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January
2011


January 31, 2011
Governor Quinn Announces First Round of Top Cabinet Appointments
Six Appointees to Help Lead Administration’s Continued Efforts to Reform State Government, Address Fiscal Challenges
CHICAGO – January 31, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today made six appointments to his executive cabinet. Today’s actions begin a series of appointments Governor Quinn will make over the first quarter of 2011 as he continues fulfilling his commitment to creating jobs, recovering our economy and making state government more efficient and accountable to the people of Illinois.


January 31, 2011
Governor Quinn Ensures State Preparedness for Winter Storm
Governor Issues State Disaster Declaration Ahead of Storm
SPRINGFIELD – January 31, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that state agencies are working together to prepare for a large winter storm expected to hit the Midwest region starting today. Governor Quinn also issued a disaster declaration for the entire state in advance of the heavy snow, ice and blizzard conditions that are expected over the next few days.


January 31, 2011
Governor Quinn Signs Historic Law to Legalize Civil Unions in Illinois
New Law Makes Illinois One of Six States to Recognize Civil Unions
CHICAGO – January 31, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn was joined today by lawmakers, advocates and hundreds of Illinois residents as he signed a historic new law that makes Illinois one of just six states nationwide to legalize civil unions. Senate Bill 1716 ensures that for the first time in state history, couples united under a civil union – including same-sex couples – will have access to the full state legal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by couples that are married.


January 27, 2011
Federal Funds Stimulate Affordable Housing Construction, Job Creation across IL
State announces complete allocation of ARRA housing stimulus dollars
CHICAGO – The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds have enabled the start of construction and rehabilitation of nearly 5,500 affordable rental homes, creating an estimated 4,855 jobs statewide. As the state’s housing agency under Governor Pat Quinn, IHDA has completed the allocation of $359.2 million to create safe, decent and affordable rental housing opportunities for working families, seniors and persons with disabilities. Federal housing stimulus programs that President Obama signed into law have proved effective in increasing affordable housing construction and job creation across Illinois.


January 27, 2011
IEMA, American Lung Association Launch Radon Video Contest for High School Students
Winning video will promote awareness of radon health risks statewide
SPRINGFIELD – On the heels of the Oscar nominations, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the American Lung Association in Illinois (ALA-IL) today announced a contest for aspiring teen film makers. The second annual “Illinois High School Radon Video Contest” offers high school students an opportunity to compete for prizes by producing creative 60-second YouTube videos about radon.


January 27, 2011
Governor Quinn Announces Wisconsin-Based American Aluminum Extrusion Opening Facility in Illinois
Rockford-Area Project Will Create 130 New Jobs
CHICAGO – January 27, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that American Aluminum Extrusion Co., an aluminum extruder and fabricator based in Beloit, Wisconsin, will invest $7.5 million to open a manufacturing facility in Roscoe, Illinois. The state is providing a business investment package which will support the creation of 130 new jobs.


January 26, 2011
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Honors U.S. Navy WAVE Betty Butler as January 2011 “Veteran of the Month”
ST. CHARLES – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today honored World War II U.S. Navy Veteran and St. Charles resident Betty Butler, as January 2011 Veteran of the Month at a ceremony at American Legion Post 342, 8 N. 2nd Ave., in St. Charles. The Illinois Veteran of the Month award is a distinction that is given to military Veterans who give back to their community and continue to serve other Veterans. IDVA Director Dan Grant presented the award to Butler, 88, a retired St. Charles School District librarian.


January 26, 2011
Statement from the Office of the Governor
CHICAGO – January 26, 2011. The Office of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement in response to the Illinois Appellate Court decision regarding the 2009 capital bill:


January 25, 2011
Governor Quinn Signs Landmark Medicaid Reform Legislation
Hails Bi-Partisan Effort To Preserve Health Care For Vulnerable Illinoisans And Will Save More Than $624 Million Over Five Years
CHICAGO – January 25, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation establishing comprehensive Medicaid reform in Illinois. House Bill 5420 was crafted by bi-partisan legislative committees and passed both houses of the General Assembly with bi-partisan support.


January 25, 2011
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Wednesday, January 26, 2011 until Sunset, Friday, January 28, 2011.
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, Wednesday, January 26, 2011 until Sunset, Friday, January 28, 2011.


January 25, 2011
Statement from Governor Pat Quinn on President Obama’s State of the Union Address
CHICAGO – January 25, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech:


January 24, 2011
State Announces Natural Resources Settlement for former Indian Refinery site near Lawrenceville
$1.7 million settlement will protect waterways, expand public land and preserve wildlife habitat on 2,300 acres of land
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced the settlement of a natural resource damages case that will result in ecosystem restoration projects to preserve waterways and enhance wildlife habitat on and near the former Indian Refinery south of Lawrenceville.


