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March
2007


March 30, 2007
Blagojevich Administration unveils new Veterans Cash Lottery Ticket, Two for the Dough
Over $380,000 in Veterans Cash grants awarded to help provide wide range of services for Illinois Veterans
CHICAGO –Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) L. Tammy Duckworth and Lt. Governor Pat Quinn joined the Illinois Lottery today to unveil the new face of the Veterans Cash lottery ticket, Two for the Dough.


March 28, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich Announces $240,000 for Innovative Agribusiness Ventures That Will Help Put More People to Work
Nine projects approved to advance “value-added” agriculture
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich awarded $240,000 in Opportunity Returns grants today to promote agricultural innovation and help create new jobs in rural communities across Illinois. The projects, funded through the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s AgriFIRST program, include a feasibility study to find new uses for a by-product of biodiesel production, the construction of a greenhouse to launch an organic, hydroponic tomato operation and the expansion of a livestock processing facility.


March 28, 2007
IDNR urges boaters and anglers to enroll in a free boating safety course before heading out on the water
Courses provide review of boating laws, tips for staying safe
SPRINGFIELD, IL – With spring underway, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood today urged individuals planning to spend time out on the water to participate in one of the department’s free boating safety education courses. The free courses provide an important and potentially life-saving review of boating laws and regulations and instruction on safe and attentive boating.


March 27, 2007
Governor Blagojevich assails Big Business' efforts to retain special tax loopholes by distorting truth about his Tax Fairness Plan
Governor launches website to serve as one-stop information shop on tax fairness plan; educate the public and give them the tools they need to lend their support
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today criticized the sponsors of a new television ad that misinforms the public about his proposed Tax Fairness plan that would ensure businesses are paying their fair share of state taxes to support important services like public education and healthcare. The Governor also launched a new website to educate Illinoisans about the growing need to change the state's tax system. The new website, www.illinois.gov/taxfairness, provides the public with facts about the existing tax system that requires working people to shoulder most of the tax burden at a time when corporations are enjoying record profits.


March 27, 2007
Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce Endorses Governor Blagojevich's Tax Fairness Plan
The Governor accepts the endorsement of plan that builds on continued efforts to support small businesses across Illinois
CHICAGO - Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich accepted the endorsement today from the Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce for his Tax Fairness Plan, which is an ambitious proposal to help small businesses by providing greater access to affordable healthcare, improving education and relieving their tax burden by asking big businesses to pay their fair share. This innovative plan closes corporate loopholes and gives working families the relief they deserve, while helping small business owners have better access to quality healthcare for their employees and themselves.


March 26, 2007
186 Illinois communities honored with Tree City USA designation
Tree City USA communities to be recognized at the 2007 Tree City USA Conference and Awards Ceremony
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood today announced that 186 Illinois communities have received the Tree City USA designation for managing their local community forest resources in an effort to enhance citizen safety and welfare. These communities will be presented with awards on March 27 at Morton Arboretum, Lisle, and at the Northfield Center in Springfield on March 29.


March 24, 2007
Illinois matches a record low for tuberculosis cases
First time foreign-born tuberculosis cases outnumber U.S.-born cases
SPRINGFIELD – In conjunction with World TB day, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced the number of tuberculosis cases in Illinois decreased in 2006, matching the state record low in 2004. A total of 569 tuberculosis cases were reported in 2006, compared with 596 in 2005. The City of Chicago observed the largest decrease of 11.2 percent, from 329 cases in 2005 to 292 cases in 2006. This decrease was largely among U.S.-born African Americans.


March 23, 2007
Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor's plan has backing of both state teachers unions; Decatur area Schools to see increase of $16.9 million in General State Aid; revised estimates increase proposed foundation level to $6,058
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history. The Governor's plan means an additional $16.9 million for students in Decatur area public schools. In addition, new estimates by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) indicate the foundation level, or guaranteed minimum amount of state and local funding to schools, in the Governor's proposed budget increase to $6,058.


March 22, 2007
Over 50 Rockford business groups, advocate organizations, individuals endorse Governor Blagojevich's Investing in Families Initiatives
Governor's top environmental aide Doug Scott accepts more than 50 endorsements for the Governor's budget priorities
ROCKFORD - Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Doug Scott joined over 50 Rockford organizations and individuals, including healthcare providers and advocates, business owners, education supporters, and other nonprofit organizations, where he accepted endorsements for the Governor's Investing in Families Initiatives, the Governor's proposed budget for FY08. The proposed budget includes the Illinois Covered plan to provide affordable comprehensive insurance to all Illinoisans, the Helping Kids Learn plan to invest an additional $10 billion in Illinois schools over the next four years, the Tax Fairness Plan that requires big wealthy businesses to pay their fair share and gives the middle class the relief it deserves, and a plan to address the state's long-time pension deficit and ensure secure retirements for thousands of workers.


