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December
2010


December 30, 2010
Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Continue Pension System Reforms
New Laws will Help Preserve Benefits, Save Taxpayer Dollars
CHICAGO - December 30, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will help further stabilize pension systems for law enforcement officers and firefighters throughout Illinois, while protecting their retirement benefits.


December 29, 2010
IDOT and Law Enforcement Partners Announce Traffic Safety Countdown to 2011
Illinois Could Experience Record-Setting Consecutive Year with Fewer Than 1,000 Highway Fatalities
CHICAGO – As 2010 comes to an end, the Illinois Department of Transportation, state police and hundreds of local law enforcement agencies announce the Traffic Safety Countdown to 2011 that includes a coordinated statewide effort to boost enforcement over New Year’s weekend. The enforcement mobilization will further improve traffic safety in Illinois as the state continues on track to experience its second straight year with fewer than 1,000 highway fatalities.


December 29, 2010
IDNR Reminds Snowmobile Operators to be Cautious this Winter
Pre-trip planning essential in safe and enjoyable rides
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding snowmobile operators and riders to take extra caution this year as the snow begins to fall in Illinois. Every year throughout the state, people are seriously injured or lose their lives on snowmobiles. Many of these accidents could have been prevented had proper precautions been taken and common sense been used.


December 29, 2010
Governor Quinn Names Acting Executive Director of Capital Development Board
Long-Time CDB Fiscal Officer Gus Behnke replaces retiring Executive Director Jim Riemer
SPRINGFIELD – December 29, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today named Gus Behnke as the acting executive director of the Capital Development Board (CDB). Behnke will replace Executive Director Jim Riemer, who is retiring effective Dec. 31.


December 28, 2010
State Reminds Medicare-Eligible Individuals of December 31st Open-Enrollment Deadline
Illinois Department of Insurance provides free counseling; 24-hour assistance available toll-free at 1-800-MEDICARE
CHICAGO—As the December 31st deadline nears for Medicare enrollees to choose a new Medicare benefit plan, and to select or change a Medicare drug plan for 2011, the Quinn administration is encouraging seniors and other Medicare recipients to review and compare coverage and benefit options in order to find a plan that best meets the individual’s needs. Medicare beneficiaries who have not enrolled in a Medicare drug plan before, or who want to make changes to an existing plan, should do so as soon as possible in order to ensure uninterrupted access to medications at chosen pharmacies in January 2011.


December 27, 2010
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Wednesday, December 29, 2010.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Quinn's Office that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Wednesday, December 29, 2010.


December 27, 2010
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Tuesday, December 28, 2010 until Sunset, Thursday, December 30, 2010.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Quinn's Office that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Tuesday, December 28, 2010 until Sunset, Thursday, December 30, 2010.


December 27, 2010
New Law To Protect Pet Owners Takes Effect January 1, 2011
Pet stores now required to disclose an animal’s health history
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is reminding the public about a new law designed to protect consumers by requiring pet stores, animal shelters and animal controls to disclose certain information before they sell or adopt out cats and dogs.


December 23, 2010
Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
CHICAGO – December 23, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today granted 34 and denied 51 clemency petitions. This action marks another step in a series of clemency decisions aimed at eliminating a massive backlog of more than 2,500 cases that built up during the previous administration.


December 23, 2010
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center announce winners of 2010 Innovate Illinois competition
Lumec Control Products and Neurowave Medical Devices take away top honors at the state’s entrepreneurship competition
CHICAGO – Four Illinois companies were selected as winners of the statewide Innovate Illinois competition following a day of final pitches by some of the state's brightest entrepreneurs. The top two companies, Lumec Control Products, Inc. and Neurowave Medical Devices LLC, received $30,000 each to help commercialize their products. The two runner-ups, Diagnostic Photonics, Inc. and Dr. Paul’s Piggy Paste, each received $10,000. The Innovate Illinois competition is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and administered by the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center (CEC).


