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April
2007


April 29, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces new initiatives to increase safety on more than 180 college campuses throughout Illinois
Plan builds on Governor’s school security initiatives for K-12; includes task force to develop campus security strategies, new grants for interoperable communications equipment, and college representation on Illinois Terrorism Task Force
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced three initiatives to enhance safety for students, faculty, staff and visitors at Illinois institutions of higher education. The Governor’s initiatives, which build upon his K-12 school security initiatives instituted in 2005, include creation of a task force charged with developing training to help colleges prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies; over $300,000 in grants to improve interoperable communications capabilities on campuses; and the addition of college officials and campus security representatives to the multi-agency Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF), which develops and implements the state’s homeland security strategy.


April 26, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich marks anniversary of Illinois' Equal Pay Act by highlighting enforcement successes since law went into effect in 2004
Illinois Department of Labor has received over 3,500 calls, handled nearly 250 cases, and recovered thousands of dollars in back wages
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich marked the fourth anniversary of signing into law of the Equal Pay Act in Illinois this week, highlighting the state's successes in eliminating gender-based wage discrimination in the workplace and ensuring female workers receive equal pay for equal work. The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) has responded to approximately 3,500 calls on the Equal Pay Hotline, handled 249 cases, prompted 10 private settlements between employees and employers, and recovered almost $30,000 in back wages since the Illinois' Equal Pay Act went into effect in January 2004.


April 26, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces former lottery superintendent memorialized with Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure Grant Fund
Money raised through breast cancer lottery ticket sales will fund the fight against breast cancer in Carolyn Adams’ name
SPRINGFIELD – In memory of former Illinois lottery superintendent Carolyn Adams who recently lost her battle with breast cancer, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced he will introduce legislation renaming the Ticket for the Cure Fund from which grants are awarded for breast cancer education efforts, research and supportive services for breast cancer victims, the Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure Grant Fund.


April 25, 2007
CHAMPION COLT HEADS WORLD TROTTING DERBY ELIGIBLES
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Donato Hanover, the champion 2-year-old trotter of last season, heads a list of 37 eligibles to the $550,000 (est.) World Trotting Derby to be contested on Sept. 1 at the Du Quoin State Fair.
CHAMPION COLT HEADS WORLD TROTTING DERBY ELIGIBLES SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Donato Hanover, the champion 2-year-old trotter of last season, heads a list of 37 eligibles to the $550,000 (est.) World Trotting Derby to be contested on Sept. 1 at the Du Quoin State Fair.


April 25, 2007
Possess The Magic Tops World Trotting Derby Filly Eligibles
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The richest 2-year-old trotter of 2006, the filly Possess The Magic, leads a list of 40 eligibles to the World Trotting Derby filly division to be contested on Aug. 31 at the Du Quoin State Fair.
Possess The Magic Tops World Trotting Derby Filly Eligibles SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The richest 2-year-old trotter of 2006, the filly Possess The Magic, leads a list of 40 eligibles to the World Trotting Derby filly division to be contested on Aug. 31 at the Du Quoin State Fair.


April 25, 2007
800 teachers from throughout Illinois rally in support of increasing state funding for colleges and universities
Governor's Tax Fairness Plan will allow state to invest $300 million in higher education through next four years; schools to build and renovate facilities with over $600 million in much-needed capital projects
SPRINGFIELD - More than 800 teachers today rallied in Springfield support of legislative efforts to provide new state funding for the state's beleaguered colleges and universities. At the rally, Judy Erwin, Chairman of the Board of Higher Education, highlighted Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's Investing in Families plan that will provide $300 million in new support for the state's community colleges and universities over the next four years.


April 25, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces 2007 Student Historians of the Year
15 junior and senior high school students have best essays published in a statewide history magazine
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the 2007 Student Historians of the Year. Fifteen student historians are being recognized for their outstanding essays published in Illinois History magazine, the nation’s oldest history magazine written by and for junior and senior high school students. The students published the essays during the past year in Illinois History magazine on topics ranging from segregation to parks to Abraham Lincoln’s family life.


