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March
2010


March 31, 2010
Governor Quinn Signs Executive Order To Improve Public Works Projects
Labor Agreements will Save Money, Strengthen Workforce
BLOOMINGTON – March 31, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today demonstrated his commitment to safe and efficient public works projects by signing an executive order that maintains the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) for public works projects and encourages PLAs be considered for federally-funded projects.


March 31, 2010
Governor Quinn Breaks Ground on Western Illinois University Riverfront Campus
Construction Will Create 2,000 Jobs, Triple University’s Enrollment
MOLINE – March 31, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today visited the future site of Western Illinois University-Quad Cities’ Riverfront Campus to break ground on the renovation of approximately 60,000 square feet of space for the new campus that will create 2,000 new jobs and triple university enrollment. In December, Governor Quinn visited Moline to announce the funding for the $15.9 million project as part of Illinois Jobs Now!, the state’s massive jobs and construction effort.


March 31, 2010
Governor Quinn Announces $5 Million to Support Clean Energy and Create Green Jobs
Stimulus Funds will Help Produce Wind Turbine Parts at Ingersoll Machine Tools’ Rockford Facility
ROCKFORD – March 31, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced $5 million for Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc. to develop wind energy turbine components and create and retain more than 150 green jobs at its facility in Rockford. The funding is through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).


March 31, 2010
Governor Quinn Hosts 7th Annual César Chávez Serve & Learn Program Breakfast
Names Denise Martinez to Head the Office of New Americans
CHICAGO – March 31, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today hosted the 7th annual César Chávez Serve & Learn Program breakfast to commemorate the birth of our country’s greatest Hispanic American civil rights leader, and to honor the students and teachers who spent the month of March giving back to their communities in his honor.


March 30, 2010
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Salutes Women Veterans during Women’s History Month
Marine Corps Veteran Muriel Frieda Underwood honored as Veteran of the Month


March 29, 2010
State Public Health Director Reminds Illinoisans It’s Not too Late to Vaccinate for the H1N1 Flu
IDPH launches new H1N1 flu campaign to encourage public to remain vigilant
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health is continuing to encourage the public to get vaccinated against the H1N1 influenza virus.


March 29, 2010
College Aid Applications Up; ISAC Advises Quick Completion of FAFSA
Agency reports 37 percent increase in eligible applications over last year
CHICAGO — The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) says time is running out to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid if students would like to be considered for state Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants. That’s because eligible applications are up nearly 37 percent over last year, according to the agency’s research, planning and policy analysis division.


March 29, 2010
Statement From Governor Pat Quinn On Passover
SPRINGFIELD – March 29, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement on the beginning of Passover:


March 27, 2010
Ratings Agency’s Reaffirm Bond Ratings For Build America Bonds’ Construction Projects
S & P’s and Moody’s action indicates Illinois can move in right direction
SPRINGFIELD – The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget is pleased to announce that both Moody’s and Standard & Poors have reaffirmed the state’s long term bond rating. Moody’s remains at A 2 and Standard & Poors remains at A +.


March 26, 2010
State Public Health Department Offers HIV/AIDS Education Tools
Text 2 Survive in Spanish and video interviews available
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Center for Minority Health Services has created two great tools to help educate Illinoisans about HIV/AIDS and eliminate the spread of the disease.


March 26, 2010
Illinois ENERGY STAR® Rebates for Heating and Cooling Equipment Ending April 5
DCEO gearing up for Illinois ENERGY STAR Appliance rebate sale, April 16-25
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced that rebates available through the Illinois ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebate program for HVAC equipment will end at 11:59 p.m. on Mon., April 5. As of March 20, consumers have received $1.6 million in rebates and generated $18.3 million in HVAC sales.


March 25, 2010
ISAC Partners With Fifth Third Bank For College Smart Fair
Two-day event hosted by UIC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
CHICAGO — The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is pleased to announce its partnership with Fifth Third Bank to present the College Smart Fair, April 23-24, at the University of Illinois Chicago Student Center East. The two-day event is part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Money Smart Week, April 17-24, which provides free financial classes to consumers throughout Chicago and the state.


