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November
2008


November 26, 2008
All Kids Program Expansion Approved
Comprehensive Health Insurance Board approves Bridge Program
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois Comprehensive Insurance Program (ICHIP) Board unanimously approved an expansion of healthcare coverage to assist seriously ill or injured teens, or those with pre-existing conditions, maintain healthcare coverage. The All Kids program offers families affordable health insurance for their children, but teens over age 18 are no longer eligible for coverage under All Kids. The Bridge program will prevent a lapse in healthcare coverage and ensure premiums stay affordable for young people when All Kids coverage ends on their 19th birthday.


November 26, 2008
Unemployment Insurance Extension Available Immediately in Illinois
Approximately 150,000 new Illinois residents will benefit immediately from the emergency federal extension of unemployment insurance, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced. The legislation guarantees an additional seven weeks of unemployment insurance for unemployed Illinois workers actively seeking work. If specific benchmarks are reached, an additional 13 weeks of eligibility may be available.


November 25, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Urges Illinoisans to Volunteer Time and Talents during the Holiday Season
Serve.Illinois Connects Volunteers to Statewide Opportunities
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today joined the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the Serve Illinois Commission in encouraging Illinoisans to give back to their communities and serve an organization of choice during the holidays. With www.Serve.Illinois.gov, volunteers now have a new and resourceful search portal that connects them to 40,000 volunteer opportunities throughout Illinois.


November 25, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Approves Illinois Tollway Congestion Relief Green Lanes Plan
Going Green on Illinois Tollway Lanes will Improve Commute, and Help Commuters Save Money
Making good on his plan to offer Illinoisans the choice to save money on their commutes and be more environmentally conscious, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that he has approved the second phase of Tollways’ Congestion-Relief Program – Tomorrow’s Transportation Today, a $1.8 billion dollar plan, which will allow the Tollway to sell bonds needed to finance the development of a Green Lanes Plan and implementation of an Interchange Improvement Program included in Phase Two. The plan approved by the Governor will invest in Illinois jobs and will play a significant role in reducing congestion and cutting down on emissions that contribute to climate change.


November 24, 2008
Governor and First Lady Blagojevich Launch Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe Campaign to Provide Winter Items for Needy Children
Annual drive to begin at Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, featuring performance by the Goodman Theatre
In an effort to help children this holiday season, Governor Rod R. and First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today launched the annual Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe giving campaign with the lighting of the Christmas tree at the James R. Thompson Center. The Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe drive is an effort to collect winter clothing, car seats and food for children in need. Governor Blagojevich and the First Lady were joined by Illinois Department of Health and Family Services Director Barry Maram, Illinois Department of Central Management Services Director James P. Sledge, and Greater Chicago Food Depository Agency Programs and Services Director Angel Laluz.


November 24, 2008
Governor Blagojevich’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force Moves to Protect Tenants from Eviction
Only weeks after a tenant living in an apartment at 2754 W. Washington Blvd. in Chicago filed a complaint, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force (MFTF) housed in the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) acted to shut down two mortgage companies, revoke the registration of two loan originators, and filed formal charges against a licensed appraiser and an unlicensed real estate broker.


November 23, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Reminds Illinoisans that Services are Still Available after Successful Workforce Outreach Days
Illinois Workforce Portal can be found at www.illinois.gov/workforce and Illinois Employment Services can be reached at 1-800-966-9708
As the “Illinois Workforce Outreach Days” draw to a close, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded Illinoisans that services that assist in these poor economic conditions are still available through the Illinois Workforce Portal (www.illinois.gov/workforce) or by calling 1-800-966-9708. At six events around the state, Workforce Outreach Days connected more than 500 Illinoisans to services like Low Income Housing Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), All Kids, Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) and unemployment benefits.


November 23, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Urges Skilled Trades Workers to Apply for Illinois’ Home Weatherization Assistance Program
Low-income energy efficiency initiative generates jobs and provides training for more than 700 workers in Illinois
Continuing his push to connect Illinois’ workers with services to improve skills and find jobs as the effects of the poor national economy are felt in Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged skilled trade workers to participate in the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP), which will help to create jobs, provide job training for more than 700 skilled trades workers and stimulate local economies.


