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May
2007


May 30, 2007
Internet Payday Lender Fined More Than $230,000 for Unlicensed Lending In Illinois
Payday-Loans-Yes.com issued largest fine in Illinois history against payday lender
CHICAGO – In its ongoing effort to protect consumers from unscrupulous lenders, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) today filed an order against Global Payday Loan, LLC, d/b/a/Payday-Loans-Yes.com, ordering them to stop issuing loans to Illinois residents.


May 30, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces implementation of the Adam Walsh Child Protection Safety Act providing children a safer learning environment
Illinois becomes first state in the nation to offer FBI criminal history information to private schools for employment screening
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the implementation of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 across Illinois, allowing private schools to have access to national criminal records and information of potential employees. Until now, only Illinois Public schools had been allowed to receive this information from the FBI. This act makes Illinois the first state in the nation to offer federal criminal history information to private schools for the purpose of employment screening.


May 30, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, June 1, 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, June 1, 2007.


May 26, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich applauds U.S. Congress for addressing SCHIP shortfall; Illinois to receive an estimated $181 million in additional federal SCHIP dollars
Governor continues to push for Congress to reauthorize SCHIP and change out-of-date funding formulas that punish states that work aggressively to expand access to healthcare
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today applauded the United States Congress for including $650 million in the Iraq War spending bill to cover federal funding shortfalls for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Illinois will receive an estimated $181 million in additional SCHIP dollars to supplement the state’s nationally-recognized efforts to help children and working parents get access to healthcare.


May 25, 2007
State provides safety tips for families visiting amusement parks, street festivals and carnivals this summer
Illinois Department of Labor conducts safety inspections to ensure rides and attractions are safe for families expected during the Memorial Day Weekend and throughout the summer
CHICAGO -- With summer just around the corner and millions of people expected to make their way to popular amusement parks, festivals, street fairs and carnivals across Illinois, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is offering families tips on how to stay safe while enjoying amusement rides and attractions. IDOL inspects rides that are open to the public - before they are permitted to operate - to ensure that families are safe.


May 25, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich awards $535,000 in Anhydrous Ammonia Security Grants to fight meth production
Grants will help agrichemical dealers protect their facilities from theft
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded $535,000 in Anhydrous Ammonia Security Grants to 50 Illinois agrichemical dealers throughout the state. The funding will help these businesses secure their facilities to prevent the theft of anhydrous ammonia, a farm fertilizer and key ingredient used to manufacture methamphetamine. This is the second installment of grants since the Governor created the Anhydrous Ammonia Grant Program in August 2006, and furthers the Governor’s efforts to reduce the production and manufacture of the illicit drug.


May 25, 2007
Governor Blagojevich Encourages Illinoisans to "Light The Way Home" for Missing Children
Proclaims May 25 Missing Children's Day in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, along with members of the Illinois AMBER Alert Task Force, joined people throughout the state in observing today, May 25, Missing Children's Day in Illinois. "Light the Way Home" is an opportunity for family and friends to plan events in their communities to raise public awareness about missing children.


May 24, 2007
Illinois Arts Council Announces FY07 Literary Awards
Quality New Writing by Illinois Writers in Illinois Not-for-Profit Literary Magazines
Chicago – The Illinois Arts Council (IAC) is pleased to announce the writers and literary publications selected to receive IAC Literary Awards in 2007. IAC Literary Awards recognize the creative excellence of Illinois writers and promote awareness of non-commercial publishing in the state. Companion awards of $1,000 each are given to the writer and publication in which the writer’s work was published.


May 24, 2007
Dr. Riba’s Dental Licenses Remain Suspended
Sedation Permit to be revoked
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) today issued its final order on the matter of the dental, controlled substance, and specialty licenses, as well as the sedation permit of Hicham Riba, D.D.S. Daniel E. Bluthardt, Director of the Division of Professional Regulation signed an order indefinitely suspending the general dentistry license of Dr. Riba for a minimum of 18 months, the pediatric dentistry specialty license for at least three years, controlled substance license for at least five years and revoked the permit for Dr. Riba to sedate patients.