March 25, 2010
New Emerald Ash Borer Infestation Confirmed
Tree-killing beetle discovered at a highway rest area in Iroquois County
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A destructive pest that feasts on ash trees has been discovered in Iroquois County. An infestation of emerald ash borer (EAB) was found just north of Loda at a highway rest area along Interstate 57, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced today.


March 25, 2010
March is Problem Gambling Month
Lottery, Gaming, Racing Boards offer tips for recognizing problems
CHICAGO – Illinois agencies that regulate gaming in Illinois recognize that for some people the fun and excitement of winning a little extra money at the races, casinos, or by playing the lottery can become unhealthy. But, it may be difficult to tell in some cases whether or not someone simply enjoys gambling, or if they have an actual problem.


March 25, 2010
February Illinois Unemployment Rate At 11.4 Percent
Job Losses Beginning To Moderate
CHICAGO – The Illinois seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly to 11.4 percent in February, up one-tenth from the January rate of 11.3 percent, according to data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.


March 24, 2010
OSHA Assistant Secretary Joins Illinois Department of Labor to Recognize Illinois as OSHA State Plan
State announces new health and safety outreach program to enhance safety and health for one million public employees
CHICAGO–The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) welcomes U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels today to celebrate Illinois’ approval as an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) State Plan. New federal funding will give Illinois added resources to protect more than one million public employees—including school teachers, state and local government employees, and employees in high-risk professions, such as police officers, firefighters and transportation workers.


March 24, 2010
State Public Health Director Announces Tuberculosis Cases Hit Record Low Despite Recent Outbreak
Illinois still ranks 5th in the nation for highest number of TB cases
SPRINGFIELD – In recognition of World Tuberculosis Day, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), today announced an all time low for the number of new tuberculosis (TB) cases in Illinois. Illinois is joining in the World Tuberculosis Day global campaign, “TB elimination: Together We Can!” and Governor Pat Quinn has issued a proclamation declaring March 24, 2010 as World TB Day in Illinois to raise awareness that the fight against tuberculosis is not over.


March 24, 2010
State Public Health Department Warns of Contaminated Raw Milk
Outbreak of campylobacteriosis associated with raw milk from Indiana
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health is warning Illinoisans about the potential of illness associated with raw milk. The Michigan Department of Community Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating an outbreak of campylobacteriosis associated with drinking raw milk distributed through a cow share program from a dairy in Middlebury, Indiana. A Family Farms Cooperative in Michigan received milk from the Indiana dairy and has delivered the suspect milk to locations in Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Elgin and Chicago, Illinois.


March 24, 2010
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Thursday, March 25, 2010 until Sunset, Saturday, March 27, 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, Thursday, March 25, 2010 until Sunset, Saturday, March 27, 2010.


March 24, 2010
Statement From Governor Pat Quinn On the Passage of Senate Bill 1946
SPRINGFIELD – March 24, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement on the passage of Senate Bill 1946:


March 24, 2010
Illinois Department of Insurance Highlights Near-Term Changes Resulting From National Health Insurance Reform
CHICAGO—The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010, will fundamentally improve the performance, transparency and accountability of health insurers and health insurance products in Illinois. Many significant reforms—including the requirement that health insurance companies cover all individuals regardless of health status—will not become effective until 2014. Several meaningful reforms will take effect in the immediate or near future.


March 23, 2010
Illinois Arts Council Announces Poetry Out Loud State Champion
Congratulates All Sixteen Regional Winners from Park Ridge, Skokie, Chicago, Alton, Champaign, Clay City, Edwardsville, Orion, Carbondale, Paxton, Rockford, Springfield
ILLINOIS -- Illinois’ 2009-2010 Poetry Out Loud State Finals took place on Thursday, March 18th, in Springfield’s Hoogland Center for the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council is pleased to announce that Annette Putnam has been named State Champion.


