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May
2008


May 30, 2008
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise, June 2, 2008 until sunset, June 4, 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, June 2, 2008 until sunset, June 4, 2008.


May 29, 2008
Governor Blagojevich launches radio campaign to promote personal disaster preparedness
Radio spots in English, Spanish encourage people to visit Ready Illinois website for preparedness information
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the launch of a radio campaign designed to increase public awareness of the state’s Ready Illinois website and encourage more people to be better prepared for disasters. The campaign, a partnership between the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) and the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA), features three radio spots that will air more than 11,000 times on 220 radio stations statewide over the next seven months.


May 29, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces nine more counties to help low income families and seniors at farmers markets
Farmers in 35 counties to participate in Illinois WIC and Senior Farmers Market programs for locally grown fruits and vegetables
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that an additional nine counties will participate in the 2008 Women Infant and Children’s (WIC) and Senior Farmers Market programs. Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D. and Department on Aging Director Charles D. Johnson said funding for the program comes from a grant of nearly $1 million from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The money is distributed in the form of coupons to eligible persons to buy produce at the farmers markets. The expansion comes as rising food prices push families to look for affordable ways to purchase healthy foods and produce.


May 28, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich encourages local first responder agencies to apply for equipment through federal CEDAP program
Response agencies eligible to apply for portion of $16 million in response equipment and training
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today encouraged first responder agencies to apply for no-cost homeland security response and prevention equipment through a federal program that last year provided equipment, training and technical assistance to nearly 70 law enforcement, fire and emergency management agencies in Illinois. The Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP) is administered by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


May 28, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich, President Poshard, Sen. Pres. Jones, Minority Leaders Sen. Watson and Rep. Cross call for passage of $31 billion Illinois Works capital plan
Illinois Works invests in roads, bridges schools, creates more than 500,000 jobs
SPRINGFIELD – Standing with Illinois Works Coalition Co-Chair Illinois University President Glenn Poshard, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Senate President Emil Jones, Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, and House Minority Leader Tom Cross today endorsed the new $31 billion comprehensive capital infrastructure plan recommended by the Illinois Works Coalition. Last week, Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert and Poshard announced their recommendations for a capital infrastructure plan and revenue streams to pay for it after a comprehensive statewide listening tour launched in March and a series of meetings with Governor Blagojevich and legislative leaders. The Governor and the three legislative leaders called for passage of the plan prior to the scheduled legislative adjournment date later this week.


May 27, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich seeks federal reimbursement of flood-related costs for local governments in 21 southern Illinois counties
Costs to local, state governments total more than $12 million
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today asked President Bush for federal assistance to help local governments in 21 southern Illinois counties recoup some expenses related to the March floods, including costs for response and recovery efforts, as well as repair or replacement of public property. A recent assessment of the flood’s impact on southern Illinois units of local government conducted by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) documented flood-related expenses totaling more than $12 million.


May 27, 2008
Statement from Rod R. Blagojevich
On Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s support of Capital plan, revenue streams
CHICAGO – “I want to thank the Illinois Chamber of Commerce for recognizing the need for a robust statewide capital plan and for their support of the revenue streams Speaker Hastert and President Poshard have recommended to fund the Illinois Works capital plan.


May 27, 2008
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH SIGNS FILM TAX CREDIT LEGISLATION
Illinois film industry reached an all-time record of nearly $155 million in 2007, 80 percent increase over 2006
CHICAGO – Building on his commitment to help the Illinois film industry continue to achieve record success, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed House Bill 2482, legislation that renews the Illinois Film Tax Credit. The Governor was joined at the signing by Harold Ramis, life-long Chicago actor, writer, producer and director first made famous by his role as Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989), and by up and coming producer John W. Bosher who is finishing up work on the movie “Chicago Overcoat,” which was filmed entirely in Chicago. Also joining the Governor was the star of “Chicago Overcoat” and former “Sopranos” actor, Frank Vincent.