November 21, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Announces State of Illinois’ November “Veteran of the Month”
Crystal Lake resident honored for his commitment to serve fellow Veterans, youth, and local community
Lifelong Illinoisan and Unites States Navy Veteran John C. Blanchard was today named the State of Illinois’ November, 2008 “Veteran of the Month” for his outstanding service to the nation, and his dedication to helping Veterans, transitioning service members, youth and those in need.


November 20, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Commends Illinois Tollway for Adopting $1.8 Billion Tomorrow’s Transportation Today
Green Lanes and New Interchanges on the Illinois Tollway Will Reduce Congestion, Connect Communities and Drive Economy
Following acceptance of a plan to provide congestion-relief, improve the environment and enhance mobility across Northern Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today commended the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors for adopting a new $1.8 Billion Capital Plan, which includes the implementation of an Interchange Improvement Program and development of a Green Lanes Plan. The plan adopted today will play a significant role in reducing congestion, cutting down on emissions and investing in Illinois jobs.


November 20, 2008
Statement from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich
On the Appointments of Sens. John Cullerton and Christine Radogno to Illinois legislative leadership
I would like to send my sincere congratulations to our new Senate President, State Senator John Cullerton, and our new Republican Leader of the Senate, State Senator Christine Radogno. I look forward to working with them both in finding ways to help solve some of the biggest problems facing our state today.


November 20, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Restores Funding for Substance Abuse Addiction Treatment and other Critical Services
Emphasizing the state’s need to provide core services during the current economic crisis, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today acted on a supplemental appropriations bill (Senate Bill 1103) passed by the General Assembly to restore $175.9 million in funding for several reductions made earlier this year. With the Governor’s action, funding will be available for substance abuse treatment centers, Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) frontline staff, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) reduced fare subsidy and other core services.


November 19, 2008
Governor Blagojevich to Sign International Declaration to Fight Climate Change
World leaders resolve to act quickly to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases
After two days of unprecedented collaboration among 800 attendees from five U.S. states and states and provinces from countries around the world at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit in California, hosted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, co-host Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today will sign the Global Climate Solutions Declaration to reduce greenhouse gases worldwide, along with representatives from among the world’s greatest greenhouse gas emitters.


November 18, 2008
Governor Blagojevich to Sign International Agreement to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Deforestation
World leaders will pledge to collaborate to reduce deforestation and improve land management
Taking his commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the international stage, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich will today join California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and leaders from the U.S., Brazil and Indonesia to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to reduce deforestation, which accounts for around 20 percent of the world’s carbon emissions.


November 18, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Local Governments in Nine Counties Approved for Federal Assistance for September Flooding
Local governments eligible for reimbursement of some flood-related expenses
The federal government today approved Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s request for federal assistance to local governments in nine counties for extraordinary expenses incurred while responding to and recovering from severe flooding that struck the area in mid-September. The counties approved include Bureau, Cass, Greene, Kendall, Macoupin, Montgomery, Scott, Will and Woodford.


November 18, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Plan to Manage Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Deficit
$2 billion deficit to be eliminated by emergency budget powers, increased federal stimulus, and further administrative reductions
Citing the impact of the national economic crisis on Illinois’ revenues, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a four-part plan to manage the state’s $2 billion fiscal year 2009 budget deficit. The Governor’s proposed plan includes passage of the Emergency Budget Act, which would give the Governor and other constitutional officers added authority to help them make additional cuts, a request to Congress for increased federal stimulus aid, and further administrative reductions in the agencies. In addition to these budget solutions, the Governor is also proposing short-term borrowing which will help manage the state’s cash flow and pay providers in a more timely matter.