March 23, 2010
Department of Human Services Announces Poster Contest to Combat Human Trafficking
Public Awareness Campaign is part of Annual Outreach Day on April 24
Springfield – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and Illinois Rescue and Restore, a state-wide coalition of more than 150 member organizations, are seeking to combat modern-day slavery in Illinois. This year, Illinois Rescue and Restore, in partnership with the Salvation Army, will host its 5th Annual Outreach Day to raise awareness about the problem of human trafficking in Illinois.


March 22, 2010
Governor Quinn Highlights Illinois Broadband Efforts
More Than $60 Million Dollars in ARRA Funds Awarded to State
CHICAGO – March 22, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today reinforced his commitment to winning competitive federal funding for broadband technology projects in Illinois. The state has already won more than $60 million dollars in federal funding for broadband through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).


March 22, 2010
State Public Health Director Announces Launch of Improved Birth Registration System
Illinois birth certificates available sooner
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), is announcing the launch of the Electronic Birth Registration System within the Division of Vital Records. Earlier this year, the Department implemented a new birth registration system in all 121 birthing hospitals throughout Illinois. Instead of hospitals filing paper birth certificates with the local registrar, who then sends the paper certificate to the Division of Vital Records, birth records are now handled electronically.


March 22, 2010
Sharp Increase in Earned Income Tax Credit Payments
With three weeks left, families can still get free tax preparation and EITC eligibility assistance
CHICAGO – Illinois families have an extra $15.4 million in their pockets so far this year due to a 16% increase in the number of families eligible for tax credits through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). About 638,000 Illinois families have already received EITC credits of $80.8 million since the start of the 2010 tax season. Last year at this time, Illinois had paid $65.4 million to 550,000 families.


March 22, 2010
Illinois Department of Insurance Highlights Changes Resulting From National Health Insurance Reform
Changes in insurance laws will alter performance, transparency, accountability of health insurers in Illinois
CHICAGO—The health care reform legislation passed yesterday by Congress will change the performance, transparency and accountability of health insurers and health insurance products in Illinois. To inform Illinois families and businesses of the potential reforms, the Illinois Department of Insurance is providing a “Top Ten" list. The national health care reforms will also modify existing Federal law and enhance consumer protections for those insured through a self-insured plan, and will significantly change the insurance marketplace in Illinois.


March 19, 2010
More than 30 Videos Promoting Radon Awareness Compete for Prize in IEMA, ALA-IL Contest
Public encouraged to view, vote for favorite from 32 videos submitted by high school students from throughout Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – More than 30 radon awareness videos created by teens from throughout Illinois are available for public viewing and voting as part of the “2010 Illinois High School Radon Video Contest.” The contest was designed to increase public awareness of the health hazards of radon, a radioactive gas known to cause lung cancer.


March 19, 2010
Governor Quinn Makes Appointments to Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority Board
MPEA Board to Focus on Attracting Trade Shows, Creating Jobs
CHICAGO – March 19, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced three interim appointments to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), which owns and operates McCormick Place and Navy Pier in Chicago.


March 18, 2010
New Web Site Improves Public’s Access to Grant Information
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Unveils “Grant Tracker” during National Sunshine Week
Springfield, IL – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has launched a new web site (www.ildceo.net/granttracker) that gives citizens greater access to information about who received grant funding, where it was spent, and for what purpose. DCEO unveiled the Grant Tracker site during National Sunshine Week, which runs March 15 - March 21.


March 17, 2010
Governor Quinn Signs Bill to Move Illinois’ Primary Election from February to March
Later Primary Date Will Increase State’s Voter Participation
SPRINGFIELD - March 17, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that moves Illinois’ general primary election to the third Tuesday in March of even-numbered years. Currently, the primary election is held on the first Tuesday in February of even-numbered years.


March 17, 2010
Illinois Department of Insurance Disciplinary Report for March 2010
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Insurance announced today that Director of Insurance Michael T. McRaith issued the following disciplinary orders:


March 17, 2010
Two Weeks Left Of Madness: Current Prepaid Tuition Prices End March 31
Check out the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition benefits bracket to see where benefits are used most frequently
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— The Illinois Student Assistance Commission recommends using March to explore all of the schools where College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program benefits can be applied. To that end, the program has created its own ‘benefits bracket’ which showcases the top schools where benefits have been utilized since the program’s inception.


