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October
2008


October 31, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Nearly $1 million in Grants to Address Local Flooding Concerns
Grants to support critical repairs in Alexander and Union counties
Continuing his efforts to spur economic development in every region of the state, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded nearly $1 million in grants to make necessary improvements to alleviate the potential of future flooding in residential areas of Alexander and Union counties. The grants are part of the Community Development Assistance Program’s new Flexible Opportunity Grant Program component, which is designed to provide funding to meet unique community concerns and urgent or critical needs.


October 31, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Now Accepting Applications for Home Energy Grants
Governor launches “Keep Warm Illinois” and urges households to apply for LIHEAP starting Nov. 1
As home heating costs continue to rise and families prepare for dropping temperatures, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the launch of the Keep Warm Illinois campaign. This multi-agency initiative coordinates state efforts to prepare communities for high home heating costs this winter. Starting Nov. 1, heating grants will be available for all income-eligible households through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and all eligible families are urged to apply now before extreme cold hits Illinois.


October 31, 2008
Statement from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich On the passing Louis “Studs” Terkel
“The memorable Louis ‘Studs’ Terkel spoke to Chicago and stood for Chicago. And today we mourn his passing. Studs, perhaps best known in Chicago for his radio program, was also a gifted actor and writer. He will be greatly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”


October 30, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Renews Call for Foreclosure Protections for Illinois Homeowners
Governor Partners with Sen. Collins and Rep. Hamos to Introduce Foreclosure Moratorium of up to Three-months for Homeowners that Enter Counseling
Standing with Ada Brown at the home she almost lost to an unaffordable adjustable rate mortgage, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today renewed his call for legislation to help Illinois homeowners in jeopardy of foreclosure. The legislation, which will be sponsored by State Senate Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) and State Representative Julie Hamos (D-Evanston), will provide up to three months to work out new mortgages for homeowners who enter counseling. Governor Blagojevich also announced today that despite recent reports of mortgage delinquencies reaching all-time highs, many Illinois homeowners are seeing an improvement in their own financial situations due to the Homeowner’s Assistance Initiative launched by the Governor in February. At the nine-month mark, approximately $1 billion in low-cost, fixed-rate loans have been written to help more than 4,000 families keep their homes.


October 30, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Nearly $6 Million in Federal Funds to Improve Public Transportation in Downstate Illinois
Grants will provide needed funding for new buses and facilities
In an effort to improve public transportation services in downstate Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a total of $5.88 million in federal grants to 16 downstate transit agencies and local governments. The funding will go towards the purchase of new buses and the construction of new facilities to make local public transportation more safe and reliable.


October 29, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Completion of Interstate 55 Widening Project
I-55 Corridor Improvement Project added one lane in each direction from Weber Rd to I-80; goal is to increase safety and reduce congestion
ROMEOVILLE – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the completion of the $165 million Corridor Improvement Project of Interstate 55 in Will County. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) held a ceremony today that included local and state officials celebrating the end of major construction activities for the project. The project entailed adding a third lane to the roadway in both directions from Weber Rd. to I-80, in an effort to improve safety and reduce congestion.


October 29, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Launches Task Force to Focus on Pontiac Correctional Center Transition
State Agencies join Efforts to Help the Pontiac Community during the Closure
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the creation of an inter-agency task force to ease the impact that the closure of Pontiac Correctional Center will have on the community, including businesses and local governments. The Task Force will pool all available and necessary state resources to preserve the economic well-being and quality of life for Pontiac and surrounding communities.


October 28, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Successfully Collects Child Support from Parents Seeking Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Program’s First Year Contributes to Record FY08 Collections
CHICAGO – Denying the hunting and fishing licenses of deadbeat parents has proven to be an effective incentive to getting some parents in Illinois to pay child support, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today. September marks one year since the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) teamed up with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to deny hunting and fishing licenses from parents who are not paying child support. In its first year, the program has resulted in approximately $263,506 of child support being collected for Illinois families.