December 22, 2010
Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council Announces $6.5 Million in Grants for Prevention, Recovery, and Prosecution Efforts
CHICAGO — The Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council (MVTPC) today announced its 2011 grant program designations. The Council awarded nearly $6.5 million to 12 agencies, including three serving Chicago, that investigate and prosecute auto theft, audit salvage yards, and provide public education, officer training, and data analysis.


December 22, 2010
Illinois Data Shows Unbuckled Individuals Pay High Cost for Drinking and Driving
IDOT, Health Care, State and Local Law Enforcement Officials Partner to Increase Traffic Safety Awareness over the Holiday Weekend
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), health care professionals, and state and local law enforcement agencies have teamed up statewide to unveil data showing the tremendous cost of unbuckled motorists driving impaired. The announcement emphasizes the continued partnership between IDOT and law enforcement and highlights an increase in late-night enforcement and safety belt patrols scheduled for the upcoming holiday weekend.


December 22, 2010
Employment Security Offices Closed Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve
Customers Should Certify; Services Available on Internet
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security will be closed Friday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 31. Although offices will be closed, all services will be available at www.ides.state.il.us People will be able to file for first-time unemployment benefits, certify for benefits which is necessary to receive payment, and switch that method of payment to direct deposit. Offices re-open on the respective Mondays. Offices are open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.


December 22, 2010
Illinois Department of Human Services Reminds Illinoisans to Recognize the Dangers of Impaired Driving During the Holidays
Since 1975, more than 190,000 lives have been saved through increased awareness and legislation related to impaired driving
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Human Services’ (IDHS) Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA) reminds Illinoisans that the holiday season is an especially dangerous time for motorists. Although the season is a time to celebrate, DASA encourages people to not be influenced to take illicit drugs and to drink responsibly.


December 22, 2010
Governor Quinn Announces Long-Term Renewable Energy Agreements to Boost Illinois’ Green Economy
Contracts Will Create Green Jobs, Expand Use of Sustainable Energy
CHICAGO - December 22, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that long-term agreements have been executed to advance the state’s ongoing efforts to expand renewable energy use, create green jobs and increase sustainability. The winning wind and solar energy vendors will supply Ameren and ComEd with renewable electricity to provide to consumers throughout the state. The 20-year agreements will help ensure long-term cost and rate stability for consumers across Illinois.


December 22, 2010
State and Federal Officials Announce Historic High-Speed Rail Agreement for Illinois
Cooperative Agreement Advances Construction and Safety Improvements on Chicago to St. Louis Corridor; Will Create More Than 5,000 Jobs
CHICAGO – Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig today announced that a historic public-private partnership agreement on high-speed rail development is in place to bring Illinois one giant step closer to achieving high-speed passenger service between Chicago and St. Louis by 2014. Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood together praised the signing of the historic Cooperative Agreement by the federal government, state government, Union Pacific Railroad, and Amtrak as a crucial advance in the development of a planned high-speed passenger rail network that will serve Illinois and the Midwest region.


December 21, 2010
OSFM alert to Illinois fire departments: Labels on professional dry cleaning machines possibly altered
Mislabeling could lead to increased fire danger
CHICAGO – The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is informing fire departments throughout Illinois that it has received complaints regarding professional dry cleaning equipment that could potentially affect property and life safety. Specifically, complaints received by the OSFM indicate that the listing labels affixed to some dry cleaning machines may have been altered to identify the machines as being listed for use with Class III (combustible) solvents, when in fact the machines are listed for only Class IV (noncombustible) solvents.


December 21, 2010
Brent A. Fischer, Adams County Sheriff, Named As Chairman Of State Board
SPRINGFIELD - Adams County Sheriff, Brent A. Fischer, was recently installed as Chairman of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. The Board is a State of Illinois agency charged with maintaining and upgrading professional law enforcement for the State’s 40,000 police, corrections, and court security personnel thorough the establishment of training standards and programs.