April 24, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces more than $2.4 million to provide housing services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS
Housing grants help reduce health disparities
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today $2,425,000 in housing grants to 16 community based organizations across Illinois to provide housing services for individuals living with HIV or AIDS. The grants will be used to provide lodging and meals to residents; rehabilitation and facility repair; operating costs including maintenance, security, insurance, utility, furnishings, equipment and supplies; and supportive services such as case management, mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment.


April 24, 2007
Illinois State Fair announces its 2007 theme
“Celebrate and Educate” selected as slogan of Illinois’ premier agriculture showcase
SPRINGFIELD– “Celebrate and Educate” has been chosen as the theme of the 2007 Illinois State Fair and Twilight Parade. Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke and State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick announced the selection on behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today during a fairgrounds press conference to discuss preparations for this year’s event.


April 24, 2007
Governor Blagojevich Announces Illinois State Fair Grandstand Lineup
Entertainers include country music stars Gretchen Wilson, Martina McBride and Sugarland, rock newcomer Chris Daughtry and “High School Musical” co-star Corbin Bleu
SPRINGFIELD-- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois native and country music superstar Gretchen Wilson, four-time Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year Martina McBride and rock newcomer Chris Daughtry will perform during the 2007 Illinois State Fair. The star-studded Grandstand line-up also features Grammy Award-winning band Sugarland and a teen-pop show featuring Corbin Bleu, co-star of the hit Disney Channel Original Movie “High School Musical,” and Drake Bell of Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh.”


April 24, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich rallies with Illinois nurses to call on lawmakers to pass historic Illinois Covered plan
Governor addresses 1,500 nursing students at Student Nurse Political Action Day; April 23-29 proclaimed as Cover the Uninsured Week in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD - As cities and states across the country observe "Cover the Uninsured Week," Governor Rod R. Blagojevich rallied with more than 1,500 student nurses today in Springfield to call on the legislature to pass his historic Illinois Covered plan. The Governor's proposal would provide access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance to the 1.4 million uninsured adults in Illinois and would help many middle-income families and small businesses that are currently enrolled in health insurance plans save thousands of dollars a year on healthcare costs. It would also mean nearly $1.7 billion in new funding for hospitals and healthcare providers around the state. The student nurses were in the capital city for the Illinois Nurses Association's (INA) annual lobby day.


April 24, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, April 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 Thursday, April 26, 2007.


April 24, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, April 27, 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 Friday, April 27, 2007.


April 24, 2007
Illinois Landowner Incentive Program accepting applications for habitat restoration and enhancement projects
LIP open enrollment period May 1 – June 1
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) will be accepting applications for habitat restoration and enhancement projects in the Lower Sangamon River Watershed through June 1. Applications will be accepted at 12 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), including Cass, Christian, DeWitt, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, McLean, Piatt, Sangamon and Tazewell.


April 23, 2007
IDOT announces new program that encourages safe environment for kids that walk or bike to school
$23 million available to fund Safe Routes to School
SPRINGFIELD—Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Acting Secretary Milton R. Sees announced today $23 million is available to fund projects that encourage and enable students to safely walk and bike to school. The new Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS) is a federally funded initiative that will fund projects in Illinois schools and communities over the next three years.


April 23, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims Cover the Uninsured Week in Illinois; Top officials join families and healthcare providers in Rockford to highlight urgent need for the Governor's Illinois Covered plan
15% of adults in Winnebago County are uninsured; thousands more struggle to pay skyrocketing health insurance costs
ROCKFORD - Continuing his fight to ensure access to healthcare for all Illinoisans, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed April 23 to 29 Cover the Uninsured Week in Illinois to highlight the struggle of the 1.4 million adults in Illinois who are uninsured. The Governor's Illinois Covered plan will provide access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance to those uninsured adults and will help many middle-income families and small businesses that are currently enrolled in health insurance plans save thousands of dollars a year on healthcare costs. It would also mean nearly $1.7 billion in new funding for hospitals and healthcare providers around the state. Top Blagojevich officials joined families and healthcare providers in Rockford today to stress the urgent need for the Governor's Illinois Covered plan.