March 16, 2010
IDOT, Illinois State Police and Local Law Enforcement Say Luck Will Not Get You Home This St. Patrick’s Day
Designate a Sober Driver Before the Party Begins or Risk Arrest
SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) are partnering with numerous law enforcement agencies throughout the state during St. Patrick’s Day to remind everyone to act responsibly by designating a sober driver if they plan on consuming alcohol. The departments are providing extra patrols and checkpoints to crackdown on impaired drivers.


March 15, 2010
2010 Spring Trout Season Opens April 3
Rainbow Trout Stocked at 43 Locations in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2010 spring trout fishing season in Illinois will begin at 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 3, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller announced today.


March 15, 2010
Illinois Department of Insurance Urging Homeowners and Renters to Review, Add Coverage to Protect from Floods and Water Damage
Department reminding homeowners and renters that floods can happen anywhere, anytime
CHICAGO – As winter draws to an end and warmer weather approaches, it is important to remember that with the change in seasons comes an increased chance of flooding. The Illinois Department of Insurance is reminding Illinois consumers to prepare for the possibility of a flood by examining existing homeowner or renter policies and determining whether to add flood insurance.


March 14, 2010
What's Your School? College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Benefits Can Be Applied At Men's & Women's Tournament Institutions
Enroll in the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program at www.529prepaidtuition.org
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— To see the flexibility of benefits usage for the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition one need look no further than the schools represented in the 2010 men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments. Whether Kansas or Duke, Kentucky or Villanova, Butler or Gonzaga, College Illinois! benefits are accepted.


March 12, 2010
Governor Quinn Highlights Importance of Youth Fitness Programs
“No Child Left Inside” Aimed at Curbing Childhood Obesity
CHICAGO – March 12, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today visited the Andrew Jackson Language Academy to highlight the importance of youth fitness programs and encourage children to spend time outdoors. Students who are healthy are more successful in school, which is why the Governor is urging children to put down video games and spend more time outside participating in programs available through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and its partners.


March 12, 2010
Governor Quinn Unveils New Transparency Web Site
“Illinois Sunshine Portal” Will Improve Public Access to State Government Records
CHICAGO – March 12, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today unveiled the Illinois Sunshine Portal, Sunshine.Illinois.gov, a new one-stop shop where the public can review many public records and documents online. The portal, launched just ahead of National Sunshine Week, March 14-20, makes it easier for citizens to find key information about state government and builds on Governor Quinn’s continuing efforts to make Illinois more accountable and transparent.


March 10, 2010
Governor Quinn Battles State’s Fiscal Crisis With “Fighting for Illinois” Budget Plan
Challenges General Assembly to Back His Bold Effort To Create Jobs, Cut Costs and Enhance Revenues
SPRINGFIELD – March 10, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today unveiled a fiscal year 2011 budget that will confront Illinois’ unprecedented financial crisis by getting the state on the road to recovery and prosperity. In his budget address to the Illinois General Assembly, Governor Quinn said he is Fighting for Illinois by creating jobs, making significant cost cuts and proposing to enhance state revenues.


March 9, 2010
National Recession Presses State Rate To 11.3 Percent
Up-And-Down Movement In Rate And Job Growth Expected
CHICAGO – The Illinois seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2010 was 11.3 percent, up from the revised December 2009 rate of 11.0 percent, according to data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The unemployment rate is at its highest level since August 1983.


March 9, 2010
Illinois Department on Aging Stresses Health Promotion as an Asset for Aging
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging director Charles Johnson is urging people to reflect on their health and adopt new strategies to promote a healthier lifestyle. At a recent meeting of health experts, gerontology students, university faculty, and community health trainers, Director Johnson told about the year-long campaign to improve the health and lives of adults, ages 55 years and older. As proclaimed by Governor Pat Quinn, the campaign 2010: Year of the Engaged Older Adult offers a monthly theme with the purpose of creating stronger connections among the generations. For more information, log on to www.law.siu.edu/GenServeGen.


