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August 31, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Record Seat Belt Usage in Illinois
State Achieves Nearly 94 Percent Usage Rate; Encourages Safe Driving During Labor Day Weekend
CHICAGO – August 31, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois has achieved an all-time high seat belt usage rate in 2012. Federal observational surveys showed that 93.6 percent of front-seat passengers were using seat belts as of June, up from 92.9 percent last year and above the national average of 84 percent. The governor credited this significant public safety achievement to impactful awareness campaigns, motorist compliance, strategic partnerships with state and local law enforcement, and strengthened traffic safety legislation. Governor Quinn also urged travelers to drive safely during the Labor Day weekend.

August 31, 2012
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, August 31, 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, August 31, 2012.

August 31, 2012
State Announces LIHEAP Priority Enrollment Begins Sept 4
Seniors, People with Disabilities Can Begin Applying for Home Heating Assistance
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's Office of Energy Assistance today announced that seniors and people with disabilities can begin applying for winter heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Tues, Sept. 4.

August 31, 2012
IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Disasters During National Preparedness Month
Possibility of Impacts from Hurricane Isaac in Illinois Underscore Importance of Preparedness
SPRINGFIELD – With weather forecasters predicting the potential for heavy rainfall this weekend as remnants of Hurricane Isaac move through Illinois, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today reminded people of the importance of personal preparedness. The agency will be working to increase public awareness throughout September as part of National Preparedness Month, a nationwide campaign that encourages Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.

August 31, 2012
Drought Prompts IDOT to Permit Hay Loads on Interstates
Temporary Measure Boosts Efficiency, Logistical Support for Agriculture Industry
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider today announced a new policy which allows farmers and other agriculture industry workers to transport hay loads of up to 12 feet in width on all state routes, including interstates. The 2012 summer drought adversely affected the production of hay due to pasture conditions, and this action will significantly improve efficiency in the processing and transportation of hay throughout Illinois. Previously, farmers were permitted to transport hay loads up to 12 feet in width on state roadways, but did not include the use of interstates.

August 30, 2012
State Receives a Federal CAPP Grant for Consumer Health Insurance Portal
HHS awarded $1 Million Consumer Assistance & Patient Protection Project Grant to the Department of Insurance under the Affordable Care Act
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today announced the Department was awarded $1,141, 954 by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services for a Consumer Assistance and Patient Protection Project (CAPP) grant under the Affordable Care Act. The grant will enable DOI to build a consumer health insurance portal on the Department’s website that will serve as a central point of contact for consumer assistance services.

August 29, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces New Advanced Science Building at University of Illinois at Chicago
Project Expected to Create Nearly 300 Jobs and Boost Illinois Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing and Research
CHICAGO – August 29, 2012. As part of his commitment to putting people back to work and fueling economic growth, Governor Quinn today announced the construction of the Advanced Chemical Technology Building (ACTB) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The $104 million project will be supported by a $64 million investment from state capital funds and is expected to create more than 200 construction jobs, in addition to 81 permanent campus jobs once the project is completed. The ACTB will serve as a new hub for high-tech investment and cement UIC’s position as one of the nation’s leading research universities.

August 29, 2012
Statement from Governor Quinn on Today’s S&P Action
CHICAGO – August 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn issued the following statement regarding Standard & Poor’s action today.

August 29, 2012
Illinois Increases Fight Against Drunk Driving, Seat Belt Law Violators Over Labor Day Weekend
Reminds Motorists, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois State Police and nearly 350 local law enforcement agencies today are gearing up to increase patrol activities for Labor Day weekend in order to make Illinois roadways safer for the heavily traveled holiday. As part of the two-week mobilization continuing through Sept. 3, police have been cracking down on impaired driving and seat belt law violations by conducting over 200 roadside safety checks and hundreds of additional impaired driving and seat belt saturation patrols. Motorists are being reminded to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” especially during deadly, late-night hours.

August 29, 2012
Governor Quinn Breaks Ground on “Phase Two” of WIU Riverfront Campus
$42 Million in Capital Funding to Add New Classroom Building on the Moline Campus and Create Nearly 300 Construction Jobs
MOLINE – August 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas, Moline Mayor Don Welvaert, and several state and community leaders to break ground on Phase Two of the Western Illinois University (WIU) Riverfront Campus expansion. The new $42 million classroom building funded by the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program will create nearly 300 construction jobs and allow the university’s Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Services, and Fine Arts and Communication programs to relocate to the Riverfront Campus. Today’s groundbreaking is part of the governor’s commitment to put people back to work and strengthen Illinois’ infrastructure.