April 22, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces Replanting the Prairie State initiative to plant trees, restore native habitats and cut greenhouse gases
New efforts to plant native trees and grasses, restore natural beauty and create Youth Conservation Corps will address climate change
SPRINGFIELD – In honor of Earth Day, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a new Replanting the Prairie State initiative to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The effort, which will plant more than two million more trees throughout the state in the next year and engage young people in conservation efforts, builds on steps the Governor has already taken to address the threat of global climate change.


April 20, 2007
Illinois Youth Mobilize for 19TH annual National & Global Youth Service Days
Youth volunteers to spend weekend serving their communities
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (ICVCS), through its AmeriCorps*State programs across the state, will mobilize at least 750 young people to participate in the 19th Annual National & Global Youth Service Days on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21. Volunteers of all ages throughout Illinois and millions of youth in the United States and in 116 other countries are planning community service projects and special events to celebrate the 19th annual National and Global Youth Service Days.


April 19, 2007
Illinois Commodity Boards to Elect New Members
Nominating petitions now available
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Eligible producers who would like to run for a three-year term on either the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, the Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board (d/b/a Illinois Soybean Association), the Illinois Sheep and Wool Marketing Board or the Check Off Division of the Illinois Beef Association Board of Governors now can pick-up nominating petitions.


April 19, 2007
Governor Blagojevich proposes $10.9 billion multiyear Highway Improvement Program
Approval of Governor's Tax Fairness Plan would allow for expansion of the road system and economic development
SPRINGFIELD – Acting Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Milt Sees today unveiled Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's $10.9 billion multiyear Highway Improvement Program (MYP) for the Fiscal Years 2008 through 2013. The Multiyear Plan (MYP) focuses on maintenance of the current road system. The MYP complements $3 billion in capital road projects included in Governor Blagojevich's Tax Fairness Plan proposed in Senate Bill 1. The MYP and the bonded capital program would result in nearly $13.9 billion of highway investments over the next six years.


April 19, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich lauds success of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum on its two-year anniversary
Museum prepares for a busy tourist season, blockbuster exhibit
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today praised the overwhelming success of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum on its two-year anniversary. The museum has already welcomed more than 1 million visitors and the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, which the Governor created by executive order in February of 2006, has begun planning for Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday in 2009.


April 19, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces Dr. Christopher Koch as new State School Superintendent
Interim superintendent selected to lead agency after nationwide search; Governor reappoints five board members
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) named Dr. Christopher Koch to serve as the State Superintendent of Education. Dr. Koch, who has been with ISBE since 1994, served as Interim Superintendent since December 2006, and was selected to lead the agency after a national search. The State Superintendent serves as the chief education officer in Illinois for elementary and secondary schools.


April 19, 2007
IDVA announces annual hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans now permanent
Annual recertification becomes one-time issue
SPRINGFIELD – In light of a recent letter received by Lake County Vietnam veteran Ray G. Canaday, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Director L. Tammy Duckworth today announced that the annual free hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans issued by IDVA will now be a one-time, permanent issue. The new policy will save disabled veterans throughout the state the inconvenience of a yearly trip to renew their license, which includes transportation costs and time.


April 19, 2007
State employees donate more than $3 million to meet social service needs
Veterans’ Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth to be 2007 SECA Honorary Chair
SPRINGFIELD –The generosity of State employees was recognized at a luncheon at the Executive Mansion today as SECA Chair Maureen O’Donnell announced that the State and University Employees Combined Appeal (SECA) campaign raised more than $3 million in 2006 for the second year in a row. The funds will be disbursed through member charities to provide health and human services to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.


April 19, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims Friday, April 20, 2007 as Day of Mourning for the Virginia Tech Victims
Governor Blagojevich joins Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine and other governors in ringing bells to remember victims; asks Illinoisans to participate
CHICAGO - In remembrance of the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today issued a proclamation declaring April 20, 2007 as A Day of Mourning for the Virginia Tech Victims. At the request of Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine, Governor Blagojevich is encouraging all churches, schools, and government entities to join in the ringing of bells tomorrow at 11 am (central time) for those who lost their lives on Monday.