May 25, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich urges Veterans to apply for state benefits; announces statewide Veteran Service Office Open Houses
Encourages Illinoisans to spread the word this Memorial Day about available benefits; urges Veterans and their families to take advantage of the state’s programs
CHICAGO– As the people of Illinois commemorate the lives of our nation’s Veterans who died defending our country this Memorial Day, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the state’s 51 Veteran Service Offices will all host Open Houses throughout the coming months for Veterans, their families, and survivors of fallen service members. The Veteran Service Offices house the state’s 73 Veteran Service Officers, who offer help to Veterans and their families in applying for and receiving compensation and benefits from the federal VA and the state. The Governor is also encouraging residents to spread the word about the state programs over the course of Memorial Day to help ensure that Veterans and their families get the benefits they fought for and deserve.


May 24, 2008
Gov.Blagojevich encourages Illinoisans to “Take Time to Talk to Children about Safety”
Proclaims May 25 Missing Children’s Day in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, along with the Illinois State Police, Department of Children and Family Services, and Illinois Department of Transportation, joined families throughout Illinois in observing May 25 as Missing Children’s Day in Illinois. This year, families are encouraged to “Take Time to Talk to Children About Safety Issues” by taking 25 minutes to talk with their children about safety and abduction prevention. The day also provides communities an opportunity to plan events to raise public awareness about the serious issue of missing children.


May 23, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces State of Illinois’ May “Veteran of the Month”
Palatine man honored for his tremendous commitment and dedication to fellow veterans, service members and the youth
SCHAUMBURG – To kick-off Memorial Day weekend, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich this evening named Palatine resident Jeremiah Crise as the State of Illinois’ May “Veteran of the Month” for his service to our country in the military and for his remarkable commitment to the community.


May 23, 2008
Governor Blagojevich submits appeal for federal assistance for flood victims in southern Illinois
State, federal damage assessment this week finds 39 additional homes that suffered major damage or were destroyed by March flood
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today asked President Bush to reconsider the federal government’s denial of federal disaster assistance for people and businesses in 15 southern Illinois counties affected by severe flooding in March. The Governor requested a federal disaster declaration for the area on April 8 to give flood victims access to federal grants and low-interest loans to help with home repairs and other flood-related losses. On April 28, federal officials denied that request.


May 23, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich congratulates 28 Illinois officers awarded with the prestigious Law Enforcement Medal of Honor
Ceremony honors law enforcement officers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich commended 28 Illinois law enforcement officers who were awarded the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor today during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Springfield. The annual awards ceremony honors law enforcement officers who have distinguished themselves by exhibiting bravery at the risk of their own lives.


May 22, 2008
Blagojevich Administration unveils $10.9 Billion Multi-Year Highway Improvement Program
Bridge safety and maintenance of roads is focus of program; Approval of Governor’s Illinois Works capital plan would boost Illinois Economy, create 700,000 jobs and allow for expansion of the road system
SPRINGFIELD – The Blagojevich Administration today unveiled a $10.875 billion Multi-year Highway Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2009-2014 for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). IDOT Secretary Milton R. Sees stressed that without the additional infrastructure investment that would be provided by the proposed Illinois Works capital bill, plans to expand the state’s transportation system to stimulate the economy and create jobs will remain on the shelf.


May 21, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich promotes exercise and healthier lifestyles to fight obesity in observance of Fitness Awareness Day
Governor steps up state efforts to curb alarming rates of childhood obesity cited in by national health experts
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich urged Illinois workers to celebrate today’s 14th Annual Fitness Day by exercising, choosing a healthier diet and becoming a role model of good health habits for their children. Fitness Day is part of annual National Employee Health & Fitness Day held on the third Wednesday in May. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) will host activities today to celebrate physical activity at work and at home at the offices of IDPH (535 W. Jefferson, Springfield) and IDHS (Hay Edwards 400 W. Lawrence, Springfield.)


May 20, 2008
Lowering of Flags on Memorial Day
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to noon on May 26, 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 to noon on May 26, 2008.


