipped special response teams, taken an active role in preventing terrorism, and given first responders the tools they need for a variety of emergencies.


September 7, 2006
West Nile virus claims third person in Illinois
Human West Nile virus cases in Illinois reach 94
SPRINGFIELD – The Cook County Department of Public Health reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) the death of a Cook County woman in her 90’s due to West Nile virus disease.


September 7, 2006
Governor Blagojevich declares Rockford, Winnebago County state disaster areas following Labor Day flooding
State committed to helping area recover from severe flood
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today declared Rockford and Winnebago County a state disaster area after severe flooding on Labor Day. The Governor also said the state will continue to work closely with local officials to ensure the area recovers from this event as quickly as possible.


September 7, 2006
Governor Blagojevich calls on Congress to pass federal payday lending protections for Military Personnel; Files new state rules increasing protections for Illinois servicemembers
Recent Pentagon study shows one in five members of Armed Services fell prey to payday loan centers set up near military bases; Increased rates of indebtedness impacting military operations and soldiers’ personal finances
CHICAGO – As Congress reconvenes this week, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich called on the chairmen and ranking members of the Department of Defense Reauthorization conference committee to protect members of the military and their families from the predatory practices of payday loan stores. In a letter sent today, the Governor urged lawmakers to support passage of a provision that would cap interest rate payday lenders could charge military personnel. The provision is backed by the Pentagon and consumer rights advocates, and comes in the wake of a report showing a growing number of members of the U.S. Armed Forces are falling into serious debt as a result of aggressive payday loan tactics targeted at military personnel. In addition, The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation also filed new rules at the Governor’s direction that would protect Illinois servicemembers from predatory payday lending practices.


September 6, 2006
Public can purchase State’s used vehicles at September 13 auction
MC COOK – The State of Illinois will auction 30 used vehicles from its fleet including cars and pick-up trucks on Wednesday, September 13, as part of the Department of Central Management Services’ (CMS) ongoing efforts to raise revenues by selling surplus state property.


September 6, 2006
State public health director touts the importance of men’s health
Men asked to pledge their support to raise awareness about prostate cancer
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today led a roundtable discussion about improving health among African American men. Dr. Whitaker invited approximately 50 African American men from organizations in Springfield and Central Illinois to talk about prevention, treatment and care options, as it relates to prostate cancer.


September 6, 2006
Illinois showcases robust emergency response capabilities during annual conference
Two dozen exhibits feature Illinois emergency response equipment and special teams
SPRINGFIELD – As the five year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks approaches, Illinois officials put the state’s impressive emergency response capabilities on display at the annual Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s conference this week. Two dozen exhibits feature emergency response equipment, vehicles and special response teams developed through the state’s homeland security program. More than 800 emergency management professionals from throughout Illinois are attending the annual conference in Springfield, which offers classes and presentations to help them keep abreast of issues in emergency management.


September 5, 2006
Illinois joins nation in spotlighting alcohol and other drug treatment
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims September Recovery Month and urges Illinoisans to join the voices for recovery
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) will take part in several special events this month to celebrate recovery and promote substance abuse treatment.


September 5, 2006
Central Illinois Loan Stores Fined for Unlicensed Activity
Affinity Credit Services Fined $273,000 for Five New Stores
CHICAGO – Affinity Credit Services today was ordered to pay $273,000 in fines for issuing loans at five stores in Central Illinois and suburban Chicago without first obtaining licenses under the Consumer Installment Loan Act (CILA).


September 5, 2006
IL 29 Pieces Coming Together for Progress as IDOT Opens Latest Link between Taylorville and Springfield
Four-Lane Stretch between Taylorville and Edinburg Opens to Traffic; Improving Safety and Reducing Congestion
Taylorville – Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary, Timothy W. Martin, joined with state and local officials today in officially opening a new four-lane section of IL 29 between Taylorville and Edinburg. The $30 million segment from just more than a mile south of Edinburg to Taylorville is the second of three segments needed for completing a four-lane roadway from Rochester to Taylorville.


