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September
2007


September 30, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces a $3 million grant to help eliminate the risk of lead poisoning in children
Illinois ranks number one in the nation for identifying news cases of lead poisoning in children
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $3 million grant for the Illinois Get the Lead Out Program – Phase V to help protect children and families from dangerous lead-based paint hazards in the home. The funding will be used to reduce or remove lead-based paint in more than 200 low-income homes in seven target areas across Illinois. This latest round of funding brings the total number of homes made lead-safe by this program to 1,200.


September 28, 2007
Blagojevich administration, safety groups and law enforcement push to keep 55 MPH speed limit for trucks on Illinois highways
Governor says lives of motorists are at stake; Calls on Legislature to sustain veto of SB 540
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s top transportation officials were joined today by traffic safety and law enforcement advocates in urging legislators to sustain the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 540, which would have raised the speed limit for trucks in Illinois to 65 miles per hour. The Governor has fought to keep the 55 mph speed limit in place for trucks on Illinois highways for the safety of everyone who travels our roads. During Gov. Blagojevich's administration fatalities on state roads have dropped by 200 a year, the lowest levels since 1924.


September 28, 2007
Illinois EPA Director Scott receives 2007 Environmental Vision Award
Director awarded highest honor for environmental stewardship
CHICAGO – Douglas P. Scott, Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA), was awarded the 2007 Keep Illinois Beautiful Environmental Vision Award yesterday for his outstanding environmental leadership. He accepted the award at the Keep Chicago Beautiful 20th Anniversary Awards Dinner held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.


September 27, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces major expansion of Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program; Makes Illinois first state to ensure all women who need access to screenings and treatment can get it
With National Breast Cancer Awareness month days away, Governor launches "Take Charge, Get Screened" campaign to give more Illinois women benefits of early detection
260,000 more women will be eligible for free health screenings and treatment; expanded program begins October 1 CHICAGO – Standing with cancer survivors, doctors, advocates and legislators at Mercy Medical Center in Chicago, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a major expansion of the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), which makes Illinois the first state in the nation to make sure all women who need access to potentially life-saving cancer screenings and treatment can get it. By expanding the program to all uninsured women, Gov. Blagojevich makes it possible for 260,000 more women to qualify for free cancer screenings and treatment regardless of income. As part of his new Take Charge, Get Screened campaign, the Governor today made stops throughout the state to urge women to take advantage of the newly available free screenings and treatments to reduce breast and cervical cancer mortalities through early detection and prompt treatment.


September 27, 2007
IDNR reminds hunters of new regulations in effect for 2007-08 deer hunting seasons
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters of new regulations in effect for the 2007-2008 deer hunting seasons, which are set to begin Oct. 1.


September 26, 2007
IDNR’s Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Program accepting applications
Application deadline is November 30
SPRINGFIELD – Butterfly gardens, prairie plots and wetland study areas are just some of the projects students have developed through the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The IDNR is accepting applications for the 2007 grant program now through Friday, November 30.


September 26, 2007
Fourth West Nile death and 13 additional human cases bring the total in Illinois to 48
Two new counties reporting West Nile virus in birds
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting today 14 additional human cases of West Nile virus including a Gallatin County woman in her 80’s who died on September 12. The woman is reported to have become ill in early September. This newly reported case in addition to the 13 cases listed below brings the total this year to 48.


September 25, 2007
Blagojevich administration officials join lawmakers, labor and business leaders in Rockford to build support for Illinois Works
Plan supports 725,000 jobs statewide; delivers more than $260 million in capital funds for Rockford schools and roads and bridges, including widening IL Rt. 2 and the Freeport Bypass; New revenue stream also provides $30 million more in annual funding for Rockford schools
ROCKFORD – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin was joined today by Rockford area legislators, labor and business leaders today in Rockford to build support for Illinois Works, the $25.4 billion capital plan approved unanimously on September 18th by the Illinois State Senate. For the Rockford area, that means $260 million for critical local projects. The bill will head to the Illinois House of Representatives when they reconvene for the fall legislative session beginning October 2nd. Gov. Blagojevich is urging members to work across party lines and pass the legislation, which will fund projects that are vital to keeping Illinois families safe and helping communities thrive.


