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June
2008


June 30, 2008
Governor Blagojevich’s Keep Cool Illinois campaign reminds you to be safe and stay healthy this July 4th
Campaign features food, swimming and fireworks safety tips for families
SPRINGFIELD – As part of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s Keep Cool Illinois campaign, established to help keep Illinois families cool and safe this summer, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Office of the State Fire Marshal remind you of some steps you can take to ensure a safe and healthy 4th of July holiday.


June 30, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich signs Preschool for All legislation; provides opportunity for early childhood education for thousands of Illinois kids
Illinois leads the nation in providing preschool access for all three- and four-year-olds
CHICAGO – Surrounded by families, early childhood education advocates, elected officials and preschool students today at Reba Early Learning Center in Evanston, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation that continues the state’s historic early childhood program. House Bill 4705 immediately extends the nationally recognized initiative, Preschool for All, for two more years.


June 30, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces grandstand concert lineup for 2008 DuQuoin State Fair
Southern Illinois fair also features several days of motorized and horse racing on world-famous “Magic Mile” track
DuQUOIN – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the grandstand concert lineup for the 86th annual DuQuoin State Fair will feature Sawyer Brown, a country music band founded in the 1980s, that has become one of the most popular and consistent award-winning groups in the recording industry. 2006 American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler, P.O.D. and Corbin Bleu will be headliners on three other nights of main grandstand entertainment, while being backed by strong young artists Bucky Covington, Sevendust and Justin Stein, respectively.


June 28, 2008
Governor Blagojevich warns flood victims to be wary of repair scams and recovery predators
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today warned families to be careful of unscrupulous agents offering repair services or retroactive flood insurance. Families across the state are facing massive clean up efforts as flood waters recede. When wide-spread damage such as this occurs from natural disasters, Illinois families should be careful to deal only with reputable agents and demand written estimates and contracts.


June 28, 2008
Governor Blagojevich proclaims June 29th as Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz Day in Illinois
Cardinal Dziwisz served as private secretary to the late Pope John Paul II for more than 35 years and is the Archbishop of Kraków, Poland.
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed Sunday, June 29, 2008 as Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz Day in Illinois. Cardinal Dziwisz, has been invited to the State of Illinois by the Archdiocese of Chicago, Cardinal George, and the Bishop Abramowicz Seminary. During a two-day program he will visit the Polish community and concelebrate masses with Cardinal George. He will also be honored with the Caritas Christi Award presented by Cardinal George for service to Polonia.


June 27, 2008
State of Illinois receives $3.5 million from U.S. Department of Labor for flood clean up and recovery
Money will put approximately 200 flood-impacted individuals to work
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the State of Illinois has received a $3,500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to create approximately 200 temporary jobs to assist in cleanup and recovery efforts as a result of recent storms and flooding.


June 27, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces relocation of IDOT Division of Traffic Safety to Harrisburg
Move expected to stimulate southern Illinois economy and save taxpayers nearly $13 million during 10-year period
HARRISBURG – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will relocate its Division of Traffic Safety to the Southeastern Illinois College Foundation Building, at 540 N. Commercial Street in Harrisburg. The State has an agreement to purchase roughly half of the building, which is located in Saline County, for $812,160. This relocation will save the State of Illinois an estimated $12.8 million during the next 10 years, while stimulating the economy in southern Illinois.


June 27, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich urges residents to stay safe and healthy after flooding
Food, water and cleaning recommendations offered to help prevent illness and injury
SPRINGFIELD- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged residents in and around flooded areas to take precautions to help prevent disease, in order to stay safe and healthy.


June 27, 2008
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Monday, June 30, 2008 until Sunset, Wednesday, July 2, 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, June 30, 2008 until Sunset, Wednesday, July 2, 2008.


June 26, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces 10,000 summer jobs for youth across the state
Starting in early July Summer Youth Works puts young people to work to improve their communities
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Summer Youth Works 2008, a program that provides young people from communities throughout Illinois summer employment. This summer, the program will provide summer jobs for up to 10,000 youth helping them to establish productive work habits while investing in their communities. The Summer Youth Works initiative will provide jobs focused on community service, community and highway beautification, job training programs and pre-professional training such as working with highway engineering firms.