May 24, 2007
IDNR announces summer Urban Fishing clinics schedule
Clinics provide free fun and fishing instruction, access to fishing gear also available
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Youngsters can learn to fish and enjoy their time outdoors this summer by attending a free Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Urban Fishing Clinic, scheduled for 40 locations throughout the state. The IDNR also provides fishing opportunities to anglers of all ages through the popular Access to Fishing Initiative in which fishing gear can be borrowed at dozens of locations statewide.


May 24, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation banning the slaughter of horses in Illinois for human consumption
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that bans the slaughter of horses in Illinois for human consumption. House Bill 1711, sponsored by State Representative Robert S. Molaro (D-Chicago) and State Senator John Cullerton (D-Chicago), bans importing or exporting horsemeat if any horsemeat will be used for human consumption.


May 23, 2007
State Fire Marshal’s Office offers summer safety tips for outdoor grilling, camping
Following safety guidelines can help make summer activities enjoyable
Springfield – Warm weather is finally here and people throughout Illinois are busy make plans to enjoy outdoor activities during the summer months. To help people enjoy a safe summer this year, the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is working to increase awareness of summer fire safety tips.


May 23, 2007
Department of Transportation to Suspend Lane Closures Over Memorial Day Weekend to Give Motorists a Break
Illinois State Police and agencies urge drivers to buckle up in the midst of the 2007 “Click It or Ticket” Campaign
SPRINGFIELD– With thousands of people traveling over the upcoming holiday weekend, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced they will be suspending roadwork where possible to make for a smoother drive this Memorial Day weekend. IDOT also wants to remind folks to buckle up in the midst of Illinois State Police’s 2007 “Click It or Ticket” campaign.


May 23, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich honors Illinois heroes for response in emergency situations
Awards given for heroic behavior in recognition of Emergency Medical Services Week
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today honored 14 people and organizations from around the state for their heroic acts of courage as part of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s 20th Annual Emergency Medical Services Awards. Gov. Blagojevich proclaimed May 20th – 26th Emergency Medical Services Week.


May 22, 2007
ISAC Announces Byrd Honors Scholars
1,150 Illinois students to receive $1,500 scholarship each
DEERFIELD, IL – The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has announced the Illinois 2007-08 Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholars. This year’s honorees include 1,150 students selected from across the state, including 288 new scholars and 862 renewal scholars.


May 22, 2007
Bike Historic Route 66 on June 2
IDNR, League of Illinois Bicyclists, Route 66 Trail Council Host Trail Event. Stops Include Joliet, Pontiac, Bloomington, Springfield, Staunton, Edwardsville
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois’ Mother Road, historic Route 66 running from Chicago to the Missouri border, beckons trailblazers on two wheels.


May 22, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed May 20-26 as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in Illinois to help make sure people know how to prevent the spread of the tree-killing beetle. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is only capable of flying short distances on its own, so limiting the movement of firewood and other potentially-infested wood products is the single most important step individuals can take to prevent the spread of this destructive pest and save our ash trees.


May 22, 2007
Blagojevich Administration unveils new Veterans Cash Lottery Ticket
Encourages veterans’ organizations to apply for available Veterans Cash grants
MACHESNEY PARK– As the nation prepares to honor veterans this coming Memorial Day Weekend, Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today joined Jodie Winnett, Acting Superintendent of the Illinois Lottery outside Rockford to unveil the new Veterans Cash lottery ticket on behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. Director Duckworth and the Illinois Lottery also encouraged veterans’ organizations to apply for Veterans Cash grants.


May 21, 2007
State public health director encourages healthy swimming practices and warns of water illness
May 21-27, 2007 National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week
SPRINGFIELD – As swimming pools, water parks and beaches prepare to open for the season during the Memorial Day weekend, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director, is encouraging healthy swimming behaviors to prevent water illnesses during National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week.


May 21, 2007
Nursing Home Violations for the Month of November and December
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced the following type “A” violations of the Nursing Home Care Act were cited during the months of November and December. An “A” violation, which is the most serious licensure violation imposed by the state, pertains to a condition in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result.