September 25, 2007
Blagojevich administration officials, lawmakers, labor and business leaders visit Champaign to build support for Illinois Works
Plan will support 725,000 jobs statewide; provide $209 million for Champaign area schools, roads, bridges, and economic development projects; New revenue stream also provides $19.6 million more in annual funding for Champaign area schools
CHAMPAIGN – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Deputy Governor Louanner Peters today joined legislators, labor and business leaders at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to build support for Illinois Works, the $25.4 billion capital plan approved unanimously on September 18th by the Illinois State Senate. For the Champaign area, that means $209 million for critical local projects. The bill will head to the Illinois House of Representatives when they reconvene for the fall legislative session beginning October 2nd. Gov. Blagojevich is urging members to work across party lines and pass the legislation, which will fund projects that are vital to keeping Illinois families safe and helping communities thrive.


September 25, 2007
Governor Blagojevich signs law to provide better coordination of State’s education systems
HB 1648 will help align state’s educational focus from preschool through graduate school
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that will help provide better coordination of the State’s education systems. House Bill 1648 creates the Illinois P-20 Council which will advise leaders in State government and education stakeholders on how to better align Illinois’ education systems – from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary education.


September 25, 2007
Governor Blagojevich signs law to give the State increased powers to enforce DUI laws
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that will give the State increased powers to enforce DUI laws. Senate Bill 577, sponsored by State Senator John J. Cullerton (D-Chicago) and State Representative Eddie Washington (D-Waukegan), gives more power and opportunity to the Secretary of State to penalize drivers who are arrested or stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence.


September 24, 2007
Illinois Department on Aging hosts 23rd Annual Older Workers Luncheon and Awards Ceremony during National Employ the Older Worker Week
Outstanding workers & employers recognized at luncheon in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD – In conjunction with National Employ the Older Worker Week, Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) Director Charles D. Johnson will host the 23rd Annual Older Workers Luncheon and Awards Ceremony to honor the state’s outstanding older workers and their employers. Individuals from around the state will be recognized and honored by IDoA for their continued dedication and passion for serving the state of Illinois. The noon luncheon will take place on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield.


September 24, 2007
Illinois fall trout season begins Oct. 20
Trout to be stocked at 36 locations
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood announced today that the 2007 Illinois fall trout fishing season opens on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 36 ponds and lakes throughout the state.


September 20, 2007
Illinois Department of Revenue reminds taxpayers extended tax filing deadline October 15
IDOR encourages taxpayers to use electronic filing to receive refunds quickly
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Revenue today reminded taxpayers who utilized an extension on their 2006 individual income tax return to file by the extended deadline, Oct. 15, 2007. By filing these returns electronically, taxpayers awaiting tax refunds can look forward to receiving that refund in about a week.


September 20, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, September 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 Saturday, September 22, 2007.


September 20, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich Provides Expanded, Permanent Property Tax Relief to Benefit 76% of Cook County Homeowners
Governor uses amendatory veto to permanently extend and expand the 7% solution
CHICAGO – Standing with Cook County Assessor James Houlihan in front of the home of Mike and Linda Vacala, a Cook County family hit hard by skyrocketing property assessments, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the permanent extension and enhancement of the 7% property tax solution. These changes will result in significant property tax relief for the vast majority of Cook County homeowners.


September 19, 2007
Poetry Out Loud Looks For Participating Illinois Schools
More than $100,000 awarded nationally to students and schools in 2007
The Illinois Arts Council invites Illinois high schools to participate in the 2008 Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, a free national program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Poetry Out Loud encourages youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary heritage.


September 19, 2007
ISBE announces earliest release of Report Card data to schools in more than 20 years
Spring testing data shows ISAT, IMAGE scores are up
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today the release of the 2007 School Report Card to schools and districts statewide – the earliest release in the 21-years of producing school report cards. Analysis of the 2007 statewide testing data also shows improvement and ongoing progress for Illinois’ students.


September 19, 2007
Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger Program accepting donations for 2007 deer season
More than 1.4 million meals provided to needy families thanks to hunters donating deer
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is again encouraging deer hunters in Illinois to consider donating whole deer to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger (ISAH) program in 2007. ISAH coordinates the donation and processing of venison providing meals to food banks, food pantries and charitable organizations throughout the state. Started in 1989, the ISAH program has coordinated the donation of more than 359,000 pounds of venison, providing more than 1.4 million meals for those in need.


September 18, 2007
State Public Health Director encourages regularly scheduled checkups
Extend the lives of family as part of Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today stressed the importance of regularly scheduled checkups, as part of an annual awareness campaign.


September 18, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, September 21, 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, September 21, 2007.


