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October 31, 2007
Governor Blagojevich signs bill to toughen current anti-meth law
SB 274 makes any attempt to illegally transport or store anhydrous ammonia a Class 4 felony
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a law that toughens current anti-methamphetamine laws by making any attempt to possess, procure, transport, store, or deliver a key meth ingredient a Class 4 felony. Class 4 felonies can carry a prison term of one to three years and/or a fine of up to $25,000. Senate Bill 274, sponsored by State Senator Larry Bomke (R-Springfield) and State Rep. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy), makes it a felony to attempt to steal, improperly store, or transport anhydrous ammonia. Anhydrous ammonia is a key ingredient in the production of methamphetamine, and its storage in unauthorized containers can be extremely dangerous. This increased penalty will deter those who may be planning to steal anhydrous ammonia to manufacture methamphetamine.

October 31, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich launches 2007 winter heating assistance program, urges eligible households to apply for grants starting Nov. 1
Households advised to take steps before extreme cold hits Illinois through the 2007 Keep Warm campaign; For energy assistance and weatherization tips visit www.keepwarm.illinois.gov or call toll-free 1-877-411-WARM
CHICAGO –Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced winter heating grants will be available for all income-eligible households through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) starting Nov.1, and urged all eligible families to apply now before extreme cold hits Illinois. The Governor’s announcement is part of the 2007 Keep Warm Illinois campaign which highlights state efforts to provide energy resources and education to all Illinoisans. The campaign informs and prepares Illinois residents, especially the elderly, families with small children, and persons with disabilities for high home heating costs this winter. For information on energy assistance or weatherization tips, families can visit the Keep Warm Illinois website at www.keepwarm.illinois.gov or call the toll-free Keep Warm Illinois hotline at 1-877-411-WARM.

October 30, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, October 31, 2007
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 Wednesday, October 31, 2007.

October 30, 2007
State public health director offers safety tips for parents and kids this Halloween
SPRINGFIELD – State Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold today gave some helpful tips to make sure kids across Illinois have a safe Halloween.

October 29, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs law to improve consumer services at Illinois pharmacies
SB 509 expands patient options and streamlines prescription reviews
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law that completely overhauls the pharmacy regulations for all Illinois pharmacies and pharmacists, and improves consumer services. Senate Bill 509, re-writes the Pharmacy Practice Act which has remained relatively unchanged since 1987. The changes reflect the growing importance of the role pharmacists play in providing care to Illinois families. The bill was sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Lake Bluff) and State Representative Jack Franks (D-Woodstock).

October 26, 2007
Governor Blagojevich continues his effort to crack down on child support violators
New technology allows IDNR to identify parents who have outstanding child support payments when they apply for Illinois hunting and fishing permits
Department of Healthcare and Family Services identified nearly 6,000 parents who owe more than $60 million in child support through new point-of-sale system SPRINGFIELD– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced new technology could bring an additional $60 million in unpaid child support to the state. The point-of-sale technology administered through at the Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) allows the Illinois Department of Healthcare Family Services Division of Child Support Enforcement (HFS DCSE) to crosscheck names of child support violators with everyone who applies for a hunting or fishing license in the state. If the applicant owes more than $1,000 in child support payments, they will not be issued a license. When HFS and DNR matched records of delinquent parents with 2006 applicants for hunting and fishing licenses they found nearly 6,000 matches with outstanding payments of more than $60 million.

October 25, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces business expansion in South Holland that will help create dozens of jobs in Chicago's southern suburbs
Illinois Finance Authority supports Rupari Food Services, Inc., with $10 million in tax-exempt bond financing to expand meat processing plant and create over 170 jobs
CHICAGO– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the expansion of a food and meat processing plant in South Holland that will spur economic growth, create over 170 jobs and help revitalize communities in Cook County’s southern suburbs. Rupari Food Services, Inc. is making a significant investment to build a new 60,000-sq.-ft. production/cold storage facility that will nearly double its employment and foster economic development within the region. The project is supported by the issuance of $10 million in tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds by the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA). Rupari Food Services’ South Holland operation is a major wholesale supplier of processed ribs to the foodservice industry. Currently employing 150 at this facility, the expansion is expected to add over 110 new permanent jobs, as well as 60 construction jobs.

