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February
2012


February 29, 2012
Governor Quinn Issues State Disaster Declaration in Harrisburg Following Tornado
Governor Declares Disaster After Touring Damage and Meeting with First Responders
SPRINGFIELD – February 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a state disaster proclamation following a tour of damaged areas in Harrisburg after a tornado devastated parts of southern Illinois Wednesday morning. State resources including the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Resources were also deployed on the ground to respond to the damage.


February 28, 2012
Governor Quinn Calls for 21st Century Classrooms Throughout Illinois
Visits Piper Elementary to Show How Educational Technology Can Help Students Achieve and Succeed
BERWYN – February 28, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today called on lawmakers, administrators, teachers and parents across Illinois to recognize the critical role technology plays in educating the next generation of students. Just a day after President Obama asked governors across America to protect and invest in education even during tough budget times, Governor Quinn championed his plans to continue investing in Illinois’ education during a visit to Piper Elementary. The Governor was joined by Riverside Village President Michael Gorman, 2nd graders and their teacher Maureen Gorman, who demonstrated how their class uses technology to improve learning.


February 28, 2012
Illinois Human Rights Commission Endorses Anti-Bullying Legislation
Commission also joins forces with Prevent School Violence Illinois Coalition
CHICAGO — The Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has unanimously endorsed HB 5290, legislation proposed by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) that would build on the Illinois School Violence Act and call on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to develop a template for a statewide model bullying prevention policy. The Commission also voted to join the Prevent School Violence Illinois Coalition.


February 28, 2012
Local, State Emergency Management Officials Launch Weather Alert Radio Contest
March is Severe Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Local and state emergency management officials today launched a statewide contest aimed at increasing awareness and use of weather alert radios. The Illinois Emergency Services Management Association (IESMA) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) are sponsoring the “Weather Alert Radios Save Lives” contest, in which participants will complete an on-line quiz for a chance to win a weather alert radio. The contest will be highlighted throughout March, which is Severe Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois.


February 28, 2012
Illinois Products Expo To Feature Local Foods And Wines
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Fifty-four Illinois food companies will give away samples of their products this weekend at the 14th annual Illinois Products Expo. The aptly-titled “Food and Cooking Extravaganza,” which also features Illinois-made wines and agriculture-based products like soy candles, will be held March 3-4 in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. In all, 77 companies are scheduled to participate.


February 27, 2012
IDVA this week to swap schedules of Veterans’ Service Offices in Litchfield and Carlinville
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) this week is swapping the schedules of two southwestern Illinois Veterans’ Service Offices located in Litchfield and Carlinville. Beginning tomorrow (Feb. 28th), IDVA will open a full-time Veterans’ Service Office in Litchfield. This office will be located in the offices of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), 11006 Airport Trail Rd., Litchfield, IL 62056. Office hours will be maintained daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except for the last Wednesday of each month.


February 23, 2012
Specialty Crop Grant Funds Available
Program designed to expand the availability of fresh, locally-grown produce and strengthen the state’s specialty crop industry
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois has been awarded more than $630,000 in federal funds to strengthen the competitiveness of the state’s specialty crop industry. The funds come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and will support efforts to open new markets for fresh produce grown in Illinois.


February 23, 2012
Effective Monday, IDVA’s Veterans’ Service Office in Champaign is moving back to Urbana armory
SPRINGFIELD – Effective February 27th, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Veterans’ Service Office will move from its current location in Champaign back to its previous location at the Illinois National Guard Armory located at 600 East University in Urbana. The new location will continue to be staffed by Veterans Service Officers (VSO) Terry Baer and Robbie Walker, who can be reached at (217) 278-3388 and (217) 278-3392, respectively. Office hours will be maintained daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


February 22, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon FY13 Budget Statement
SPRINGFIELD – Following the Governor’s budget address, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon recognized state agencies that voluntarily made cuts to help balance the fiscal year 2013 budget and encouraged state residents to participate in public hearings that will be held on proposed facility closures.


February 22, 2012
Lt. Gov. Simon: Abolish political scholarships
SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today put her support behind a House bill that would abolish a legislative scholarship program that more than half of the state’s legislators are voluntarily abstaining from this year.