March 22, 2007
Decatur area community leaders gather to discuss Governor Blagojevich's Investing in Families Initiatives
Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth visits Decatur labor groups, social service organizations, individuals to advocate for Governor's budget priorities
DECATUR - Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth joined more than two dozen Decatur organizations and individuals, including healthcare providers and advocates, education supporters, churches, and other nonprofit organizations, to advocate for the Governor's Investing in Families Initiatives, the Governor's proposed budget for FY08. The plan includes the Illinois Covered plan to provide affordable comprehensive insurance to all Illinoisans, the Helping Kids Learn plan to invest an additional $10 billion in Illinois schools over the next four years, the Tax Fairness Plan that requires big wealthy businesses to pay their fair share and gives the middle class the relief it deserves, and a plan to address the state's long-time pension deficit and ensure secure retirements for thousands of workers.


March 22, 2007
State Public Health Director issues consumer warning
Illegally manufactured Mexican-style cheese can lead to food borne illness such as Salmonella
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today issued a warning about the dangers of consuming illegally manufactured Mexican-style cheeses, such as queso fresco or queso cotija. The warning came after a sample of Mexican-style cheeses from a grocery store in Kane County tested positive for Salmonella. The manufacturer of the Salmonella-contaminated cheese in Kane County has not been clearly identified.


March 21, 2007
Glenn Poshard, Bob Arya join more than 25 organizations and individuals supporting Governor Blagojevich's Investing in Families Initiatives
DU QUOIN - Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard and Governor Blagojevich's senior Policy Advisor Bob Arya today joined more than 25 organizations and individuals, including healthcare providers, education supporters, local government officials, and other nonprofit organizations in Southern Illinois, who are expressing their support for the Governor's Investing in Families Initiatives, the Governor's proposed budget for FY08. The initiatives include the Illinois Covered plan to provide affordable, comprehensive healthcare coverage to all Illinoisans, the Helping Kids Learn plan to invest an additional $10 billion in Illinois schools over the next four years, the Tax Fairness Plan that requires big businesses to pay their fair share and gives the middle class the relief it deserves, and a plan to address the state's long-time pension deficit and ensure secure retirements for thousands of workers.


March 21, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, March 26, 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 Monday, March 26, 2007.


March 21, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces new rules to help protect homebuyers in Cook County
New consumer protections to predatory lending pilot program will reduce foreclosures countywide
CHICAGO –Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today directed the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to increase protections to homebuyers and more effectively fight predatory lending by filing new rules to the Illinois Predatory Lending Database Pilot Program, also known as HB 4050. The new rules will help protect consumers by focusing scrutiny on the lenders and their loans rather than consumers and their credit history. These rules will provide first time homebuyers and homeowners who are refinancing their homes with counseling to protect them against predatory or other non-traditional types of loans.


March 21, 2007
AIDS Foundation of Chicago endorses Governor Blagojevich's Illinois Covered at "Super Heroes" Rally at State Capitol
Healthcare plan could help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD - The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) today rallied at the State Capitol to support Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's "Illinois Covered" healthcare plan. Over 150 AIDS advocates gathered at the State Capitol wearing "Super Hero" t-shirts in an effort to encourage legislators to be "super heroes" by passing the Governor's plan to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare to all Illinoisans during the group's Seventh Annual Illinois HIV/AIDS Lobby Day.


March 20, 2007
Dozens of African-American ministers endorse Governor Blagojevich's plan to expand access to healthcare, invest more money in schools, bring about tax fairness
Ministers will reach out to members of the Illinois General Assembly and urge them to approve the Governor's plan to "Invest in Illinois Families"
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today received the support of dozens of African American ministers, who met with him at First Church of Deliverance on Chicago's Southside to endorse the Governor's FY2008 budget proposal, Invest in Illinois Families. To further underline their support, the ministers will reach out to members of the Illinois General Assembly and urge them to approve the Governor's proposed budget. The group is one of several that have come out in recent weeks to endorse the Governor's plan to provide affordable access to healthcare for all, make a historic investment in public schools, and relieve the tax burden on individuals by asking big businesses to pay their fair share.