October 25, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces completion of Dan Ryan reconstruction
A safer and wider Dan Ryan Expressway; IDOT to open up all lanes to traffic ahead of schedule
CHICAGO – Alongside area legislators, law enforcement and transportation officials, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today cut the ribbon at the 39th Street entrance ramp to the outbound Dan Ryan, marking the ahead of schedule completion of the Dan Ryan Expressway Reconstruction Project - an historic and unprecedented effort to improve safety and provide congestion relief on one of the busiest expressways in the country.

October 25, 2007
Illinois Department of Corrections to conduct Operation Safe Spirits
Agency to increase monitoring of paroled sex offenders on Halloween
SPRINGFIELD - For the third consecutive year, the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) will increase surveillance of paroled sex offenders on the days leading up to and on Halloween. Operation Safe Spirits works with local law enforcement throughout the state to keep a closer eye on paroled sex offenders during this time when more kids are out in the evenings going door-to-door to trick-or-treat.

October 25, 2007
Illinois organizations receive awards for environmental protection achievements
22 Illinois companies and organizations recognized for efforts in protecting the environment and boosting the economy
GLEN ELLYN, IL- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) along with the State’s Waste Management and Research Center (WMRC) honored 22 Illinois companies and organizations for their significant achievements in protecting the environment and boosting the economy. The Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Awards were presented today in Glen Ellyn during a luncheon. This is the 21st consecutive year the awards were presented by the WMRC, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

October 25, 2007
Statement from Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich
On the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
CHICAGO – “I applaud members of Congress for not giving up on the fight to save SCHIP, and for coming together across party lines to approve a plan that supports state efforts to make sure children have access to the healthcare they need. In Illinois, we became the first state in the nation to ensure that all kids have access to affordable health coverage. We’ll continue to make sure all children can get healthcare, but the federal government needs to do its part as well."

October 24, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims United Nations Day in Illinois
State marks UN Health theme "Global Health: A Critical Component to Development" to highlight Illinois’efforts in combating HIV/AIDS and other major diseases
CHICAGO – Officials from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s Administration proclaimed today as United Nations Day in Illinois to recognize the contributions of the international human rights organization and to highlight the State’s efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other major diseases. This year’s UN theme, “Global Health: A Critical Component to Development,” prompted the State to provide information about HIV/AIDS prevention programs and on how to combat this and other diseases. On behalf of the Governor, the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) hosted UN Day at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.

October 24, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces installation of first Memorial sign in honor of DUI victim, Tina Ball
IDOT officials are joined by Tina Ball's family and members of Task Force that backed law, allowing DUI memorial signs along IL highways
CHICAGO – As a result of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s signing of “Tina’s Law” this past August, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today installed the first DUI memorial sign authorized under the new law in Chicago. The legislation allows DUI victims’ family members to request that IDOT install the signs along Illinois highways. The sign erected along Interstate 57 near 111th St. is in memory of Tina Ball, a mother of seven and a road construction worker who was killed by a drunk driver while she was working on I-57 in Sept. 15, 2003.

October 24, 2007
AmeriCorps volunteers pledge to help others through community service
More than 700 Illinoisans are sworn in during an opening day ceremony in Springfield
Springfield – Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D., announced today more than 700 Illinoisans were sworn in, dedicating themselves to a year of serving their communities through the AmeriCorps program. The annual opening day ceremony was held at the Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield, marking the 13th anniversary of the AmeriCorps program. In those 13 years, more than 16,400 people have volunteered their time in Illinois through AmeriCorps.

October 24, 2007
4 additional human cases of West Nile virus bring the total in Illinois to 85
Two new counties reporting West Nile virus in animals and insects
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting today four additional human cases of West Nile virus bringing this year’s total in Illinois to 85.

October 23, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich urges legislators to provide permanent property tax relief to Cook County homeowners
Relief homeowners will see in soon-to-arrive tax bills to begin to disappear next year under legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly earlier this month
CHICAGO – As property tax bills are put in the mail to Cook County homeowners, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today called on the Illinois General Assembly to reconvene before the end of the year to provide permanent property tax relief. Earlier this month, lawmakers overrode the Governor's recommended changes to a property tax relief bill and approved a version that takes relief away next year, and completely phases out relief in three years.