April 18, 2007
Illinois Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice name 2007 Volunteers of the Yea
“Together We Create a Better Tomorrow” ceremony recognizes volunteers
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Departments of Corrections (IDOC) and Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) announced the recipients of the 2007 Volunteer of the Year awards at a recognition ceremony held today in Springfield. Phillip L. McLaurin was named IDOC 2007 Volunteer of the Year and Tim Tomlinson at Illinois Youth Center – Pere Marquette was named as the 2007 Volunteer of the Year for IDJJ.


April 18, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich honors victims of the Holocaust
Remembrance Day ceremony held at Old State Capitol
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today honored victims of the Holocaust at the 27th annual State of Illinois Holocaust Memorial Observance. The Holocaust resulted in the deaths of an estimated 6 million Jews, and it continues to be the world's worst example of intolerance, hatred and violence in human history.


April 18, 2007
Education advocates, economists and experts voice support for Gov. Blagojevich's plan for record investment in education
Joint Senate committee hearing gathers information on Governor's historic plan for long-term boost in education funding and property tax relief
SPRINGFIELD - Education advocates, economists and tax experts today testified before a joint session of the Senate Revenue and Education Committees about Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's Investing in Families plan that has been submitted to the General Assembly as Senate Bill 1. The experts testified about how the Governor's plan would pay for an unprecedented investment in education and much-needed property tax relief by correcting the inequities of the state's tax system. The Governor proposes ushering in sweeping transformation that would shift the tax burden away from individuals, who have been carrying an increasing share of the burden over the past thirty years, to large businesses, which have paid little to no income tax.


April 18, 2007
Top healthcare officials testify before Senate Public Health and Human Services Committee on the urgent need for Governor Blagojevich's Illinois Covered plan
Historic Illinois Covered plan would 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
SPRINGFIELD – The Senate Public Health and Human Services Committee today heard testimony from top healthcare officials from around the state on the urgent need for Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's historic "Illinois Covered" plan to give every Illinoisan access to affordable and quality health coverage. The Governor's plan will provide affordable coverage to the 1.4 million uninsured adults in Illinois and will also help many middle-income families and small businesses that are currently enrolled in health insurance plans save thousands of dollars a year on healthcare costs. It would also mean nearly $1.7 billion in new funding for hospitals and healthcare providers around the state. The Governor's plan has been endorsed by the Illinois Hospital Association and numerous other medical provider organizations.


April 17, 2007
Honoring Virginia Tech Victims
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Tuesday, April 17, 2007 through sunset on Sunday, April 22, 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 Tuesday, April 17, 2007 through sunset on Sunday, April 22, 2007


April 16, 2007
Governor Blagojevich continues his Investing in Families tour visiting ministers, business owners and local leaders in Harvey
Governor continues tour promoting his plan to provide every Illinoisan with access to affordable health coverage, boost funding for education, provide property tax relief and fix an unfair tax system
HARVEY - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich continued his Investing in Families tour today in Harvey where he visited ministers, business owners and local leaders during a forum sponsored by Bishop Willie Jordan, the South Suburban Concerned Pastors and the St. Mark Covenant Churches Pastors, which consists of over 200 pastors. The Governor explained his Fiscal Year 2008 budget, which includes the Illinois Covered plan to provide affordable and comprehensive health 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 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.


April 16, 2007
Blagojevich administration announces the return of expanded seven-day schedule for many of Illinois' historic sites during tourist season
The return of daily operations attracts more visitors, generates more revenue for local economies
PETERSBURG – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Director Robert Coomer stood at the entrance to the log village where Abraham Lincoln lived for six years and announced that many of the state’s historic sites will be open seven days a week starting today and continuing through Labor Day. This successful move began last year and is included in the Governor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2008 budget. Expanding site operations during the busy tourism season attracts more visitors to Illinois and generates additional dollars for many communities.