November 17, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Launches Partnership with CareerBuilder.com to Further Assist Illinois Workers
In response to economic slowdown, new partnership provides real-time access to jobs in high-growth industries
In response to a national economic downturn that is having troubling effects on people across the state, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today launched a new partnership to help Illinois residents and businesses access additional career planning, training and job placement services. This new partnership between Illinois workNet, the state’s newly-transformed workforce development system, and CareerBuilder.com will now provide real-time access to job openings in high-growth industries.


November 17, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Launches Workforce Outreach Days to Connect Illinoisans with Services during Poor Economy
In response to economic slowdown, New Workforce Portal puts job search tools and state services at Illinoisans’ fingertips
As the struggling national economy weighs heavily on Illinois workers, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today launched “Workforce Outreach Days” to help people in North Central Illinois prepare for the job market, find new employment, and get their family through the economic slowdown. This week, Governor Blagojevich also launched a new Workforce Portal (www.illinois.gov/workforce) to connect parents, job seekers, veterans, people with disabilities, small business owners and employers with state services that can help them navigate through the poor economic climate. Illinoisans with questions about these services can call 1-800-966-9708.


November 17, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Click It or Ticket Enforcement Campaign this Thanksgiving Holiday
IDOT, ISP, local police partnering with NASCAR as Illinois aims for historic low in highway fatalities in 2008
With highway fatalities down by 22 percent provisionally thus far in 2008, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced an all out Click It or Ticket mobilization aimed at saving even more lives during the Thanksgiving Holiday. While Illinois motorists have exceeded the 90 percent safety belt usage mark for the past two years, the new campaign aims to save even more lives by reaching a 100 percent safety belt compliance rate. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and local law enforcement agencies are coordinating the statewide law enforcement crackdown. This campaign is coupled with a series of new public service announcements featuring NASCAR drivers, who remind Illinois drivers to buckle up every time they get behind the wheel.


November 15, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Encourages Illinois Seniors to Apply for Illinois Cares Rx
Open Enrollment Season for Medicare Part D Starts Today
Starting today, seniors and other Medicare recipients throughout the country will be able to change their prescription drug coverage as part of Medicare Part D’s open enrollment season. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich is encouraging eligible Illinois seniors to make time to review their current coverage and also to apply for Illinois Cares Rx. Illinois Cares Rx provides prescription drug coverage that fills in gaps created by Medicare Part D, and also provides drug coverage to people who do not have Medicare. Governor Blagojevich signed the “No Senior or Person with Disability Left Behind” law in 2005, creating the Illinois Cares Rx program, the nation’s most comprehensive response to fill in the gaps created by the federal prescription drug program. Illinois Cares Rx has provided extra assistance to thousands of Illinois Cares Rx members and other Medicare beneficiaries.


November 14, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Proclaims World Diabetes Day in Illinois and Calls for a Stronger Focus on the Growing Diabetes Epidemic among Children
Illinois highlights the importance of education and awareness
CHICAGO – Showing his concern for the increasing number of diabetes cases in Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today strongly urged all Illinoisans to learn more about diabetes and how it can be prevented and controlled through diet and exercise. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, more than 840,000 Illinoisans have diabetes. Diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, accounts for nearly $7.3 billion in total direct healthcare and indirect cost every year in Illinois. Governor Blagojevich proclaimed Friday, November 14, World Diabetes Awareness Day in Illinois to correspond with the national awareness campaign. The theme of this year's World Diabetes Day campaign is Diabetes in Children and Adolescents. One of the main goals of this year’s commemoration is to promote healthy lifestyles to help prevent type 2 diabetes in children. More information is available at: www.worlddiabetesday.org/


November 14, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Schedule for Illinois Poverty Summit
Summit to Focus on Income Supports and Assets; Employment; Healthcare Access, Food & Nutrition; Housing
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the preliminary schedule for the upcoming Illinois Poverty Summit, entitled Opportunities for Change: Taking Action to End Extreme Poverty in Illinois, on December 9th and 10th, 2008 at Northwestern University in Evanston. The summit will focus on four broad themes: Income Supports and Assets; Employment and Opportunities; Healthcare Access, Food & Nutrition; and Housing. There will be four different breakout sessions for each theme. Each breakout session will serve as a setting where participants will be challenged to think about barriers and also come up with viable, tangible solutions to extreme poverty. The entire schedule can be viewed on the website at www.illinois.gov/povertysummit.