February 22, 2012
Governor Quinn Delivers Budget Address
Reduces Discretionary Spending to Below 2008 Levels; Cuts FY2013 Agency Spending by $425M
SPRINGFIELD - February 22, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today delivered his fiscal year 2013 budget address to the Illinois General Assembly, a plan for budget stability through major reductions and efficiencies, pension and Medicaid stabilization, fundamental tax reform and jobs and economic growth. The Governor proposed a budget that takes necessary steps to restore fiscal stability to Illinois, ensure job growth and a strong education for children across the state.


February 21, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon cuts budget nearly 10 percent
Staff cuts, streamlining means office will “do more with less”
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to do more with less, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is voluntarily asking the General Assembly to cut her budget by nearly 10 percent in the coming year.


February 20, 2012
Governor Quinn Dedicates Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail in Honor of Black History Month
Highway Will Honor Unit’s Service, Bravery and Sacrifice
MARKHAM – February 20, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined local leaders to dedicate the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail, which honors the fighter group’s valiant service to the United States during World War II. Presented to the Chicago “DODO” Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, this dedication celebrates the Airmen’s commitment to our country and important place in black history. State Representative Marlow H. Colvin (D-Chicago), State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider and Markham Mayor David Webb joined Governor Quinn in commemorating the Tuskegee Airmen’s achievements.


February 17, 2012
Simon: Strip clubs should fund rape crisis centers
Lt. Governor to work with lawmakers to fund violence prevention
CHICAGO - An advocate for sexual and domestic violence survivors, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today pledged to work with State Sen. Toi Hutchinson and the General Assembly to pass legislation that would fund rape crisis centers through an entrance fee on strip clubs that permit alcohol.


February 17, 2012
IDVA to re-open Beardstown part-time Veterans’ Service Office on February 28th
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is announcing the reopening its part-time Veterans’ Service Office located in Beardstown.


February 17, 2012
IDVA to re-open Paxton part-time Veterans’ Service Office on March 1st
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is announcing the reopening of its part-time Veterans’ Service Office located in Paxton.


February 16, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces More Than $623 Million in Capital Funds to Improve Schools Across Illinois
Funding Will Repair, Update and Build Schools to Serve Students
HAZEL CREST – February 16, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois school districts statewide will receive a total of more than $623 million from Illinois Jobs Now! to construct new buildings or expand, repair and update existing ones. This capital funding will provide needed classroom space, while supporting an estimated 4,000 construction jobs throughout the state.


February 16, 2012
Informational Meetings Scheduled For Illinois Products Farmers' Market And Community Garden
Interested gardeners and vendors are encouraged to attend
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has scheduled meetings for those interested in participating in this year’s Illinois Products Farmers’ Market (IPFM) and Illinois State Fairgrounds Community Garden. A public meeting will be held March 1 at 5:30 p.m. for new and returning community gardeners. Potential and current vendors can get more information about the Illinois Products Farmers’ Market on March 22 at 5:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the IDOA Auditorium, located at the corner of Sangamon Ave. and 8th St. on the Illinois State Fairgrounds inside Gate 11.


February 16, 2012
Second Annual Rain Barrel Contest Begins
IDOT Encourages Students to Submit Designs
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Ann Schneider today announced the second annual Rain Barrel Contest, offering students a chance to earn a rain barrel by submitting artistic designs. Similar to last year, IDOT is teaming up with Illinois Correctional Industries to provide a rain barrel design contest for students statewide. “Participation among schools and students last year vastly exceeded expectations, and we hope the 2012 Rain Barrel Contest will build upon previous success to bolster environmental sustainability practices,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.


February 15, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Demolition of Harvey’s Dixie Square Mall
State Provided $4 Million in Disaster Recovery Funding to Assist with Clean-up and Demolition Project
HARVEY – February 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) and city of Harvey officials to announce the start of the clean-up and demolition of the old Dixie Square Mall in Harvey. Today’s announcement marks the first phase of the broader economic development of the site, which was the site of the famous car chase scene in “The Blues Brothers” movie 30 years ago. The clean-up and demolition project will support a total of 42 jobs, which include 18 newly-created full-time jobs.


February 15, 2012
Governor Quinn Makes Cabinet Appointment
Names Bob Flider to Head Department of Agriculture
SPRINGFIELD – February 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today named Bob Flider director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Today’s action is the latest in a series of appointments Governor Quinn has made as he continues to fulfill his commitment to creating jobs, fostering economic development, and increasing efficiency and accountability in all areas of state government.