May 19, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces historic reduction in repeat crimes by ex-offenders, slower rate of growth in state’s prison population
New statistics show major progress from Governor’s comprehensive effort to reduce recidivism Releases Community Safety & Reentry Commission report and plan to continue work as new stats show Chicago’s murder and violent crime rates on the rise
CHICAGO - Joined by law enforcement officials, community leaders, faith-based leaders and state officials, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that statewide reforms have led to historic reductions in crimes by former offenders and significant savings for taxpayers. An intensive effort launched by the Governor in fiscal year 2004 to provide incarcerated offenders and parolees with access to education, job training, substance abuse treatment and counseling has led to the lowest conviction rate among parolees in state history, a 23% reduction in arrests among the general parolee population, and a 40% reduction in repeat incarceration among parolees with substance abuse histories who graduated from the Sheridan Drug and Reentry Program. The drop in recidivism has saved the State an estimated $64 million in incarceration costs since 2004.


May 19, 2008
Governor Blagojevich celebrates the consolidation of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade
Governor rings opening bell on trading, congratulates newly-formed CME Group
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today celebrated the consolidation of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) by ringing the opening bell to start trading at the CBOT building. The merger creates the newly-formed CME Group, a combined entity that is now the world's largest derivatives market.


May 18, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces more than $2.8 million to help protect Illinoisans from West Nile virus
101 people infected with West Nile virus in Illinois last year
SPRINGFIELD – As summer approaches, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today more than $2.8 million in funding to health departments across Illinois to perform surveillance, prevent and control mosquitoes to prevent against the West Nile virus. Last year in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) received reports of 101 people infected with West Nile virus, four of whom died. These cases were reported in all regions of the state, from Cook County to Williamson County and from Rock Island County to Wabash County.


May 16, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces nearly $950,000 in Recreational Trail Grants
Federal Recreational Trails Program projects in eight counties
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $949,800 in grants for multi-purpose recreational trail projects that will create or improve trails in eight Illinois counties. Funding for the projects is supported by the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program.


May 16, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois Products Farmers’ Market
Illinois vendors to showcase homegrown produce to help residents deal with rising food costs
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the 2008 Illinois Products Farmers’ Market to support local farmers, while also providing consumers with fresh, locally grown produce and relief from the rising costs of food. The market will be open each Thursday, June 26 through October 30, with the exception of August 7 and August 14, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Commodities Pavilion on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.


May 16, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich and 28 other governors urge Congress to pass Post 9-11 GI Bill to help veterans go to college
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and 28 other governors from across the country today urged Congressional leaders to support the Post 9-11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (the Post 9-11 GI Bill)(S.22 and H.R. 5740) and pass it as part of the supplemental funding measure under consideration for the US Department of Defense. The measure is necessary to address the needs of the brave men and women who have been fighting on active duty since September 11, 2001.


May 16, 2008
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES FINAL ILLINOIS STATE FAIR GRANDSTAND ACT
Pop star "Fergie" to perform Aug.8
SPRINGFIELD - Fergie, the American Music Awards' reigning pop "Favorite Female Artist," will perform at the 2008 Illinois State Fair, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today.


May 15, 2008
Blagojevich Administration’s Operation Teen Safe Driving program brings Ford driving clinics to Peoria area
Teen fatalities have declined sharply in 2008, since launch of effort to get teens involved in promoting safe driving
BARTONVILLE – The Blagojevich Administration announces that students from nine winning schools in the state’s Operation Teen Safe Driving program will be taking part in a safe-driving clinic put on by Ford, one of the sponsors of the program, in Bartonville today and tomorrow. This month, students from winning high schools around the state are receiving behind-the-wheel instruction at driving skills training events in Chicago, the Peoria area and the Metro East area as part of Ford’s Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) teen safe driving program that is designed to reduce teen auto fatalities.


May 15, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces $19.8 million in support for Danville biodiesel plant that will save hundreds of jobs
Support reaffirms state’s commitment to East Central Illinois biodiesel facility
CHICAGO - In furthering Illinois’ national leadership as a renewable biofuels producer, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Blackhawk Biofuels, LLC has completed its purchase of a new 45 million gallon per year biodiesel plant in Danville. The $19.8 million in state-backed support will leverage $25 million in private funding by the new owner to complete construction of the facility and upgrade technology.