October 23, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich cracks down on child support violators
New law provides ability to revoke driving privileges and "boot" vehicles until child support payments are made
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law that would give the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Division of Child Support, the ability to use more aggressive enforcement tools to collect child support payments from deadbeat parents. On behalf of the Governor, Illinois Healthcare and Family Services Director Barry Maram joined more than a dozen Illinois families, legislators and child advocates at the Marcy Newberry Day Care Center to herald Senate Bill 1035 which will adds administrative suspension of Illinois driving privileges and allows municipalities to immobilize vehicles for certain child support debtors to the list of enforcement actions available. The legislation also add severance pay to the as the definition of income for wage withholding purposes and authorizes parents and their legal representatives to review case records.

October 21, 2007
ISBE & IDOT team up to stress importance of school bus safety
National School Bus Safety Week – Oct. 22 – 26 theme reminds drivers and students to be careful at the bus stop
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are reminding students, parents and drivers about the importance of school bus safety both on and off the school bus during National School Bus Safety Week. The theme for the week, “Be Aware, Cross with Care,” reminds Illinois’ school children to be mindful of hazards any time they must cross the street and are walking to and from the bus stop.

October 19, 2007
ISAC Launches Trailblazing New Student Loan Program
Capstone Loan aims to help college seniors “cross the finish line”
DEERFIELD, IL – College seniors at seven Illinois colleges are eligible to take advantage of an innovative new student loan program under a pilot program administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC).

October 19, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces Cook, Knox and Warren counties added to federal disaster declaration for reimbursement to local governments affected by late August flooding
Local governments will be eligible for 75 percent reimbursement of eligible expenses related to storm response and recovery
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the federal government approved the state’s request for federal assistance for units of local government in Cook, Knox and Warren counties for extraordinary expenses incurred responding to and recovering from severe storms and flooding that hit the areas in late August.

October 19, 2007
State public health director issues guidance to help limit and control MRSA outbreaks in schools
Cases reported in communities among healthy people
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, will issue recommendations to limit transmission and control Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreaks in Illinois schools.

October 19, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces state inspection program ensures highest-quality breast cancer detection tests
Illinois first and only state in the nation to offer free cancer screenings and treatment to all uninsured women; Governor urges women to recognize National Mammography Day by scheduling a mammogram
SPRINGFIELD – In his continuing effort to ensure that women receive life-saving mammograms, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today called attention to a program through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) that ensures women are receiving high-quality mammograms. Each year, IEMA thoroughly inspects mammography equipment to ensure every machine is operating properly and women are getting accurate results. The Governor is taking this opportunity once again to encourage every woman to get screened just a few weeks after he expanded the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), making Illinois the first and only state in the nation to offer every uninsured woman access to cancer screenings and treatment.

October 18, 2007
Deer activity on the rise with fall season underway; IDOT and IDNR urge motorists to be alert
Car vs. Deer injury and property damage crashes increase in 2006, fatalities drop
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) want to remind motorists that deer are more active during the fall, and as cooler weather approaches, the likelihood of vehicle crashes involving deer increases.

October 18, 2007
John Wood student wins 2007 Student Laureate Award
SPRINGFIELD– Bryan D. Schullian from John Wood Community College in Quincy is the community college recipient of the 2007 Student Laureate Award. The Lincoln Academy of Illinois presents this award annually for overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from the four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities in Illinois and to only one individual from among all the community colleges (who submit an application) and recommended by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).

October 18, 2007
Illinois Terrorism Task Force member receives national award for spearheading development of Illinois’ public health mutual aid system
Stephen Laker of the Vermilion County Health Department recognized for work on system that provides support to local public health agencies during emergencies
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) member Stephen E. Laker, M.S., L.E.H.P., Administrator of the Vermilion County Health Department in Danville, was recently honored by the American Public Health Association (APHA) with the 2007 Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health Work in recognition of his leadership and work on the development of the Illinois Public Health Mutual Aid System (IPHMAS). The award recognizes a local health officer who has demonstrated exceptional and innovative work in the field of public health.

October 17, 2007
Illinois Regulators Suspend License of Marion Physician
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation today approved a consent order that indefinitely suspends the license of Dr. Veizaga-Mendez to practice medicine in Illinois. The order was approved by the Illinois Medical disciplinary Board this morning and signed by Daniel E. Bluthardt, Director of the Division of Professional Regulation immediately following the Board’s decision.

October 17, 2007
Department on Aging inducts four into Senior Hall of Fame and presents Governor’s Unique Achievement Awards
Seniors honored for enhancing lives around them and commitment to community
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) Director Charles D. Johnson today inducted four people into the Illinois Senior Hall of Fame and presented several Governor’s Unique Achievement Awards during a special ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield.