February 15, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon urges rural citizens to complete broadband survey
Online poll to identify needs, promote statewide access
CARBONDALE – As a statewide voice for Southern Illinois, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is urging rural residents to participate in a new online survey about high-speed internet usage that launched today and will help create jobs, improve medical care and enhance educational opportunities.


February 15, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon welcomes Vice President of China to Quad Cities
MOLINE – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon welcomed the man expected to be the next president of China to Moline today and pledged to work to strengthen business and economic ties between Illinois and China.


February 14, 2012
Governor Quinn Celebrates Valentine’s Day by Announcing Growth at Mars’ Chicago Chocolate Factory and Visiting Children at Shriners Hospital
CHICAGO – February 14, 2012. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Governor Pat Quinn visited the Mars, Inc. Chicago candy factory to announce the company’s recent growth in Illinois and tour the facility, which has added 65 new jobs over the past two years. Governor Quinn saw the new line where employees help produce Mars’ world-famous products like 3 Musketeers, Mars Bars, Milky Way and Snickers.


February 12, 2012
Governor Quinn Proposes Lincoln Amendment to Strengthen Ethics Standards
Measure Empowers Citizens to Enact Ethics Laws for Public Officials Through Popular Initiative and Referendum
CHICAGO – February 12, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today proposed an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would allow state voters to enact ethics reforms through popular initiative and referendum. As Illinois today observes the 203rd anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, Governor Quinn called for the passage of the Lincoln Amendment to give voters the power to directly implement stronger ethics laws for the first time in state history. This proposed amendment follows Governor Quinn’s successful 2010 push for an amendment to the Illinois Constitution allowing for the recall of corrupt governors.


February 11, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces New Section on State’s Tourism Web Site for LGBT Travelers
“Pride Illinois” Offers LGBT Travelers Detailed Information on Navigating Illinois’ Destinations and Attractions
CHICAGO – February 11, 2012. One year after signing historic civil union legislation, Governor Pat Quinn today announced the launch of a new section of the state’s official tourism website tailored toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT) travelers. “Pride Illinois” features LGBT-friendly and/or owned travel destinations, attractions, accommodations, events and more throughout Illinois.


February 10, 2012
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to honor Aurora resident as its ‘Veteran of the Month’
CHICAGO –The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) next week will honor Richard C. Irvin, an Aurora resident and U.S. Army veteran, as its February 2012 “Veteran of the Month” during a ceremony at 6 p.m. (CST) next Tuesday (February 14, 2012) at the Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place, 2nd floor, in Aurora. “Service to country and community go hand-in-hand with Richard Irvin,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “After serving in the Middle East, he embarked on an impressive career in public service. Richard is the quintessential example of the type of individual that the ‘Veteran of the Month’ award is designed to honor.”


February 10, 2012
Governor Quinn Breaks Ground on $37.8 Million State Police Forensic Laboratory in Belleville
New Building Will Create 260 Jobs and Provide State-of-the-Art Forensic Capability for Area Law Enforcement
BELLEVILLE – February 10, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by state and local officials to break ground on the $37.8 million State Police Metro-East Forensic Science Laboratory in Belleville, a facility that will provide the Illinois State Police with enhanced crime-solving abilities. As part of the Governor’s ongoing commitment to improving public safety in Illinois, the facility will also give police agencies throughout the region a valuable tool for their criminal investigations. The project is creating approximately 260 construction jobs and is expected to be completed in 2013.


February 9, 2012
Illinois Joins Multi-State Settlement with Five National Banks
More than $1 Billion in Mortgage Relief for Illinois Families
CHICAGO – February 9, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois mortgage regulators have joined with their counterparts across the country to accept the terms of a national settlement with five of the nation’s largest banks. Under the settlement, more than $1 billion will go to help struggling Illinois homeowners and those affected by improper foreclosures.