May 15, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich suggests ways for Illinoisans to help victims of the Southeast Asian cyclone and West China earthquake
Gov. Blagojevich offers prayers for the victims and expresses gratitude to those who have already helped
CHICAGO — In the wake of last week’s devastating cyclone in Myanmar (formally known as Burma) and the following earthquake in Sichuan Province of the People’s Republic of China, Gov. Blagojevich offered his condolences to the victims and families who lost loved ones, especially to the Burmese and Chinese Americans in Illinois who have been tragically affected by these events. While there is no state-sponsored relief fund, the governor urged Illinois citizens to seek out reputable charities and assistance funds.


May 14, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich reminds young internet users of potential online dangers
Illinois State Police kicks off summer NetSmartz training; provides safety tips to protect children while online
SPRINGFIELD – As school children and parents across the state prepare for summer dismissal, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry G. Trent today reminded adolescents and parents of the dangers associated with using the internet. The announcement comes as the ISP kicks off a summer tour of NetSmartz training workshops that combine the newest technologies and current research into high-impact educational activities that teach kids how to stay safe from predators while online.


May 13, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims today “Desmond Tutu Day” in Illinois
Famed South African archbishop who led fight against apartheid unveils his portrait in the Lincoln Presidential Museum Tutu will receive the Lincoln Leadership Prize from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation
CHICAGO –Governor Rod R. Blagojevich has proclaimed today, May 13th, Desmond Tutu Day in recognition of the South African Archbishop’s lifelong fight for civil rights. In a historic trip to the state of Illinois, Archbishop Tutu unveiled the portrait which will be displayed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, and will receive the Lincoln Leadership Prize this evening in Chicago from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.


May 12, 2008
Blagojevich Administration’s Operation Teen Safe Driving program launches driving clinics
Teen fatalities have declined sharply in 2008, since launch of effort to get teens involved in promoting safe driving
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced that students from four winning schools in the state’s Operation Teen Safe Driving program are taking part today in Chicago in a safe-driving clinic put on by Ford, one of the sponsors of the program. Over the next eight days, students from 28 high schools around the state will receive behind-the-wheel instruction at driving skills training events in Chicago, Peoria and the Metro East area as part of Ford’s Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) teen safe driving program that is designed to reduce teen auto fatalities


May 12, 2008
Peace Officers Memorial Day
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise, Thursday, May 15 until sunset, Thursday, May 15, 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, May 15 until sunset, Thursday, May 15, 2008.


May 12, 2008
Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and SIU President Glenn Poshard continue Illinois Works Listening Tour event in Chicagoland
Illinois Works Coalition Co-Chairs Visit Chicago Area to build support for $25 billion capital plan
CHICAGO – Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert and President of Southern Illinois University Glenn Poshard visited the Chicago area as part of their ongoing listening tour across the state in support of Illinois Works, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s $25 billion capital improvement program. At two separate stops in Chicagoland, the Illinois Works Coalition co-chairs continued to hear from Illinois residents about the immediate need for a capital bill.


May 11, 2008
Blagojevich administration launches Women’s Health Week in Illinois with Pin-A-Sister event on Mother’s Day
Health fairs, workshops, seminars, speakers and screenings held across the state to help improve women’s health
CHICAGO – To stress the importance of women getting routine breast and cervical cancer screenings, Deputy Governor Louanner Peters kicked-off Women’s Health Week in Illinois today by leading a Pin-A-Sister event at Fellowship Baptist Church. Women’s Health Week is a perfect time to focus on women’s health, including the importance of early detection, which all uninsured women now have access to through the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) expansion.


May 11, 2008
Governor Blagojevich celebrates Mother’s Day at Wrigley Field, helping spread the word about the importance of breast cancer screening
In conjunction with ‘Project Pink’ at Wrigley Field, Governor raises awareness of expanded Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program for all uninsured women
CHICAGO – Standing outside of Wrigley Field with breast cancer patients and survivors from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich honored women this Mother’s Day by reminding them that routine breast cancer screenings can save lives. Before the game representatives from the Governor’s office distributed information on the recently expanded Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), which makes sure all uninsured women who need access to potentially life-saving cancer screenings and treatment can get it.


