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June
2007


June 30, 2007
Governor Blagojevich signs law to increase competition in cable TV industry so consumers have more choices and better service
Consumers will enjoy added protections under new law
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that will encourage cable TV competition by allowing new video service providers to enter the Illinois market without having to negotiate separate franchise agreements with each municipality. Senate Bill 678, sponsored by State Sen. James Clayborne (D-Belleville) and State Rep. James Brosnahan (D-Oak Lawn), includes more consumer protections than in any other state that has enacted similar legislation, including California, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Texas.


June 29, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich reminds Illinois workers minimum wage increasing to $7.50 an hour on July 1
Statewide minimum wage hike will benefit nearly 650,000 hardworking Illinoisans
CHICAGO- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded Illinois workers that the state’s minimum wage will increase to $7.50 an hour starting this Sunday, July 1, helping nearly 650,000 workers pay for basic necessities like groceries, rent, gas, childcare or medicines. The Governor also reminded Illinoisans that if they work for the minimum wage and are not receiving it, they should call the Illinois Department of Labor’s hotline at 1-800-478-3998 so the State can help them get the wages they’re owed.


June 28, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, June 30, 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 Saturday, June 30, 2007.


June 28, 2007
Mega Passes for the 2007 Illinois State Fair Now Available
Discount price to be offered through mid-July
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Mega passes for the 2007 Illinois State Fair are now available for purchase.


June 28, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces $2.2 million to help low-income homeowners preserve and remain in their homes
Rehabilitation grants will help 386 families across Illinois lower their utility bills and improve the safety and quality of their homes
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $2.2 million in rehabilitation grants to help 386 low-income homeowners in Illinois, including seniors and disabled individuals, pay for home repairs, lower their utility bills and continue to afford their homes. The funds will be used to finance the statewide Energy Conservation and Home Repair Program and the Historic Chicago Bungalow Initiative.


June 27, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs law making HIV testing a routine part of medical care in Illinois
Legislation removes the stigma from getting an HIV test, preserves informed consent for patients and promotes early detection
SPRINGFIELD – On National HIV Testing Day, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed a new law making HIV testing a routine part of general medical care. Senate Bill 929 allows medical providers to proceed with a test once they have secured verbal informed consent, instead of written consent, from a patient clearly acknowledging that a test will be administered as part of their check-up or routine blood work. This change in the law will increase the number of Illinoisans who are tested for HIV/AIDS and increase awareness regarding individual knowledge of HIV status. Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) and Sen. Carol Ronen (D-Chicago) sponsored the legislation.


June 22, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces Wildlife Preservation Fund Grants
Voluntary donations of nearly $200,000 from Illinois residents help protect and enhance wildlife habitat
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded nearly $200,000 in grants to support 51 projects throughout Illinois that will enhance habitat for wildlife, including the restoration and protection of threatened and endangered species. Funding for the projects comes from Illinois citizens through donations to the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


June 21, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, June 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 sunrise to sunset on Friday, June 22, 2007.


June 21, 2007
Governor’s Campus Security Task Force launches comprehensive effort to enhance campus safety
Group will work on ways to prevent, respond to and recover from campus security incidents
SPRINGFIELD– Under the direction of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, the members of the Illinois Campus Security Task Force will meet for the first time today at the State Emergency Response Center in Springfield, to begin working on a comprehensive initiative to enhance the State’s ability to prevent, respond to and recover from events such as the tragic shootings that occurred at Virginia Tech this spring


June 21, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, June 25, 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, June 25, 2007.


June 21, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, June 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 Wednesday, June 27, 2007.


June 19, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces Grandstand concert lineup for DuQuoin State Fair
Southern Illinois fair also features several days of motorized/horse racing on world-famous "Magic Mile" track
DUQUOIN – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the grandstand lineup for the 85th annual DuQuoin State Fair. The lineup will feature rock super-star Alice Cooper along with current country music standouts Gary Allan and Joe Nichols. In addition, Chicago-based rock group Chevelle, and the 26th annual Colgate Country Showdown featuring Lorrie Morgan, will be major attractions, along with a gospel music show and the big band sounds of Jerry Ford and his Orchestra.