August 28, 2012
Dept of Insurance Receives Performance Grant Award for Senior Health Insurance Program
State moves up to #7 nationwide for counseling people about Medicare Choices
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today announced the Department will receive a federal grant for its Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP.) DOI received notification, Monday, from the U. S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that DOI will receive the FY 2012 SHIP Performance Award in the amount of $136.996. The Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a free counseling and advocacy program for Medicare beneficiaries of any age, their families, or caregivers who have questions or problems with health insurance issues.

August 28, 2012
Simon highlights ‘College Essentials’ math class
Launches survey of innovative math program and course ideas
CARBONDALE – Continuing her effort to improve student achievement and math preparedness, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon visited Carbondale Community High School today to learn about its Essentials for College Algebra course. The course, available only to high school seniors, aims to bridge the gap between the three years of math currently required to graduate high school, and a student’s future college plans.

August 27, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon recognizes Law Enforcement Medal of Honor recipients
SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon honored 69 of Illinois’ courageous law enforcement officers at the Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor ceremony today. The officers, nominated by their commanders, are recognized for displaying exceptional bravery and heroism. Two awards were granted posthumously to officers killed in the line of duty.

August 27, 2012
IDES Offices Closed Sept. 3 to Observe Labor Day
Customers Should Certify; Services Available on Internet
CHICAGO - Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 3, in observance of Labor Day. All services will be available on the IDES website. Claimants scheduled to certify for benefits are encouraged to use the Internet. Regular office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. will resume Tuesday, Sept. 4. Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. The labor movement created the tribute to honor the economic and social achievements that the American worker brought to our nation. The first celebration was in 1882 in New York city. The day was a Tuesday. The holiday moved to Monday in 1884. Although there are conflicting reports that the holiday began either with the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners or with the International Association of Machinists, there is agreement that the Central Labor Union was responsible for the initial demonstration and picnic.

August 27, 2012
IEMA Seeks People for Radiation Response Volunteer Corps
Volunteers Will Assist During Large-Scale Radiological Incidents
SPRINGFIELD – A pilot program recently launched by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will create a pool of radiation response volunteers trained to support the state’s response to large-scale radiological accidents at the six operating nuclear power plants in Illinois. Illinois’ Radiation Response Volunteer Corps (RRVC) members will assist with administrative, logistical and communications support tasks and radiological monitoring of potentially contaminated individuals at community reception centers following a major incident at a nuclear power plant.

August 27, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Create Jobs and Improve Recreation
New Law Allows Carol Stream Park District to Complete Voter-Approved Projects and Create 225 Construction Jobs
CAROL STREAM – August 27, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today continued his commitment to creating jobs by signing a new law allowing the Carol Stream Park District to complete several new projects that will benefit the community. The law will result in the completion of important recreation projects and create 225 construction jobs. The governor was joined at today’s ceremony by community leaders at the site of the new Carol Stream Recreation Center, which is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2013.

August 27, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Increase School Safety
ELGIN – August 27, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to keep both students and faculty safe as they head back to school. House Bill 5602 allows juvenile criminal records to be shared with school officials when there is an imminent threat to individuals at the school and certain offenses have been committed by a student. Today's action is the latest by Governor Quinn to improve safety in Illinois schools.

August 27, 2012
Governor Quinn Visits Construction of New Illinois Route 47 Green Interchange on Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)
First Move Illinois Project to Create 390 Jobs, Support Economic Growth
HUNTLEY – August 27, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn was joined by representatives from the Village of Huntley, Kane and McHenry counties, local labor unions and the Department of Transportation and the Illinois Tollway to visit the Tollway's first construction project as part of the 15-year, $12 billion Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future capital program. Construction of the new all-electronic interchange at Illinois Route 47 on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) signals a new day for the Village of Huntley and a commitment to “green” for the Tollway. The project is expected to create 390 direct and indirect jobs and boost economic development across the region.