February 9, 2012
Governor Quinn Launches New Education Initiative to Support Economic Growth
Public-Private Partnership with Business and Education Communities to Focus on STEM Learning and Provide Students with College and Career Readiness
BLOOMINGTON – February 9, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined business and education leaders to launch the Illinois Pathways Initiative, an innovative public-private partnership between Illinois’ public education institutions and the business community to foster Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning. Funded through the state’s secured Race to the Top funds, Illinois Pathways will help prepare students for college and careers in new and growing fields. As part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to reform and improve education in Illinois, this initiative will provide for strong collaboration in Illinois’ business and education communities to prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.


February 9, 2012
Governor Proclaims Thousand Cankers Disease A Threat To Illinois' Walnut Trees
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor Pat Quinn has proclaimed Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) to be a viable threat to Illinois’ native Black Walnut tree population. Quinn approved regulatory measures this month to restrict the movement of potentially-infested products into Illinois as a preventative measure to protect the economical and environmental well-being of Illinois’ walnut tree industry. “Illinois has 2.3 million acres of forests that may contain black walnut and be susceptible to this disease,” H.W. Devlin, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, said. “Though TCD currently is not known to be here, these measures were warranted to protect our state’s walnut resources.”


February 8, 2012
Simon calls on Senate to pass victims Bill of Rights amendment
SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon commended state representatives today on their 116-2 passage of House Joint Resolution 29 and urged senators to approve the Constitutional amendment. The resolution amends the section of the Illinois Bill of Rights concerning crime victims.


February 8, 2012
IDVA to re-open Shelbyville part-time Veterans’ Service Office on March 7th
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is announcing the reopening its part-time Veterans’ Service Office located in Shelbyville. The office was closed last September after the amount of travel money appropriated for all VSO offices was reduced in the FY12 budget. During the Fall Veto Session, Governor Quinn requested and received a restoration of this line item from the Illinois General Assembly.


February 8, 2012
Fighting Unemployment Fraud to Help Grow Jobs
Enhanced Enforcement Will Protect Unemployment Integrity, Punish Fraud, Save Tax Dollars
CHICAGO – Garnishing tax returns of people wrongfully collecting unemployment insurance benefits is among the initiatives to increase tax fairness and reduce operating costs for businesses, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today. The programs are part of Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to improve the state’s climate for job creation and strengthen the Illinois economy.


February 8, 2012
IDVA to re-open Belleville part-time Veterans’ Service Office on March 6th
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is announcing the reopening its part-time Veterans’ Service Office located in Belleville. The office was closed last September after the amount of travel money appropriated for all VSO offices was reduced in the FY12 budget. During the Fall Veto Session, Governor Quinn requested and received a restoration of this line item from the Illinois General Assembly.


February 7, 2012
IDVA to re-open Galena part-time Veterans’ Service Office on February 22nd
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is announcing the reopening its part-time Veterans’ Service Office located in Galena, Ill. The office was closed last September after the amount of travel money appropriated for all VSO offices was reduced in the FY12 budget. During the Fall Veto Session, Governor Quinn requested and received a restoration of this line item from the Illinois General Assembly. The Galena Veteran Service Office is located in the West Galena Township Building, 607 Gear St., Galena, IL 61036. It will reopen Wednesday, February 22, 2012 and resume its regular schedule with office hours from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on the 4th Wednesday of each month. The office will be staffed by Veterans Service Officer (VSO) Jessica Holm, who can be reached at (815) 777-2228.


February 7, 2012
IDVA to re-open Rochelle part-time Veterans’ Service Office on February 21st
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is announcing the reopening its part-time Veterans’ Service Office located in Rochelle, Ill. The office was closed last September after the amount of travel money appropriated for all VSO offices was reduced in the FY12 budget. During the Fall Veto Session, Governor Quinn requested and received a restoration of this line item from the Illinois General Assembly.


February 7, 2012
IDVA to re-open Oregon part-time Veterans’ Service Office on March 12th
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is announcing the reopening its part-time Veterans’ Service Office located in Oregon, Ill. The office was closed last September after the amount of travel money appropriated for all VSO offices was reduced in the FY12 budget. During the Fall Veto Session, Governor Quinn requested and received a restoration of this line item from the Illinois General Assembly.