March 20, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces launch of Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Web site
www.Lincoln200.net promotes activities, generates enthusiasm for the February 2009 celebration of Lincoln’s 200th birthday
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission has launched a website to promote activities and events leading to the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. The Web site, www.lincoln200.net, provides an online resource to build enthusiasm and support for the February 2009 observance in Illinois.


March 19, 2007
Momentum for Gov. Blagojevich's FY2008 budget proposal continues to build
Community groups and individuals in Peoria and Danville voice support for "Investing in Illinois Families" at endorsement events today
CHICAGO - The Governor's Chief Operating Officer John Filan spoke to the City Club in Chicago today about Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's Fiscal Year 2008 budget proposal, "Investing in Illinois Families," as momentum builds throughout the state for support of the plan. As groups across the state continue to voice support for the Governor's budget proposal, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley over the weekend urged the Illinois General Assembly to carefully look at the Governor's proposed budget. Mayor Daley said the plan warrants close examination and that he supports the Governor's proposal to increase education funding.


March 19, 2007
Peoria business groups, advocate organizations, individuals endorse Governor Blagojevich's Investing in Families Initiatives
HFS Director Barry Maram accepts more than two dozen endorsements for the Governor's budget priorities
PEORIA - Illinois Health and Family Services Director Barry Maram joined more than two dozen Peoria organizations and individuals, including healthcare providers and advocates, education supporters, churches, and other nonprofit organizations, where he accepted endorsements for the Governor's Investing in Families Initiatives, the Governor's proposed budget for FY08. The plan includes the Illinois Covered plan to provide affordable comprehensive insurance to all Illinoisans, the Helping Kids Learn plan to invest an additional $10 billion in Illinois schools over the next four years, the Tax Fairness Plan that requires big wealthy businesses to pay their fair share and gives the middle class the relief it deserves, and a plan to address the state's long-time pension deficit and ensure secure retirements for thousands of workers.


March 16, 2007
Top Blagojevich Administration healthcare official addresses Latino community leaders on Illinois' healthcare achievements and Governor's historic plan to give every Illinoisan access to healthcare
Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Barry Maram speaks at Entre Nosotros: A Summit on Diabetes and Latino Healthcare
CHICAGO - Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Barry Maram today joined Latino community leaders and healthcare providers at Entre Nosotros: A Summit on Diabetes and Latino Healthcare to discuss Illinois' strategies to help fight diabetes, the state's healthcare achievements for the Latino community, and Gov. Blagojevich's historic plan to give every Illinoisan access to affordable, quality healthcare coverage. The Governor's "Illinois Covered" proposal, announced in his 2007 Budget Address, would continue the state's nationally-recognized efforts to expand access to healthcare by helping Illinois' 1.4 million currently uninsured adults - 23% of whom are Latino - get access to quality health coverage at affordable rates.


March 16, 2007
Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor's plan has backing of both state teachers unions; Chicago Public Schools to see increase of $185 million in General State Aid; revised estimates increase proposed foundation level to $6,058
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history. The Governor's plan means an additional $185 million for students in the Chicago Public Schools. In addition, new estimates by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) indicate the foundation level, or guaranteed minimum amount of state and local funding to schools, in the Governor's proposed budget increase to $6,058.


March 16, 2007
Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor's plan has backing of both state teachers unions; Champaign area Schools to see increase of $25 million in General State Aid; revised estimates increase proposed foundation level to $6,058
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history. The Governor's plan means an additional $25 million for students in Champaign area public schools. In addition, new estimates by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) indicate the foundation level, or guaranteed minimum amount of state and local funding to schools, in the Governor's proposed budget increase to $6,058.


March 16, 2007
Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor's plan has backing of both state teachers unions; Peoria, Bloomington-Normal area Schools to see increase of $58 million in General State Aid; revised estimates increase proposed foundation level to $6,058
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history. The Governor's plan means an additional $58 million for students in the Peoria and Bloomington-Normal area public schools. In addition, new estimates by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) indicate the foundation level, or guaranteed minimum amount of state and local funding to schools, in the Governor's proposed budget increase to $6,058.


March 16, 2007
Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor's plan has backing of both state teachers unions
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history.


March 16, 2007
Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor's plan has backing of both state teachers unions; Southern Illinois schools to see increase of $23.5 million in General State Aid; per pupil spending to reach $6,058
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history. The Governor's plan means an additional $23.5 million dollars for students in southern Illinois public schools. In addition, new estimates by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) indicate the foundation level, or guaranteed minimum amount of state and local funding to schools, in the Governor's proposed budget would increase to $6,058.


