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May 31, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon Statement on strip club surcharge
SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today issued the following statement regarding the House’s 92-23-3 concurrence to House Bill 1645, Amendment 3, which establishes a strip club surcharge and fee structure to help fund rape crisis centers that have seen state funding decline about 28 percent over the past five years. The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.

May 31, 2012
Statement from Governor Quinn on Stabilizing Our Pension System
SPRINGFIELD – May 31, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement regarding the status of pension reform in Illinois.

May 31, 2012
Illinois Recognizes June As National Fireworks Safety Month
State Officials Urge Families to Leave Fireworks to the Professionals
SPRINGFIELD – With fireworks season approaching, the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds Illinois residents to remember the deadly dangers posed by fireworks. June is National Fireworks Safety Month was established to educate children and adults about the dangers of fireworks. “Fireworks should never be used as toys or entertainment devices. They should only be handled by trained professionals,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. “It is absolutely imperative that families keep their children safe by obeying Illinois laws. The concept of safe fireworks is nonexistent; leave them to the professionals by attending public community firework events.”

May 31, 2012
Illinois Department of Insurance Disciplinary Report for February, March & April 2012
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Insurance today announced the following disciplinary orders: Pro Insurance Agency, Inc., Chicago, On Track Associates, LTD, Chicago, & Barbara D. Siver, Glenview - The business entities and insurance producer licenses revoked effective March 23, 2012. Pro Insurance Agency, On Track Associates and Ms. Siver had been licensed to sell life, health, casualty, variable, and fire insurance since September 19, 1994 and July 29, 1996, respectively. The licenses were revoked as a result of an investigation which revealed the business entities and Ms. Siver had not deposited all premiums received in a Premium Fund Trust Account (PFTA), did not maintain a positive running balance and made unlawful withdrawals from the PFTA; failed to reconcile the PFTA monthly and and improperly labeled the PFTA; improperly withheld more than $17,000 in premiums from an insurer; failed to return premiums to consumers in a timely manner; failed to properly document commissi

May 30, 2012
IEMA Announces Community Preparedness Initiative
Ready to Respond Community Program Encourages Municipal, County Officials to Enhance Emergency Preparedness
SPRINGFIELD – Municipalities and counties throughout Illinois will be able to seek state recognition for efforts to enhance emergency preparedness in their communities under an initiative announced today by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). The Ready to Respond Community Program will challenge local officials to take steps to ensure government representatives, businesses and citizens are better prepared for all types of disasters. “The Ready to Respond Community initiative will take community preparedness to a new level by emphasizing the ‘whole community’ approach to emergency preparedness,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “The program encourages local governments to bring together volunteer and not-for-profit organizations, private industry and citizens to enhance overall preparedness in their community.”

May 30, 2012
Group Seeks Nominations For 2012 Illinoisans Of The Day
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois State Museum Foundation is looking for ten individuals to spotlight as Illinoisans of the Day at this year’s State Fair in August. The Illinoisan of the Day program recognizes citizens who make a difference in their communities while showing Illinois spirit through hard work and a dedication to helping others.

May 30, 2012
Simon welcomes Moline to Main Street program
MOLINE – Ambassador to the Illinois Main Street program, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon officially designated Moline as a Main Street community today before a luncheon recognizing economic development officials, city staff and volunteers.

May 30, 2012
Simon: Wind power vital to Illinois economic growth
Lt. Governor visits Shady Oaks wind farm as it prepares to go on line
COMPTON – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon visited the Shady Oaks wind farm today just as the turbines are scheduled to come on line and provide power to the state’s residents and businesses. She used the visit to voice support for Governor Quinn’s plan to rescue the state’s pension and Medicaid systems, which would help provide employers with the certainty they need to invest in Illinois and create jobs.

May 29, 2012
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Wednesday, May 30, 2012.
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, May 30, 2012.

May 29, 2012
Statement from Governor Quinn on General Assembly Passage of Legislation to Save Medicaid
SPRINGFIELD – May 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement regarding the Senate’s passage of SB 2194, which raises the price of cigarettes by $1-a-pack to prevent children from smoking, and is the final part of his plan to restructure Medicaid.