October 17, 2007
IDNR to participate in national surveillance for Avian Flu
Initial sampling of hunter-harvested and live-trapped waterfowl began in Illinois during the fall of 2006
SPRINGFIELD, IL – For the second straight year, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will participate in the national surveillance effort for highly pathogenic Asian H5N1 avian influenza this fall. Similar to last year, wildlife biologists from IDNR will be collecting samples from hunter-harvested waterfowl at various sites throughout Illinois during the upcoming waterfowl hunting season.

October 17, 2007
State Fire Marshal’s Office coordinates fire truck, equipment donations to help southern Illinois fire department rebuild after devastating fire
Fire departments answer call to help Rural Pope County Fire Protection District
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Shortly after a devastating fire destroyed a Rural Pope County Fire Protection District fire station in late July, the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) sent out a call for donations of fire equipment that could help the southern Illinois fire department recover. This week, help is on the way as a building, fire truck and firefighting equipment donated by fire departments in northern and central Illinois are being transported to Pope County.

October 17, 2007
13 additional human cases of West Nile virus bring the total in Illinois to 81
Two new counties reporting West Nile virus in birds
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting today thirteen additional human cases of West Nile virus bringing this year’s total in Illinois to 81.

October 16, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces U.S. Rt. 67 Web site to highlight progress on key corridor for Western Illinois
Governor urges Illinois House to pass comprehensive capital plan that will continue efforts to complete U.S. 67; More than $92 million included in Illinois Works for U.S. 67 corridor project.
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today a new Web site where the public can track improvements along the U.S. Route 67 corridor. The interactive site, maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will contain updates and background information on this important long-term project, which ultimately will provide a convenient route for the transport of goods and services and serve as an economic engine, which will attract new businesses and enable the western part of the state to better compete in the global marketplace.

October 16, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces Mortgage Fraud Task Force has shut down mortgage company in DuPage fraud ring
State and DuPage County authorities found evidence of criminal fraud
CHICAGO – As part of his ongoing efforts to protect homeowners from the impact of fraud on the value of their property and the safety of their neighborhoods, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that the State’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force, working with the DuPage County Sheriff’s office and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), revoked the license of Investor’s Choice Mortgage Corporation and its owner Kelli Wilson as well as loan originator Amber Seng. IDFPR also fined Investor’s Choice $20,000.

October 16, 2007
Illinois Lottery launches Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program to help problem gamblers
Program prevents problem gamblers from collecting large lottery prizes, receiving lottery mailings
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Lottery today launched their Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program that allows people who have determined they have a problem with gambling to stop themselves from playing the lottery by halting their prize claiming abilities. The Self-Exclusion Program aims to reduce the temptations for problem gamblers by preventing self-excluders from collecting prizes at the lottery's prize payment centers or through the lottery’s central office. The Illinois Lottery will also remove self-excluders from marketing lists.

October 15, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich Announces Trade Show To Promote Illinois Food Products
The Illinois Food Expo is expected to attract thousands of buyers from throughout the Midwest
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced more than 2,500 food buyers have been invited to the 4th Illinois Food Expo, a trade show sponsored by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to promote the consumption of Illinois food products. The show will be held Wed., Oct. 17, at the Drury Lane Theatre Center in Oakbrook Terrace.

October 15, 2007
Illinois celebrates Earth Science Week
Governor proclaims Oct. 14-20 Earth Science Week in Illinois; State Geological Survey commemorates event with geological science field trip and distribution of earth science education materials
CHAMPAIGN, IL – The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is commemorating the 10th annual Earth Science Week, October 14 – 20, with a geological science field trip for the public, and the distribution of 50 earth science curriculum packets to secondary school science teachers and other educators. These activities are part of the larger national and international celebration organized by the American Geological Institute (AGI) to help the public gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Earth Sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. This year’s theme is “The Pulse of Earth Science.”

October 12, 2007
Much to see and do in the Illinois outdoors
OutdoorIllinois wall calendar highlights activities from throughout the state; Magazine makes a perfect gift for outdoor enthusiasts
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ 2008 wall calendar, produced in conjunction with OutdoorIllinois magazine, once again will be available in the December issue of OI.

October 12, 2007
Defendant gets 2-year sentence for filing false tax return
CHICAGO - A Chicago man was today sentenced to two years in prison for trying to file a false tax return and get a refund of more than $6,000.