June 26, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces Flood Disaster Recovery Centers to open Friday in Quincy, Monmouth and Lawrenceville
Will connect flood victims to state assistance programs; will expand to include federal personnel within a few days
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the state is establishing Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Quincy, Monmouth and Lawrenceville to connect flood victims with state assistance programs that can help them begin the recovery process. The centers, which will open Friday morning, will be staffed initially by state personnel with a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) available to provide information about registering for federal assistance. The centers will expand within a few days to include additional representatives from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), who will help flood victims with questions about federal disaster assistance.


June 25, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich urges banks to ease loan requirements during flood recovery
Calls for loan payment extensions, loan restructuring and easing terms for new loans
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today ordered the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to direct lenders to consider easing loan terms and repayment requirements for Illinois families and businesses located in the 24 counties designated as disaster areas. Lending institutions are being asked to offer their customers as much flexibility as possible during the next few months as they cope with flood recovery efforts.


June 25, 2008
FORD LAUNCHES ILLINOIS-SUPPORTED TRAINING CENTER AND NEW LINCOLN MKS IN CHICAGO
Governor Blagojevich Announces State’s Investment Package Keeping Thousands of Jobs in Illinois
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced that Ford Motor Company today launched its new, 2009 Lincoln MKS luxury sedan at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant, and opened its State-supported Ford / United Auto Workers (UAW) Technical Training Center. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) administered a more than $30 million business investment package for the Ford Motor Company, leveraging more than $200 million in private investment that allowed for the local manufacturing of the Lincoln MKS, and the retention of 2,650 full-time jobs in Illinois.


June 25, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces State of Illinois’ June “Veteran of the Month”
Hillsboro man honored for his remarkable commitment and dedication to fellow veterans and the elderly
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named Hillsboro resident Raymon F. Trost as the State of Illinois’ June “Veteran of the Month” for his outstanding commitment to the veteran and elderly community throughout central Illinois.


June 25, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois team to take part in national conference on early childhood education
Illinois one of 14 states to be represented at two-day symposium at Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that a bipartisan team of Illinois educators, legislators and foundation leaders will be participating in a national conference on early childhood education at Harvard University this Thursday and Friday. Illinois’ team is one of 14 state teams nationwide selected to participate in the unique two-day discussion on early childhood policies at the National Symposium on Early Childhood Science and Policy at the Center on the Developing Child in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


June 25, 2008
Governor Blagojevich pleased with President’s approval of his request to speed federal assistance to flood victims in 14 counties
People in approved counties can apply for grants and loans; low-interest loans available for businesses
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the federal government approved his recent request for federal assistance for people and businesses in 14 counties affected by recent severe storms and flooding. The federal disaster declaration will enable affected people in the area to access temporary housing, grants or loans to help with flood-related losses, while businesses will be eligible to apply for low-interest loans.


June 25, 2008
Statement from Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich
On the Supreme Court Ruling on Gun-Control Law
CHICAGO – “I want express my extreme disappointment with the decision issued today by the Supreme Court. Every day, around the country, too many lives are lost to senseless gun violence. The Courts decision today will only add to the pain that parents, classmates and communities are forced to endure. It will also put more police officers at risk. I am an advocate for common sense gun laws. Gun laws that save lives, protect communities and offer greater safety protections for police officers. I look forward to working the Illinois General Assembly to provide additional protections for Illinois communities.”


June 24, 2008
Governor Calls on House to Approve Funding Sources Passed by Senate, Avoid Budget Reductions
If House fails to pass new revenue, $1.5 billion must be reduced
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today called upon the House of Representatives to pass revenues already approved by the Illinois Senate, warning that funding will be unavailable for $1.5 billion in spending if the Senate’s revenue package is not passed. Reductions as well as additional reserves would be required to close a $2 billion dollar shortfall in the Fiscal Year 2009 budget passed by the General Assembly in May.


June 24, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich questions President Bush about lack of quick action on two pending requests for federal disaster declarations
Illinois yet to hear about request for March flood in southern Illinois submitted more than a month ago, request for expedited declaration for current flooding
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today sent a letter to President Bush questioning the federal government’s lack of quick action on Illinois’ two pending requests for federal assistance to help flood victims. The Governor is seeking assistance for people, businesses and local governments affected by severe flooding in southern Illinois in March and the current flooding along the Mississippi River and in southeastern and northern Illinois.