April 16, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces newly expanded income limits for Illinois Cares Rx
Reminder to file applications over the Internet to get benefits faster
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the income guidelines for the Illinois Cares Rx prescription drug program have increased so that even more seniors and the disabled can be eligible for the state prescription drug assistance program. The Governor also reminded seniors to file the 2007 Illinois Cares Rx application online because it is the fastest way to get approved for the program. Illinois Cares Rx provides wrap-around prescription drug coverage to fill in the gaps created by Medicare Part D. Illinois Cares Rx also offers drug coverage for people who don’t have Medicare. Seniors with questions about Illinois Cares Rx can call the Illinois Department on Aging’s Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 or visit www.illinoisbenefits.org.


April 16, 2007
State above national average in volunteerism
Illinoisans contribute millions of hours to improving their communities
SPRINGFIELD – According to a federal report released today, 2.75 million Illinois volunteers dedicated 311.1 million hours of service in 2006. Illinois ranked 29th among other states with a three-year average volunteer rate of 29 percent, higher than the national volunteer rate of 26.7 percent. Participation with education or youth-service organizations more than doubled from a rate of 13.5 percent in 1989 to 28.4 percent in 2006.


April 15, 2007
Chicago Cubs Legend Ron Santo backs Gov. Blagojevich’s historic plan to give every Illinoisan access to affordable, quality healthcare coverage
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today welcomed the support of Chicago Cubs legend and broadcaster Ron Santo for his historic plan to give every Illinoisan access to affordable, quality healthcare coverage. Santo stood with the Governor in front of Wrigley Field to voice his support of the Governor’s “Illinois Covered” proposal to make sure Illinois’ 1.4 million currently uninsured adults have access to affordable health coverage – and to help millions of middle-class families who already have insurance afford the high cost of premiums.


April 15, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois’ coal mine industry achieves record fourth consecutive year without a fatality
Governor proclaims April 15, 2007 Mine Safety Day in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that Illinois’ coal mine industry achieved a record fourth consecutive year without a fatality, a milestone never before achieved in Illinois. This achievement is a testament to increased safety measures over the last several years and the diligence of mine workers in Illinois to follow safety procedures. The Governor also proclaimed April 15, 2007 as Mine Safety Day in Illinois.


April 14, 2007
IDOT Announces Second Annual Work Zone Safety Statewide Calendar Contest
Work to be shown in 10,000 Work Zone Safety Calendars Across Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, IL-The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is honoring 12 students from across the state that participated in the 2007 Illinois Work Zone Safety Calendar Contest. This is the second year that IDOT is holding a work zone safety calendar contest.


April 13, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces new partnership with CVS/Pharmacy to help families sign up for the Governor’s "All Kids Program"
CVS/Pharmacy has trained pharmacists on the All Kids program in order to help families sign their kids up for affordable healthcare; distributing All Kids applications to customers
BARTONVILLE - In his continued effort to ensure every child in Illinois has access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a new partnership with CVS/Pharmacy in Illinois to help families learn about the Governor's All Kids program. CVS/Pharmacy, which has over 225 locations in Illinois, has already trained their Illinois pharmacists on the All Kids program to help families learn how to sign their kids up for healthcare. CVS/Pharmacy will also make applications and bag stuffers available at pharmacy counters and will promote the All Kids program on large pharmacy signs and window banners.


April 13, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces new partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to better prepare students for college and workplace
Partnership will focus on developing state policies and programs to better prepare all students for success
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the Illinois College and Work Readiness Partnership, which will focus on developing policies and programs to better prepare Illinois students for success in the workforce and in continuing their education after high school. Partners include the Office of the Governor, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


April 12, 2007
Governor Blagojevich continues his Investing in Families tour visiting working families in Olympia Fields
Governor continues tour promoting his plan to provide every Illinoisan with access to affordable health coverage, boost funding for education, provide property tax relief and fix an unfair tax system
OLYMPIA FIELDS - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich continued his Investing in Families tour today in Olympia Fields where he visited working families during a forum sponsored by the Illinois Healthcare Consortium at St. James Hospital. The Governor explained his Fiscal Year 2008 budget, which includes the Illinois Covered plan to provide affordable and comprehensive health 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 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.