June 18, 2007
State Fire Marshal urges fireworks safety as part of Governor’s campaign to keep families cool and safe this summer
More than 150 people reported injured by fireworks around July 4th last year
SPRINGFIELD – As part of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s efforts to keep Illinois families cool and safe this summer through his Keep Cool Illinois campaign, Illinois State Fire Marshal Dave Foreman is urging Illinois residents to play it safe this Fourth of July by leaving dangerous fireworks to the professionals. Although state law prohibits their use by consumers, bottle rockets caused nearly 40 injuries reported in Illinois around the July 4th holiday last year, with nearly 20 additional injuries reportedly caused by firecrackers.


June 17, 2007
On Father’s Day, Gov. Blagojevich encourages men to take advantage of state efforts to improve their health and well being
Health screenings and “Boot Camp for New Dads” available
CHICAGO – Wishing dads a happy Father’s Day, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich encouraged men to improve their health and well being by taking advantage of various state programs – including health screenings, the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative Boot Camp for New Dads and the Teen Parent Family Services program.


June 15, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces new funding to expand services for children with developmental disabilities
State to receive federal matching funds for programs that prevent or delay the need for institutional care for up to 800 children
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois will receive $8.6 million in federal matching funds to provide a range of specialized services to almost 800 children with developmental disabilities. The funds, administered through the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program, will allow more families to keep their children at home and still be able to provide them the specialized care they need. By establishing Medicaid waivers, Illinois is able to waive regular Medicaid rules and create this new funding source for Fiscal Year 2008.


June 14, 2007
IDNR completes construction of new skeet fields at WSRC
Visitors to complex can now enjoy expanded recreation options and new restaurant
SPRINGFIELD –Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood today announced construction has been completed on 24 new skeet fields at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex (WSRC). Inclusion of skeet shooting at the complex expands the recreational options at the venue, which already boasts over three and half miles of trap fields, two sporting clay courses, and a cowboy shooting area. The director also announced regional favorite and nationally acclaimed 17th Street Bar & Grill will serve as the new restaurateur at the Sparta complex on an interim basis.


June 14, 2007
State Fire Marshal’s Office hosts symposium in Springfield on childhood injury prevention program
Risk Watch program brings community public safety and education officials together to teach children how to prevent injuries
Springfield – Nearly 40 participants from 12 communities will be in Springfield Thursday and Friday to learn more about how they can help prevent unintentional childhood injuries that are the number-one health risk for children ages 14 and under. The participants are part of the Illinois Risk Watch program and will be attending the two-day symposium hosted by the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM).


June 14, 2007
State public health director warns of Salmonella contamination when handling birds
Two Illinois cases match a multi-state outbreak pattern linked to direct contact with birds
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, is warning the public today about handling birds, such as baby chicks and ducks, and the risk of disease. Two Illinois Salmonella ser. Montevideo cases from separate households in Madison County match a multi-state outbreak pattern linked to contact with birds (ducklings and chicks). Both cases have reported contact with birds purchased from the same local chain feed store and both have onset of illness in May 2007. It is not yet known how many locations across Illinois have received infected birds so anyone purchasing animals needs to be cautious.


June 13, 2007
Blagojevich Administration Officials Launch 2007 Keep Cool Illinois Campaign to help families stay safe, healthy and cool this summer
$6 million available this summer for energy assistance program; Multiple State Agencies, and the National Weather Service work together to prevent heat-related health problems, reduce utility bills and promote safe summer fun
CHICAGO - Blagojevich Administration officials launched the 2007 Keep Cool Illinois campaign and Web site today to help families stay cool, healthy and safe this summer. A comprehensive, statewide effort, Keep Cool Illinois, seeks again this year to inform Illinois residents, especially the elderly, families with small children and persons with disabilities, how to prevent heat-related health problems, reduce their utility bills and participate in summer activities safely. Also, as part of the campaign, low income residents can apply for assistance with their summer energy bills starting July 9.