February 7, 2012
Employment Security Offices Closed to Honor President Holidays on Feb. 13 and Feb. 20
Customers Should Certify; Services Available on Internet
CHICAGO - The offices of the Illinois Department of Employment Security will be closed on Monday, Feb. 13 and Monday Feb. 20 in observance of state and federal holidays. Feb. 13 is a state holiday honoring President Abraham Lincoln. Feb. 20 is a federal and state holiday honoring President George Washington. It also is referred to as Presidents’ Day. Offices will re-open Tuesday, Feb. 14 and Tuesday, Feb. 21, respectively. Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Although IDES offices will be closed, services will remain available online at www.ides.illinois.gov. Individuals 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. Because Feb. 20 is a federal banking holiday, the availability of some benefit payments might be delayed. The IDES does not determine federal banking holidays.


February 7, 2012
IDVA to re-open Morris part-time Veterans’ Service Office on February 22nd
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is announcing the reopening its part-time Veterans’ Service Office located in Morris, Ill. The office was closed last September after the amount of travel money appropriated for all VSO offices was reduced in the FY12 budget. During the Fall Veto Session, Governor Quinn requested and received a restoration of this line item from the Illinois General Assembly.


February 6, 2012
Governor Quinn Highlights Growing Enrollment at Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences
Legislation Boosts Enrollment; Increases Agricultural Exposure to Urban Communities
CHICAGO – February 6, 2012. As part of his commitment to strengthening education in Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn today visited Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) to discuss recently adopted legislation that will allow more students in urban areas to pursue opportunities in Illinois’ vital agricultural economy.


February 6, 2012
IDVA to re-open SIU-Carbondale part-time Veterans’ Service Office on February 28th
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is announcing the reopening its part-time Veterans’ Service Office located on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC). The office was closed last September after the amount of travel money appropriated for all VSO offices was reduced in the FY12 budget. During the Fall Veto Session, Governor Quinn requested and received a restoration of this line item from the Illinois General Assembly.


February 6, 2012
Simon and river council spotlight Starved Rock sand mine proposal
SPRINGFIELD – During a joint meeting of the state’s three river coordinating councils, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and the Illinois River Coordinating Council (IRCC) adopted a resolution calling for transparency in the permit process for a proposed sand mine adjacent to Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County.


February 4, 2012
Governor Quinn Encourages Working Families to Apply for Tax Relief
Increase to Earned Income Credit and Personal Exemption to Help Working Families and Stimulate Local Economies
CHICAGO – February 4, 2012. As tax preparation season gets underway, Governor Pat Quinn today visited a tax assistance center organized by the Center for Economic Progress at Truman College to encourage working families across Illinois to learn about tax relief passed by the Governor earlier this year and how to apply for the Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit. The law doubles the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) over two years, saving low-income workers an extra $105 million per year. The new law also benefits all Illinois taxpayers by raising the value of the personal exemption and indexing it to inflation.


February 4, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Appointments to Illinois DREAM Fund Commission
Landmark Commission Increases Higher Education Opportunities for Children of Immigrants
CHICAGO – February 4, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today named the members of the Illinois DREAM commission at the 2nd Annual Illinois Immigrant Integration Summit organized by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. As part of his ongoing commitment to making higher education accessible and affordable for all students, the Governor signed the Illinois DREAM Act last fall, which created a privately-funded scholarship program for high school graduates from immigrant families who wish to attend college.


February 3, 2012
New licenses available for fingerprint vendors
SPRINGFIELD – Rules to implement legislation mandating that fingerprint vendors be licensed by the State take effect today. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has begun accepting applications from qualified fingerprint vendors today. To qualify for a license as a fingerprint vendor, an applicant must be at least 18 years old, have completed a training course approved or offered by the Illinois State Police (ISP), have equipment approved by the ISP, and have a fingerprint vendor (other than him/herself) submit his/her own fingerprints for a background check by ISP. That background check must demonstrate that the applicant is of ‘good moral character’ and meets the other standards established under the law and the rules.


February 3, 2012
I Love Illinois Products Promo Begins Feb. 10
Valentine-themed Illinois products and wine to be highlighted during contest
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To increase awareness about Illinois food products this Valentine’s season, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will hold its first ever “I Love Illinois Products!” contest Feb. 10 - 14. A winner will be selected randomly each day from among the department’s Facebook and Twitter fans. Winners will receive a Valentine-themed Illinois product and a bottle of wine. “Our hope is contests like this will raise awareness of the many great Illinois food products available to the public,” Acting Agriculture Director H.W. Devlin said. “I want to encourage consumers, whenever possible, to buy locally and support Illinois businesses. Many of the companies taking part in this promotion also will attend our upcoming Illinois Products Expo, a department-sponsored food show March 3 - 4 in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, so make plans to come out and sample their offerings then, too.”