September 18, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs law to further protect children from sexual predators
HB 1979 also increases penalties for impersonating public officers for identity theft
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a law that will increase protections for children against sexual predators, by making it a criminal offense for someone to intentionally lure a minor through electronic media, and classifying an individual as a sexual predator if they have been convicted of two or more offenses of luring a minor.


September 17, 2007
Governor Blagojevich joins 29 other governors in calling on Bush Administration to repeal proposed rules that limit states' flexibility in covering children
Governors reiterate need for reauthorization of State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
SPRINGFIELD - Continuing his push for reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today joined governors from across the country in calling on the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to immediately reverse proposed mandates it announced last month that will fundamentally alter the authority given to states under SCHIP to craft and operate health care programs that best serve their constituents. In a bipartisan letter sent to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt, Gov. Blagojevich and 29 other governors from around the nation urged CMS to reiterate its commitment to the state-federal partnership under SCHIP and join the governors in advocating the reauthorization of SCHIP this year.


September 17, 2007
Illinois will celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Days Sept. 22-23
Festivals planned for Silver Springs SFWA, John A. Logan College
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois will celebrate the annual National Hunting and Fishing Days September 22-23 with two festival events. The Northern Illinois National Hunting and Fishing Days event will be held at Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area near Yorkville and the Southern Illinois National Hunting and Fishing Days event will be at John A. Logan College in Carterville.


September 17, 2007
Governor Blagojevich signs law to protect and promote the rights of residents of all ages living in long term care facilities
Legislation gives Long Term Care Ombudsmen the option to advocate for residents under age 60
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a law to protect and promote the rights of residents of all ages living in long term care facilities. House Bill 1301, sponsored by State Representative Joseph Lyons (D-Chicago) and State Senator Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville), gives the state’s Long Term Care Ombudsmen the option to serve residents under 60 years of age, helping to ensure all residents are receiving the highest quality of care possible.


September 15, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces more than $2.5 million to provide housing services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS
Grants help low income residents living with HIV/AIDS obtain affordable housing, counseling and nutritional services
CHICAGO- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $2.55 million in grants to 17 community based organizations across Illinois to provide housing services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. This is an increase of $125,000 from grants awarded last year. 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.


September 14, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich asks President Bush for federal disaster declaration for nine Northern Illinois counties ravaged by flooding in August
Federal disaster declaration would help people, businesses and local governments recover from losses
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today asked President Bush to declare nine Northern Illinois counties major disaster areas as a result of flooding and severe storms in late August that damaged thousands of homes and businesses. A federal disaster declaration would enable people, businesses and local governments to apply for grants and loans to help with flood and storm-related losses. Counties included in the federal disaster declaration request include Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will.


September 14, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs law to protect teens from ‘alcopop’ advertising
Legislation prohibits marketing of flavored alcoholic beverages to minors
SPRINGFIELD – Representatives from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s administration joined today with the legislative sponsors of Senate Bill 1625 and alcohol prevention advocates to announce how the new law will protect Illinois minors. The Governor signed SB 1625 into law today to prevent the advertisement or promotion of flavored alcoholic beverages, or ‘alcopops’, to children. ‘Alcopops’ are alcoholic beverages that are blended with fruit juice, lemonade or other flavorings. Examples include ‘hard lemonade’ and ‘twisted tea’. SB 1625, sponsored by State Senator Carol Ronen (D-Chicago) and State Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago), will fine companies that promote ‘alcopops’ to minors $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for a second offense.


September 14, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces $10 million grant for alcohol prevention programs
Eighteen communities across the state to receive funds to develop plans to reduce underage and binge drinking
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a five-year, $10 million grant from the federal government to bolster the state’s alcohol prevention efforts. The funds will be distributed by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), to 18 organizations across the state for programs created to reduce risky use of alcohol, underage and childhood drinking, binge drinking, and deaths from alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes.


September 14, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich officially names Milt Sees as Illinois Secretary of Transportation
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today officially named Milt Sees as Secretary to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Milt Sees has been the Acting Secretary of IDOT since earlier this year.


September 14, 2007
Governor Blagojevich appoints new director of Public Health
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today appointed Dr. Damon Arnold as the State’s new Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The Governor accepted the resignation of Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, the State’s public health director since 2003. Dr. Whitaker is leaving to pursue a position in the private sector.