June 24, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich joins with other Midwestern governors to ask President Bush for increased federal disaster assistance for flood-stricken areas
Action would ease financial burden of recovery for local,state government
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today joined with the governors of Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin in a letter urging President Bush to increase to 90 percent the federal government’s share of federal disaster assistance for flooding in the five Midwestern states. If approved, the action would significantly ease the burden of recovery for state and local governments. A similar request was made and approved after the floods in 1993.


June 24, 2008
Governor Calls on House to Approve Funding Sources Passed by Senate, Avoid Budget Reductions
If House fails to pass new revenue, $1.5 billion must be reduced
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today called upon the House of Representatives to pass revenues already approved by the Illinois Senate, warning that funding will be unavailable for $1.5 billion in spending if the Senate’s revenue package is not passed. Reductions as well as additional reserves would be required to close a $2 billion dollar shortfall in the Fiscal Year 2009 budget passed by the General Assembly in May.


June 23, 2008
Blagojevich administration previews high tech device to be deployed in 2009 to keep impaired drivers off the roads
IDOT, ISP and the Illinois Secretary of State unveil Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, to be required for first-time offenders, starting in January; Illinois to become one of two states mandating use by first-time offenders
SPRINGFIELD – Traffic safety leaders from the Blagojevich administration and the Office of Secretary of State Jesse White today joined federal and local advocates in Springfield at a town hall meeting, designed to keep impaired drivers off the roads in Illinois. The highlight of the event was a preview of a high-tech tool that will be deployed in Illinois to curb impaired driving. Beginning in January 2009, first-time DUI offenders will be required to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) in their car, in order to retain driving privileges.


June 23, 2008
Governor Blagojevich congratulates National History Day student winners from Illinois
Award winners from Chicago schools competed with the nation’s best history students, during June 15 - 19 competition
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today congratulated Illinois junior and senior high school students from Chicago who won awards during the National History Day competition held June 15 – 19 in College Park, Maryland. The contest is an annual event that features the best history students from across the country.


June 23, 2008
Governor Blagojevich signs law allowing Metro East counties to advance with future flood prevention projects
SB 836 allows Madison, Monroe and St. Clair Counties to be reimbursed when Flood Prevention Districts are in place
ALTON – In a push to provide immediate assistance to three Metro-East counties affected by recent flooding in Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that provides additional tools to Madison, Monroe and St. Clair Counties. SB 836, sponsored by State Senator William Haine (D-Alton) and State Representative Dan Beiser (D-Alton), allows these three counties to pay for projects to be reimbursed when the newly authorized Flood Prevention Districts have been established. These districts were authorized last month when the Governor signed SB 2052. This move comes during a period of intense flooding throughout much of the Midwest. The Governor has declared 24 counties in Illinois disaster areas, due to massive rain and levee breakings – including Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties.


June 23, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces Flood Recovery Assistance Hotline to help flood victims
1-866-848-2067 will link people affected by floods with state assistance programs
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the state is setting up a toll-free hotline to provide flood victims with easy access to information and assistance that can help them begin the recovery process. The Governor said the hotline will link people with state assistance while the state awaits President Bush’s decision on his request for expedited federal disaster assistance. If granted, federal assistance would offer help with temporary housing and grants or loans to help with flood losses.


June 22, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich reminds Illinois workers of minimum wage increase to $7.75 an hour effective July 1
Statewide minimum wage hike will benefit nearly 650,000 hardworking Illinoisans
CHICAGO -- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded Illinois workers that the state’s minimum wage will increase to $7.75 an hour starting Tuesday, July 1. The increase will help nearly 650,000 workers cope with the rising cost of living and pay for basic necessities like groceries, gas, rent, childcare and medicine.


June 22, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich declares Monroe, Randolph and Whiteside counties state disaster areas for flooding
State flood-fighting efforts continue along the Mississippi River
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today added Monroe, Randolph and Whiteside counties to a state disaster declaration that will help those areas respond to and recover from flooding along the Mississippi River. To date, 24 Illinois counties have been declared state disaster areas in the western, southeastern and northern parts of the state due to flooding and severe storms.