October 27, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Selects Schools for Second Year of Operation Teen Safe Driving Initiative
Innovative program contributed to significant drop in teen driving fatalities during its first year
SPRINGFIELD – Building upon the success of the inaugural 2008 Operation Teen Safe Driving initiative, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the selection of 106 selected entries from Illinois high schools for the 2009 statewide safety program. Launched in November 2007, Operation Teen Safe Driving is a statewide initiative designed to help Illinois high schools implement local teen-led safe driving campaigns to decrease the number of traffic fatalities and crashes involving teenagers.


October 27, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Illinois Poverty Summit for December 9-10, 2008
Registration Now Open: Marian Wright Edelman, National Advocate for Children and Author, to offer Opening Keynote Address
CHICAGO – As part of the ongoing effort to help Illinoisans through the tough economic times, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that his administration will convene the first Illinois Poverty Summit, entitled Opportunities for Change: Taking Action to End Extreme Poverty in Illinois, on December 9th and 10th, 2008. The summit will be hosted in partnership with Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research in Evanston, IL. Those interested in attending the summit can register online at www.illinois.gov/povertysummit.


October 25, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces License Streamline Initiative Saves Time and Reduces Errors
Benchmark: One million licensees see service improvements
CHICAGO – One million professionals, including those in the healthcare field, have been able to receive their new and renewal licenses more quickly thanks to the License Streamline initiative launched in 2006, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today.


October 25, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces $265 Million in Energy Assistance Funding to Help More Low-income Families This Year
LIHEAP grant is $118 million more than last year and will help more Illinoisans as energy costs rise
CHICAGO- Amidst the background of rising energy costs and a weakening economy, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $265 million in federal funding for Illinois’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This year’s increase in federal funding ensures that the state will be able to help low-income families with the cost of keeping their homes warm this winter.


October 24, 2008
Governor Blagojevich, NBA Legends Celebrate the Success of Safety NETS Basketball League
Over 300 young men involved in the late night sports program and violence prevention initiative
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s highly successful Safety NETS Basketball League leaps into its Final Four weekend of action tonight. Tonight officials from Governor Blagojevich’s administration will join basketball legends from the National Basketball Retired Players Association and Jimmy Collins, Head Basketball Coach for the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to help celebrate the success of the first phase of the Safety NETS Basketball League during the Final Four Weekend Championship games.


October 23, 2008
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Sunday, October 26, 2008 until Sunset, Tuesday, October 28, 2008.
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, Sunday, October 26, 2008 until Sunset, Tuesday, October 28, 2008.


October 23, 2008
IDHS Announces Final Extension for Disaster Food Stamps for Northern Illinois Flood Stricken Counties
To Accommodate High Demand for Disaster Food Stamps, IDHS Extends the Application Deadline to 5:00 pm on Friday, October 24
Residents in seven counties declared federal disaster areas after recent flooding will now have additional time to apply for Disaster Food Stamps after the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) requested and received approval from the federal government to extend the application deadline to 5:00 pm on Friday, October 24. The application period was scheduled to end yesterday. The extension follows a surge of applications as more than 11,000 households (43,000 individuals) were approved for more than $5 million in Disaster Food Stamps. The Department has taken steps to accelerate the process for those applying for food stamps, such as increasing staff at high traffic locations and deploying shuttle buses to take applicants from remote parking locations to the local offices.


October 23, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Unveils New Veteran’s Cash Lottery Ticket, Coin Craze
Over $4.7 Million in Veteran’s Cash Grants Awarded to Help Provide Wide Range of Services for Illinois Veterans
As the nation prepares to honor our military heroes this coming Veterans Day, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director, Tammy Duckworth, and Acting Superintendent of the Illinois Lottery, Jodie Winnett, joined dozens of Veteran’s Cash grant recipients at the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago today to launch the newest version of the Veteran’s Cash lottery ticket called Coin Craze. The Blagojevich Administration is encouraging residents to purchase the new ticket as an easy way to honor the state’s Veterans and to help improve the services provided to them.