May 29, 2012
Statement from Governor Quinn on General Assembly Passage of Hiring Veterans Tax Credit
SPRINGFIELD – May 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement regarding the passage of SB 3241, which provides up to a $5,000 tax credit to employers of post-9/11 Veterans.

May 27, 2012
Governor Quinn and Illinois Tollway Honor Fallen Servicemembers during Memorial Day Weekend
“Portrait of a Soldier” Memorial Exhibit on Display at Illinois Tollway Oases Through Independence Day
HINSDALE – May 27, 2012. To commemorate Memorial Day, Governor Pat Quinn today joined officials from the Illinois Tollway to unveil the “Portrait of a Soldier” memorial exhibit at the Hinsdale Oasis and announce the summer exhibit schedule at multiple Tollway Oases in Northern Illinois. Currently, the exhibit features a series of hand-drawn portraits of 288 of the 300 Illinois men and women who have fallen in service to our country since September 11, 2001.

May 26, 2012
Governor Quinn Lays Memorial Day Wreath in Recognition of Gold Star Families
Honored with Maj. Gen. John A. Logan Patriot Award for devotion to America’s Armed Forces
CHICAGO – May 26, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director David H. Petraeus to recognize Illinois Gold Star families at the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony honoring fallen servicemembers, and in kicking-off the City’s annual Memorial Day Parade. Governor Quinn was also presented with the 2012 Major General John A. Logan Patriot Award from the City of Chicago for his dedication to the well-being of Illinois servicemembers and their families.

May 25, 2012
State Issues Safety Tips for Families as Carnival Season Begins
Illinois Department of Labor conducts inspections statewide to ensure rides and attractions meet safety standards
SPRINGFIELD — With summer just around the corner, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is reminding families on how to stay safe while enjoying rides and attractions at amusement parks, festivals, street fairs and carnivals across the state. “As carnival season kicks off and millions of families and children make their way to theme parks and carnivals throughout the state, we will continue to conduct safety inspections and permit only those rides and attractions that meet established safety guidelines,” said Dir. Joseph Costigan. “We also encourage patrons to follow instructions and heed posted signs to ensure a safe and fun experience.”

May 25, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon’s Complete College bills move forward
College Choice Reports bill advances to House, math curriculum bill moving to Governor’s desk
SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon commended the Illinois Senate today for voting to help students make informed choices about Illinois’ higher education options through publication of College Choice Reports. House Bill 5248, Amendment 2, passed the Senate 56-0 and now moves back to the House for concurrence.

May 25, 2012
Governor Pat Quinn Statement on House of Representatives Passage of Cigarette Tax Legislation to Rescue Medicaid
SPRINGFIELD – May 25, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement regarding the Illinois House of Representatives passing Senate Bill 2194, a key part of his proposal for Medicaid restructuring.

May 24, 2012
New Development for Formerly Homeless Veterans Celebrates Opening before Memorial Day
Hope Manor Apartments Provides Job Training, Health Services
CHICAGO – After years of struggling with substance abuse and shuttling between relatives’ homes, veteran Steven G. Brooks finally has a stable place to call home and access to the training he needs to launch a new career. A 43-year-old Marine Corps veteran of the first Gulf War, Brooks is one of the new residents of Hope Manor Apartments, a new development on Chicago’s West Side that ensures 80 formerly homeless veterans have both a safe and supportive place to live. On behalf of Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Executive Director Mary R. Kenney today celebrated the grand opening of the new supportive housing development for veterans in advance of Memorial Day. IHDA, the state’s housing agency, invested $4 million in federal tax credits, federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) housing stimulus funds and Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits to build the development. The federal tax credits generated an additional $8.8 million in priv

May 24, 2012
IDES Offices Closed May 28 to Observe Memorial Day
Customers Should Certify; Services Available on Internet
CHICAGO - The offices of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will be closed on Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day. All services will be available on the website. Claimants scheduled to certify for benefits should do so. Regular office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. will resume Tuesday, May 29. 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 May 28 is a federal banking holiday, the availability of some benefit payments might be delayed. The IDES does not determine federal banking holidays.