June 21, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich gives $50 gas cards to families of the next 1,000 kids enrolled in All Kids
Governor gives PATH Award in recognition of 1,000 Healthy Kids and Families
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today joined Resurrection Health Care and the Sun Times to announce that the families of the next 1,000 kids enrolled in All Kids will receive a $50 gas card. Today in over 50 locations in the Chicago area, Resurrection Health Care partnered with the Chicago Sun-Times to sign up more than 1,000 kids for All Kids, a program created by Governor Blagojevich that helps uninsured children in Illinois have access to comprehensive, affordable healthcare through the 1,000 Healthy Kids and Families Campaign.


June 20, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich gives $50 gas cards to families of the next 1,000 kids enrolled in All Kids
Governor gives PATH Award in recognition of 1,000 Health Kids and Families
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today joined Resurrection Health Care and the Sun Times to announce that the families of the next 1,000 kids enrolled in All Kids will receive a $50 gas card. Today in over 50 locations in the Chicago area, Resurrection Health Care partnered with the Chicago Sun-Times to sign up more than 1,000 kids for All Kids, a program created by Governor Blagojevich that helps uninsured children in Illinois have access to comprehensive, affordable healthcare through the 1,000 Healthy Kids and Families Campaign.


June 20, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich calls on federal housing agency to provide fair treatment for Chicago area homebuyers
Letter sent to HUD Secretary urges expanded financing options for homebuyers in the Chicago area
CHICAGO – In an effort to keep mortgage financing options available for Chicago area homebuyers, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich urged the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to raise the cap on loans considered to be conventional mortgages. In a letter sent to Secretary Steve Preston, the Governor requested the Administration increase the dollar value of loans eligible to be considered conventional mortgages above their current threshold. The higher value mortgages could be purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, giving homebuyers in the Chicago metropolitan area the same options that are now available in other high-cost housing markets around the country.


June 20, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich asks President Bush to rush aid to people, communities devastated by severe flooding
Makes stops in Metro East and Quincy as flood battle continues along the Mississippi River Governor also thanks Illinois National Guard troops in Quincy for role in State’s response to Missouri request for flood assistance
SPRINGFIELD – During his third visit in a week to flooded sites along the Mississippi River in western Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that he is asking President Bush to speed aid to people and communities devastated by flooding in more than 20 Illinois counties. The Governor made the announcement while visiting with emergency workers and volunteers during stops in the Metro East area and Quincy.


June 19, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois Products Expo to feature variety of local food and agricultural products
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to promote Illinois-made products and support jobs in his state’s vital food processing industry, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced 60 Illinois food companies and agriculture associations will take part in the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s 10th annual Illinois Products Expo, including 17 new exhibitors.


June 19, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant applications now being accepted
More than $300,000 available to local fire departments and fire protection districts for rural and wild land firefighting efforts
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that applications are now being accepted for the 2008 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant Program, through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). $325,000 in federal funding from the USDA Forest Service is now available for local fire departments and fire protection districts, statewide.


June 19, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich orders 60-day moratorium on insurance cancellations for policyholders impacted by storms and record floods
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich directed the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to impose a 60-day moratorium on the cancellation of any insurance policy for late payment by policyholders who live in counties impacted by the recent storms and flooding. The moratorium covers the insurance policies of families and business owners in all of the counties designated as disaster areas by the Governor since June 10, 2008.


June 19, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich declares St. Clair, Edgar counties state disaster areas due to flooding
State public health director visiting local health departments in flood-impacted western Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today added St. Clair and Edgar counties to a state disaster declaration, a move that will expedite state assistance needed to help Edgar County in southeastern Illinois recover from recent storms and flash flooding and St. Clair County battle flooding along the Mississippi River. The Governor also announced that the state’s public health director will be visiting public health departments in western Illinois Thursday to ensure medical and health needs are being met in counties affected by historic Mississippi River flooding.


June 18, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich headed to Quincy area to tour Mississippi River flooding; two additional levees break early this morning
State continues to make plans for future flooding and to assist those already impacted
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today will visit the Quincy area to tour flooding along the Mississippi River, after two additional levees broke early this morning. The Lima Lake levee in Adams County broke around 1:30 this morning, followed by the Indian Grave levee at approximately 6:30. People in the City of Warsaw have been evacuated; at this time there are no reports of injury or loss of life, as most of this area is farm land.