November 13, 2008
Governor Blagojevich urges people to prepare for dangerous cold temperatures during Winter Storm Preparedness Week
More deaths caused by cold temperatures than by tornadoes, floods, lightning combined
SPRINGFIELD – With cold temperatures already chilling much of Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged Illinois residents to begin preparing for even colder temperatures that can prove deadly. The Governor’s cold-weather safety advisory came as the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service prepare to kick off the annual Winter Storm Preparedness Week Nov. 16-22. The preparedness week is part of the Governor’s annual Keep Warm Illinois campaign.


November 13, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Peoria County Approved for Federal Assistance Following September Flooding
Grants, low-interest loans available to residents; flood-affected businesses eligible for loans
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that residents in Peoria County who suffered damage to their homes and possessions when severe flooding struck the area in mid-September are now eligible to apply for federal assistance. The Governor received notice today from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that a request for assistance for Peoria County submitted last week by the state had been approved. The federal disaster declaration also makes flood-affected businesses in Peoria County eligible for low-interest loans to help with their recovery.


November 13, 2008
Governor Blagojevich announces Landmark Lawsuit Settlement Empowering more People with Developmental Disabilities
Long-awaited reform supports state’s initiative to rebalance services for people with developmental disabilities and provides personal choice and opportunities for community living
Following a landmark decision giving people with disabilities greater assurances of opportunity and dignified living, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced his administration has signed a settlement agreement in a precedent-setting case involving people with developmental disabilities. A consent decree in the case of Ligas v. Maram filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago today builds on Illinois’ efforts to help those with disabilities take more control over their lives by offering opportunities to move from institutionalized care to community living.


November 12, 2008
Governor Blagojevich announces John Filan as the New Executive Director of the Illinois Finance Authority
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that John Filan will serve as the new Executive Director of the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA). At their meeting today, the IFA Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of Filan’s appointment. Filan, the State of Illinois’ current Chief Operating Officer, brings a wealth of management and financial expertise to the Authority to advance Governor Blagojevich’s efforts to create and retain jobs for Illinois residents in these challenging economic times.


November 12, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Plans for State-of-the-Art Biofuels Production Facility in Northern Illinois
Governor awards $4 million Renewable Fuels Development grant for next generation biorefinery
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Illinois River Energy, LLC in Ogle County has received a $4 million Renewable Fuels Development grant to help build a new $120 million-plus ethanol production facility in Northern Illinois. The new biorefinery will support Governor Blagojevich’s drive for energy independence and will create 40 new permanent jobs for the Northern Stateline region, as well as 120 construction jobs. The Renewable Fuels Development Program is administered through the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). DCEO Director Jack Lavin joined labor and industry leaders, and members of the academic community today on behalf of the Governor at an event highlighting Illinois’ biofuels industry.


November 10, 2008
Governor Blagojevich to Co-host Governor Schwarzenegger’s Historic Global Climate Summit
Governor’s Climate Change Advisory Council releases report to reduce Illinois greenhouse gas emissions
Continuing Illinois’ efforts to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that he would co-host the international Governors’ Global Climate Summit to be held later this month in California. The Summit, hosted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, will bring together national and international leaders who are committed to taking the steps urgently needed to fight climate change and prevent potentially catastrophic harm to ecosystems, infrastructure, human health and economies worldwide.


November 10, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Offers Financial Assistance to Nurses Working in Veterans’ Homes
More than $1.2 million in grants to repay student loans for nurses caring for state’s military heroes
While many hard working Illinoisans are facing the challenges of the national economic crisis, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today is reminding nurses throughout the state that financial assistance is available to help them pay off student loans if working at Illinois Veterans’ Homes. Through the Illinois Veterans’ Home Nurse Loan Repayment Program, nurses who provide care for Illinois Veterans in the state’s Veterans’ Homes are eligible to have as much as $5,000 of their student loans repaid by the state for up to four years. A total of $1.22 million in grants is available for nurses this fiscal year.