May 24, 2012
IDOT Suspends Non-Emergency Road Work to Improve Traffic Flow During Holiday Weekend
Agency Details Lane Closures to Aid Motorists’ Travel Plans
SPRINGFIELD - With thousands of motorists expected to travel on state roadways over Memorial Day weekend, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today that road work will be suspended where possible this weekend to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow. IDOT also provided advance notice of lane closures that will be in place for the holiday weekend to aid motorists’ travel plans and boost safety. “Memorial Day weekend historically marks the unofficial start of summer, with thousands of motorists expected to hit the road, joining family and friends in commemorative festivities,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “To reduce potential roadway congestion, improve safety and traffic flow, IDOT is suspending all non-emergency roadwork where possible and also providing a list of lane closures in advance to help motorists plan their trips.”

May 24, 2012
Governor Pat Quinn Statement on General Assembly Passage of Medicaid Rescue Legislation
SPRINGFIELD – May 24, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement regarding the Illinois General Assembly passing Senate Bill 2840, a key part of his proposal for Medicaid restructuring.

May 24, 2012
Simon welcomes new JALC president, calls for budget reform to protect education funding
CARTERVILLE – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon welcomed incoming John A. Logan College President Mike Dreith on Thursday and urged lawmakers to make pension and Medicaid reforms that will protect higher education funding.

May 23, 2012
Employers Support Governor Quinn’s Plan to Rescue Public Pension and Medicaid Systems
SPRINGFIELD – May 23, 2012. With just eight days left in the spring legislative session, Governor Pat Quinn today announced a surge of support from businesses and economic development groups across Illinois for his plans to rescue the state pension and Medicaid systems. Recognizing the positive impact the Governor’s plans will have on small and large employers, businesses throughout the state urged lawmakers to pass major pension and Medicaid stabilization reforms this spring session. More than 50 businesses and economic development groups have backed the Governor’s proposals.

May 23, 2012
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Sunday, May 27, 2012 until Sunset, Tuesday, May 29, 2012.
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, Sunday, May 27, 2012 until Sunset, Tuesday, May 29, 2012.

May 23, 2012
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise to Noon on Monday, May 28, 2012
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 to Noon on Monday, May 28, 2012.

May 23, 2012
Governor Pat Quinn Statement on U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald
SPRINGFIELD – May 23, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement regarding United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s announcement that he will step down.

May 23, 2012
Governor Pat Quinn Statement on SB1849 House Vote
SPRINGFIELD – May 23, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement regarding the House’s passage of SB 1849.

May 22, 2012
Governor Quinn Talks Pension and Medicaid Reform with Students
Hosts Town Hall About Illinois' Future at Julian Middle School
OAK PARK – May 22, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today hosted a town hall meeting with students at Julian Middle School about the urgent need for pension and Medicaid reform. With just 9 days left before the end of spring legislative session, the governor continued his push to stabilize Illinois’ Medicaid and pension systems and educate the public about our fiscal challenges. During the visit, Governor Quinn took questions from 8th graders about their stake in what happens in Springfield this session and the impact that these two issues have on the future of Illinois.

May 22, 2012
Governor Quinn Thanks Public Safety Officers for Successful NATO Summit
Praises successful outcome and city, federal and state efforts
CHICAGO – May 22, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today praised the Illinois State Police (ISP) for their successful support of the Chicago Police Department during the NATO Summit. After months of preparation, several state agencies contributed toward public safety efforts and transport of dignitaries during the Summit and coordinated closely with city and federal authorities. ISP, the Illinois National Guard (ILNG), the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) supported the Chicago Police Department and federal authorities to ensure the public and world dignitaries were protected.

May 21, 2012
Governor Quinn Urges Lawmakers to Act Swiftly on Medicaid and Pension Restructuring
Legislation Filed to Restructure Medicaid, 10 Days Left in Spring Session
SPRINGFIELD – May 21, 2012. With 10 days until the end of the spring legislative session, Governor Quinn today urged lawmakers to act to restructure the state’s Medicaid and pension systems. Today House Amendment 3 to Senate Bill 2840, also called the SMART Act, was filed to restructure the Medicaid system. The bill is based on the Governor’s proposal to save Medicaid, which is on the brink of collapse.

May 21, 2012
Governor Quinn Statement on House Vote to Abolish Legislative Scholarships
SPRINGFIELD – May 21, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement regarding the Illinois House’ concurrence with passage of HB 3810, which finally ends the troubled General Assembly tuition waiver program.