June 18, 2008
On the GAO decision to uphold Boeing appeal to Air Force's award of lucrative contract for aerial refueling tankers to Northrop Grumman Corp.
CHICAGO – “We are pleased that the Government Accountability Office has announced that it supports Boeing's protest over the Air Force's decision to award its KC-X Aerial Refueling Tanker Aircraft to Northrop Grumman. As a company headquartered in Illinois, I have been actively supporting Boeing's protest since the Air Force's decision was made. In fact, just this week, I joined four other Governors in writing to the GAO to encourage a thorough review of the contract-awarding process. I am glad that our concerns were heard and acted upon quickly. I hope that as the Air Force reopens discussions on this contract, they will thoroughly re-examine their decision-making process. GAO's announcement is good news for Illinois, our economy and our workers.”


June 18, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich establishes Unified Area Command in Metro East as floodwaters move down Mississippi River
Governor also tours Mississippi River flooding in west central Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – While touring flooded areas in Adams County today, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced that he has directed the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to establish an additional Unified Area Command in the Metro East St. Louis area as the Mississippi River flood waters move south. The Unified Area Command in Quincy will also remain active.


June 17, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich deploys an additional 400 Illinois National Guard Troops for sandbagging efforts; applauds conservation police officers for assisting with rescues following levee failure
Approximately 60,000 gallons of water being sent to Galesburg
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today activated an additional 400 Illinois National Guard troops to assist with flood efforts along the Mississippi River, bringing the total troops engaged in the flood fight to 1,100. A State helicopter and additional rescue personnel are on stand-by for any additional emergency situations such as a levee break.


June 16, 2008
Blagojevich administration announces series of events to mark 150th anniversary of Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Special events planned for this summer and fall in Bement, Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, Galesburg, Quincy, and Alton
SPRINGFIELD – Blagojevich administration officials Jan Grimes, Director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Deputy Director Jan Kostner today joined Lincoln-Douglas Debate Community Chairman Ed Finch to announce a series of events throughout Illinois in the coming months to mark the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Today’s announcement was made at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield, during the site’s “House Divided” Speech 150th anniversary commemoration.


June 16, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces $20 million grant for public health emergency preparedness
Grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will enhance state, local public health emergency preparedness efforts
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Illinois will receive nearly $20 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to further enhance state and local preparedness for public health emergencies. The CDC recently notified the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) that the Department will receive $19.9 million, as part of a $705 million package that is being awarded nationwide to public health departments in states and territories, as well as in four major metropolitan areas. The City of Chicago will also receive $11.4 million as part of this package.


June 16, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich steps up state’s flood activities as floodwaters continue to rise along the Mississippi River; activates 100 additional Air National Guard troops
Governor directs state agency directors to allow employees who are disaster relief volunteers to participate in flood efforts
SPRINGFIELD – With river levels expected to reach record or near-record levels at several locations along the Mississippi River this week, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today said he has directed emergency management officials to increase state personnel and assets to help communities protect homes, local water supply systems, bridges, roads and other critical infrastructure. This weekend, more than 400 Illinois National Guard troops and more than 220 inmates were deployed to western Illinois to assist with large-scale sandbagging operations, and on Sunday the Governor called up an additional 100 troops from the Air National Guard to support efforts in the region.


June 15, 2008
Blagojevich administration launches Step Up to the Plate campaign to raise awareness of men’s health
White Sox encourage men to Step up to the plate during Men’s Health Week
CHICAGO – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Governor’s Special Healthcare Advocate Dick Kay, today teamed up with the Chicago White Sox to launch the Step Up to the Plate campaign. This new awareness initiative will help get the word out about preventable health problems, and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys. During Men’s Health Week, men and boys are encouraged to check out the new men’s health Web site www.illinois.gov/menshealth and Step Up to the Plate.


June 14, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich calls up 200 additional Illinois National Guard troops to assist with flood efforts along the Mississippi River
Will join nearly 200 Illinois National Guard soldiers already deployed
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today called up 200 additional Illinois Army National Guard soldiers to assist with sandbagging and other flood-fighting activities along the Mississippi River. These soldiers will join nearly 200 other Illinois National Guard troops that were activated by the Governor on Friday to assist with sandbagging along the Sny Island Levee, which stretches for more than 50 miles in Adams and Pike counties. The additional soldiers will report for duty on Sunday.