August 26, 2012
IDVA honors World War II hero from Centralia as ‘Veteran of the Month’ for September
U.S. Army veteran Stanley Marcum recognized during ceremonies at the DuQuoin State Fair
DUQUOIN –The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) has honored Stanley Marcum, a life-long southern Illinois resident and US Army veteran, as its September 2012 “Veteran of the Month.” Marcum was honored during a ceremony Sunday at the DuQuoin State Fair. The Illinois Veteran of the Month award is a distinction bestowed upon military veterans who continue to serve their communities after leaving the military.

August 26, 2012
Governor Quinn Vetoes “Plastic Bag” Bill, Calls it a Roadblock to Innovation
Victory for environment
CHICAGO – August 26, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today vetoed a bill which would have removed the right of home rule communities to implement innovative solutions to the plastic bag litter problem. In his veto message, the governor said the bill is more restrictive on municipalities than any other plastic bag regulation in the country, which would have created a roadblock for locals to choose policies that fit the needs of the area.

August 25, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Enhance Physical Education in Illinois Schools
Continues “Walk Across Illinois Challenge”
OAK PARK, IL – August 25, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to enhance physical education in Illinois schools. In addition, the governor continued to urge Illinois residents to take the “Walk Across Illinois Challenge” (walkacrossillinois.org), a program the governor launched to improve the health and fitness of the people of Illinois. Governor Quinn led a group of walkers on a half-mile trek through Oak Park.

August 24, 2012
The Office Of The State Fire Marshal Encourages Campers To Practice Fire Safety
Simple Strategies can Decrease Risks
SPRINGFIELD – The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds campers to practice fire safety when using campfires. Fire safety is important when enjoying cooking, setting up campfires, or using lanterns outdoors. The level of rainfall during the past couple of weeks has not remedied the extreme drought conditions affecting Illinois. Fire safety precautions are especially critical under drought conditions when there is a greater danger for brush fires.

August 24, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Increase Protections for Online Dating
CHICAGO – August 24, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to strengthen protections for people who participate in online dating services. Senate Bill 2545 creates the Internet Dating Safety Act, which puts new safeguards in place for those using an Internet dating service. Today's action is the latest by Governor Quinn to increase public safety in Illinois.

August 24, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Detoxify Dry Cleaners
Use of “perc” now subject to tougher safety measures
CHICAGO – August 24, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to impose tougher safety measures on the use of perchloroethylene (a solvent commonly known as “perc”) by dry cleaners. House Bill 4526 requires dry cleaners to use “best management practices” while using the solvent. The law is backed by the dry cleaning industry, environmentalists and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

August 24, 2012
Governor Quinn Proclaims Illinois Olympian Day
WHEREAS, athletic achievement in the international community fosters a sense of inspiration and pride within our towns, our states and the country; and,

August 23, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Woodward Inc. to Expand in Rockford Area, Add 660 Jobs
Aerospace and Energy Firm to Invest More Than $200 Million in its Corporate Campuses
LOVES PARK, IL – August 23, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined executives at aerospace and energy firm Woodward Inc. to announce the company’s plans to invest more than $200 million to build a manufacturing plant and offices in Loves Park, Illinois and produce a new aircraft turbine product line. The expansion will create more than 660 jobs over the next five years. As part of his efforts to further strengthen the Illinois economy, Governor Quinn personally courted this expansion, meeting with Woodward’s CEO in recent months and touring the 142-year-old company’s existing facilities in Loves Park. Woodward plans to double its workforce in the Rockford area by 2021.

August 23, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces $100 Million for Local Transportation Projects
Annual Capital Investment to Create Jobs and Repair Infrastructure
BERWYN – August 23, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $100 million capital investment to address local transportation needs and put people to work throughout Illinois. The funding, which is part of the governor’s six-year, $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, will fund the repair of municipal, township and county infrastructure and improve public safety. Illinois Jobs Now! has created or supported more than 140,000 jobs since 2009.

August 23, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon awards grant to Uptown Farmers Market
Dedicates wireless Link card machine, tours rooftop garden
CHICAGO – Pledging to connect low-income residents with healthy food options, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon presented a grant today to the Uptown Farmers Market and dedicated a wireless machine that accepts Link, debit and credit cards.

August 22, 2012
Governor Quinn Launches Illinois Heart Rescue to Save Lives
$2.5 million grant helps Illinois become seventh HeartRescue state
CHICAGO – August 22, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and the University of Illinois Hospital Health Sciences System today launched Illinois Heart Rescue, a statewide all-volunteer effort to more than double survival from sudden cardiac arrests. The Medtronic Foundation provided a $2.5 million grant to the University of Illinois Hospital to coordinate Illinois Heart Rescue. Governor Quinn recently signed a new law to increase CPR training.