April 12, 2007
Illinois Department of Agriculture Amends Gypsy Moth Quarantine
New boundaries include Cook, DuPage and McHenry counties
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Three additional northern Illinois counties have been placed under quarantine to control the spread of the gypsy moth.


April 11, 2007
IDNR awards 14 additional Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants
Over $39,000 awarded for Fiscal Year 2007, the largest amount of funding ever awarded for the program
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood today awarded 14 additional Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants totaling more than $13,500. The grants announced today are in addition to 32 grants totaling more than $25,700 awarded last month.


April 11, 2007
Corn Growers Vote To Increase Checkoff Provision of the Illinois Corn Marketing Act
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois corn producers voted in favor of increasing the corn checkoff rate established in the Illinois Corn Marketing Act in a referendum held March 29, 2007, according to Illinois Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke.


April 10, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich Encourages Communities Across Illinois to Nominate Outstanding Volunteer Efforts for the 26th Annual Home Town Awards
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today invited Illinois’ cities, towns and villages to proudly recognize the outstanding contributions of their communities by nominating their distinguished volunteer efforts and accomplishments for the 26th Annual Home Town Awards. Each year, the Governor’s Home Town Awards recognizes Illinois’ hardworking and committed volunteers who greatly improve the communities in which they live.


April 10, 2007
AFSCME backs Gov. Blagojevich's plan for tax fairness
Governor welcomes support from largest union of public service workers
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today welcomed the support of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for his ambitious proposal to reform Illinois' tax system, which closes corporate loopholes and brings greater stability to the state's fiscal future. The Governor's plan to establish a Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) on commercial activity has been embraced by many economists because of its broad base and low rates.


April 10, 2007
Sixth warmest March on record in Illinois
State averaged over six degrees above normal
SPRINGFIELD – After a cold February, the pendulum swung the other way, giving Illinois March temperatures averaging 47.6°F statewide, 6.5°F above normal and the 6th warmest March on record since 1895. Several cities, particularly Champaign-Urbana, set or tied daily high temperature records.


April 9, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces State of Illinois’ April “Veteran of the Month”
Auburn man honored for continued commitment and dedication to the veteran community at American Ex-Prisoners of War ceremony
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named Robert E. Foster as the State of Illinois’ April “Veteran of the Month” for his longtime commitment and dedication to helping veterans throughout the state. Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director L. Tammy Duckworth presented the award to Mr. Foster during the annual American Ex-Prisoners of War recognition ceremony outside the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield.


April 6, 2007
Illinois Department of Natural Resources welcomes 20 new cadets to Conservation Police force
New class graduates from Illinois State Police Academy; expected to be on patrol beginning December 2007
SPRINGFIELD – The Blagojevich Administration today announced the graduation of 20 Conservation Police Officer cadets, who have completed a 12 week Basic Law Enforcement Training Class at the Illinois State Police Academy in Springfield. Acting Conservation Police Director Rafael Gutierrez congratulated the new recruits on behalf of Gov. Blagojevich today during a graduation ceremony held at the Academy.


April 5, 2007
Governor Blagojevich's "Investing in Families" bus tour stops in Decatur; Visits Barry's American Cycles to explain benefits of his budget for small business owners
Governor spends week traveling Illinois to promote his plan to provide every Illinoisan with access to affordable health coverage, boost funding for education, provide property tax relief and fix an unfair tax system
DECATUR – On the fourth day of his "Investing in Families" bus tour, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today met with owners of small businesses at Barry's American Cycles in Decatur to talk about how his ambitious budget proposal will benefit small businesses. The Governor's plan would give every Illinoisan access to affordable health coverage, would dramatically increase the state's investment in education and provide tax relief for working families by asking big businesses to pay their fair share. Barry Geogehegan, owner of Barry's American Cycles, told the Governor about how he struggles to afford healthcare for his son, his employees and himself.