June 14, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich declares Douglas, Lake counties state disaster areas for flooding and severe storms
IEMA establishes Unified Command Post in Quincy to coordinate response efforts along Mississippi River
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today added Douglas and Lake counties to a state disaster declaration to help those areas respond to and recover from recent severe storms and the threat of flooding. Since Wednesday, the Governor has declared 15 counties state disaster areas. Also on Saturday, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) dispatched personnel and a Unified Area Command vehicle to Quincy for coordinating response efforts along a nearly 300-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from the Quad Cities area through Calhoun County.


June 14, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich directs State Emergency Operations Center to continue assistance to communities in Henderson, Mercer counties after levees break
Water pumps, heavy equipment, mobile command vehicle, inmate crews and more resources already sent to area for assistance
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today directed the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to continue efforts to assist emergency management officials in Mercer and Henderson counties after levees at Keithsburg and Carman broke this morning.


June 13, 2008
Blagojevich administration launches Step Up to the Plate campaign to raise awareness of men’s health
Southern Illinois Miners encourage men to Step Up to the Plate during Men’s Health Week
MARION – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, today teamed up with the Southern Illinois Miners to launch the Step Up to the Plate campaign. This new awareness initiative will help get the word out about preventable health problems, and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys. During Men’s Health Week, men and boys are encouraged to check out the new men’s health Web site www.illinois.gov/menshealth and Step Up to the Plate.


June 13, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich visits flooded areas in Southeastern Illinois; reiterates state commitment to help with response and recovery
Governor meets with state and local officials in wake of disaster declaration
LAWRENCEVILLE – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today visited Lawrenceville, as Southeastern Illinois continues to cope with floodwaters from recent rains, with more rain in the forecast today. On June 10, 2008, the governor declared Lawrence and 5 other Southeast Illinois counties disaster areas as a result of the extensive flooding.


June 13, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich declares disaster in seven threatened counties along Mississippi River and reviews flood preparation efforts
Sent letter to President Bush requesting Direct Federal Assistance Illinois National Guard activated to assist with flood fighting efforts along Mississippi River
QUINCY – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today toured flood preparation efforts in Quincy as that community prepared for high floodwaters that could top the all time highest level set in 1993 within the next few days. In a letter sent to President Bush today, the Governor requested Direct Federal Assistance to help the communities affected by the flooding. The Governor also announced disaster declarations for Adams, Calhoun, Hancock, Henderson, Mercer, Pike and Rock Island counties allowing the state to expedite assistance needed to help with the flood fight in areas along the Mississippi River. The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from flooding.


June 12, 2008
Blagojevich Administration officials Launch 2008 Keep Cool Illinois Campaign to help families stay cool, safe, and healthy this summer
$10 million available this summer for energy assistance program State agencies, and the National Weather Service work together to prevent heat-related health problems, and reduce utility bills
CHICAGO - Blagojevich Administration officials launched the 2008 Keep Cool Illinois campaign and Web site today to help families stay cool, healthy and safe this summer. A comprehensive, statewide effort, the purpose of Keep Cool Illinois, is to inform Illinois residents, especially the elderly, families with small children and persons with disabilities, how to prevent heat-related health problems, reduce their utility bills and participate in summer activities safely. Also, as part of the campaign, low income residents can apply for assistance with their summer energy bills starting July 7.


June 12, 2008
Blagojevich administration launches Step Up to the Plate campaign to raise awareness of men’s health
Gateway Grizzlies encourage men to Step up to the plate during Men’s Health Week
SAUGET – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, today teamed up with the Gateway Grizzlies to launch the Step Up to the Plate campaign. This new awareness initiative will help get the word out about preventable health problems, and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys. During Men’s Health Week, men and boys are encouraged to check out the new men’s health Web site www.illinois.gov/menshealth and Step Up to the Plate.


June 12, 2008
State-funded supportive housing for homeless veterans and people with disabilities opens in Peoria
Rehabilitation of former YWCA building brings housing and crucial services to 79 local residents
PEORIA – Blagojevich Administration officials from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today took part in the official opening of a supportive housing development in Peoria that will help build homes and futures for 79 local homeless veterans and people with mental illness, disabilities, and substance abuse. New Hope Apartments provides a safe and place to live while the tenants learn to become self sufficient. The development, sponsored by two local not-for-profit organizations, rehabilitated the former YWCA building, helping the City of Peoria to preserve a historic building.