September 13, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces distribution of STARCOM21 radios to colleges for state’s campus security effort
More than 300 radios distributed to nearly 70 colleges will increase emergency communications capabilities between campus security forces and other response organizations
SPRINGFIELD – Officials from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s administration today announced that the State will complete the distribution of more than 300 radios to 70 Illinois colleges and universities as part of his initiative to strengthen safety for students, faculty, staff and visitors at Illinois institutions of higher education. The STARCOM 21 radios will help campus security officials communicate with other response agencies during emergencies on or near their campuses. Representatives from more than 20 colleges are meeting at the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield today to pick up their radios and receive training on how to operate them. Forty-six colleges have already received their STARCOM radios and completed hands-on training during a similar session on August 28 at the University of Illinois-Chicago.


September 13, 2007
Illinois EPA announces fall 2007 Household Hazardous Waste collection schedule
Collections planned for ten Illinois communities in September and October, IEPA also collecting unused and unwanted pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott announced today that the Illinois EPA will host ten household hazardous waste collections, to be held across the state, starting Saturday, September 22.


September 13, 2007
State employees begin 25th annual campaign to meet important social service needs statewide
Employees contribute millions of dollars each year through SECA campaign; support helps Illinois’ most vulnerable
SPRINGFIELD – Highlighting both the current effectiveness and future needs of Illinois’ social service agencies, state leaders today launched the State and University Employee Combined Appeal (SECA) campaign that raises millions of dollars each year to support efforts to help some of Illinois’ most vulnerable people statewide.


September 12, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs law to protect people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing from unskilled interpreters
State to set standards to license and regulate sign language interpreters
SPRINGFIELD — Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a law that protects people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing from unqualified and unskilled sign language interpreters. Senate Bill 259, the Interpreter for the Deaf Licensure Act of 2007, establishes statewide licensing standards for registered interpreters. Sponsored by State Senator Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville) and State Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), the legislation ensures those individuals who are in need of interpretive services will be paired with qualified interpreters who are subject to professional standards.


September 12, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, September 15, 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, September 15, 2007.


September 11, 2007
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, September 13, 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, September 13, 2007.


September 11, 2007
Blagojevich administration marks 9/11 anniversary by honoring sacrifices made during and after the 2001 terror attacks
Governor signs HB3618 to make sure flags are lowered at half staff upon the death of an Illinois service member or law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's Administration today honored the memory of those lost in the terror attacks on September 11, 2001 and recognized Illinois' brave law enforcement officers and service members.


September 11, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs law to help educate veterans and National Guardsmen about potential risks of exposure to depleted uranium while serving overseas
SB 597 creates task force to study effects of hazardous materials found in combat during Persian Gulf War, OEF, and OIF
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that will help educate veterans and Illinois National Guardsmen about the possible risks of exposure to toxic materials, particularly depleted uranium, while serving overseas. Senate Bill 597, sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), will assist Persian Gulf veterans and National Guardsmen in finding information on available treatment for exposure to depleted uranium and will establish a task force within the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) to study the health effects of exposure to hazardous materials.


September 10, 2007
Governor Blagojevich announces $18.8 million in grants to help Illinois victims of violent crime
Funding will support direct services for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, and those with special needs
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois will receive $18.8 million in federal funding that will provide crisis intervention, counseling, and emergency shelter to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and other crimes, and support victim advocacy initiatives throughout the state.


September 10, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation to allow rape victims more time to file civil lawsuits
HB 1462 suspends the two-year statute of limitations to file civil action if the victim is being threatened or intimidated
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that gives sexual assault and rape victims more time to file civil lawsuits against their perpetrator. House Bill 1462 suspends the current two-year statute of limitations in the state of Illinois if the victim is threatened, intimidated or manipulated by the perpetrator or another person acting in the perpetrator’s interest.


September 10, 2007
"Day of Remembrance"
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich’s Office to fly the flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff in honor of the: Day of Remembrance for September 11


September 10, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois Child Support Program to receive national award for excellence
Award recognizes state’s efforts to ensure children receive the financial support they’re entitled to through child support assistance
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the State of Illinois’ child support program is being recognized for high performance by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). On September 11, Illinois will be awarded a Commissioner’s Award of Excellence for High Performance at the 17th National Child Support Enforcement Training Conference in Washington, DC. This award recognizes Illinois for performance in all areas of the national strategic plan for child support. Just seven years ago, Illinois’ child support system was ranked among the worst in that nation.