January 24, 2011
Fulfill Your New Year's Resolution & Save With College Illinois!® Prepaid Tuition
Just one week remaining to take advantage of January pricing discounts
CHICAGO — If a college education might be in your child’s future, consider making a New Year’s resolution to start saving today. While it’s never too late to start putting money away for college, the College Illinois!® Prepaid Tuition Program makes it easy to start early. Administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program is a tax-advantaged way for purchasers to lock in the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for a future college student today, helping them avoid the sting of tuition inflation. When a beneficiary is ready to go to college, he or she can apply benefits almost anywhere according to the terms of the contract.


January 21, 2011
Governor Quinn Announces Agreement to Boost Trade Between Illinois and China
Continues State's Efforts to Remain at Forefront of Global Marketplace
CHICAGO – January 21, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced an agreement to strengthen Illinois’ trade with China. Under the agreement, the Beijing International Brand Management Center (BIBMC) will set up “American Goods Distribution Centers” in Beijing and Shanghai to promote Illinois products and services in China, and an “American Goods Purchase Center” in Chicago to encourage Chinese investment in Illinois.


January 21, 2011
December Unemployment Falls Again to 9.3 Percent
State Rate Below National for Second Consecutive Month
CHICAGO – The Illinois unemployment rate fell again in December even as more people felt encouraged about their job prospects and entered the labor force to look for work. The seasonally adjusted rate fell for the ninth consecutive month, dropping -0.3 to 9.3 percent, according to preliminary estimates released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The last time the state rate was below 9.3 percent was March 2009. The national rate fell -0.4 to 9.4 percent. The last time Illinois remained below the national rate for two consecutive months was September 2006.


January 21, 2011
Governor Quinn Announces Leading Scrap Metal Recycling Company Will Move to Illinois
Relocation to Create Around 40 Jobs, Support 198 Construction Jobs
CHICAGO – January 21, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn announced today that one of the Midwest’s leading scrap metal recyclers, Becker Iron & Metal, Inc., will relocate its headquarters from St. Louis, Missouri to Venice, Illinois. The company’s move will help create at least 42 permanent Illinois jobs and support another 198 construction jobs as part of an overall $4 million investment in Madison County.


January 20, 2011
IDOA Establishes Driftwatch™ Website
New, web-based program to enhance communication between pesticide applicators and specialty growers
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has introduced a new, web-based tool that aims to protect pesticide-sensitive crops by improving communication between growers and commercial pesticide applicators. Driftwatch™ is an online program that allows organic and specialty growers to enter the location of their fields on an Internet map that pesticide applicators can consult to avoid spraying sensitive crops. Every time a new field is added, the program sends an e-mail alert to applicators who have registered to use the site.


January 20, 2011
Governor Quinn Announces Major Steel Company Will Locate North American HQ in Chicago
Move by Evraz Inc. NA, a leading producer of steel rail, plate and tubular products, brings 70 corporate jobs to Illinois
CHICAGO – January 20, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn announced today that steel producer Evraz is relocating its North American headquarters to Chicago, creating at least 70 new full-time jobs. Evraz chose to relocate to Illinois over other competing states due, in part, to a strategic state business investment package through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The $4 billion steel manufacturer employs 4,000 people at operations in Colorado, Delaware, Oregon and four Canadian provinces.


January 20, 2011
Governor Quinn Welcomes Chinese Delegation, Announces Global Business Agreements
Chinese Businesses Sign Agreements to Purchase Illinois Soy Products
CHICAGO – January 20, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today welcomed a delegation of Chinese government and business leaders to Illinois and announced that more than a dozen Illinois providers of soy products have entered into sales agreements with buyers from 24 Chinese companies.


January 20, 2011
Chicago Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Fraud
CHICAGO – A two-year investigation conducted by the Illinois Department of Revenue Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Attorney General Lisa Madigan resulted this week in a Chicago tax preparer pleading guilty to filing fraudulent tax returns. Katrina McAllister pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of Filing a Fraudulent Illinois Income Tax Return and one count of Entering False Information on an Illinois Income Tax Return. Both crimes are class 4 felonies. McAllister was sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to pay criminal restitution.


January 19, 2011
Governor Quinn Announces Friendly Wager with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Winner to be Decided by Outcome of NFC Championship Game
CHICAGO – January 19, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a friendly wager with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, as their states’ football teams prepare to compete in the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship Game.