October 12, 2007
Governor Blagojevich reminds seniors and residents with disabilities about winter heating assistance grants
Priority households advised to apply now before extreme cold hits Illinois; To apply visit www.liheapillinois.com or call 1-877-411-WARM
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded seniors and residents with disabilities that winter heating grants are available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and will be available to all income-eligible households November 1. The winter heating program is expected to serve 300,000 households this winter with an estimated $150 million in state and federal funding. To apply, call 1-877-411-WARM or visit: www.liheapillinois.com.

October 12, 2007
State public health director warns consumers about recalled frozen pot pies possibly linked to salmonellosis
ConAgra Foods voluntarily recalling all varieties of frozen pot pies
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, is warning consumers today about frozen pot pies that could be linked to a multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis. ConAgra Foods is voluntarily recalling an undetermined amount of all varieties of frozen pot pie products they produce under multiple brand names, including chicken, turkey and beef.

October 12, 2007
Statement from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich
On the Illinois General Assembly’s vote to override Governor’s amendatory veto that strengthens property tax relief
SPRINGFIELD – “There is good news and bad news. The good news is that the legislature extended the property tax cap that Cook County homeowners have enjoyed since 2004.

October 11, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces nearly $2.8 million to help seniors and residents with disabilities remain independent in their own homes
Includes double state funding for Home Modification Program to $2.3 million; Additional $500,000 federal grant to help seniors stay independent
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced nearly $2.8 million in grants to help Illinois seniors and residents with disabilities live independently in their own homes and communities. Funding for the Home Modification Program has more than doubled from last year to $2.3 million and will help approximately 140 low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities across Illinois afford home accessibility improvements. The Governor also announced that Illinois will receive nearly half a million dollars in new federal funding to provide seniors with more affordable choices to enable them to remain living independently in their homes and communities. The Nursing Home Diversion Modernization (NHDM) Grants Program will serve 300 individuals in an 18 month pilot project, and increase the flexibility of service options for all Illinois seniors.

October 11, 2007
September warm and dry across Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – A uniformly warm, dry September speeded fall harvest but further increased drought conditions in southern and central Illinois. Statewide rainfall was 1.71 inches, 1.48 inches below normal, and the 12th driest September since 1895. Temperatures in Illinois averaged 69.8 degrees, 3.6 degrees above normal, and the 15th warmest September on record.

October 10, 2007
State issues reminder of workplace protections during Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Illinois Department of Labor highlights law that protects victims of domestic violence from employment discrimination
CHICAGO —October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) wants to remind Illinois employees and employers about a state law that provides protections to victims of domestic or sexual violence from discrimination in the workplace.

October 10, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich fights to keep 55 MPH speed limit for trucks on Illinois highways
Governor and safety groups call on House members To put motorists first, sustain veto of SB 540 and save lives
CHICAGO - Joined by safety groups and the state's top law enforcement and transportation officials, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich called on Illinois House members to put the safety of motorists first and sustain his veto of Senate Bill 540. The legislation would increase the speed limit for trucks to 65 mph – a change that highway safety groups warn would lead to more fatalities. The veto was overridden by the Senate last week and is scheduled for a vote in the House this week.

October 9, 2007
Illinois Department on Aging honors all long-term care residents during Residents Rights Week in Illinois
Week highlights importance of resident-focused care
SPRINGFIELD – During National Residents’ Rights Week, the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) is honoring and calling attention to the state’s more than 100,000 citizens who reside in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proclaimed October 7-13, 2007, as Residents’ Rights Week in Illinois.

October 9, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich launches new statewide helpline for victims of domestic violence
Domestic Violence Helpline, 1-877-TO-END-DV to coordinate services for domestic violence victims across Illinois
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today launched a statewide helpline, to help victims of domestic violence get immediate access to the services they need. The new Domestic Violence Helpline was created by the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), as part of October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The new statewide helpline, 1-877-TO-END-DV, offers a toll-free, 24-hour, 7- days–a-week, multi-lingual, service that links victims to domestic violence services.

October 9, 2007
Pennsylvania endorses Illinois’ bid for FutureGen
Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell points to Illinois geology and expertise to ensure success of world’s cleanest coal plant; PA one of several Midwestern coal producing states that will look at FutureGen technology for future economic development
SPRINGFIELD – Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced support to bring FutureGen, a $1.4 billion, coal-to-energy, state-of-the-art facility, to Illinois. Governor Rendell submitted a letter to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance, which is developing the facility for the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE), in support of locating the project in Mattoon or Tuscola, two of only four remaining sites for this public-private project. Governor Blagojevich, the Illinois Congressional delegation, and state and local partners across Illinois have been working for more than four years to bring FutureGen to Illinois. The Alliance is expected to announce its final selection from the four remaining sites by the end of the year.