May 20, 2012
Polish President and Governor Quinn Visit Soldiers at Marseilles Training Center
Governor and Maj. Gen. Enyart receive Commander’s Cross award from President Bronislaw Komorowski
MARSEILLES– May 20, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and Major General Enyart of the Illinois Army National Guard (ILARNG) welcomed President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski today at the Marseilles Training Center, where they visited with ILARNG soldiers and Polish officers in training. Governor Quinn and Maj. Gen. Enyart, of Belleville, Adjutant General for the ILARNG, were presented with the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, which is bestowed upon foreigners for distinguished contribution to international cooperation with Poland. Thirteen of the soldiers were also presented with the cross.

May 19, 2012
Governor Quinn Honors Illinois Silver Star Recipients on Armed Services Day
Ceremony Highlights Heroism and Bravery of Illinois Servicemembers
CHICAGO – May 19, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Illinois National Guard Maj. General William Enyart to honor Illinois National Guardsmen Sgt. First Class Ryan Ahern of Glen Ellyn and Capt. Tom Bozzay of Wheaton with Silver Stars for valor. Gen. Dempsey presented the awards to Ahern and Bozzay for their heroic actions in Afghanistan in December 2009 while protecting a French military unit.

May 18, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Illinois Exports Up 17 Percent in First Quarter
Governor to Meet with World Leaders During NATO; Summit will Increase Illinois’ Trade and Export Opportunities
CHICAGO – May 18, 2012. Just before the start of the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago, Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois exports rose more than 17 percent in the first quarter of 2012 to its highest point in more than a decade. The announcement also follows the successful reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, backed by Governor Quinn, to finance exports for hundreds of Illinois companies. These developments keep the state on track to meet the Governor’s aggressive goal of doubling exports by 2014.

May 17, 2012
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to honor Chicago woman as its May 2012 ‘Veteran of the Month’
CHICAGO –The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) later this month will honor Marlene Julye, a Chicago resident and U.S. Navy veteran, at its May 2012 “Veteran of the Month.” “Marlene Julye has distinguished herself as a true and tireless leader within the Illinois veteran community,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “As a volunteer and leader of Northeastern Illinois University’s Student Veterans Club, Marlene has made a tremendous difference in the lives of student veterans and others in the greater North Side community.”

May 17, 2012
Illinois Adds 140,700 Private Sector Jobs Since Recovery
April Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.7 Percent, Eighth Consecutive Decline
CHICAGO –The April unemployment rate fell for the eighth consecutive month to reach 8.7 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The data is seasonally adjusted. The last time the rate was below 8.7 percent was February 2009 when it was 8.5 percent. Illinois added +100 jobs in April. “April marks eight consecutive months of falling unemployment rates. In each of the past three months, Illinois has added, on average, 6,300 new jobs.” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Mild swings in the monthly data have been the hallmark of this recovery, and we expect that trend to continue.”

May 17, 2012
IEMA Encourages Public to Be Alert, Prepared and Involved
Citizens Have Important Role in Community Emergency Preparedness
SPRINGFIELD – As part of its 2012 Preparedness Campaign, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today encouraged Illinoisans to take an active role in ensuring safety at home in their neighborhoods and community by having a disaster supply kit, staying alert to what’s going on around them, being prepared for emergencies and getting involved in local organizations that focus on community preparedness. “People often don’t realize the power they possess to protect themselves and their families and help make their community a safer place to live,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “It can be as simple as building a disaster supply kit, being observant of activities taking place around you and in your community and reporting unusual actions or behavior to your local law enforcement agency.”

May 16, 2012
Simon: Advocates, industry compromise on strip club bill
Club fees would help restore cuts to rape crisis centers
SPRINGFIELD – With bipartisan support and agreement from victim advocates and the adult entertainment industry, strip clubs that permit alcohol would have two options to help restore funding to rape crisis centers under a bill passed 8-0 by the Senate Public Health Committee, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said today.