October 23, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Free Rides on Public Transportation for More Than 275,000 Low-Income People with Disabilities Statewide
Implementation of SB 1920 Offers Transit Options and Independence for Thousands
Beginning Friday, low-income disabled individuals will be allowed free rides on all regularly scheduled buses and trains that run on fixed-routes throughout the state. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich welcomed the implementation of the new People with Disabilities Ride Free program for which he signed Senate Bill 1920 in August, which requires transit systems throughout the state to provide free rides to people with disabilities who meet the income requirements of the State’s Circuit Breaker program. Since August, the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) has contacted approximately 114,000 current Circuit Breaker enrollees with disabilities to notify them of their eligibility to receive free transit rides.


October 22, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Recognizes DUI Crash Victims with Memorial Signs on State Roadways
New law allows families to memorialize loved ones while sending a message about dangers of drunk driving
As a result of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s signing of “Tina’s Law,” the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today installed the first authorized DUI memorial sign to recognize the tragic loss of life due to drunk driving. “Tina’s Law” allows DUI crash victims’ family members to request that IDOT install memorial signs along Illinois highways. The first sign, honoring 17-year-old DUI crash victim Caitlin Elizabeth Weese of Elgin, was installed today along Illinois 72 in the north suburbs of Chicago.


October 20, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Recognizes Volunteers for 27th Annual Governor’s Home Town Awards
Village of Mundelein Wins 2008 Governor’s Cup for Creation of Youth After School Program
Hundreds of volunteers whose hard work and dedication greatly improve their communities were recognized today during the 27th annual Governor’s Home Town Awards ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel in Springfield. Officials with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) were joined by a host of other state and local leaders to recognize their outstanding achievements and to present one winner with the celebrated Governor’s Cup award.


October 20, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Urges Lawmakers to Provide Immediate Property Tax Relief in Illinois
Asks for Restoration of the 7% Expanded Homeowner Exemption for Taxpayers
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today enthusiastically answered Cook County Assessor James Houlihan's call and offered to host a meeting with legislative leaders to discuss finding a solution to rising property tax bills being felt by homeowners throughout the Chicagoland area. The Governor today joins Cook County Assessor James Houlihan and Mayor Richard Daley in asking that lawmakers provide immediate relief to taxpayers by restoring the 7% Expanded Homeowner Exemption and raising it to $40,000 permanently. Leaders in the House of Representatives last year amended the law and opted to phase out the money saving exemption over the next three years.


October 17, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Joins in Honoring Statewide Radon Poster Contest Winners
State encourages people to test homes for cancer-causing radon gas during Radon Action Week October 19-25
The Blagojevich Administration announced today that three posters designed by Illinois students depicting the hazards of radon gas in homes soon will be competing against posters from across the country in a national radon poster contest. This morning, winners on the statewide and regional levels accepted their awards from the contest sponsors including the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the American Lung Association (ALA) of Illinois and the University of Illinois Extension Office.


October 17, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Proclaims Today Mammography Day in Illinois
State, Walgreens and beauty salons make sure women get screened and spread the word about free breast cancer screenings and low-cost treatments
Proclaiming today National Mammography Day in Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich is urging women to get screened for breast cancer. As an incentive for women to get their screenings, the State has teamed up with Walgreens to give the first 2,000 women who sign up for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) and get their screenings a $25 Walgreens gift card. In less than two weeks since announcing the partnership, approximately 850 women have signed up for IBCCP.


October 17, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Announces Boost in Temporary Assistance Benefits for Low-Income Families
First Increase in Six Years will Give Needy (TANF) Families a Nine Percent Hike
Low income families finding it hard to make ends meet got some good news today when the Blagojevich Administration announced a nine-percent increase in the benefit amount for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. TANF provides temporary financial assistance for pregnant women and families with one or more dependent children.


October 16, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Launches Serve Illinois Website as Link to Volunteer Opportunities
Website Unveiled as More than 700 are Sworn in During AmeriCorps Ceremony in Springfield
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today unveiled the Serve Illinois website – www.Serve.Illinois.gov – a valuable new resource for volunteer opportunities statewide. The new website will serve as a primary resource for Illinoisans who are seeking information about volunteer agencies, trainings, nonprofit resources and national service programs including AmeriCorps.