May 20, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces expanded State Police website to help parents protect kids against violent offenders
Mapping capabilities help parents get more information about sex offenders, child murderers and violent offenders
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today unveiled two new features to the ISP's website which will provide communities with more information about convicted of sex offenses, child murderers, and violent offenders who have harmed children. The enhancements are the result of legislation signed by the governor to protect communities from sexual predators.


May 18, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces $55.7 million to help more long term care residents return to their homes or community residence
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provides new federal matching funds to be distributed over five years
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois will receive an estimated $55.7 million in new federal funding over five years to help people living in nursing facilities return to their homes or a community residence. The "Money Follows the Person (MFP)" initiative will increase the number of patients able to make the transition back into their communities by approximately 3,500 over the course of five years. In addition to the federal award, the state has also committed $23.8 million to this expansion of home and community based services.


May 18, 2007
IDNR observes National Safe Boating Week, urges boaters and anglers to be safe while on the water
Governor Blagojevich proclaims May 19-25, 2007 National Safe Boating Week in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – In observance of National Safe Boating Week (NSBW) and with the Memorial Day weekend approaching, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood today urged boaters and anglers to be safe while on the water. In honor of NSBW, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich also issued a proclamation recognizing May 19-25, 2007 as National Safe Boating Week in Illinois.


May 17, 2007
Ceremony honors fallen firefighters, recognizes 27 others for life-saving acts of bravery
Hundreds of firefighters gather in Springfield for 14th annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial, Firefighter Medal of Honor Awards Ceremony
SPRINGFIELD – Firefighters from across the state gathered in Springfield today to remember four firefighters who died in service and honor 27 other firefighters for their outstanding bravery and service to their communities during the 14th annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Firefighting Medal of Honor Ceremony.


May 17, 2007
Tazewell County - second Illinois county testing positive for West Nile virus
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, announced today a mosquito sample collected in Tazewell County has been confirmed as positive for West Nile virus.


May 17, 2007
Police Target Nighttime Drivers During 2007 Memorial Day “Click it or Ticket” Safety Belt Campaign
IDOT, ISP and local Police plan largest ever after dark enforcement effort as part of bid to reach 90% safety belt compliance statewide
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois State Police (ISP) are teaming up with more than 300 local police agencies to mount the largest ever nighttime safety belt enforcement effort in Illinois. During the Memorial Day “Click it or Ticket” mobilization, motorists can expect more than 3,600 safety belt enforcement zones statewide, with almost 700 enforcement zones planned for after dark, the time when surveys show more drivers fail to buckle up.


May 17, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces expansion of the Illinois Healthy Women program to cover 45,000 more women
Illinois Healthy Women promotes healthy births and economic independence through reproductive health and family planning services
To apply visit www.illinoishealthywomen.com or call 1-800-226-0768 CHICAGO - Continuing the celebration of Women's Health Week in Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced an expansion of the Illinois Healthy Women program to cover 45,000 more women each year. The Illinois Healthy Women program, created by Gov. Blagojevich in 2004, promotes healthy births and economic independence by providing reproductive health and family planning services to low-income women, free of charge. Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Barry Maram joined advocates, healthcare providers, and families at Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area today to celebrate the expansion. To apply for the program, visit www.illinoishealthywomen.com or call toll-free at 1-800-226-0768.


May 16, 2007
Director challenges employees statewide to get fit as part of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s 13th annual Fitness Day
More than half of Illinois employees say they are not getting enough exercise
SPRINGFIELD – Today the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), along with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), held its 13th annual Fitness Day to encourage employees who spend most of their day in the workplace, to be more physically active. Fitness Day is part of National Employee Health & Fitness Day™ held every third Wednesday in May.


May 15, 2007
State Public Health Director extends an alert after last week’s warning about food borne illness linked to ground beef consumption
2nd recall - still no Illinois cases of E. coli from consumption of recalled beef in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today issued an alert expanding last week’s warning about E. coli O157:H7, a specific strain of E. coli, which can be associated with the consumption of some ground beef products.