September 9, 2007
State Fire Marshal and Department on Aging highlight senior safety and support programs on Grandparents Day
OSFM’s “Grandparents Fire and Fall Safety Campaign” focuses on senior citizen safety, Aging reminds families about state’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program
SPRINGFIELD, IL – In honor of Grandparents Day, the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Illinois Department on Aging (IDOA) are highlighting the state’s efforts to keep senior citizens safe and support those who are shouldering the responsibility for raising their grandchildren.


September 8, 2007
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Chicago Park District host first “Veterans Adaptive Activities Day”
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) and Chicago Park District hosted the first “Veterans’ Adaptive Activities Day” at Northerly Island in Chicago today. The event gave Veterans with disabilities the opportunity to try a wide variety of sports equipment with adaptive fitness specialists from across the region.


September 7, 2007
State public health department promotes rabies prevention awareness for the first annual World Rabies Day
55,000 people die worldwide from rabies each year
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is promoting rabies prevention awareness and education by celebrating the first annual World Rabies Day, tomorrow, September 8, 2007. This year IDPH is seeing more bats with rabies. Bats are the primary carriers of rabies in Illinois.


September 7, 2007
Virus Detected In Illinois' White-Tailed Deer Population
Animal health officials say Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is deadly to deer, but poses no risk to humans
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – An outbreak of an acute, infectious virus that kills white-tailed deer has been detected in Illinois, the state Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources reported today.


September 6, 2007
Blagojevich administration unveils Ready Illinois disaster preparedness Web site
New Web site provides easy access to comprehensive information about what to do before, during and after disasters
SPRINGFIELD – Disaster preparedness information is just a mouse click away with a new state Web site unveiled by the Blagojevich administration during a statewide emergency management conference today in Springfield. The Ready Illinois Web site (www.Ready.Illinois.gov) offers comprehensive information on steps people can take before emergencies happen, what to do once a disaster has occurred, and tips for recovery after the event. In addition, during a large-scale disaster, current information about the situation and details about such things as shelters and road closures can be posted on the site to help people access needed information.


September 6, 2007
Honoring Ohio Congressman Paul Gillmor
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, September 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 Thursday, September 6, 2007.


September 6, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich launches innovative program to help Illinois residents buy their first homes
Assets Illinois Homeownership Project will offer dollar for dollar match for up to 850 participants statewide
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today launched an innovative program that could help up to 850 people across the state become first time homeowners. The Assets Illinois Homeownership Project funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) will offer a dollar for dollar up to $2,000 match in a structured savings account to help individuals save for the purchase of their first homes and build equity for the future. The program's free homeownership counseling will also educate participants about the financial obligations of homeownership and help homebuyers avoid the dangers of predatory lending.


September 5, 2007
State public health director warns parents to beware of lead paint in toys
Numerous toys manufactured in China are recalled
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Illinois Department of Public Health Director, is warning parents to watch out for possible lead paint on their children’s toys after numerous manufactures, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), recently issued voluntary recalls for children’s toys and jewelry, all manufactured in China, due to lead paint. In many cases, surface paints on these recalled items contain excessive levels of lead which is prohibited under federal law. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause serious health problems.


September 5, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich expands I-Loan Mortgage program to offer 40-year loans for first-time homebuyers
New pilot loan offers safe, below-market rate, fixed mortgages that will help lower monthly payments for Illinois residents
CHICAGO – As the nation’s foreclosure rate continues to rise, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today expanded the state’s I-Loan Mortgage program to offer 40-year loans to help first-time homebuyers in Illinois achieve the dream of homeownership. The new I-Loan 40 Mortgage pilot program provides one more safe and affordable option for an estimated 150 low- and moderate-income residents who want to purchase their first home. As with the pre-existing 30-year I-Loan Mortgage program, the I-Loan 40 offers first-time homebuyers a below-market interest rate that is fixed.


September 5, 2007
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs presents $100,000 Veterans Cash grant to help establish The John Marshall Veterans Legal Support Center and Clinic
100 percent of proceeds from the Veterans Cash lottery ticket go to help provide wide range of services for Illinois Veterans
CHICAGO – Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) presented The John Marshall Veterans Legal Support Center and Clinic with a $100,000 Veterans Cash grant today. The grant will go towards the establishment of the Center, which will be dedicated to serving the legal needs of Veterans and current service men and women.


September 5, 2007
Illinois Landowner Incentive Program Accepting Applications In Alton Bluffs Area For Habitat Restoration And Enhancement Projects
LIP open enrollment period Sept 10 – Oct 31
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) will begin accepting applications for habitat restoration and enhancement projects in the Alton Bluffs area on September 10. Applications will be accepted at 10 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), including Adams, Calhoun, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Pike, Randolph, St. Clair, Union through October 31.