March 8, 2010
Liquor Control Commission February Compliance Report
SPRINGFIELD – In February the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) conducted compliance checks around the state and visited 73 businesses licensed to sell liquor. They cited 15 licensees for violations of liquor control laws. Seventy-nine percent of the licensees visited complied with Illinois liquor laws and refused to serve underage customers.


March 7, 2010
Illinois Department of Insurance Reports on Individual Health Insurance Rate Increases
Department promoting transparency on health insurance rates
CHICAGO – To promote transparency and further inform Illinois consumers, the Illinois Department of Insurance reported on individual health insurance rate increases received from insurance companies and HMOs on individual major medical health policies. The Department also provided a guide to the report in order to inform consumers about the many factors that may increase premiums other than a base rate.


March 5, 2010
Governor Quinn Announces Nearly 1500 Jobs Coming to Chicago for Rail Project
Englewood Flyover Received $133 Million in Competitive Stimulus Funds
Chicago – March 5, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn US House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) and Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL) to highlight federal funding for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program’s Englewood Flyover in Chicago. The project received $133 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program to build a rail flyover in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood that will significantly reduce rail congestion. The project will create nearly 1,500 Illinois jobs.


March 5, 2010
State Public Health Department Releases Crestwood Cancer Incidence Study for Public Review
Public meeting scheduled for Saturday, March 13, 2010
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today released its assessment of cancer incidence in Crestwood, Cook County. IDPH conducted the assessment in response to concerns about cancer incidence in Crestwood following the discovery of contaminants in the Village’s drinking-water system with possible and known cancer-causing chemicals.


March 5, 2010
College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program Partners With Wolves Hockey
Baby derby March 7, Chris Chelios wall cling giveaway March 13 offer chances to learn about prepaid college tuition
CHICAGO — The College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program has partnered with the Chicago Wolves to put fears about how to pay for college on ice, offering Wolves hockey fans the chance to learn about how to save for college the prepaid way at two upcoming events March 7 and 13.


March 4, 2010
Governor Quinn Announces Illinois Named ‘Race to the Top’ Finalist
New Laws, Policies Propel State to Next Phase of Competition
SPRINGFIELD – March 4, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois is one of 16 finalists in the U.S. Department of Education’s ‘Race to the Top’ grant program. As part of the next phase of the competitive process, a delegation from Illinois will travel to Washington D.C. to interview with federal officials in the hopes of securing $510 million for education reform efforts.


March 3, 2010
Illinois Arts Council Announces Poetry Out Loud State Final
16 Regional Winners Advance from 4,500 Participants in 48 Illinois High Schools Statewide
ILLINOIS -- The Illinois Arts Council is pleased to announce Illinois’ 2009-2010 Poetry Out Loud State Final, featuring recitations by sixteen regional contest winners. The event will take place on Thursday, March 18, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in Springfield’s Hoogland Center for the Arts. Attendance is free, open to the public, and accessible.


March 1, 2010
IEMA, NWS Highlight Flood and Tornado Safety during Severe Weather Preparedness Week
Preparedness guide offers tips for staying safe during severe weather
SPRINGFIELD – Melting snow in the upper Midwest and Illinois combined with spring rainfall and very moist soil are predicted to increase the chance for flooding throughout Illinois this spring. With several communities still dealing with the aftereffects of historic flooding in 2008, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) are urging Illinois residents to be prepared for flooding and other spring weather hazards during Severe Weather Preparedness Week February 28-March 6.


March 1, 2010
Illinois Products Expo To Feature Homemade Foods And Wines
12th annual event scheduled March 6-7 at Illinois State Fairgrounds
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Tasty, Illinois-made food products from more than 60 companies are on the menu for the 2010 Illinois Products Expo. And, best of all, samples are free!

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