February 3, 2012
IDVA launches ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’ to improve delivery of benefits and resources to state’s veterans
By registering online, veterans can expect follow-up from a local Veteran Service Officer within 48 hours
SPRINGFIELD – Designed to improve access to services for the state’s 1.2 million veterans, “Stand Up and Be Counted” is a new online tool launched in January by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA). This function, located at www.veterans.illinois.gov, encourages all Illinois veterans to logon and submit basic contact information to IDVA. “I would encourage all veterans to Stand Up and Be Counted – not only to receive assistance with benefits, but also for the sake of their battle buddies,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “Participating veterans will help us gain a better understanding of the Illinois veteran community."


February 3, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Plan to Revitalize Vacant, Foreclosed Homes in Six Communities
‘Building Blocks’ Pilot Program Will Rehabilitate Vacant Properties, Increasing Affordable Housing and Stabilizing Neighborhoods
BERWYN – February 3, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn was joined today by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and six Cook County mayors to announce a new initiative to return vacant, foreclosed properties to productive use. An initiative laid out in the Governor’s State of the State address earlier this week, the Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program will rehabilitate vacant properties and increase affordable housing in the communities of Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Maywood, Park Forest, Riverdale and South Holland.


February 2, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Chrysler Increasing Production at Belvidere Plant to Build Next Generation of Vehicles
State’s Support Helping to Create 1,800 Jobs
BELVIDERE – February 2, 2012. One day after laying out the Illinois Jobs Agenda for 2012 in his State of the State address, Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Chrysler Group LLC is ramping up production at its Belvidere plant to help build its next generation of vehicles. The company has invested $700 million to retool the plant and will begin production of the new Dodge Dart in the second quarter of 2012. In fall 2010, Governor Quinn announced a business investment package for the company that is supporting the creation of up to 1,800 new jobs and has been instrumental to Chrysler’s decision to expand in Illinois.


February 2, 2012
IDOT, Law Enforcement Urge Fans to Safely Celebrate Super Bowl Sunday
Remind Motorists to Have a Sober Driver or Risk Arrest
SPRINGFIELD –Across the country, millions of people will gather this weekend to watch the Super Bowl, America’s most popular sports event. To prevent fans from driving impaired, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois State Police (ISP) today kicked off the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket campaigns for the weekend.


February 2, 2012
Governor Quinn Proclaims February Earthquake Preparedness Month
IEMA Encourages Participation in Multi-State Earthquake Drill; More than 400,000 Illinoisans Already Registered
SPRINGFIELD – Recognizing the seismic risk in Illinois and the need for residents to be prepared for a major earthquake, Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed February Earthquake Preparedness Month in Illinois. A multi-state earthquake drill set for Feb. 7 will provide an excellent opportunity for people to learn how to stay safe during an earthquake.


February 1, 2012
State of the State: Moving Illinois Forward
February 1, 2012 REMARKS AS PREPARED


February 1, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Export Advisory Council During State of the State Address
Council will Help Illinois Reach Ambitious Goal of Doubling Exports by 2014
SPRINGFIELD – February 1, 2012. As part of his State of the State address today, Governor Pat Quinn announced the formation a new council that will help Illinois reach his ambitious goal of doubling the number of state exports by the end of 2014. The Governor’s Export Advisory Council will work with the Governor and other state officials and agencies to provide recommendations aimed at improving Illinois’ standing in the international marketplace.


February 1, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network
New Statewide Program Connects Families Facing Foreclosure with Resources to Help Keep Their Homes
CHICAGO – February 1, 2012. As part of his commitment to affordable housing and foreclosure prevention, Governor Pat Quinn today announced the launch of the statewide Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) in his State of the State address. A multi-agency effort coordinated by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the IFPN connects struggling homeowners with all available assistance, resources and knowledge to help them keep their homes.


February 1, 2012
Lt. Gov. Simon to Legislators: Abolish political scholarships
SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon called on the General Assembly to abolish the legislative scholarship program that more than half of the state’s legislators are voluntarily abstaining from this year.

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