October 16, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Launches Civil Engineer Scholarship Program
Students can qualify for up to $7,000 each academic year
With a record number of civil engineers expected to retire within the next few years, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich is pleased to announce the Illinois Department of Transportation’s first Civil Engineer Scholarship Program. Scholarships provided as part of this new program will give selected students up to $7,000 per academic year as an incentive to continue their civil engineering education.


October 15, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Launches Tomorrow’s Transportation Today – a Progressive Improvement Plan
Green Lanes and New Interchanges on the Illinois Tollway Will Reduce Congestion, Connect Communities and Drive Economy
In an effort to reduce congestion, cut down on emissions and invest in Illinois jobs, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today unveiled a new Illinois Tollway Improvement Plan which will include the introduction of Green Lanes and interchange construction. Building on the successes of the Tollway’s current Congestion-Relief Program, the second phase – Tomorrow’s Transportation Today – is a $1.8 billion project designed to continue congestion-relief efforts, improve the environment and enhance mobility across Northern Illinois.


October 15, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Four Counties Approved for Federal Disaster Assistance to Local Governments Affected by September Flooding
Local governments will be eligible for 75 percent reimbursement of eligible expenses related to flood response and recovery
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the federal government has approved the state’s request for federal assistance for units of local government in Cook, DuPage, Grundy, and LaSalle counties for extraordinary expenses incurred responding to and recovering from severe flooding that struck the area in mid-September.


October 14, 2008
Governor Blagojevich’s Summer Youth Works program sets record employing 10,000 youth statewide
Summer Youth Works 2008 successfully put young people to work to improve their communities
Continuing his commitment to help Illinois youth stay focused and positive, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced that this year’s Summer Youth Works program set a record of employing over 10,000 youth, up from approximately 740 jobs last summer. Summer Youth Works 2008 provided employment opportunities for young people throughout Illinois to keep them engaged in positive activities. The initiative offered jobs that focused on community service, community and highway beautification, job training programs and pre-professional training. The Summer Youth Works program is coordinated though the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).


October 14, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Signs New Laws to Protect Children from Online Exploitation
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed two bills today to strengthen Illinois laws against adults who use the Internet to exploit children. Senate Bill 2855 and Senate Bill 2349 both overwhelmingly passed the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives late this summer.


October 14, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Unemployment Assistance, Food Stamps for Northern Illinois Flood Stricken Counties
Applications available Wednesday at local Illinois Department of Human Services and Department of Employment Security offices
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the federal government has authorized the Illinois Department Employment Security (IDES) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to offer special Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Disaster Food Stamp Programs for residents of seven counties declared federal disaster areas in the aftermath of the recent flooding.


October 10, 2008
First Lady Announces Breast and Ovarian Cancer Testing for Women on Medicaid
Genetic Testing Will Help Women with Significant Family Histories Determine Both Their Risk of Developing Hereditary Breast Cancer and Treatment Options
Illinois women enrolled in Medicaid who are considered to have a high risk for developing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer now have access to genetic testing and counseling, First Lady Patricia Blagojevich announced today. The First Lady came to the University of Chicago Medical Center to announce that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) now covers genetic testing and counseling for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes for women enrolled in Illinois Medicaid.


October 10, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Calls on Congress, Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke to Provide Direct Assistance to States Facing Financial Crisis
Letter Urges Immediate Action to Help States withstand the Continuing Credit and Liquidity Crisis
In letters sent today, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich called on Congressional Leaders, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke asking that the federal government provide direct financial assistance to states to address the current financial emergency. For the fiscal year of 2009, Illinois and 30 other states are projecting more than $53 billion in total deficits. In addition, rising unemployment, declining home sales, and lagging consumer spending are reducing tax revenues which is putting pressure on states to cut or eliminate vital services.


October 10, 2008
Deputy Governor Louanner Peters and Members of the Blagojevich Administration Honored with Awards from Illinois Action for Children
Awards presented for accomplishments in providing increased access to early child care and education
Deputy Governor Louanner Peters was honored today at the annual reception for the advocate group Illinois Action for Children and presented with the group’s 2008 award for advancing high quality and accessible programs that foster the development, health and well-being of all Illinois children. Also accepting awards for the Blagojevich administration were Grace Hou, Assistant Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services and Ginger Ostro, Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.