January 19, 2011
Statement from Governor Quinn on Passing of Sargent Shriver
CHICAGO – January 19, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement on the passing of Sargent Shriver:


January 19, 2011
Statement from Governor Quinn in Support of Affordable Care Act
CHICAGO – January 19, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement in support of the federal Affordable Care Act:


January 19, 2011
Governor Quinn Makes Three Appointments to University of Illinois Board of Trustees
All Three Appointees are Alumni of State’s Flagship University
CHICAGO – January 19, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today made three appointments to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Patricia Brown Holmes and Ricardo Estrada will join the board as new appointees, while Karen Hasara will continue to serve following her September 2009 appointment.


January 19, 2011
IDOT Rolls Out The Rain Barrels
School Competition to Promote Water Conservation, Student Creativity
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that 45 lucky elementary schools will receive free rain barrels as part of a new contest promoting green and sustainable practices. The winners – five schools from each of IDOT’s nine statewide districts – will be recognized during Earth Day celebrations in April.


January 18, 2011
State of Illinois and Northstar Lottery Group Sign Private Management Agreement
Chicago – The State of Illinois today finalized a management agreement with Northstar Lottery Group, making it the first Illinois Lottery private manager. Northstar, a consortium of experienced gaming and advertising professionals, was selected based on a rigorous and competitive procurement process.


January 17, 2011
Miss Henry County Crowned 2011 Miss Illinois County Fair
Jackie Driscoll will reign over 2011 Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs (IAAF) crowned Jackie Driscoll, Miss Henry County Fair, the 2011 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Sunday evening. The Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant was held at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield as part of the 101st annual convention of the IAAF.


January 17, 2011
Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Help “Put Illinois to Work” Trainees Gain Permanent Employment
Law Expands Eligibility for Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit
CHICAGO – January 17, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to provide a strong incentive for employers to keep worker-trainees originally hired under the Put Illinois to Work program and move them into permanent positions. The new law, benefiting both Put Illinois to Work participants and businesses across the state expands eligibility for the Illinois Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit to ensure that Put Illinois to Work employers are eligible for the $2,500 credit.


January 14, 2011
Governor Quinn Urges Participation in Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
“Serve Illinois” Website Offers More Than 70,000 Volunteer Opportunities
CHICAGO- January 14, 2011 Governor Pat Quinn today joined the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the Serve Illinois Commission in encouraging Illinois residents to take part in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service this Monday, January 17th. This year’s theme is “A Day On, Not a Day Off.”


January 14, 2011
Health Care Companies Must Register with State
LLC’s Now Require Registration
SPRINGFIELD – To better protect consumers faced with problems in dealing with their health care providers, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) formed by licensed health care and other professionals will now be required to register with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Medical and Professional Service Corporations have long been required to register with IDFPR, and this law expands that requirement to cover LLCs established by licensed professions, including doctors and dentists.


January 14, 2011
More than 1,000 consumers enrolled in Illinois’ Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan
Insurance program for individuals with preexisting conditions offers new coverage options and additional benefits effective January 1, 2011
CHICAGO—The Illinois Department of Insurance announced today that enrollment in the federally-funded Illinois Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan (IPXP) has exceeded 1,000 members. Effective January 1, IPXP also began offering a lower-deductible coverage option and providing coverage without any cost-sharing requirements for preventive benefits such as annual physicals, immunizations, mammograms, and colorectal cancer screenings.


January 13, 2011
Offices Closed to Honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Customers Should Certify; Services Available on Internet
CHICAGO - The offices of the Illinois Department of Employment Security will be closed on Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Offices will re-open Tuesday. Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Dr. King was born Jan. 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. The civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. on April 4, 1968. Four days later, legislation was introduced in Congress to make his birthday a national holiday. It was not approved until 1983. Ten years earlier, in 1973, Illinois was among the first states in the Union to honor King with a state holiday. The state observes the holiday on the third Monday of January.


January 13, 2011
State Plans to Issue $3.7 Billion in Bonds to Fund Employee Pensions
SPRINGFIELD – The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget of the State of Illinois today announced plans to issue $3.7 billion in taxable General Obligation Bonds to be deposited into the Pension Contribution Fund. The issuance of these bonds will reimburse or fund the State’s required deposit to its pension systems for fiscal year 2011.


January 12, 2011
Governor Quinn Holds Press Availability on New Legislation
SPRINGFIELD – January 12, 2011. Governor Quinn today held a press availability to discuss recently-passed legislation to confront Illinois’ fiscal crisis and provide the revenue and reforms needed to stabilize the budget, pay our bills and jumpstart our economy. In addition to providing much-needed revenue, Senate Bill 2505 places unprecedented limits on state spending. The measure builds upon Governor Quinn’s ongoing efforts to bring economic recovery and budget reform to Illinois. For more information click here.