December 20, 2010
Governor Quinn Announces SunCoke Energy Will Locate Headquarters in Illinois
State Investment Package Will Support Creation of 105 New Jobs, Continued Economic Growth
CHICAGO – December 20, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that SunCoke Energy, a subsidiary of Sunoco, Inc. (NYSE: SUN), is investing $6.6 million to relocate its corporate headquarters from Knoxville, Tenn. to Arboretum Lakes in Lisle. The state is providing a $4.8 million business investment package to support the project, which will create 105 new jobs.


December 20, 2010
Governor Quinn Thanks Illinois Schoolchildren for Overwhelming Success of Holiday Card Drive
Departs on Trip to Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany to Hand-Deliver Cards to Wounded Servicemembers
CHICAGO – December 20, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today thanked schoolchildren across Illinois for their overwhelming response to the Illinois Heroes holiday card drive. The annual drive helps ensure a brighter holiday season for wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany.


December 20, 2010
Seniors Urged To Apply Online for Illinois Cares Rx
***CORRECTION: Applicants who waited after Dec 17 will experience a break in coverage*** Visit www.cbrx.il.gov or call Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging Director Charles D. Johnson is reminding Illinois seniors about their Illinois Cares Rx coverage. He is urging seniors and persons with disabilities to apply online because it is the fastest way to get approved. Illinois Cares Rx is the state’s prescription drug assistance program that provides wrap-around prescription drug coverage to fill in the gaps created under Medicare Part D. People who have waited until the end of the year to apply will experience a break in coverage. Paper applications take longer, but people who apply online today through the end of the year can expect their coverage to resume in early February.


December 19, 2010
Governor Quinn Encourages Families to Donate Frequent Flyer Miles to Wounded Servicemembers
Operation Hero Miles Reunites Wounded Heroes with Their Families
CHICAGO – December 19, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today encouraged families throughout Illinois to support Operation Hero Miles, a program that benefits servicemembers who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan. Through the program, people can donate unused frequent flyer miles to allow military families to visit their loved ones recovering in military hospitals around the world.


December 17, 2010
Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on DREAM Act
CHICAGO – December 17, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding the DREAM Act in the United States Senate.


December 16, 2010
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Honors Lombard Marine John Meschi as December 2010 “Veteran of the Month”
WHEATON – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today honored Lombard Marine John Meschi as the December 2010 Veteran of the Month at a ceremony at VFW Post 2164 in Wheaton.


December 16, 2010
2011 Illinois State Fair Mega Pass Makes Great Gift This Holiday Season
Discounted Mega Pass available for $50 through Dec. 22
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – If you are searching for the perfect stocking stuffer to give a young thrill-seeker this holiday season, consider an Illinois State Fair Mega Pass. The Illinois Department of Agriculture is offering the 2011 Illinois State Fair Mega Pass at a reduced rate of $50, a $15 savings, through Wednesday, Dec. 22.


December 16, 2010
November Unemployment Falls to 9.6 Percent
CHICAGO – The Illinois unemployment rate fell again in November even as more people entered the labor force to look for work. The seasonally adjusted rate fell for the eighth consecutive month, dropping -0.2 to 9.6 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The November national unemployment rate increased +0.2 to 9.8 percent. This is the first month since January 2007 that the Illinois unemployment rate has fallen below the U.S. rate.


December 16, 2010
College Tuition The Smart Holiday Gift That Lasts A Lifetime
A prepaid tuition contract makes a great gift this holiday season; two weeks left for 2010 tax advantages
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— When Cindy Wisniewski found out she was pregnant with twins, her husband’s first thought was "How are we going to afford college for them?" Cindy's answer gave him comfort. "The same way we paid for the other three, with the College Illinois!® Prepaid Tuition Program. " The Wisniewski family, of Naperville Ill., are among a growing number of parents turning to the College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program to limit the effects of tuition inflation on their family’s wallet. According to the College Board, today’s newborn is expected to pay $180,000 to attend a four-year, public university. In the last decade alone, the cost of college tuition at four-year public universities has more than quadrupled.