May 9, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich congratulates Illinois student qualifiers for National History Day competition
Students from schools in Aurora, Berwyn, Carbondale, Chicago, Des Plaines, Lincolnshire, Oak Park, Payson and Skokie were chosen during the annual Illinois History Expo held May 8 in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today congratulated junior and senior high school students from across Illinois who have qualified to compete in the National History Day competition to be held June 15 - 19 in College Park, Maryland. These students were chosen from more than 1,400 who competed in the Illinois History Expo held May 8 in Springfield.


May 9, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces launch of Web portal to keep patients in state programs safer
Secure Web portal now allows physicians treating Medicaid patients to view past prescriptions, immunizations and procedures
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) has launched an improved version of a secure Web portal that will keep patients safe and potentially save lives by reducing the risk of medical mix-ups. The Medical Electronic Data Interchange (MEDI) system will allow doctors treating Medicaid patients to view patient information that includes medication and immunization histories, previous lab orders, hospitalizations and other medical procedures. By providing more information to doctors, the program should decrease redundant care and reduce medical errors.


May 9, 2008
Governor Blagojevich urges Congressional leaders for immediate action on summer jobs program
Federal program would compliment Governor’s Community Investment Works program to reduce violence, create jobs for teens
CHICAGO – Three days after announcing his Community Investment Works program to curb violence and create more opportunities for youth, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich sent a letter today to Congressional leaders urging them to approve legislation that would fund summer jobs for youth nationwide. In April, Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) and Rep. James Clyburn (D – South Carolina) introduced companion bills in the US Senate and House that would provide as much as $1 billion for communities across the country to implement a summer jobs program. The Governor calls for federal action as Chicago nears the end of one of the most violent school years in recent history.


May 9, 2008
Blagojevich administration launches “Pink Potluck” campaign to highlight the importance of breast and cervical cancer screenings
Celebrate this Mother’s Day with information that could save her life
CHICAGO – Governor Blagojevich’s, “Pink Potluck” event was held today in Chicago to raise awareness about the importance of routine breast and cervical cancer screenings. “Pink Potlucks” are an opportunity for women to talk about the importance of early detection and to learn more about the Governor’s recently expanded Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP). Currently, all uninsured women are eligible for free screenings and low-cost treatment options through the IBCCP.


May 8, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich calls on Senate Appropriations Committee to commit to FutureGen in Mattoon
Governor sends letter to Senator Durbin summarizing state’s efforts to make landmark clean-coal project a reality in Mattoon Mattoon officials lead Save-Our-FutureGen effort of Capitol Hill on behalf of Central Illinois community and State of Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – As a U.S. Senate Committee hearing is underway on Capitol Hill, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich sent a letter to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) again making the case for why the landmark FutureGen clean coal project must move forward as originally planned in Mattoon, Illinois. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a hearing today on FutureGen. The Governor’s letter to Sen. Durbin highlights the critical need for this project and documents the state’s efforts to make the revolutionary project a reality, despite 11th hour attempts by the U.S. Department of Energy to abandon the project. Because the state was not invited as a witness, the Governor asked Senator Durbin to share this information with his colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee.


May 8, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich renames a portion of I-57 “Ken Gray Expressway” to honor long-time Congressman
Congressman’s dedication to southern Illinois helped build highways, hospitals and Rend Lake
FRANKLIN COUNTY – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today renamed a section of Interstate 57 in honor of longtime southern Illinois Congressman Kenneth J. Gray. From now on, I-57 between Mile Post 0, at the Illinois State Line to Mile Post 106, at the Marion/Jefferson County Line will be known as “Ken Gray Expressway.” Signs will be placed in each direction, signifying this honor for the influential former member of Congress, who represented southern Illinois for nearly a quarter of a century in Washington, D.C.


May 8, 2008
Governor Blagojevich applauds Senate’s quick action on campus security legislation
Bill unanimously approved by full Senate just hours after passing Senate Higher Education Committee
SPRINGFIELD – Just hours after receiving unanimous approval from the Senate Higher Education Committee Thursday morning, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich applauded the full Senate for passing the Campus Security Enhancement Act. Senate Bill 2691 requires colleges and universities to develop and exercise emergency response and violence prevention programs. The bill now moves to the Illinois House of Representatives for consideration.