October 9, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Announces More Supportive Living for Low-Income Seniors, People with Physical Disabilities
Over 100 Supportive Living Facilities Now Open, 46 more currently planned
Seniors and people with physical disabilities in Illinois continue to have more housing options through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ (HFS) Supportive Living Program, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today. There are now over 100 supportive living facilities (SLFs) operating in Illinois, giving approximately 6,900 individuals a living arrangement that enables them to retain their independence while having round the clock access to health services.


October 9, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces more than 600 Women have Signed Up for Breast Cancer Screenings This Week in Illinois
Joined by Walgreens, beauty salons statewide answer the call to spread the word about free breast cancer screenings and low-cost treatments – “Beautiful Inside & Out”
After announcing a new partnership this week between the State of Illinois and Walgreens to encourage women to get screened during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced an unprecedented response to the “Beautiful Inside & Out” program. In the first three days of this initiative, more than 600 women signed up for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) and are now eligible to receive a $25 gift card from Walgreens.


October 9, 2008
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Saturday, October 11, 2008.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to immediately fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff until Sunset, Saturday, October 11, 2008.


October 8, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Seeks Federal Reimbursement of Flood-related Costs for Local Governments in Seven Counties
Costs to local, state governments total nearly $27.4 million
Local governments in seven Illinois counties hit by severe flooding in September could recoup some flood-related expenses if a state request for federal assistance is approved. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today submitted a request to the federal government seeking assistance for local governments to help them recover 75 percent of extraordinary costs for response and recovery efforts and repair or replacement of public property.


October 8, 2008
Governor Blagojevich appoints Tom Jennings Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today tapped Tom Jennings, a long-time Illinois Department of Agriculture employee and current Acting Director, as Director of the agency.


October 8, 2008
Governor Blagojevich and Walgreens Team Up to Encourage Women to Get Screened During Breast Cancer Awareness Month by Providing $50,000 in Gift Cards
Beauty salons answer the call to spread the word about free breast cancer screenings and low-cost treatments – “Beautiful Inside & Out”
Celebrating the one year anniversary of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s groundbreaking expansion of the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), Deputy Governor Louanner Peters and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold today announced in Chicago a partnership between the State of Illinois and Walgreens to encourage women to get screened during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The first 2,000 women to sign up for IBCCP by calling the Women’s Health Line at 1-888-522-1282 to schedule and keep their screening appointment will receive a $25 gift card from Walgreens. The gift card can be used to help cover the cost of prescription medications during these tight economic times or for other necessary purchases. Joining in the announcement was Y’lonn Salon, one of the State’s partners in the new “Beautiful Inside & Out” initiative aimed to help spread the word about the importance of early detection, and to let their clients know that all uninsured wome


October 7, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Takes Action on Legislation that Allows Testimony of Witness who was Murdered by Defendant
Provides assistance for prosecuting attorneys to get a conviction when the defendant has intentionally murdered a key witness in effort to silence them
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today acted on legislation that will allow the courts to admit a statement from a witness who was intentionally murdered by the defendant if they determine the murder was to prevent the witness from testifying against the defendant. With support from the bill sponsors, advocates and prosecutors, the Governor used his amendatory veto power to give the act an immediate effective date. Governor Blagojevich took action at the request of the bill’s sponsors. Without the amendatory veto, the legislation would not take effect until June 1, 2009. The General Assembly will now need to act to accept the amendatory veto and so that the voices of the silenced victims can be heard immediately. The General Assembly is expected to act next month.


October 7, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Awards $3 Million in Funds to Improve Transit Around the State
IDOT Grants will upgrade service for low-income workers and individuals with disabilities
In an effort to improve public transportation services for low-income members of the workforce and persons with disabilities, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a total of $3 million in grants to 18 downstate agencies and local governments. The funding will pay for new vans and buses and will make it possible for transit agencies to establish new routes and expand the hours of service on existing routes.


October 6, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Names Jerome Butler as Assistant Secretary of Illinois Department of Human Services
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named Jerome Butler as Assistant Secretary of Operations of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to continue the department’s goals to help Illinoisans meet basic needs, streamline services and improve accountability. Butler has served as chief operating officer of IDHS since 2003.