June 12, 2008
Governor Blagojevich urges residents to stay safe and healthy during and after flooding
Food, water and cleaning recommendations offered to help prevent illness and injury
SPRINGFIELD- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged residents in an around flooded areas to take precautions to help prevent disease in order to stay safe and healthy.


June 11, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich says state continues flood assistance in southeastern Illinois, preparing for possible flooding along Mississippi, other rivers
State providing assets, personnel for flood response in several areas
SPRINGFIELD – As the state continues efforts to assist flood-impacted areas in six southeastern Illinois counties, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today said Illinois also is ramping up preparations for possible flooding within the next week along parts of the Mississippi River and several other waterways throughout the state.


June 10, 2008
Governor Blagojevich says state supporting flood response in southeastern Illinois after levee breaks
IEMA, IDNR and ISP on site in Lawrence County to assist local response agencies, ensure public safety
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today directed the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to coordinate with local emergency management officials in southeastern Illinois to ensure public safety after levee breaks along the Embarras and Wabash rivers forced the evacuation of people in the Lawrenceville and Westport areas.


June 10, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich issues state disaster declaration for flooding in six southeastern Illinois counties
State disaster declaration will help area get state assets and personnel for response and recovery efforts
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today declared six southeastern Illinois counties state disaster areas due to widespread flooding and severe storms that have forced evacuations and closed roadways. The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from flooding. Counties included in the Governor’s declaration are Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Jasper and Lawrence.


June 10, 2008
Blagojevich administration launches Step Up to the Plate campaign to raise awareness of men’s health
Peoria Chiefs encourage men to Step up to the Plate during Men’s Health Week
PEORIA – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Dick Kay, Special Advocate for Healthcare for the State of Illinois, today teamed up with the Peoria Chiefs to launch the Step Up to the Plate campaign. This new awareness initiative will help get the word out about preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys. During Men’s Health Week, men and boys are encouraged to check out the new men’s health Web site www.illinois.gov/menshealth and Step Up to the Plate.


June 10, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich reminds Cook County Veterans to file for new real estate tax exemptions before June 30th deadline
New exemptions provide returning and disabled Veterans with additional property tax relief
CHICAGO – As homeowners throughout the country continue to struggle with rising consumer prices and taxes, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded Cook County’s military heroes that additional property tax relief is available if they file for it at their local County Assessor’s office before the June 30th deadline. The 2007 homestead legislation created two new real estate exemptions helping more Illinois Veterans with their property taxes.


June 10, 2008
Statement from Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich
On Court ruling on 183rd fighter jets
CHICAGO - “We are disappointed by the court's latest ruling. We feel the 183rd jets should remain in Springfield, for reasons of Homeland Security and economic significance. This unit has an outstanding record of accomplishment with its highly skilled and qualified people. We intend to appeal this ruling and are not giving up our fight to keep the jets here in Springfield.”


June 10, 2008
Bipartisan group of local legislators continues to push for Capital Plan, urges House to pass Illinois Works this summer
Need for state infrastructure plan remains urgent
ROCKFORD - A bipartisan group of local legislators today reiterated the urgency for a statewide capital plan this summer and joined together with local businesses and labor leaders at Patten Caterpillar Construction to show that Rockford needs a capital plan and the jobs it would bring.


June 10, 2008
Bipartisan group of local legislators continues to push for Capital Plan, urges House to pass Illinois Works this summer
Need for state infrastructure plan remains urgent
QUINCY - A bipartisan group of local legislators joined together with local businesses and labor leaders before the Memorial and Bayview Bridges, showing the importance of bridges and roads to commerce in Quincy and reiterating the urgency for a statewide capital plan this summer.


June 9, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich names Bob Greenlee as State’s new Deputy Governor; thanks Sheila Nix for her years of service
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named Bob Greenlee as Deputy Governor, effective June 9. Greenlee will replace current Deputy Governor Sheila Nix when she concludes her four-year tenure with the administration at the end of this week.


June 8, 2008
Governor Blagojevich proclaims June 9th - June 15th Men’s Health Week in Illinois; announces Step Up to the Plate events in partnership with Minor League Baseball
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed the week of June 9th to June 15th as Men’s Health Week in Illinois, encouraging men throughout the state to recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and medical check-ups. Throughout Men’s Health Week, members of the Blagojevich Administration will join minor league baseball teams around Illinois for the Step Up to the Plate campaign to get the word out about preventable health problems, and encourage early detection and treatment among men and boys. During Men’s Health Week, men young and old are encouraged to check out the new men’s health Web site www.illinois.gov/menshealth.