April 5, 2007
Governor Blagojevich's "Investing in Families" bus tour stops in Champaign; visits with families and physicians at Christie Clinic to explain benefits of his historic Illinois Covered plan
Governor spends week traveling Illinois to promote Illinois Covered, Helping Kids Learn, Tax Fairness
CHAMPAIGN – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today met with families, physicians, and healthcare officials at Christie Clinic in Champaign to discuss his historic Illinois Covered plan, which will provide access to affordable healthcare to the 1.4 million uninsured adults in Illinois. In addition to Illinois Covered, the Governor's proposed budget includes 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. Today’s stop in Champaign was part of the Governor's Investing in Families Bus Tour, a four-day tour across Illinois to promote his budget plan.


April 5, 2007
Governor Blagojevich rallies with hundreds in Danville in support of his Investing in Families budget plan
Governor continues traveling through Illinois to promote his plan to provide every Illinoisan with access to affordable health coverage, boost funding for education, provide property tax relief and fix an unfair tax system
DANVILLE – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today joined community leaders, business owners, healthcare advocates, families, and community members to rally support for his Investing in Families budget plan in Danville. The crowd of supporters gathered together at the Laura Lee Fellowship House in Danville on the last evening of the Governor's Investing in Families bus tour, a four-day tour across Illinois to promote his budget plan. The proposed budget includes the Illinois Covered plan to provide affordable and comprehensive health 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 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.


April 4, 2007
Governor Blagojevich rallies with hundreds in Marion in support of his Investing in Families budget plan
Governor to spend week traveling Illinois to promote his plan to provide every Illinoisan with access to affordable health coverage, boost funding for education, provide property tax relief and fix an unfair tax system
MARION - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today joined community leaders, business owners, healthcare advocates, families, and community members to rally support for his Investing in Families budget plan in Marion. The crowd of supporters gathered together at the Marion Civic Center in Marion on the third night of the Governor's Investing in Families bus tour, a four-day tour across Illinois to promote his budget plan. 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.


April 3, 2007
Governor Blagojevich "Investing in Families" bus tour stops in Avon; visits with local family to explain how his budget can help family farmers
Governor to spend week traveling Illinois to promote his plan to provide every Illinoisan with access to affordable health coverage, boost funding for education, provide property tax relief and fix an unfair tax system
AVON – On the second day of his "Investing in Families" bus tour, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich visited the Buchen family farm in Avon to talk about how his ambitious budget proposal will benefit small businesses and farmers. Mary Jane and Phil Buchen have spent their entire lives living on their 700-acre farm that has been in the family since the 1860s, and they raised seven children there. Mary Jane and Phil have health insurance through Medicare, but their son, Denis Buchen, is one of the millions of Illinoisans struggling to pay the high costs of health insurance. Denis lives just down the street and works on the family farm. He currently spends 20 percent of his income to pay for insurance coverage for himself and his 19-year-old daughter.


April 3, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces $2.5 million in grants to combat West Nile virus
87 local health departments receive grants to enhance West Nile virus prevention programs
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today $2.5 million in grants to local health departments for surveillance and control efforts of mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus or other mosquito-borne diseases. In 2006, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) received reports of 215 human cases of West Nile virus in Illinois and ten deaths due to West Nile virus related illness.


April 3, 2007
IDNR announces 2007 Firearm Deer Season Permit online applications available today
Online application will expedite permit process
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced that the online application system for 2007 Resident Firearm and Muzzleloader-only Deer Season Permits is now available. The online system expedites the application process, allowing resident hunters to more efficiently apply for their firearm deer hunting permit.


April 3, 2007
Motorists Urged to Slow Down in Work Zones As 2007 Highway Construction Season Kicks Off
Photo enforcement vans on Illinois roads for second year As nation marks work zone safety week
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Acting Secretary Milt Sees and Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry Trent are warning drivers to be alert and slow down in work zones as the 2007 highway construction season kicks off. For the second year, State Troopers will be enforcing Illinois’ tough work zone speeding law with photo enforcement vans that snap photos of speeding cars.