May 16, 2012
State Honors Older Adults in Observance of Older Americans Month
State surveys older adults about maintaining activity and civic engagement
SPRINGFIELD – In observance of May as Older Americans Month, the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) is co-sponsoring and participating in events to honor older adults and to highlight programs that help them maintain active, healthy lifestyles in their communities. Each May, the U-S Administration on Aging issues a campaign theme to recognize older adults for the contributions they make. This year's theme Never Too Old to Play encourages older adults to stay engaged and involved in their own lives and in their communities. IDoA, the Area Agencies on Aging and a network of local service providers hold events throughout the state that offer information about independent living services and other protections to seniors. One of the events includes the 14th Annual Central Illinois Senior Celebration being held today in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, in Springfield.

May 16, 2012
Illinois Conservation Police prepare for another busy year on the water; reminds public about the importance of life jackets
National Safe Boating week begins May 19
SPRINGFIELD, IL – As the summer boating season approaches, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police are reminding the public to “Wear It!” in conjunction with the North American Safe Boating Campaign’s National Safe Boating week, May 19-25. “The ‘Wear It!’ message is a simple, straightforward and easy message to understand. Everyone on board a boat should wear their life jacket from the time they get on until the time they get off the vessel. It could literally save your life,” said Illinois Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez.

May 16, 2012
IDES Director Jay Rowell Statement Following Federal Sentencing of Roberto Cisneros for Mail Fraud Related to Nearly $500,000 in Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Claims
CHICAGO – Jay Rowell, Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), issued the following statement today after U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber sentenced Roberto Cisneros to three years in prison following Mr. Cisneros’ guilty plea to mail fraud in connection with defrauding the IDES through fraudulent unemployment insurance claims: “Unemployment insurance fraud is not a faceless crime. It is fundamentally unfair to every worker and every business owner who respects the rules. It hinders our economic recovery and costs every resident of Illinois.

May 15, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Re-Opening of Congress Parkway Bridge
Improved bridge to relieve congestion and enhance traffic flow in Chicago area
CHICAGO– May 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced the re-opening of the Congress Parkway Bridge, following two years of repairs to ease congestion and improve safety. Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider, area legislators, law enforcement and other transportation officials joined the Governor today to re-open the bridge, a primary route for many commuters into downtown Chicago. Scheduled for completion this month, the bridge will be open ahead of the NATO Summit, which takes place in Chicago May 20-21. Governor Quinn also continued his call for major action from the General Assembly to repair the state’s Medicaid and pension systems this spring session.

May 14, 2012
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise to Sunset on Tuesday, May 15, 2012.
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 to Sunset on Tuesday, May 15, 2012.

May 14, 2012
Lt. Gov. Simon urges rural communities to apply for public health grant
Federal funds available through We Choose Health program
CARBONDALE – As the only statewide elected official from Southern Illinois and the chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is urging rural communities to apply for grants from a new public health program before the end of the week.

May 14, 2012
IL Dept on Aging Praises Long-term Care Advocates in Observance of Nursing Home Week
Ombudsmen Improve Quality of Life for Nursing Home Residents
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging Director John K. Holton, Ph.D., praised advocates and caregivers in observance of National Nursing Home Week. This weeklong awareness campaign, as deemed by the American Health Care Association, runs the week after Mother’s Day to honor the residents, family members, staff and volunteers who help nursing home residents. “The idea of Nursing Home Week is that residents should feel satisfied and staff should feel they have contributed in a meaningful way. We commend the family members, volunteers, long term care advocates and facility staff who work to make certain the residents’ dignity, privacy and other human rights are maintained while living in long-term care settings,” said Director Holton.

May 13, 2012
Governor Quinn Unveils 2012 Carolyn Adams ‘Ticket for the Cure’ Lottery Ticket
Ticket Proceeds Fund Community Outreach, Education, Research for Breast Cancer
CHICAGO – May 13, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today unveiled the new Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure lottery scratch-off ticket at the Y-Me “Race at Your Pace” breast cancer walk in Chicago’s Grant Park. The ticket has raised more than $8.5 million since it was first launched in 2006, and all net proceeds fund vital community outreach, education and research in the fight against breast cancer.

May 11, 2012
Simon applauds Wetland Warriors for boardwalk project
CYPRESS – A champion for safe, clean and accessible rivers, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon gave the keynote address today at a dedication ceremony for the Section 8 Boardwalk at the Cache River State Natural Area. The boardwalk was closed following damage from a 2008 flood.