June 11, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich launches Men’s Health Week in Illinois by encouraging men to take an active role in their health
State grants $1.2 million for prostate cancer awareness and education grants
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to increase awareness of the medical conditions affecting men and the need to live a health lifestyle, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proclaimed June 11-17, 2007 Men’s Health Week in Illinois. Men's Health Week is celebrated each year as the week leading up to and including Father's Day with the goal of raising awareness of preventable health problems and encouraging early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.


June 8, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces 10,000 Illinois seniors are living safer at home thanks to the Emergency Home Response Service
Service provides 24-hour monitoring for those in need of assistance at home
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded eligible seniors living independently to sign up for the Emergency Home Response Service, a home-monitoring service launched in October and run by the Illinois Department of Aging (IDoA). The service provides two-way voice pagers that automatically link seniors to a support center that can quickly send help in case of an emergency. This week, IDoA delivered its 10,000 thousandth monitor.


June 8, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, June 11, 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, June 11, 2007.


June 8, 2007
IDNR announces 2007 Controlled Pheasant Hunting Program
Online applications open July 1 for public/private sites, August 6 for IDNR sites
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Permit reservation information and season dates for the 2007 Controlled Pheasant Hunting program at 14 Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) sites are available online for the start of permit reservation applications this summer.


June 7, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces conference to address the affordable housing needs of Illinois residents
Top housing experts will discuss how to increase affordable housing during the State's Summer Affordable Housing Conference and mark the Illinois Housing Development Authority's 40th anniversary
SPRINGFIELD – Building on his commitment to help working families, seniors and the disabled have expanded access to decent, affordable housing, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the opening of the State's Summer Affordable Housing Conference in Springfield. The State's top affordable housing experts, developers, lenders and other housing practitioners gathered at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center to explore how to increase affordable housing options for Illinois residents and learn about the State's existing affordable housing resources.


June 7, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich’s Request for Agricultural Disaster Declaration Approved
Declaration will assist farmers in 81 Illinois counties
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced federal disaster assistance is available to help farmers recover from an April freeze that wiped-out much of their crops, especially in southern Illinois.


June 6, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces national recognition for Illinois’ seven Scenic Byways
Alliance of Illinois Byways is praised for teaming up to promote tourism and the state’s heritage
SPRINGFIELD – Just as the summer vacation season is getting underway, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois Alliance of Byways, a collection of seven nationally recognized historic roadways in Illinois, has been cited by a national transportation group for serving as a model for cooperation among byways.


June 6, 2007
2007 Summer Job Central: Opportunities for Teens and Young Adults to Gain Valuable Work Experience
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security is announcing the 2007 Career Information System (CIS) Summer Job Central at www.ILWorkInfo.com/icrn. The website directs teens and young adults to useful hints for their job search and has links to additional sites for finding summer job openings. Job opportunities range from internships and summer camps to part-time positions, government jobs and international opportunities. Summer employment is a way for high school and college students to explore different work settings, and is beneficial as they explore future career possibilities.


June 6, 2007
Very dry May, 8th warmest on record
Short-term impacts of dry weather minimal
SPRINGFIELD – May 2007 was the 8th warmest and 23rd driest May since 1895. Statewide May precipitation in Illinois was 2.62 inches (1.65 inches below normal), and statewide temperatures were 67.3°F degrees (4.5°F above normal). Fortunately, short-term impacts of the dry weather were minimal because of abundant soil moisture from rainfall in previous months. Timely and widespread rains across northern and central Illinois over the Memorial Day weekend also provided relief for shallow-rooted corn and soybeans in those areas.