March 16, 2007
Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor's plan has backing of both state teachers unions; Rockford area Schools to see increase of $73.5 million in General State Aid; revised estimates increase proposed foundation level to $6,058
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history. The Governor's plan means an additional $73.5 million for students in Rockford area public schools. In addition, new estimates by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) indicate the foundation level, or guaranteed minimum amount of state and local funding to schools, in the Governor's proposed budget increase to $6,058.


March 16, 2007
Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor's plan has backing of both state teachers unions; Quincy area Schools to see increase of $6.3 million in General State Aid; revised estimates increase proposed foundation level to $6,058
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history. The Governor's plan means an additional $6.3 million for students in the Quincy area public schools. In addition, new estimates by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) indicate the foundation level, or guaranteed minimum amount of state and local funding to schools, in the Governor's proposed budget increase to $6,058.


March 16, 2007
Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor's plan has backing of both state teachers unions
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history.


March 16, 2007
Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor's plan has backing of both state teachers unions; Metro East Schools to see increase of $38 million in General State Aid; revised estimates increase proposed foundation level to $6,058
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history. The Governor's plan means an additional $38 million for students in Metro East area public schools. In addition, new estimates by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) indicate the foundation level, or guaranteed minimum amount of state and local funding to schools, in the Governor's proposed budget increase to $6,058.


March 16, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich kicks off TrAIL, Don’t Be Sorry programs in Kendall County
TrAIL program assists law enforcement in identifying people who sell alcohol to minors
CHICAGO—In response to the tragedy that took five young lives in Oswego last month, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced today he will expand the state's effort in cracking down on those who provide alcohol to minors by introducing the TrAIL (Tracking Alcohol in IL) and Don't Be Sorry programs to Kendall County.


March 15, 2007
Blagojevich Administration healthcare official addresses civic leaders and healthcare officials on healthcare achievements and Governor's historic plan to give every Illinoisan access to healthcare
Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Barry Maram speaks at Civic Federation and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago forum on Medicaid
CHICAGO - Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Barry Maram today addressed national civic leaders and healthcare officials on Illinois' healthcare achievements and Governor Blagojevich's historic plan to give every Illinoisan access to affordable, quality healthcare coverage. Over the last four years, Illinois has expanded access to healthcare to more than 560,000 more people without raising taxes and while cutting the Medicaid backlog in half, reining in growth of the Medicaid program, and setting a guaranteed payment cycle for doctors. Governor Blagojevich's "Illinois Covered" proposal, announced in last week's 2007 Budget Address, would continue that progress by helping Illinois' 1.4 million currently uninsured adults get access to quality health coverage at affordable rates. Director Maram made his presentation today at the Civic Federation and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Medicaid forum.


March 15, 2007
IDOT, ISP, Secretary of State Police team with local police To Step up alcohol enforcement for St. Patrick’s Day
100 details planned to curb impaired driving for third year in a row
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Acting Secretary Milt Sees and Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry Trent announced that IDOT, ISP and the Secretary of State Police are teaming up with local police agencies throughout the state to urge the public to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely this weekend. The agencies issued the notice today as they gear up for a major enforcement effort for the third year in a row.


March 15, 2007
2007 spring trout fishing season opens April 7
Rainbow Trout stocked at 42 locations in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2007 spring trout fishing season in Illinois begins at 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 7, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood announced today.


March 14, 2007
Illinois recognized as national leader for commitment to early childhood education
National report ranks state second in the nation for preschool accessibility for 3 year olds; Illinois State Board of Education accepting applications from preschool providers for 2007-2008 school year
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that Illinois is being recognized as a national leader for its commitment to making quality preschool available to all three- and four-year olds according to a report published by the National Institute for Early Education Research of Rutgers University. Unlike other states, Illinois has increased its funding for early childhood education through Gov. Blagojevich’s Preschool for All, which the report says will continue to increase access in the future.


March 14, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich Announces $270,000 In Sustainable Agriculture Grants To Encourage Enviromentally-Friendly Agricultural Innovation
SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $270,000 in grants to promote the development of innovative farming practices that are profitable and conserve natural resources. The grants, which are part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns regional economic development strategy, will be distributed through the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program.