May 7, 2008
Governor Blagojevich and community leaders urge legislators to act quickly to enact Community Investment Works plan
Send letter to Illinois General Assembly encouraging immediate action to help stem youth violence
CHICAGO – The day after more than 70 community-based organizations joined Governor Rod R. Blagojevich in announcing Community Investment Works, ten well-respected youth advocates and the Governor sent a letter to lawmakers asking them to act swiftly to pass the new plan and help stem the tide of youth violence in Chicago and around Illinois. Community Investment Works is designed to address a range of factors contributing to youth violence, including the lack of employment opportunities, lack of safe social and recreational opportunities, and disengagement from their communities.


May 6, 2008
Gov.Blagojevich announces largest Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign in state history for May
IDOT, ISP, and local police agencies aim to reach higher goals for seat belt use; Fatalities down to historic lows since the Governor signed law in 2003
SPRINGFIELD– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP), and local law enforcement agencies will conduct the largest Click It or Ticket (CIOT) mobilization in the state's history during the month of May. While Illinois motorists have exceeded the 90 percent mark for seatbelt usage, the aim of the new campaign is to save more lives and by pushing for 100 percent compliance.


May 6, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces Community Investment Works; Monumental state plan to reduce youth violence
$150 million comprehensive investment to create more job opportunities for youth, increase number of after school programs, rebuild deteriorating neighborhoods and increase public safety Public can get more information, join the effort to pass comprehensive anti-violence plan at www.illinois.gov/community
Public can get more information, join the effort to pass comprehensive anti-violence plan at www.illinois.gov/community CHICAGO – In response to a recent spike in violence on Chicago streets, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a comprehensive state plan to help reduce violence and save young lives. Joined by parents, community leaders, advocates, and clergy at the Martin Luther King Jr. Boys & Girls Club on the City’s west side, the Governor laid out his plan to curb the tide of violence in Illinois. The Governor’s plan, called Community Investment Works, will address a range of factors contributing to youth violence, including the lack of employment opportunities, lack of safe social and recreational opportunities, and disengagement from their communities.


May 5, 2008
Blagojevich administration launches “Pink Potluck” effort to spread the word about the importance of breast and cervical cancer screenings
Governor honors two women for their work in raising awareness of the importance of cancer early detection
CHICAGO – Deputy Governor Louanner Peters and Senior Advisor to the Governor Carol Ronen, both breast cancer survivors, today launched the “Pink Potluck” campaign – an effort to get the word out about the importance of routine breast and cervical cancer screenings. “Pink Potlucks” are an opportunity for women to talk about the importance of early detection and to learn about how all uninsured women are eligible for free screenings and low-cost treatment through the recently expanded Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP).


May 5, 2008
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH BREAKS GROUND ON TWO MANUFACTURING FACILITIES IN SOUTHWEST ILLINOIS THAT WILL CREATE JOBS AND SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH THROUGHOUT THE REGION
State to provide $12.6 million in support for U. S. Steel and SunCoke project
GRANITE CITY, IL – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today joined state and local officials and representatives from United States Steel Corporation and SunCoke Energy, Inc. to break ground on the companies’ new manufacturing facilities in Granite City. The state’s investment will leverage millions in private investment that will result in the creation of approximately 70 new jobs and the retention of 2,200 jobs throughout the region. The investment package comes as a part of Opportunity Returns, the Governor’s comprehensive economic development strategy to create jobs and build the economy in Southwest Illinois.


May 5, 2008
Blagojevich administration launches “Pink Potluck” effort to spread the word about the importance of breast and cervical cancer screenings
Governor honors two women for their work in raising awareness of the importance of cancer early detection
CHICAGO – Deputy Governor Louanner Peters, a breast cancer survivor, today launched the “Pink Potluck” campaign – an effort to get the word out about the importance of routine breast and cervical cancer screenings. “Pink Potlucks” are an opportunity for women to talk about the importance of early detection and to learn about how all uninsured women are eligible for free screenings and low-cost treatment through the recently expanded Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP).