September 5, 2006
Governor Blagojevich urges FCC and FTC to require cell phone companies to develop effective ways of deleting sensitive information
Governor writes letter in response to alarming cases where sensitive personal and corporate information was easily retrieved from discarded cell phones
SPRINGFIELD – Responding to alarming reports about sensitive personal and corporate information being easily retrieved from discarded cell phones, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today sent a letter to two federal regulatory bodies, urging them to require cell phone companies to develop effective ways to completely delete a customer’s information.


September 5, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces record use of biofuels by the State’s motor fleet
State vehicles used more than 1 million gallons of home-grown E-85 and biodiesel since April 2005; Illinois government now operates largest flexible fuel vehicle fleet in state
SPRINGFIELD – Building on efforts to help support Illinois’ farmers and to expand the use of clean and renewable energy, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a record use of biofuels and a dramatic increase of flexible fuel vehicles in the State’s motor vehicle fleet. Since April 2005, in response to a Governor’s Executive Order directing State agencies and employees to use biofuels, agencies have used more than 1 million gallons of E-85 and biodiesel to fuel their cars and trucks.


September 4, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces new minimum wage hotline
Workers who do not receive Illinois’ minimum wage of $6.50 an hour should call 1-800-478-3998
PEORIA – Building on efforts to help working families across the state, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced on Labor Day a new toll free hotline – 1-800-478-3998 – to help workers making the minimum wage report if they are not receiving the state’s required minimum wage of $6.50 an hour.


September 3, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich visits Taste of Polonia to encourage women to sign up for the state’s free breast and cervical cancer program
Expanded program began Friday, call 1-888-522-1282 to enroll
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today visited the Taste of Polonia Festival, on Chicago’s Northside to encourage Polish-American and other Illinois women to sign up for a recently expanded state program that provides free screenings and treatment for breast and cervical cancer to women without insurance. On Mother’s Day, Gov. Blagojevich announced the expansion of the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) enabling up to 3,000 more uninsured, low-income women in the state to be eligible for free cancer screenings and treatment. The expanded program began enrolling uninsured women Friday.


September 2, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims September as “Campus Fire Safety Month”
State offers tips to prevent college residence fires
SPRINGFIELD – As students settle back into their daily routines at colleges and universities throughout Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged educators to teach students about fire dangers and simple steps they can take to stay safe in on- and off-campus housing.


September 1, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich opens enrollment for LIHEAP winter heating assistance program
Home heating bills expected to be higher, at-risk households Urged to Take Steps Before Winter Heating Season To apply visit: www.liheapillinois.com or call 1-877-411-WARM
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced that starting today, at-risk households and those currently without home heating due to service disconnections can apply for one-time grants through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to meet their winter heating needs. To apply, call 1-877-411-WARM or visit: www.liheapillinois.com.


September 1, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich urges women to register for free breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment
Expanded program begins today, call 1-888-522-1282 to enroll Since 2003, nearly 42,000 women received free screenings through state program
PEORIA – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged Illinois women who don’t have health insurance to sign up for a newly expanded state program that provides free screenings and treatment for breast and cervical cancer. On Mother’s Day, Gov. Blagojevich announced the expansion of the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) enabling up to 3,000 more uninsured, low-income women in the state to be eligible for free cancer screenings and treatment. Today the expanded program took effect.


September 1, 2006
State to launch modernization project that will improve services for taxpayers
Efforts to update technology and increase efficiency will result in increased tax collections; Key project partners include diverse vendors
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Revenue will launch a comprehensive Tax Modernization Project this fall as part of the agency’s efforts to improve taxpayer services, update technology, and enhance operations of state government.


September 1, 2006
Public can purchase State police cruisers and other vehicles at September 9 auction
SPRINGFIELD – The State of Illinois will auction 150 vehicles from its fleet including cars, pick-up trucks and police cruisers on Saturday, September 9, as part of the Department of Central Management Services’ (CMS) ongoing efforts to raise revenues by selling surplus state property.

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