August 21, 2012
Illinois State Fair Attendance Increases 13 Percent; Highest in 10 Years
SPRINGFIELD – August 21, 2012. 2012 was a banner year for the Illinois State Fair.

August 21, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Keep Children Healthy
Law to Increase Access to Vaccines as Kids Head Back to School
CHICAGO – August 21, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today continued his commitment to improving the health and wellness of Illinois children by signing a new law that will make it easier for them to receive flu shots and other preventative vaccines. With the start of the new school year quickly approaching and cases of whooping coughing increasing across Illinois, the governor visited pharmacies in Chicago, Rockford, Milan and Peoria to let parents know about their new options.

August 21, 2012
Simon to open 2012 National Sexual Assault Conference
CHICAGO – A longtime advocate for survivors of violence, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will open the 2012 National Sexual Assault Conference on Wednesday by discussing trends in rape crisis center funding. More than 1,000 sexual assault counselors and advocates from across the country are expected to attend.

August 20, 2012
Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel Announce Salesforce.com is Expanding Chicago Office
World’s Leading Enterprise Cloud Computing Company Adds New Facility
CHICAGO – August 20, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that salesforce.com is creating 200 jobs as it expands into a new facility in River North. The global software company has leased more than 100,000 square feet at 111 W. Illinois and joins the region's growing hub of technology firms.

August 20, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Crack Down on Loan Sharks
New law protects consumers from unlicensed lenders
CHICAGO – August 20, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to shield consumers from unlicensed lenders. House Bill 3935 imposes a Class 4 felony on lenders who have not been licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), and protects consumers trapped in these high-interest loan deals from having to pay back the debt. Today's action is the latest by the governor to crack down on predatory lending and help consumers.

August 20, 2012
IDOT Launches “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Labor Day Crackdown
Law Enforcement Kick-Starts Effort to Get Impaired Drivers Off the Road
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today announced the opening of its Labor Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement effort, and highlighted information depicting the frequent tragedy experienced when a motorist chooses to drive a vehicle after consuming too much alcohol. Illinois has seen a reduction in drunk driving fatalities in recent years, but the numbers still show that many lives are lost or forever changed due to crashes involving alcohol. In addition, law enforcement agencies across the state are amplifying their efforts to crack down on traffic safety law violators leading up to the holiday weekend.

August 20, 2012
Prison Garden Donations
IDOC Sustainability initiative results in donations of fresh produce to local food banks
SPRINGFIELD- Illinois – The Illinois Department of Corrections is excited about an effort that began as a vocational opportunity for offenders and has become another avenue for facilities to “go green” and give back to their local communities. There are currently 23 prisons and several work camps that have incorporated gardens into the prison grounds. Some are primarily used for teaching offenders horticulture skills while others have become large enough to feed inmates, staff, and needy families in local communities.

August 19, 2012
Governor Quinn Attends Muslim Eid
Governor Renounces Attacks on Houses of Worship, Signs New Law to Foster Religious Tolerance
BRIDGEVIEW, IL – Governor Pat Quinn today joined the Muslim community to observe the completion of the Holy Month of Ramadan at the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer service in Bridgeview. During the occasion, the governor renounced recent incidences of violence against Muslim places of worship and signed a new law to foster religious tolerance.

August 18, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Boost Protections to Women
Takes aim at sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence
CHICAGO – August 18, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed three new laws designed to provide greater protections to Illinois women from sexual assault and domestic violence. Earlier this week, the governor signed a new law to protect women from stalking. Today's action is the latest by Governor Quinn to support crime victims and boost protections of women.

August 18, 2012
Family Fun For Everyone (On A Budget)
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Come one, come all to the most affordable day of the fair, Family Day, Sunday, Aug. 19. Admission this day is reduced to $3 for adults, and there is plenty to see and do that is either free or low cost for families on a budget. These budget-friendly activities include Farmer’s Little Helpers in the Gate 2 area. At this free children’s attraction, “little helpers” can learn all about Illinois Agriculture through hands-on activities such as raising farm animals, tending crops and taking their harvest to market. Next door is the Kids Ag-tivity tent. Parents can rest while children color and play games.