November 9, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Nearly $200,000 in Research Grants to Study Alzheimer’s Disease
Governor proclaims November Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
To aid in the research, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $190,000 in grants generated by the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Fund. The fund was created through donations made by Illinois taxpayers on their 2007 Illinois individual income tax returns. In an effort to promote advocacy activities, the study of Alzheimer’s disease and to honor those whose lives have been impacted by it, the Governor also proclaimed November Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Illinois.


November 6, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Encourages Those Wanting to Find Birth Parents or Children to Sign Up for the Illinois Adoption Registry during Adoption Awareness Month
Hundreds of families in Illinois have been reunited
In an effort to help reunite families during National Adoption Awareness Month, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich is helping spread the word about the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE). This comprehensive database provides an avenue for individuals involved in an adoption in Illinois to locate other people involved in the adoption without having to go to court.


November 5, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Congratulates President-elect Obama and Discusses U.S. Senate Seat
To fill President-Elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat, Governor will use deliberate process to select suitable replacement
After congratulating President-Elect Barack Obama on his decisive victory, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that he will take his time and use a diverse senior staff made up of key members of his administration who will assist him in selecting a suitable replacement for Obama.


November 3, 2008
Governor Blagojevich and Council of Economic Advisors Review Impact of National Slowdown on Illinois
Council of Economic Advisors suggests that investment in infrastructure will mitigate economic damage caused by national slowdown
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich met with his Council of Economic Advisors on Thursday, October 30, 2008 to discuss the national economic slowdown, its impact on the Illinois economy, and how Illinois can retain workers. With the analysis the Council provided on the current economy, they also answered the Governor’s questions on a plan to invest in infrastructure throughout the state which would put people back to work.


November 2, 2008
Governor Blagojevich and First Lady Announce $900,000 in Grants to Combat Breast, Cervical and Ovarian Cancer
Research aimed at advancing detection, prevention, screening, and treatment techniques
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and his wife First Lady Patricia Blagojevich, a couple devoted to the fight against breast, cervical and ovarian cancer, announced $500,000 in Penny Severns Breast, Cervical and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund grants as well as $405,000 in Ticket for the Cure research grants.


November 1, 2008
Blagojevich Administration Raises Awareness at Annual Polish American Breast Cancer Forum
State Public Health Director encourages women to get screened for breast cancer
On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold today spoke at the annual Polish American Breast Cancer Awareness Forum to help educate women about the importance of routine breast and cervical cancer screenings. Dr. Arnold also encouraged uninsured women to sign up for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP). The Breast Forum, held at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, served as an open discussion between members of the community, physicians, healthcare advocates, breast cancer survivors, and patients.


November 1, 2008
Statement from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich On the passing of Christine Ann Durbin
“I was stunned and saddened to hear the news of Christine Ann Durbin's passing. My wife, Patti, and I extend our deepest, deepest sympathy to Dick and Loretta Durbin and the entire Durbin family on their loss. As a parent, I can't even begin to imagine the profound sense of grief that Dick and Lorretta must be going through right now. I hope all the people of Illinois will join Patti and me in keeping them in our prayers. May God comfort them and help them through their time of sorrow.”


November 1, 2008
Governor Blagojevich Announces Statewide Veterans Job Fair
Governor proclaims November as “Hire a Veteran Month”; Reminds employers about $600 tax credit for each veteran hired
As veterans, like many Americans, struggle to find employment during the current national economic slowdown, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Illinois will host a series of job fairs across the state to help put veterans back to work. The Governor also proclaimed November “Hire a Veteran Month” and reminded employers about the new state income tax credit of up to $600 for every qualified veteran they hire. Veterans who have recently returned from service often have a difficult time finding employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, young male veterans (ages 18 to 24) who served since September 2001 had an unemployment rate of 11.2 percent in 2007.

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