May 15, 2007
State public health director warns residents to protect themselves against ticks and disease
Increased reports of ticks this season
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, is warning residents to take precautions against ticks and the diseases they carry after an increased number of reports from the public to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).


May 15, 2007
Governor Blagojevich names new head of Division of Banking
Jorge Solis to serve as top banking official in the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the appointment of Jorge Solis as the new director of the Illinois Division of Banking, within the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Solis will oversee the division responsible for regulating the banking and residential mortgage industries.


May 14, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces $15 million program to help Veterans and active duty personnel afford homes
G-I Loan program makes Illinois first state in the nation to offer comprehensive homeownership package to those serving their country
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today launched a new $15 million pilot mortgage program to help Illinois Veterans and active duty personnel afford their own homes. On behalf of the Governor, housing and Veterans officials announced the program, called the G-I Loan for Heroes, designed to help more than 100 qualified Veterans and service men and women secure low-interest mortgages and closing cost assistance. The announcement makes Illinois the first state in the nation to provide significantly below-market interest, 30-year fixed rate mortgages to qualifying former and current service men and women who are working hard to provide for themselves and their families.


May 14, 2007
Illinois Pharmacists Association endorses Governor Blagojevich's Illinois Covered plan
Pharmacists support Illinois Covered and Gross Receipts Tax proposals to ensure that all Illinoisans get the healthcare they need and the care that patients deserve
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Pharmacists Association today endorsed Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's historic Illinois Covered plan that will provide affordable healthcare 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. The Pharmacists Association also endorsed the Governor's Gross Receipts Tax proposal, citing that this funding source is currently the only one advanced that would support Illinois Covered. The Illinois Pharmacists Association, with nearly 2,000 members, is Illinois' leading professional organization for pharmacists.


May 13, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich launches Women's Health Week in Illinois on Mother's Day
Health fairs, workshops, seminars, speakers and screenings held across the state to help improve women's health
SPRINGFIELD - Wishing moms a happy Mother's Day and encouraging women to take simple steps to improve their health and live healthier, longer and happier lives, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proclaimed May 13 through May 19th Women's Health Week in Illinois. The state declaration was made in conjunction with the 8th annual National Women's Health Week themed "It's Your Time: Pamper Your Mind, Body and Spirit." The Governor also announced $44,000 in grants to local health departments to help sponsor women's health events across Illinois.


May 11, 2007
Illinois Department of Agriculture Advises Horse Owners to Take Precaution Against West Nile Virus
Vaccination recommended to protect horses from potentially deadly virus
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture is reminding horse owners to vaccinate their animals before the onset of mosquito season to protect against West Nile virus (WNV).


May 10, 2007
Tammy Duckworth, Director of Illinois Veterans’ Affairs honored by Nation’s Largest Civil Rights Coalition
Duckworth receives 2007 Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award for long-standing public service and leadership; honored alongside President Bill Clinton and Scholar John Hope Franklin
CHICAGO – Governor Blagojevich’s Director of Veteran’s Affairs L. Tammy Duckworth was honored this evening in Washington D.C. with the 2007 Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award – the civil rights community’s highest honor – for her long-standing public service, outstanding leadership and dedication to serving the country.


May 10, 2007
Labor unions and healthcare advocates unite to rally for Governor Blagojevich's Illinois Covered plan
Governor urges workers to let legislators know how critical affordable healthcare is to their quality of life
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today addressed a crowd of hundreds of union workers and healthcare advocates at a downtown Chicago rally calling for lawmakers to pass the Governor's Illinois Covered proposal and give every Illinoisan access to affordable health coverage. The legislation will make sure all 1.4 million uninsured adults in Illinois have access to quality, affordable health insurance, 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. The plan will also reform the existing healthcare system to improve quality and enhance accountability.


May 9, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich challenges lawmakers to seize the moment and approve his Tax Fairness Plan
Governor presents his plan that shifts tax burden away from middle class families to create affordable health insurance options for 1.4 million uninsured adults and to fund record investments in education
SPRINGFIELD - During a meeting of the Illinois House of Representatives Committee of the Whole, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich challenged lawmakers to approve his Tax Fairness Plan - his ambitious proposal to reform Illinois' tax system, which closes corporate loopholes and brings greater stability to the state's fiscal future to fund record investments in education and healthcare.