June 6, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich and State Board of Education encourage participation in summer food programs
Programs fill nutritional gap for children; Summer Food Service Program Week highlights awareness and need throughout the state and the nation
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) are encouraging all students to take advantage of free, nutritious meals and snacks available this summer at more than 1,600 summer food service program sites, statewide. This announcement is being made during Summer Food Service Program Week, which runs through Sunday, June 8th.


June 5, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich awards $4.5 million for new paratransit vehicles across Illinois
Ramp and lift-equipped vans deliver vital public transportation in rural areas; IDOT grants provide $975,000 for 19 vans for agencies in northern Illinois
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that the state has awarded $4.5 million to pay for 77 ramp and lift-equipped vehicles that will improve rural public transportation across the state. In the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Region 2 of northern Illinois, $975,568 will be awarded to purchase 19 vehicles.


June 4, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces new exhibit to mark 100th anniversary of the Springfield Race Riot
“Something so Horrible: The Springfield Race Riot of 1908” opens June 14 at Presidential Library; Fisk Jubilee Singers concert June 13 will serve as prelude to exhibit opening
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that “Something so Horrible: The Springfield Race Riot of 1908,” an exhibit marking the 100th anniversary of an important chapter in Illinois history, opens Saturday, June 14 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in downtown Springfield, preceded by a June 13 evening concert at the Presidential Museum.


June 4, 2008
Statement from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich
On Chicago being selected as a finalist city for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games
CHICAGO – “We are pleased that the International Olympic Committee has selected Chicago as one of the finalist cities to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Today we reached a critical stage in the selection process, reiterating that Illinois and Chicago are world-class destinations with much to offer, including a wonderful workforce and world-class attractions. Today's announcement is great news for the State of Illinois. I will do everything I can as governor to pass a public works program that would enable us to invest in transit, roads, bridges and other infrastructure that will boost Chicago's efforts to deliver the crown jewel of international sporting events to Illinois.”


June 3, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich encourages pet, livestock owners to prepare for emergencies during National Preparedness Month for Animals
Pet emergency supply kit, evacuation plan essential for animal owners
SPRINGFIELD – In recognition of June as National Preparedness Month for Animals, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today encouraged pet and livestock owners to take steps to ensure the well-being of their animals during a disaster. Just as a personal disaster supply kit and family emergency plan can help save human lives during an emergency, having a animal emergency supply kit and a plan for evacuating pets can keep beloved pets safe when disaster strikes.


June 3, 2008
Governor Blagojevich and Secretary of State Jesse White announce success in collecting child support from delinquent parent
Driver’s license suspension program has resulted in over $1 million in collections from thousands of parents
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Secretary of State Jesse White today announced that under a new program to collect unpaid child support, over $1 million has been collected for custodial parents. Under the partnership announced earlier this year, driver’s licenses of non-custodial parents who do not pay child support are suspended. Since the program was implemented, $1.3 million has been collected from 3,082 non-custodial parents.


June 3, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich signs law to expand grant program for lifesaving Automated External Defibrillators
HB 1058 extends grant eligibility to indoor and outdoor facilities
CHICAGO –Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation authorizing eligibility for grants to schools, universities and other facilities to purchase Automated External Defibrillators (AED). House Bill 1058, sponsored by State Representative Daniel J. Burke (D-Chicago) and State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Cicero).


June 2, 2008
Gov. Blagojevich announces General Assembly’s Fiscal Year 2009 budget unbalanced, unconstitutional
Governor urges all four leaders to join negotiations on operating and capital budgets Initial review shows House inaction on new revenue leaves FY09 budget $2.1 billion in the red
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that after an initial review, his budget experts have found the Fiscal Year 2009 budget passed by the General Assembly on Saturday to contain $2.1 billion more in spending than anticipated revenue will support, making it unconstitutional. The Illinois State Constitution requires the legislature to pass a balanced budget. The Governor said he will call the four legislative leaders together this week to resume work so the people of Illinois will have a budget that fulfills constitutional requirements and meets the state’s needs by July 1.

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