September 4, 2007
Statement from Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich
On failed House vote on SB 572, sales tax for mass transit
CHICAGO - "I believe a tax on working families for transportation is a backdoor fare hike, and I believe the legislature was correct in rejecting that approach. For months I have urged the leadership in the House to consider alternatives, but unfortunately no progress has been made. Now, after the legislature's rejection of Speaker Madigan's tax increase, we are in early September without a resolution and the clock still ticking. This has never been a question of whether we should fund mass transit - that is essential. It is a question of how. I will continue to push to close corporate loopholes and to find other sources of revenue to help fund the CTA and RTA without raising taxes on people."


September 4, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich kicks off statewide Back-to-School All Kids campaign
Staples joins schools and health care organizations to educate parents about Governor’s affordable, comprehensive health care program for children
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today kicked off a statewide Back-to-School All Kids outreach campaign to help every family in Illinois get healthcare for their children before the new school year begins. This year, Staples, the world’s largest office products company, will join hundreds of schools, healthcare providers, and community organizations in supporting the Governor’s efforts to ensure every child in Illinois has access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare as families visit the retailer to buy back-to-school supplies. All Kids makes Illinois the first state in the nation to offer affordable, comprehensive health coverage to every uninsured child.


September 4, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich expands the G-I Loan for Heroes program to help more veterans and active duty personnel afford homes
$15 million in additional funding follows program's success; more than 100 veterans and active duty members helped in first four months
NORMAL – Officials from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's Administration today announced $15 million in additional funds to support the G-I Loan for Heroes program that helps qualified veterans and active duty personnel afford to buy a home. Launched last May as a $15 million pilot mortgage program, the G-I Loan for Heroes has already helped 115 Illinois veterans and active duty members secure low-interest mortgages and closing cost assistance during the program's first four months.


September 4, 2007
Blagojevich Administration announces more than $1.5 million in Women's Health Initiative Grants for Illinois
Grants to raise awareness and educate women and young girls about the health risks associated with common disease and health conditions
Awards reinforce Governor's commitment to healthcare; every uninsured woman in Illinois to have access to breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment SHERMAN- Officials from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's Administration today announced more than $1.5 million in Women's Health Initiative Grants for non-profit organizations, health departments and service agencies in Illinois. The grants will help institute educational programs about menopause, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. This latest grant announcement continues to strengthen the Governor's commitment to improving the overall picture of healthcare in Illinois.


September 3, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich signs "Jeff’s Law," legislation that cracks down on reckless and drunk drivers
SB 363 makes it easier to convict reckless drivers when they kill people in work and school zones and are excessively speeding or under the influence
SPRINGFIELD– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed "Jeff’s Law" today, making it easier to convict speeding or impaired drivers who kill people in work or school zones. The bill is in response to the tragic death of Jeff Heath, 58, a five year IDOT employee killed on April 26, 2006 while directing traffic in a construction zone. Heath was struck and killed by a speeding vehicle trying to avoid an accident on Route 162 near Pontoon Beach. Heath left behind a wife, two children and six grandchildren.


September 2, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich creates loan program to replace ash trees destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer
Communities eligible for low interest loans for reforestation projects
SPRINGFIELD– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today to help Northern Illinois communities infested with the tree-killing emerald ash borer finance potentially expensive reforestation projects. Senate Bill 1617, sponsored by State Senator Jeffrey Schoenberg (D-Evanston) and State Representative Julie Hamos (D-Evanston), creates the Emerald Ash Borer Revolving Loan Program, which will provide low-cost loans to local governments for replanting trees on public lands within the boundaries of the state's emerald ash borer quarantine area.


September 1, 2007
First Lady Patricia Blagojevich leads effort to help boost blood supply in downstate Illinois at an American Red Cross blood drive
Hospitals recently reached an all-time low supply in blood donations and are in crucial need
DuQUOIN - First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today joined the American Red Cross, one of the nation's largest blood collection organizations at the Senior Citizen Building at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds to help local area hospitals boost their blood supplies and provide hundreds of lifesaving blood transfusions. Blood supply has reached a critical low in Downstate Illinois. The American Red Cross blood drive will take place over the Labor Day weekend and is expected to increase the current on hand blood supply, which is at a critical level, from a one day supply to five days.

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