May 8, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois enrollment in landmark 30 state effort to address climate change
The Climate Registry to serve as North American system to track greenhouse gas emissions
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Illinois joined 30 states as charter members of The Climate Registry, marking the largest multi-state effort to address climate change. The newly formed organization, which Illinois helped develop, creates national standards that businesses and governments can use to document their current levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and track progress over time. Currently in the U.S., there is no common set of standards for measuring and reporting GHG emissions.


May 8, 2007
Governor Blagojevich applauds Senate committee for passing historic Tax Fairness Plan that will invest record new funding for education; also will expand healthcare and provide property tax relief
Plan amended to provide even more protection for small businesses; new tax credit means more than 90% of businesses exempt from GRT
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today commended the Senate Executive Committee for passing historic Tax Fairness Plan that will invest record new funding for education over the next four years and help relieve the tax burden of hardworking families. Senate Bill 1 would usher in a sweeping transformation of the state's tax system to shift the burden away from middle class families who have shouldered an increasing share of taxes over the past thirty years, while many of Illinois' largest corporations have paid little to no income tax. The Senate included an amendment that provides a tax credit for businesses that employ workers in Illinois, further protecting small businesses that fuel the state's economy.


May 8, 2007
Governor Blagojevich's Illinois Covered plan wins approval from Senate Committee; moves to full Senate for vote
Illinois Covered 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 improving the healthcare delivery system
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Public Health Committee approved Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's "Illinois Covered" proposal 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.


May 7, 2007
State Fire Marshal seeks to reduce arson fires through public awareness during Arson Awareness Week May 6-12
National theme for awareness week is “Vehicle Arson: Who Pays for this Crime?”
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Each year, vehicle arsons account for nearly 20 percent of all arson cases nationwide, making arson the second-highest cause of vehicle fires. Illinois’ State Fire Marshal Dave Foreman says his office is joining with organizations across the state to increase public awareness of arson prevention during Arson Awareness Week May 6-12. This year’s awareness week theme is, “Vehicle Arson: Who Pays for this Crime?”


May 7, 2007
IDOT Looks to Build on Illinois’ Traffic Safety Success In 2006, Seeks Public Input into Safety Planning
Safety hearings this week in Carterville and Collinsville
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is hosting a series of eight meetings around the state this month looking for the public’s assistance in developing the Fiscal Year 2008 Highway Safety Plan. The first two meetings are this week: Tuesday, May 8, in Carterville and Wednesday, May 9, in Collinsville.


May 7, 2007
IDOT, League of Illinois Bicyclists Launch Share the Road Campaign for National Bike Month
CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the League of Illinois Bicyclists (LIB) and Illinois State Police have launched a statewide campaign to urge motorists and bicyclists to share the road to reduce crashes, prevent injuries and end fatalities on our streets.


May 7, 2007
Governor Blagojevich offers condolences, support to Kansas Governor in response to Greensburg tornado
CHICAGO - Responding to the devastation caused by last weekend's tornadoes that ravaged through Kansas, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today sent a letter to Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, offering condolences for the loss of lives and the devastation suffered by the state, and by the town of Greensburg. The Governor also offered assistance to help the State of Kansas restore order to the community, keep thousands of residents safe from harm, and participate in the rescue and recovery efforts.


May 6, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces landmark Illinois Health Connect program has enrolled more than 4,000 doctors statewide; far surpassing original goal of 3,000 doctors
Illinois Health Connect guarantees a medical home for every child in All Kids and every parent in FamilyCare
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the landmark Illinois Health Connect program, which guarantees a medical home for every child in the Governor's All Kids program and every parent in FamilyCare, has enrolled more than 4,000 doctors statewide - far surpassing the original goal to enroll 3,000 doctors. Even more doctors are expected to enroll as the program, which was launched in Chicagoland in March, continues to roll out in Central and Southern Illinois this summer. Illinois Health Connect is a continuation of Governor Blagojevich's nationally recognized efforts to ensure that every family in Illinois gets the healthcare they need.