October 6, 2008
Governor Blagojevich proclaims October 6, 2008 “Dawn Harper Day” in Illinois
Day will honor the victory of Illinois native’s Gold-medal 100-meter hurdle win in the 2008 Olympic Games
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proclaimed today “Dawn Harper Day” in Illinois in recognition of the track & field runner raised in East St. Louis, Illinois. Harper won the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter hurdle at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Her hometown of East St. Louis hosted a parade and public gathering today in her honor.


October 6, 2008
Emergency Drill to Test State, Local Response to Major Earthquake in Southern Illinois
Emergency communications, collapsed building rescues, transportation safety among capabilities to be tested during three-day exercise
More than 200 state and local emergency response personnel will test their response capabilities during a large-scale earthquake drill this week in southern Illinois. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today said the three-day exercise will enhance the state’s earthquake preparedness by allowing participating organizations to test key components of their response plans. The I-Quake exercise begins Tuesday morning with a simulated major earthquake occurrence and will conclude on Thursday.


October 6, 2008
Governor Blagojevich announces individuals who will receive special Lincoln Bicentennial edition of the state’s highest award
30 people from around the world will be honored during February 7, 2009 ceremony in Springfield
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that 30 individuals from around the world will receive a special Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial edition of The Order of Lincoln, the highest honor that can be awarded by the State of Illinois.


October 6, 2008
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Thursday, October 9, 2008 until Sunset, Saturday, October 11, 2008.
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, Thursday, October 9, 2008 until Sunset, Saturday, October 11, 2008.


October 5, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Reminds Illinoisans to File for Federal Economic Stimulus Payments before October 15
153,000 low-income seniors, veterans and other Illinoisans have not yet filed for stimulus check
As Illinoisans’ budgets get tighter in this current economic climate, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded Illinois seniors and veterans to file income tax forms by October 15 to receive their federal economic stimulus payments. According to the IRS, Illinois is in the top ten states with unclaimed payments, as an estimated 153,000 Illinoisans have yet to claim $45.9 million. Low-income seniors, disabled veterans and other eligible recipients may miss getting their federal tax rebate checks because they do not ordinarily file income tax returns. Many retirees receiving social security, disabled veterans receiving veterans benefits and low-wage workers are exempt from filing a tax return. In addition seniors may not have received notification that they need to file returns due to their lack of mobility and limited access to the Internet.


October 3, 2008
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Monday, October 6, 2008 until Sunset, Wednesday, October 8, 2008.
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, Monday, October 6, 2008 until Sunset, Wednesday, October 8, 2008.


October 2, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Dedicates New State Police Forensic Science Lab in Springfield
$6.9 million facility provides state-of-the-art technology to analyze cases for 33 central Illinois counties
Leaders from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s administration dedicated the new Illinois State Police Forensic Science Laboratory in Springfield today. The laboratory is located in the Combined Laboratory Facility on the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine campus in Springfield. Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent and Capital Development Board Executive Director Jim Riemer took part in today’s ceremony.


October 2, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Salutes Illinois Businesses that Employ People with Disabilities
Governor proclaims October 2008 as Disability Employment Awareness Month
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed October 2008 as Disability Employment Awareness Month and announced that his Administration will recognize numerous companies in October for their commitment to hiring people with disabilities. In the last three years, the Illinois Department of Human Service (IDHS) Vocational Rehabilitation program helped 15,165 people with disabilities become employed, an average of 5,055 people employed each year.


October 1, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Proclaims Today Methamphetamine Awareness Day
As part of the state’s ongoing effort to combat one of the fastest-growing and most dangerous illegal drug trades in Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed October 1 Methamphetamine Awareness Day in Illinois. The proclamation is in accordance with House Resolution 139, which provides that the Illinois State Police, along with the State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Public Health, and local law enforcement agencies and school districts, will promote an educational campaign warning of the dire consequences of meth use and production.


October 1, 2008
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Friday, October 3, 2008.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to immediately fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff until Sunset, Friday, October 3, 2008.

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