June 6, 2007
College students begin Governor’s Environmental Corps Summer Internship at Illinois EPA
“Hands on” environmental program is funded by Illinois companies
SPRINGFIELD—In a unique collaboration between state government and Illinois corporations, 34 undergraduate or graduate students from colleges and universities across the state reported to their Illinois EPA mentors today to begin their summer internships at the state environmental agency.


June 5, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces landmark air permit for clean-coal gasification power plant in Taylorville
Construction authorized for innovative low emissions facility that will create jobs, revitalize Illinois coal industry as part of Governor’s Energy Independence Plan
TAYLORVILLE – Taking a bold step toward putting Illinois on a path toward a cleaner, more energy independent future, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois EPA has issued an Air Construction Permit to Christian County Generation, LLC. The permit, the first issued in the U.S. for a commercially-sized Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power generating plant, authorizes Christian County Generation to build the $2 billion gasification plant known as the Taylorville Energy Center (TEC).


June 4, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces grant awards to 54 fire departments for small equipment to improve response capabilities
Nearly $1 million provided to help departments purchase small equipment, protective clothing, tools and more
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that 54 fire departments throughout the state will receive nearly $1 million in grants to help them purchase small equipment and protective clothing that will enable them to better serve their communities.


June 4, 2007
Illinois Department of Labor issues guidelines to employers and teenage summer job seekers
Department outlines requirements under Illinois Child Labor law for thousands of teenagers planning to work statewide over the summer
CHICAGO –Thousands of Illinois teenagers will soon be on summer break and heading out to find jobs, and the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is reminding students and employers about Illinois’ law that provides protections for children in the workplace.


June 4, 2007
Wet a line for summer fishing fun
Special events planned for Illinois Free Fishing Days June 8-11
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Recreation agencies, park districts, youth groups, civic organizations and fishing clubs throughout Illinois will host a wide variety of fishing derbies, how-to clinics and other special activities as part of the 2007 celebration of Illinois Free Fishing Days, June 8-11. Free Fishing Days allows anyone to fish without a fishing license, inland trout stamp or salmon stamp during the four-day event each June.


June 4, 2007
Blagojevich administration outlines steps to help keep budget process moving forward
Entering new phase of the budget process, top Blagojevich officials lay out Governor's goals to help General Assembly reach budget agreement by end of the fiscal year in order to avoid potential government shutdown; Governor calls for meeting with leaders at the beginning of each week, meetings with caucuses at the end of each week and regular budgeteer meetings
SPRINGFIELD - Deputy Governor Sheila Nix stood with other top gubernatorial staff today to announce next steps the Blagojevich Administration will take to work with the General Assembly and leaders in order to reach a budget by the end of the state's fiscal year, June 30th. The Governor wants to avoid relying on last minute budget negotiations, such as those that took place in the end of May that resulted in no budget bills reaching his desk by the end of session.


June 4, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, June 6, 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, June 6, 2007.


June 1, 2007
Joe Walsh TO Perform At Illinois State Fair
Tickets go on sale Saturday, the same day the Grandstand ticket office opens
SPRINGFIELD – Beginning tomorrow fairgoers can purchase tickets for 2007 Illinois State Fair concerts at the Grandstand box office on the fairgrounds, including an Aug. 18 performance by legendary rock guitarist Joe Walsh.


June 1, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, June 6, 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, June 6, 2007.


June 1, 2007
Illinois honors Illinois State Police Officers, Telecommunicator and Forensic Scientist of the Year
SPRINGFIELD - On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois State Police Director Larry G. Trent today announced the Illinois State Police Officers of the Year, as well as the Telecommunicator and Forensic Scientist of the Year award winners. During this year's annual awards ceremony held in Springfield, Trooper Brian K. Ingram of District 10, Pesotum, and Special Agent David T. Bivens of Zone 6, Collinsville, were named Officers of the Year. Mr. David C. Melvin of District 6, Pontiac, was named Telecommunicator of the Year. Mr. Brian T. Trost of the Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory was presented with the Forensic Scientist of the Year Award.

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