May 4, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich creates Illinois Seismic Safety Task Force
Governor directs state agencies to review and enhance Illinois' current earthquake damage prevention strategies
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and Illinois Emergency Management Agency to lead task force CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the creation of the Illinois Seismic Safety Task Force (SSTF) to enhance earthquake mitigation measures in the state so homeowners and business-owners have the protections they need if a damaging earthquake strikes, and buildings and other infrastructure are prepared to withstand seismic activity. The Seismic Safety Task Force will assess the adequacy of existing earthquake mitigation strategies, particularly of those in high-risk areas along fault lines in the southern portion of the state. The task force will provide the Governor with formal recommendations to further enhanced preparedness.


May 2, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich calls on media, parents to unite in preventing drug abuse
New public service announcements include messages about over-the-counter and prescription drugs, the fastest growing drugs of abuse among teens
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced that the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and Prevention First, a state affiliate of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, have unveiled new messages alerting parents and young people to the dangers of illegal and prescription drug abuse. The public service announcements (PSAs), to begin airing this month on radio and television stations statewide, include new messages about prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse. With the campaign, Gov. Blagojevich is asking media outlets in Illinois to join him in stepping up efforts to stop drug use, especially among young people.


May 2, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich launches the nation’s largest state rental assistance program to provide long-term housing stability for extremely low-income residents
Rental Housing Support Program will assist 4,000 families and individuals over the next several years through rental subsidies
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today launched the country’s largest state rental assistance program that will help extremely low-income residents in Illinois achieve long-term housing stability. Once fully operational over the next three years, the Rental Housing Support Program will assist an estimated 4,000 “rent burdened” extremely low-income individuals and families and those with special needs find safe and affordable rental housing through rental subsidies.


May 2, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich urges Federal VA to improve continuation of care for Vets with traumatic brain injuries
New Federal VA Inspector General report finds inadequate follow-up care for Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries Illinois Warrior Assistance Program offers 24-hour assistance for Veterans in Illinois through toll-free helpline at 1-866-554-IWAP (4927)
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blogojevich called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs today to improve continuation of care for Vets with traumatic brain injuries in light of their Inspector General’s report released yesterday finding Veterans in long term recovery for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are not getting the assistance they need. For Veterans in Illinois, the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program is available and offers 24-hour assistance through a toll-free helpline for Illinois Veterans suffering from symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or TBI.


May 2, 2008
Governor Blagojevich announces Ogle County approved for snow assistance
Local governments can receive reimbursement for 75 percent of snow removal-related costs
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the federal government has approved his request for assistance to local governments in Ogle County that were hard-hit by heavy snow in early February. The federal assistance will help municipal, county, township and other governmental bodies receive reimbursement for 75 percent of their extraordinary expenses related to a heavy snowfall on Feb. 5-6. The federal government previously approved snow assistance for Boone, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Lake, McHenry, Stephenson and Winnebago counties.


May 1, 2008
Governor Blagojevich announces significant decline in teen driving fatalities; final winning schools for Operation Teen Safe Driving
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Secretary of State Jesse White, the Governors Highway Safety Association, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP), Ford Motor Company Fund, The Allstate Foundation, and supporters of Operation Teen Safe Driving today announced the final round of winning schools to participate in the statewide safety initiative designed to educate teens about safe driving to save lives. This announcement comes as Illinois records a significant decline in teen fatalities in automobile crashes so far this year. From January 1st through April 15th, 22 teens (ages 16-19) lost their lives on Illinois roadways. During the same time period last year, there were 57 deaths.


May 1, 2008
Gov.Blagojevich and state officials announce new campaign to promote good mental health
“Say it out loud” campaign encourages Illinois residents to seek help or offer help to people who need it
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Division of Mental Health today announced a new public education campaign to promote good mental health. The campaign, launched at a rally at Navy Pier, will also empower those living with a mental health issue to Say it out loud. While other campaigns have used emotional appeals and dramatic imagery to draw attention to the issue of mental health, Say it out loud will use stories from real people to show that mental health is vital to overall health and well-being.

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