May 4, 2007
Advocates call women to action to support Governor's Illinois Covered plan
Study by The Commonwealth Fund shows women face higher insurance costs, more cost-related access issues
CHICAGO - Following a policy briefing on the high female need for health insurance hosted by the Chicago Foundation for Women in Chicago, women advocate groups called on their members to support Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's Illinois Covered plan which will benefit the more than 600,000 uninsured women throughout the state. Panelists from Chicago Foundation for Women, Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, Health and Disability Advocates, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), and Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition examined the barriers that uninsured women face and how the Governor's Illinois Covered plan would bring help to those in need. In addition, Blagojevich administration official Krista Donahue highlighted The Commonwealth Fund study, "Women and Health Coverage: The Affordability Gap," which was released in April and shows how healthcare coverage issues disproportionately impact women over men.


May 4, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, May 7, 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, May 7, 2007.


May 4, 2007
Cool, wet April leads to delays for some Illinois farmers
Early April freeze considered a “once in a decade event”
SPRINGFIELD,IL – Combined with cooler temperatures, wet April conditions led to widespread corn planting delays in the northern two-thirds of the state, where precipitation averaged 4.05 inches (0.46 inches above normal) and up to 5–7 inches at some locations. April temperatures averaged 49.5°F statewide (2.7°F below normal), and statewide precipitation was 3.75 inches (just 0.05 inches below normal), based on preliminary data. Southern Illinois was drier, averaging 3.38 inches (0.74 inches below normal), and planting there is further along.


May 4, 2007
ISAC Salutes Six Illinois Presidential Scholars
Agency cites high school students for “highest academic achievement”
CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) today saluted the six high school students from Illinois who were named 2007 Presidential Scholars by the U.S. Department of Education this week.


May 3, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces U of I’s historic Lincoln Hall project will be “green”
Work on the campus structure will qualify for official national designation for energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly design
URBANA – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the planned $66.4 million rehabilitation of the University of Illinois’ historic Lincoln Hall will be a model “green” project, and will be submitted for an official national designation of projects that place an emphasis energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly design.


May 3, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich encourages law enforcement, fire and emergency response agencies to apply for response equipment through federal program
Response agencies outside Cook County eligible to apply for part of $33.7 million in response equipment
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today encouraged law enforcement, fire and emergency response agencies to apply for a direct federal assistance program that could provide tools to better protect and respond to their citizens in the event of a disaster. The program offers local responders, outside Cook County, the opportunity to compete for approximately $33.7 million in equipment and related training and technical assistance, which can improve their ability and capacity to respond to a major critical incident or to work with other first responders.


May 2, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims Childhood Drowning Prevention Month in Illinois; Initiative calls for public awareness to safeguard children
Leading cause of accidental death for young children can be prevented; Careful supervision of children near water saves lives
CHICAGO – Calling on caring citizens across the state to join a campaign to help keep children safe near water, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed May as Childhood Drowning Prevention Month in Illinois.


May 2, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich Expands Illinois' Presence at Major Food Industry Trade Show
Additional pavilion will increase opportunities for Illinois food companies to pitch their products around the world
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the Illinois Department of Agriculture has expanded its presence at North America’s biggest supermarket convention.


May 2, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich congratulates 34 Illinois officers awarded with the prestigious Law Enforcement Medal of Honor
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Thirty-four Illinois law enforcement officers were awarded the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor today during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Springfield. Three of the medals were awarded to the families of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. The annual awards ceremony honors law enforcement officers who have distinguished themselves by exhibiting bravery at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty.


May 1, 2007
AARP ILLINOIS JOINS GOVERNOR IN FIGHT FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM
Would Establish Nation’s Most Comprehensive Plan – Helping Over 1 Million Illinoisans Access Health Care
CHICAGO - With health care costs soaring and the number of uninsured people in Illinois climbing to nearly 1.5 million, AARP says enough is enough, things have to change. Today, AARP Illinois joined Governor Rod R. Blagojevich in pressing for what is the nation’s most comprehensive health care reform initiative.

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