January 11, 2011
Illinois Department of Insurance Reminds Families to Review Insurance Policies
Department encourages insurance review to ensure proper coverage for winter activities
CHICAGO – As winter months bring on snow, and snow-related activities, the Illinois Department of Insurance today is reminding families to review automobile, health, homeowner and renter’s insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage in case of an accident, damage, or loss.


January 11, 2011
Radon Awareness Key Topic at IEMA’s Radon Networking Day in Springfield
Debra Bartman of Princeton Honored with Excellence in Radon Award
SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 40 public health officials, contractors, extension educators and other radon partners are attending a day-long meeting in Springfield Tuesday to learn how they can increase public awareness about radon. The 8th Annual Radon Networking Day is sponsored by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Radon Program.


January 10, 2011
Honoring The Victims of the Tragedy in Tucson, Arizona
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Friday, January 14, 2011.
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, Friday, January 14, 2011.


January 8, 2011
Governor Quinn to Honor Illinoisans for Exemplary Community Service
Seeks Nominations for Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards
CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn and the bi-partisan Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service today announced nominations are now being accepted for the Second Annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards. These awards recognize individual volunteers through a statewide award program to highlight the importance of volunteerism and community service in the State of Illinois.


January 7, 2011
Chicago Ground Beef Recall Expanded
Investigation reveals additional lots of product may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Chicago company has expanded a food recall to include an additional 580 pounds of ground beef patties that may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. Columbus Meat, 906 W. Randolph, took the action after state inspectors discovered the same batch of contaminated source material was used to produce patties on more than one day. As a result, patties with lot numbers 361361, 361362 and 361364 that were produced on Dec. 29, Dec. 30, Dec. 31 and Jan. 3 have been added to the recall, which also includes 200 pounds of ground beef made on Dec. 27.


January 6, 2011
Illinois Company Recalls Ground Beef
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Chicago food company has recalled approximately 200 pounds of ground beef patties that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced today.


January 6, 2011
Statement from Governor Pat Quinn
On the Legislative Passage of Major Medicaid Reform
SPRINGFIELD – January 6, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement on the General Assembly’s passage of Medicaid reform legislation.


January 5, 2011
IEMA Launches 2011 Preparedness Campaign with Focus on Hazard Mitigation
Planning, actions can reduce impact of many disasters
SPRINGFIELD – While it may be impossible to prevent natural hazards, such as floods, droughts and wind storms, there are actions communities and their citizens can take to reduce or eliminate loss of life and property. Throughout January, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will focus on hazard mitigation as part of its 2011 Preparedness Campaign.


January 5, 2011
Statement from Illinois Department of Insurance on Interpretation of Federal Mental Health Parity Law
Department committed to implementation of law in manner most favorable to patients and families
CHICAGO–In 2008, Congress passed and then-President George W. Bush signed into law the Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (“MHPAEA” or “Wellstone-Domenici”), which provides “parity,” or equivalence, of coverage for mental health or substance use disorder benefits and coverage for medical or surgical benefits. Group health plans subject to the MHPAEA that cover mental health and substance use disorder benefits along with standard medical and surgical coverage must treat equally out-of-pocket costs, benefit limits, and practices such as prior authorization and utilization review. The MHPAEA became effective for health plan years beginning on or after October 3, 2009.


January 4, 2011
IEMA Kicks Off School Screening Program during Radon Action Month
$38,000 grant will help 50 school districts test buildings for radon
SPRINGFIELD – A $38,000 grant recently awarded to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will be used to help 50 Illinois school districts screen school buildings for the radioactive gas radon. IEMA announced the screening program today as it kicked off a statewide observance of Radon Action Month during January.


January 4, 2011
Governor Quinn Names New Director of Communications
Mica Matsoff to Oversee State Communication Operations; Ashley Cross Heads to Department of Juvenile Justice
SPRINGFIELD – January 4, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Mica Matsoff will join the Governor’s Office as the new director of communications. She will work closely with the Governor and senior-level staff as the Quinn Administration begins a new term of office. Matsoff will replace Director of Communications Ashley Cross, who will leave the Governor’s Office at the end of the current term to become the chief of staff at the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.


January 3, 2011
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Tuesday, January 4, 2011 until Sunset, Thursday, January 6, 2011.
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, January 4, 2011 until Sunset, Thursday, January 6, 2011.


January 1, 2011
Governor Quinn Seeks Delegates for Summer Science Education Camp
CHICAGO – January 1, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn is calling on graduating high school seniors to apply for an opportunity to attend the National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) in West Virginia this summer.

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