October 5, 2007
State Fire Marshal urges people to develop and practice home fire escape plans during annual Fire Prevention Week
“Practice Your Escape Plan!” is theme for safety campaign October 7-13
Springfield – The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is joining with fire service organizations across the nation to encourage everyone to “Practice Your Escape Plan!” during Fire Prevention Week 2007, October 7-13. In many cases, if a fire breaks out in your home, you may have as little as two minutes before the fire turns deadly. With so little time to escape a burning home, having a family fire escape plan and regularly practicing that plan could be a real lifesaver.

October 5, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs Nurse Practice Act into law
SB 360 updates Nursing Act, recognizes changes in profession
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a law that updates and extends the Nurse Practice Act until 2018. Recognizing the increasingly large role played by nurses in providing quality healthcare, the new law clarifies the responsibilities and requirements for Advance Practice Nurses (APN), Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). Senate Bill 360 was sponsored by State Senator Carol Ronen (D-Chicago) and State Representative Angelo “Skip” Saviano (R-River Grove). The current Nurse Practice Act sunsets January 1, 2008.

October 5, 2007
Governor Blagojevich signs law to further restrict child sex offenders, methamphetamine producers
Senate Bill 1397 increases punishments for sex offenders; establishes meth ingredient sales tracking pilot program
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that puts additional restrictions on child sex offenders and producers of methamphetamine. Senate Bill 1397, sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and State Representative Deborah L. Graham (D-Oak Park), includes several provisions that crack down on sex offenders, including increasing maximum jail sentences for several types of sex offenses and requiring sex offenders to notify law enforcement within 72 hours of a change in address, employment or school, rather than the current five days. The law also creates a Pilot Program in Southern Illinois’ Williamson County to track the sale of ingredients used to produce methamphetamine.

October 2, 2007
Illinois Receives $13.9 Million to Expand Drug Treatment and Recovery Options
Access to Recovery Grant to Increase Client Choice in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs and Recovery Support Services
(Chicago) – Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Carol L. Adams Ph.D today announced a $13.9 million Access to Recovery (ATR) grant that will allow DHS to expand options for over 6000 people seeking drug and alcohol treatment. The grant is part of a federal initiative to provide vouchers for substance abuse treatment and recovery services.

October 2, 2007
IEMA now accepting applications for $36.4 million in grants to public safety agencies for interoperable communications
Grants will help local, state agencies enhance emergency communications capabilities with new equipment and training
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging law enforcement agencies, fire departments, emergency management agencies, public health departments and other public safety organizations to apply for funding the State of Illinois received from the National Telecommunications and Information System (NTIA) to help them improve interoperable communications.

October 1, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces Disaster Unemployment Assistance for workers affected by flooding in six Northeastern Illinois counties
State continues commitment to helping area residents recover from severe flood
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that residents of DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, Lake and Will counties who lost their jobs after severe storms and flash flooding hit the area in August, may be eligible for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The assistance is available as part of the federal disaster declaration that was secured by the Governor after the storms.

October 1, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs new law encouraging land conservation stewardship
SB 17 provides tax incentives for conservation management of woodlands, prairies, wetlands and other undeveloped lands
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law that encourages landowner conservation and protection of woodlands, wetlands, prairies and other undeveloped land. Senate Bill 17, sponsored by State Senator John Sullivan (D-Quincy) and State Representative Dan Reitz (D-Sparta), provides property tax incentives for landowners who develop and follow conservation management plans for woodlands, prairies, and wetlands.

October 1, 2007
Statement from Deputy Governor Sheila Nix
In response to House Committee of the Whole on Governor’s line item budget vetoes
“Governor Blagojevich believes state spending should address people's most basic needs first. Nothing is more basic than access to healthcare. Because the budget passed by lawmakers failed to adequately fund healthcare, the Governor cut funding for pork projects and other less critical needs. Some projects in the budget are worthwhile and we are interested in seeing some funded - but not at the expense of healthcare for families and mammograms for women. If legislators want to find new sources of revenue to pay for projects and programs without raising taxes, we're happy to work with them.”

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