December 16, 2010
Stay Fire Safe and Be Fire Smart this Holiday Season
OSFM highlights cooking, entertaining and decorating fire hazards
CHICAGO – Cooking, entertaining, and decorating are hallmarks of the holiday season, but they also can lead to increased fire risks, according to the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM).


December 14, 2010
State Announces Incentives for Public Sector to Upgrade T12 Lighting
Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale Runs Through April 15
SPRINGFIELD – The State Energy Office at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is announcing a special lighting sale for public sector buildings through its Illinois Energy Now program.


December 14, 2010
State presents 9-point plan to fix ‘sloppy’ foreclosures in Illinois
Agency seeks commitment from Illinois lenders and loan servicers
CHICAGO – In an effort to clean up the foreclosure process in Illinois, Brent E. Adams, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), today released a 9-point “affidavit preparation expectations” plan.


December 14, 2010
Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on the Passing of Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin
CHICAGO – December 14, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding the passing of Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin.


December 13, 2010
Governor Quinn Names New Chief of Staff
Jack Lavin to Lead Quinn Administration, Michelle R.B. Saddler to Resume Post at Department of Human Services
CHICAGO – December 13, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today named Jack Lavin as his Chief of Staff. Lavin previously served as the state’s Chief Operating Officer. Current Chief of Staff Michelle Saddler will resume her position as the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS).


December 10, 2010
Illinois Department of Insurance Disciplinary Report for November 2010
CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Insurance announced today that Director of Insurance Michael T. McRaith issued the following disciplinary orders:


December 10, 2010
IL Dept on Aging honors advocates who assist older adults
Awards Ceremony held during the 2010 Governor’s Conference on Aging
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) today hosted its annual awards ceremony to recognize individuals and organizations whose contributions and accomplishments in assisting older adults merit recognition. Each year the awards ceremony serves as the final event during the Governor’s Conference on Aging where advocates and experts from across the state gather to focus on issues that affect the aging population. This year’s conference was December 8-10 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown.


December 10, 2010
Governor Quinn Signs Executive Order to Create Illinois Coastal Management Program
Program will Utilize Federal Funding to Restore and Enhance Lake Michigan Shoreline
CHICAGO – December 10, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed an Executive Order to establish the Illinois Coastal Management Program (ICMP) within the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Through the federally-funded program, Illinois will receive $2 million annually from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to improve the northeast Illinois economy and create jobs by protecting the state’s coastal resources along Lake Michigan.


December 8, 2010
IHDA Celebrates Start of Construction on Housing for Domestic Violence Victims
A Safe Place to create secure, affordable apartments
ZION – Twenty units of permanent supportive housing in Lake County for victims of domestic abuse will be built as a result of the financial investment of the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). An estimated 82 jobs will be created with the construction of the new A Safe Place development.


December 8, 2010
Governor’s Office of Management and Budget Improves Transparency by Releasing Quarterly Financial Reports
Financial Statements Now Available Without Delay
SPRINGFIELD – The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget today released its statement of revenues and expenditures which outline the significant financial activities of the state for fiscal year 2010 and the first quarter of fiscal year 2011. This report offers the most comprehensive financial overview of agency and fund spending long before the normal auditing process would produce annual reports on all funds. This financial information is now available online at www.state.il.us/budget.


December 8, 2010
Illinois Emergency Management Agency, State Fire Marshal Offer Holiday Gift Ideas
Preparedness, safety gifts for everyone on your shopping list
SPRINGFIELD – As shoppers flock to stores to find the perfect holiday gifts, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) today offered gift ideas that will keep loved ones and friends safe during emergencies.


December 8, 2010
Hunters in Illinois Harvest 98,700 Deer During Firearm Season
Deer hunting continues with archery and upcoming gun seasons
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 98,700 deer during the seven-day firearm deer season on Nov. 19-21 and Dec. 2-5, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today. A total of 99,419 deer were taken during the 2009 firearm season.