March 14, 2007
State to auction surplus property next week
Auctions enable bidding online via www.proxibid.com and at state warehouse in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Central Management Service (CMS) will host public surplus property auctions as it continues to sell items no longer needed by state government. The first auction – with real-time online bidding – will start at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, at www.proxibid.com. The traditional live auction in the state’s Surplus Property Warehouse will be on Wednesday, March 21, starting at 8 a.m.


March 13, 2007
Veterans’ Affairs Director reminds residents of easy way to assist state’s war heroes
Money raised through tax check-off helps residents at state’s four veterans’ homes
CHICAGO – As taxpayers begin to fill out their IL-1040 tax forms, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Director L. Tammy Duckworth is reminding residents about an easy way to help the state’s military heroes.


March 13, 2007
IDNR awards Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants
Funds to assist more than 2,000 students in learning about nature and conservation
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood today announced more than $25,000 in Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants. The grants will assist more than 2,000 students from more than 30 classrooms statewide in visiting Illinois state parks, museums and other natural resources sites to learn about nature and conservation.


March 13, 2007
Partnership for a Drug-Free Illinois calls on media, parents to unite in preventing illegal drug use
New release of public service announcements includes messages about heroin, meth and prescription drugs
CHICAGO – Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D. today urged radio and TV stations to air new public service messages from the Partnership for a Drug-Free Illinois aimed at educating parents on the newest dangers of illegal and prescription drug abuse and what they can do to protect teens.


March 13, 2007
IDOT Appoints Veteran Engineer to Lead Highway Region 2 Covering Northern Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Acting Secretary Milt Sees today appointed George F. Ryan, a 28-year veteran of the Department, to serve as Deputy Director of Highways and Region 2 Engineer in charge of two Highway Districts in northern Illinois that stretch from Indiana to the Mississippi River.


March 10, 2007
Illinois Education Association backs Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor announced plan to boost school funding by $10 billion over four years; three times larger than any increase in state history
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Education Association (IEA) for the Helping Kids Learn plan, which will invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history. In the past four years, Governor Blagojevich has provided $3.8 billion in new education dollars to Illinois schools, which had been chronically neglected and under-funded for decades before. Speaking before the IEA at their annual meeting attended by more than 1200 delegates, the Governor explained that under the new plan, Illinois students will be sure to have a good place to learn, strong teachers and administrators, quality materials, enough time to learn, and the financial resources to get it done.


March 9, 2007
Governor Blagojevich visits Quad Cities to continue his fight for small business owners and working families
The Governor's Tax Fairness plan builds on continued efforts to support small businesses across Illinois
CORDOVA - Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today traveled to Bob's Blacktop in the Quad Cities to talk about the benefits of his ambitious proposal to help small businesses, which includes providing greater access to affordable healthcare, improving education and relieving their tax burden by asking big businesses to pay their fair share. As part of this proposal, the Governor unveiled an historic Tax Fairness Plan that closes corporate loopholes and gives working families the relief they deserve, while helping small business owners have better access to quality healthcare for their employees and themselves.


March 9, 2007
Governor Blagojevich visits Southern Illinois to continue his fight for small business owners and working families
The Governor's Tax Fairness Plan builds on continued efforts to support small businesses across Illinois
HARRISBURG - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today traveled to Midwest Fabrication & Repair, Inc. to talk about the benefits of his ambitious proposal to help small businesses, which includes providing greater access to affordable healthcare, improving education and relieving their tax burden by asking big businesses to pay their fair share. As part of this proposal, the Governor unveiled an historic Tax Fairness Plan that closes corporate loopholes and gives working families the relief they deserve, while helping small business owners have better access to quality healthcare for their employees and themselves.


March 8, 2007
Chicago Public Schools Chief Arne Duncan and Chicago Teachers Union Back Governor Blagojevich's Helping Kids Learn plan
Governor announced plan to boost school funding by $10 billion over four years in yesterday’s Budget Address; three times larger than any increase in state history
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich was joined today by Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Arne Duncan and Chicago Teacher's Union President Marilyn Stewart at Nettelhorst Elementary to build support for Helping Kids Learn plan, the Governor's plan to invest an unprecedented $10 billion in schools over the next four years - nearly three times bigger than any increase in state history. Duncan endorsed the Governor's education proposal, which would provide more than $395 million in new capital and operating funds to the Chicago Public School system in Fiscal Year 2008. In past decades, Illinois schools have been chronically neglected and consistently under-funded, but in the past four years, Governor Blagojevich provided $3.8 billion in new dollars to Illinois schools which boosted education funding to record levels.