April 2, 2007
Governor Blagojevich kicks off Investing in Families Bus Tour from Chicago's Navy Pier; more than 250 organizations show support for Governor's budget plan
Governor to spend week traveling Illinois to promote his plan to provide every Illinoisan with access to affordable health coverage, boost funding for education, provide property tax relief and fix an unfair tax system
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich received support from more than 250 healthcare, education, business, religious, government and labor organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people across the state as he kicked off the Investing in Families Bus Tour at a Chicago Navy Pier rally with many of those groups today. This week, the Governor will travel Illinois to discuss how his Fiscal Year 2008 budget plan helps working families and to continue to generate support for his plan. 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.


April 2, 2007
Governor Blagojevich's Investing in Families bus tour stops in Elgin; Visits local eatery to explain benefits of his budget for small business owners
Governor to spend week traveling Illinois to promote his plan to provide every Illinoisan with access to affordable health coverage, boost funding for education, provide property tax relief and fix an unfair tax system
ELGIN - During the second stop of his weeklong Investing in Families bus tour, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich visited Cafe Magdalena in Elgin today to talk about how his ambitious budget proposal will benefit small businesses. The Governor's plan would give every Illinoisan access to affordable health coverage, would dramatically increase the state's investment in education and provide tax relief for working families by asking big businesses to pay their fair share. Fred Stefan, owner of Cafe Magdalena, told the Governor about his struggles with healthcare. Stefan employs ten workers and believes that the Governor's proposed Illinois Covered healthcare plan will bring about tremendous relief to small business owners like himself, who are struggling to pay their bills as well as maintain a healthy, productive workforce.


April 2, 2007
Governor Blagojevich's Investing in Families bus tour stops in Rock River Valley; visits local manufacturer to explain benefits of budget for small businesses
Governor to spend week traveling Illinois to promote his plan to provide every Illinoisan with access to affordable health coverage, boost funding for education, provide property tax relief and fix an unfair tax system
ROCKFORD - On the third stop of his weeklong "Investing in Families" bus tour, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich visited DLM Manufacturing in Rockford to talk about the benefits of his ambitious proposal to help small businesses. The Governor's plan would give every Illinoisan access to affordable health coverage, would dramatically increase the state's investment in education and provide tax relief for working families by asking big businesses to pay their fair share. Duntai Mathews, owner of DLM Manufacturing, told the Governor about his struggles with healthcare. Mathews believes that the Governor's proposed Illinois Covered healthcare plan will provide relief for small business owners like himself, who are struggling to pay their bills as well as maintain a healthy, productive workforce.


April 2, 2007
Governor Blagojevich rallies with hundreds in Moline in support of his Investing in Families budget plan
Governor to spend week traveling Illinois to promote his plan to provide every Illinoisan with access to affordable health coverage, boost funding for education, provide property tax relief and fix an unfair tax system
MOLINE - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today joined community leaders, business owners, healthcare advocates, families, and community members to rally support for his Investing in Families budget plan in Moline. The crowd of supporters gathered together at The Mark of the Quad Cities in Moline on the first night of the Governor's Investing in Families bus tour, a four-day tour across Illinois to promote his budget plan. 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.


April 1, 2007
Illinois Hispanic 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 - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich accepted the endorsement today from the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) 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 everybody to pay their fair share. This innovative plan gives working families the relief they deserve, while helping small business owners have better access to quality healthcare for their employees and themselves. The IHCC's endorsement comes the day before Gov. Blagojevich sets off on a four-day tour of the state to build support for his budget plan.


April 1, 2007
Director of Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Lt. Governor announce plan to immediately compensate the families of Illinois heroes killed in the line of duty
Immediate action taken to address the 22 families awaiting their benefits
CHICAGO – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs L. Tammy Duckworth joined Lt. Governor Pat Quinn at a press conference in the James R. Thompson Center today, where they announced the steps that are being taken to pay the families who have lost loved ones in the war.


April 1, 2007
Director of Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Lt. Governor announce plan to immediately compensate the families of Illinois heroes killed in the line of duty
Immediate action taken to address the 22 families awaiting their benefits
CHICAGO – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs L. Tammy Duckworth joined Lt. Governor Pat Quinn at a press conference in the James R. Thompson Center today, where they announced the steps that are being taken to pay the families who have lost loved ones in the war.

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