December 8, 2010
IL Dept on Aging Hosts Governor’s Conference on Aging
Annual conference brings together professionals who serve older adults
CHICAGO - The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) kicked off the first day of the Governor’s Conference on Aging. The three day conference runs December 8, 9 and 10, at the Marriott Chicago Downtown. Each year, IDoA hosts the conference as a comprehensive training event that offers intensive workshops to promote the latest research, trends and developments in supportive technology, and is the largest statewide meeting of those who work in the aging network.


December 7, 2010
Illinois Department of Insurance to Host Educational Webinars on Health Insurance Exchanges
First webinar scheduled for Tuesday, December 14, 2010; policymakers and interested parties are invited to participate
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Insurance announced today the first in a series of educational webinars focused on the health insurance exchanges to be established in 2014 under the federal health care reform bill, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


December 7, 2010
Governor Quinn Proclaims Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day; Orders Flags to Be Flown at Half-Staff
Administration Hosts Remembrance Ceremony in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD – December 7, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn proclaimed today as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in honor and memory of the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In commemoration of the observance, Governor Quinn ordered United States and Illinois flags be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset today.


December 6, 2010
Honoring Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise until Sunset, Tuesday, December 7, 2010.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Quinn's Office that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff from Sunrise until Sunset, Tuesday, December 7, 2010.


December 3, 2010
Governor Quinn Names New Executive Director of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Eileen Mackevich Previously Headed National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
SPRINGFIELD – December 3, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today named Eileen R. Mackevich as the new executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM). Mackevich is the former executive director of the national Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.


December 3, 2010
Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on Passing of Cubs Legend Ron Santo
CHICAGO – December 3, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding the passing of Chicago Cubs legend Ron Santo.


December 3, 2010
Honoring State Representative Myers
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Saturday, December 4, 2010 until Sunset, Sunday, December 5, 2010.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Quinn's Office that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Saturday, December 4, 2010 until Sunset, Sunday, December 5, 2010.


December 2, 2010
Statement from Governor Quinn on Passing of State Representative Rich Myers
SPRINGFIELD – December 2, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding the passing of State Rep. Rich Myers (R-Colchester).


December 1, 2010
Illinois Department of Human Services offers Tips to Reduce the Risk of Depression During the Holidays
Awareness of mental health during the holidays can save lives
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Human Services’ (IDHS) Division of Mental Health (DMH) urges Illinoisans to take extra time this holiday season to tend to their mental health. This time of year is often thought of as a time of merriment and glee. However, the season can be accompanied by significant fatigue, stress, worry, anxiety, loneliness and even depression. People who have suffered the loss of loved ones, especially during the previous year, experience increased sadness during the holidays.


December 1, 2010
Commission Announces 2011-12 Illinois State Scholar Honorees
ISAC salutes the top achievers in the high school class of 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) recognized 17,335 students from 749 different high schools from across the state as 2011-12 Illinois State Scholars. Illinois State Scholar winners rank in the top ten percent of high school seniors. Selection is based on SAT, ACT and/or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year. For a complete listing of every State Scholar by county and high school visit the agency’s collegezone.com website at www.collegezone.com/407_11520.htm.


December 1, 2010
IEMA Highlights Preparedness for People with Functional Needs in December
Guidebook offers tips to help people with functional needs and their caregivers plan for emergencies
SPRINGFIELD – While every home should have a disaster preparedness kit stocked with such items as a flashlight, bottled water and a first-aid kit, emergency preparedness is even more critical for households with members who have functional needs. Throughout December, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will highlight the importance of disaster preparedness for people with functional needs as part of its 12-Month Preparedness Campaign.


December 1, 2010
State Successfully Sells Tobacco Revenue Bonds to Pay Bills and Keep People Employed
FY10 Bills and Transfers to be paid by Mid-December
SPRINGFIELD – The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget today is pleased to announce the state successfully sold $1.5 Billion of tax- exempt Tobacco Revenue Bonds. The bond sale provides the state with revenue to pay all Fiscal Year 10 bills and transfers by mid-December.

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