March 7, 2007
Governor Blagojevich continues his fight for middle class families in his Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Address
Governor proposes Tax Fairness plan to shift tax burden away from middle class families; record new investment of $10 billion for Illinois schools over next four years; and historic plan to give every Illinoisan access to quality affordable health insurance
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today delivered his Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Address, launching his second term with a bold agenda for Illinois’ middle class families that will give everyone access to affordable healthcare, improve education, and relieve the tax burden on individuals by asking big businesses to pay their fair share.


March 7, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, March 14, 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, March 14, 2007.


March 6, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, March 8, 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 Thursday, March 8, 2007.


March 5, 2007
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Newsbits
Highlighting IDNR programs and upcoming events for the month of March
New License Year Begins April 1: Hunters and anglers are reminded to purchase their 2007 Illinois hunting, fishing and sportsmen combination licenses prior to April 1 when the new IDNR license year begins. The 2007 Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsmen combination licenses are available from hundreds of DNR Direct license and permit vendor locations - and online through the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us. The online system is available 24 hours a day using American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa. Licenses are also available by phone through DNR Direct by calling toll-free 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).


March 5, 2007
Illinois EPA announces spring 2007 Household Hazardous Waste collection schedule
Collections planned for 10 Illinois communities March through June
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott announced today that 10 household hazardous waste collection events have been scheduled to be held across the state, starting Saturday, March 17.


March 4, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces historic plan to give every Illinoisan access to quality affordable health insurance
Comprehensive “Illinois Covered” plan to bring down healthcare costs for all by creating affordable health insurance options for 1.4 million uninsured adults, helping small businesses and middle-class families save thousands on insurance premiums, and reforming the healthcare delivery system
CHICAGO – Governor Rod. R. Blagojevich today announced “Illinois Covered,” his historic and comprehensive plan to give every Illinoisan access to affordable and quality health coverage. While the Governor’s “All Kids” plan, which took effect last year, extended coverage to all children in the state, approximately 1.4 million adults in Illinois are currently uninsured. A majority, roughly 75 percent, are from families with moderate incomes or higher. The Governor’s plan will provide affordable coverage to the uninsured and will also help many middle-income families and small businesses that are currently enrolled in health insurance plans save thousands a year on healthcare costs. The plan will also reform the existing healthcare system to improve quality and require more accountability.


March 3, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich urges people to prepare for severe weather as first anniversary of Central Illinois tornado approaches
Illinois saw record number of tornadoes in 2006
SPRINGFIELD– With the one-year anniversary of a major tornado in Central Illinois just days away, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today encouraged people to prepare now for severe spring weather. The Governor proclaimed March 4-10 as Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois, and urged Illinois residents to learn more about the weather hazards that can threaten during the spring and summer months.


March 2, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces 2006 attendance at Illinois state parks the largest since 2002
Over 44 million visitors enjoyed state parks throughout Illinois last year
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that attendance figures at Illinois’ more than 120 state parks and natural areas in 2006 were the largest they have been since 2002. Attendance figures for 2006 show 44,482,810 people visited a state park last year, eclipsing 2005 attendance figures by 316,429.


March 2, 2007
First Lady Patricia Blagojevich celebrates 10th Anniversary of NEA’s Read Across America Day by announcing March selections for her Children’s Reading Club
March selections are: Eric Carle’s ‘The Grouchy Ladybug’ and Shel Silverstein’s ‘A Light in the Attic’
CHICAGO – First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today celebrated the National Read Across America Day by announcing the March selections for her Children’s Reading Club – Eric Carle’s The Grouchy Ladybug and Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic. 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.


March 1, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich launches “Illinois Covered” Web site
Underscores critical need for healthcare reform and engages the public in effort to guarantee every Illinoisan has access to affordable quality health coverage
CHICAGO – Underscoring the critical need for major healthcare reform, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today launched a new Web site, http://www.illinoiscovered.com. At this site, the public can learn about the healthcare crisis and its impact here in Illinois. Calling health insurance for all a “fundamental civil right,” Gov. Blagojevich has made healthcare his top priority.


March 1, 2007
IDVA announces free annual hunting and fishing licenses available for disabled veterans
Reminder to veterans with the 2006 license to reissue; expires March 31st
CHICAGO – Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Acting Director L. Tammy Duckworth today announced that the annual free hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans are available. IDVA is reminding disabled veterans that the 2006 Illinois issued hunting and fishing license will expire on March 31st. Disabled veterans must visit one of the state’s 51 Veteran Service Offices to renew or obtain the free hunting and fishing license.

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