May 10, 2012
Hundreds Of Firefighters Gather In Springfield For The 19th Annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial And Medal Of Honor Awards Ceremony
Ceremony Honors Fallen Firefighters, Recognizes 21 Others for Life-Saving Acts of Bravery
SPRINGFIELD – Firefighters from across the state gathered in Springfield to remember three firefighters who died in service and honor 21 other firefighters for their outstanding bravery and service to their communities during the 19th Annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Firefighting Medal of Honor Ceremony. The ceremony began in the State Capitol Complex area with the presentation of colors and an invocation at the Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial, followed by the awards ceremony at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.

May 10, 2012
Illinois Reminds Young Job Seekers and Employers of Safety Guidelines
Child Labor Law Provides Protections for Children Younger than 16
CHICAGO—The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is reminding students under the age of 16, employers, parents and caregivers about state labor laws that protect children in the workplace. The Illinois Child Labor Law limits the number of hours a child can work and prohibits work in hazardous environments. “Many young teenagers across the state will start looking for summer jobs and we want to make sure they are aware of labor laws that require adequate protections in workplace,” said Dir. Costigan. “Employers, parents and caregivers should familiarize themselves with the law’s requirements to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for children.”

May 10, 2012
Liquor Control Commission April Underage Compliance Report
SPRINGFIELD – In April the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) conducted compliance checks around the state and visited 166 businesses licensed to sell liquor. They cited 31 licensees for violations of liquor control laws. Eighty-one percent of the licensees visited complied with Illinois liquor laws and refused to serve underage customers. This report is a result of ongoing undercover and cooperative law enforcement operations conducted by Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) agents and local law enforcement officials and volunteers from high schools and colleges. The teams randomly visit liquor stores, restaurants and bars in communities around the state to check for ongoing compliance with state laws mandating that no liquor is sold to minors under the age of 21. ILCC agents also work with local and state law enforcement agents to focus on communities with a high incidence of underage liquor sales.

May 10, 2012
Statement from Governor Quinn on Passage of Senate Bill 1313
SPRINGFIELD – May 10, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding passage of Senate Bill 1313:

May 9, 2012
Lt. Gov. Simon to host listening post in Quincy
Feedback on jobs and education will lead to rural action plan
QUINCY – As chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will host a rural listening post in Quincy on Thursday to hear from rural leaders, citizens and employers about how to strengthen educational opportunities and workforce development in the region.

May 9, 2012
IDOT, Partners Announce Winners of 2012 Work Zone Safety Calendar Contest
Finalists Honored for Ingenuity, Artistic Abilities to Promote Safety
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and safety advocacy partners today honored 12 students from across the state whose artwork was selected in the 2011-2012 Illinois Work Zone Safety Calendar Contest. The drawings of the finalists will appear in the 2013 Illinois Work Zone Safety Calendar, which will be distributed at IDOT events across Illinois.

May 9, 2012
Governor Quinn Surprises Outstanding Teacher with Golden Apple Award
CHICAGO – May 9, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today surprised Elizabeth Luna, a kindergarten teacher at Murray Language Academy, with a 2012 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The governor presented the award, which is one of the education community’s most prestigious, during National Teacher Appreciation Week. As part of his commitment to protect and improve education in Illinois, the governor also emphasized the need for legislative action this spring to stabilize the state’s Medicaid and pension systems to ensure adequate funding for education.

May 8, 2012
Governor Quinn Welcomes Athletes to the 44th Special Olympics Spring Games
Opening Ceremonies Bring More than 3,000 Athletes to Soldier Field
CHICAGO – May 8, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today welcomed Special Olympics Spring Games athletes to Solider Field, the birthplace of the Special Olympics. The opening ceremonies will kick off three days of track and field events for more than 3,000 athletes. At the event, Governor Quinn emphasized his commitment to improve life for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Illinois and protect special education by repairing the pension and Medicaid systems this year.

May 8, 2012
Illinois Department of Corrections and Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Recognize Front Line Staff and Fallen Heroes
Six front line employees awarded top honors
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) held a ceremony today to recognize the departments’ past and present heroes. Respective facility and district nominees, who were selected as the officer, agent or specialist of the year, were congratulated and recognized in addition to six of the nominees receiving top honors from their departments. The ceremony also paid tribute to honor the memory of the IDOC and IDJJ fallen heroes, who died in the line of duty. Top honors were awarded in the categories of: Officer of the Year in the Adult Division, Officer of the Year in the Women and Family Services Division, Residence Counselor of the Year in the Adult Transition Center Division, Agent of the Year in the Parole Division, Juvenile Justice Specialist of the Year, and Juvenile Justice Aftercare Specialist of the Year. The winners were chosen from a field of nominees, who were nominated for the award by their colleag

May 8, 2012
Illinois Products Farmers' Market Announces Sponsorship As Fifth Season Opens On The State Fairgrounds
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – When the Illinois Products Farmers’ Market (IPFM) opens this week on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, for the first time the popular, evening market will have a title sponsor. “I’m excited to announce a new partnership with Springfield Clinic,” Market Manager Kristi Jones said. “Springfield Clinic is widely respected for the quality of its care and its support will greatly enhance the quality of the market as well. Through this partnership, the market will be able to expand the entertainment and special programming it offers, adding to the experience that our customers have come to enjoy in the market’s first four years.” Physicians and staff from Springfield Clinic will offer market-goers weekly health screenings, as well as educational programs related to nutrition, fitness and wellness, throughout the summer.

May 7, 2012
Chicago Trade Show Represents World Of Opportunity For Illinois Food Companies
National Restaurant Association Show to bring food buyers from more than 100 countries to McCormick Place
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Twenty Illinois food companies have an opportunity to increase their international sales without even leaving the state. The companies will exhibit their products in the Illinois Department of Agriculture pavilion at the National Restaurant Association Show, the world’s largest food service industry trade show. The show, which attracts 58,000 buyers, will be held May 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

May 7, 2012
Governor Quinn Proclaims Senior Corps Week in Illinois
Serve Illinois Commission Commends Volunteers for Their Continued Dedication and Service
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn proclaimed May 7-11, 2012 as Senior Corps Week in Illinois. Senior Corps connects volunteers 55 and older with people and organizations to serve as mentors, coaches, or companions to those in need. "Senior Corps members continue to show that volunteerism and service lasts a lifetime. These volunteers dedicate themselves to service and making a difference throughout the great state of Illinois. On behalf of the people of our state, I thank the Senior Corps for their service and applaud them for their hard work and continued commitment to strengthening neighborhoods and communities every week of the year," said Scott McFarland, Acting Executive Director of the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.

May 5, 2012
Arson Awareness Week Starts Sunday May 6th
State Officials Focus on Youth Firesetting Prevention
SPRINGFIELD – As the National Arson Awareness Week kicks off Sunday, May 6th, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) urges residents to educate themselves on the devastating effects of arson and to engage in simple activities aimed at preventing arson incidents. Every year, fires caused by delinquent acts affect the lives of thousands of families and cause more than $1 billion in property loss across the country. The Prevent Youth Firesetting campaign, will educate children and teens on the dangers of mishandling matches, candles, and other flammable objects. The campaign also calls on parents to become more vigilant of their children’s behavior and identify signs that could potentially lead to unsafe, fire-related activities.

May 4, 2012
Simon: Time to weigh in on Classrooms First recommendations
Deadline to provide input on school district efficiency proposals is May 14
SPRINGFIELD – In advance of the May 14 deadline, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is inviting parents, teachers, administrators and community members to submit online comments about a set of draft recommendations that will make it easier for school districts to consolidate and help them save up to $1 billion in operations costs by sharing services.

May 4, 2012
More than $263,000 in Veterans Cash lottery proceeds to help eight non-profits support Illinois veterans
Instant ticket responsible for more than $10 million in funds since 2006
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today announced $263,633 in grants from Veterans’ Cash scratch-off lottery ticket sales to help eight non-profits deliver specialized programs and services for Illinois’ veterans. “The Veterans Cash instant ticket continues to directly impact the Illinois veteran community,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “In the current fiscal year, 30 organizations have shared more than $1.4 million in proceeds from scratch-off ticket sales to provide direct services to struggling veterans.”

May 4, 2012
Governor Quinn Names Veteran Business Journalist to Lead Communications for Economic Growth
Sandra M. Jones Named Communications Director for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Quinn today announced that veteran business journalist Sandra M. Jones will join the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity as the new director of communications effective May 7. “Sandra Jones has a lifetime of experience building a strong understanding of the business world,” Governor Quinn said. “Her command of business issues will be a great resource for our continuing efforts to bring jobs and business to Illinois.”

May 3, 2012
Lt. Gov. Simon: Apply for federal farmers market grant
Farmers Market Promotion Program helps fund farmers markets, local food projects
SPRINGFIELD – An advocate for local foods, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is urging local food producers to apply for a federal grant that promotes farmers markets.

May 3, 2012
2012 Illinois State Fair Grandstand Entertainment Announced
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Reigning Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert headlines a star-studded, 2012, Illinois State Fair Grandstand entertainment line-up that also features country singers Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert, pop artist Demi Lovato and rock icon Cheap Trick. “This is one of the most solid concert line-ups that we’ve assembled,” State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick said. “From the first night to the last, the acts are top-notch. I’m looking forward to great shows and memorable performances.”

May 3, 2012
Governor Quinn Statement on Illinois Senate Abolishing Legislative Scholarships
SPRINGFIELD – May 3, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding the Illinois Senate’s passage of HB 3810, which ends the troubled General Assembly tuition waiver program.

May 2, 2012
Governor Quinn to Illinois Business Leaders: Get Involved to Stabilize Medicaid & Pension Systems
SPRINGFIELD – May 2, 2012. In his keynote address at the Illinois Retail Merchants Association’s annual business day, Governor Pat Quinn called on Illinois business leaders to push for solutions that rescue Illinois’ Medicaid and public pension systems this legislative session. The two fast-growing areas of state spending are on unsustainable paths, jeopardizing their existence, those who depend on them, and the state’s ability to fund core services like education and public safety. Uncertainty caused by inaction on these two critical issues makes it more difficult for businesses and the state to plan for long-term needs and growth.

May 2, 2012
IDOT, Law Enforcement and Safety Advocates Launch “Start Seeing Motorcycles” Campaign Statewide
Announce Proclamation Declaring May Motorcycle Awareness Month, Emphasize Responsibility of Motorists
SPRINGFIELD – With motorcycle riding season officially under way, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police, Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA), and A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) teamed up to kick off the “Start Seeing Motorcycles” campaign across the state and urge all motorists to share the road. Governor Pat Quinn also demonstrated his strong support for motorcycle safety and issued a proclamation declaring May as Motorcycle Awareness Month in Illinois.

May 2, 2012
Shop For Mom Illinois Style This Mother's Day!
Illinois food companies offering unique Mother’s Day gift ideas
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Looking for a unique Mother’s Day gift idea? Try surfing the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s website. The department’s Bureau of Marketing, whose mission is to support small- to mid-sized Illinois food and agribusiness companies, asked these businesses whether they are offering any Mother’s Day specials this year. Their responses, which include an assortment of delectable candies and treats sure to please most any mom, are posted on the department’s website, along with links to the companies that are selling the items.

May 2, 2012
Economic Growth Strong Enough to Close Temporary Unemployment Insurance Program
Long-Term Unemployed Should Visit IllinoisJobLink.com
CHICAGO – Falling unemployment rates and steady economic growth means an extended unemployment insurance program ends this month, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) said today. The expiring federal program affects individuals who have collected benefits for more than 79 weeks. The Extended Benefit (EB) program ends May 12 because specific economic factors set forth by federal officials were met, such as the falling unemployment rate. Illinois EB claimants will be notified via mail and e-mail. Final payments will be issued during the two weeks following May 12. No further unemployment program exists for EB exhaustees.

May 1, 2012
Simon digs into spring planting at Kendall College
Urban garden roots public health, local food economy movement
CHICAGO – An advocate for local food producers, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon put on her gardening gloves today and joined Kendall College culinary students for the annual spring planting of their urban garden.

May 1, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon testifies in support of College Choice Reports
Legislation to help shine light on Illinois’ higher education institutions
SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon submitted written testimony to the Senate Higher Education Committee today in support of House Bill 5248, Amendment 2. The legislation, approved 7-0, will require public and private colleges and universities to publish annual “College Choice Reports” with key student and institutional data.

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