August 18, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon statement on strip club legislation
CHICAGO – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today issued the following statement regarding Governor Pat Quinn’s signing of House Bill 1645, which will help fund rape crisis centers through fees based on strip club profits or admissions.

August 17, 2012
Illinois State Fair Welcomes Special Guest
Eileen Jones has visited every fair since 1918
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – 94-year-old Eileen C. Jones can’t get enough of the Illinois State Fair. Jones has been coming to the fair since she was born in 1918. She hasn’t missed a single year, except during World War when no fairs were held. Jones, a Springfield resident, came to her first fair with her mother’s side of the family, who had been visiting for years and years. This year she was accompanied by her youngest son, Tim, and his family.

August 17, 2012
Governor Quinn Issues Statement on Critical Need for Pension Reform
SPRINGFIELD – August 17, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding the critical need for comprehensive public pension reform and the General Assembly's inaction.

August 16, 2012
Skin & Bones Comedy Circus Entertains Fairgoers
Performance part of “Family Fun for Everyone” in Happy Hollow
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Husband and wife team Bob Bone and Mariah Skinner provide knee-slapping entertainment for children of all ages at their Skin & Bones Comedy Circus. The performance is just one of the free attractions visitors to the Illinois State Fair will find just inside the Main Gate in Happy Hollow. Bone, dressed in classic clown attire and makeup, performs a vaudeville-type comedy act to open the show. After several minutes of wrestling with a pesky microphone cord that seemingly will not “unstick” itself from his hands, legs and foot, Bone, the emcee, finally announces the stars of the show.

August 16, 2012
Governor Pat Quinn Statement on Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair
Urges Republican Leaders and Legislators to Rise to Occasion, Vote for Nekritz Proposal to Eliminate Unfunded Liability
CHICAGO – August 16, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn issued the following statement on Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair.

August 16, 2012
Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs honors Elgin man as ‘Veteran of the Month’ for August
CHICAGO –The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) has honored Arthur “Doc” Sheehan, a resident of Elgin and US Air Force veteran, as its August 2012 “Veteran of the Month.” Sheehan was honored during a ceremony Thursday morning at The Watch City VFW Post 1307 in Elgin, Ill. The Illinois Veteran of the Month award is a distinction bestowed upon military veterans who continue to serve their communities after leaving the military.

August 16, 2012
State, Federal Officials Announce New Projects within Millennium Reserve; Calumet Region of Chicago
12 new model projects begin shaping the Millennium Reserve through federal, state and local partnerships
CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin joined state and local officials and organizations in Chicago to announce 12 new Millennium Reserve conservation projects that will further the mission of transforming the Calumet Region of Chicago into a one-of-a-kind public destination that protects and enhances natural ecosystems, supports healthy and prosperous communities, and stimulates vigorous and diverse economic growth.

August 16, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Crack Down on Street Crime and Corruption in Four Metro East Communities
EAST ST. LOUIS – August 16, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to create the Metro East Police District and increase public safety in the region. The new law will strengthen law and order in four Metro East communities. Today's action was the latest by Governor Quinn, who was joined by local legislators at the Illinois Army National Guard post, to improve public safety in Illinois.

August 15, 2012
West Texas Rattlesnake Show Provides Entertainment With An Educational Twist
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – After 20 years in the business, Rattlesnake Dave Richardson has learned to “stay comfortably on my toes.” With the help of his assistant, Cindy Bloom, Richardson, proprietor of the West Texas Rattlesnake Show, is not only entertaining, but also educating visitors to the 2012 Illinois State Fair. A four-foot-tall, glass, octagon enclosure is all that separates 14 Western Diamondback rattlesnakes, Rattlesnake Dave and his audience. He caught each of the snakes on his own in the wild.

August 15, 2012
Governor Quinn Statement on Declaration of All Illinois Counties as Eligible for Drought Relief
CHICAGO – August 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement following the announcement by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack declaring the remaining two Illinois counties, DuPage and Will, as eligible for drought relief.

August 14, 2012
Employment Data Available by Legislative District
New Service Compares Districts, Improves Planning
CHICAGO – Economic data previously available only at the statewide level now is broken out by Congressional and Illinois Legislative districts in an effort to assist local economic planners and decision makers, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today.

August 14, 2012
Sale Of Champions Shatters Five Records
Event raises $159,210 for junior producers and state’s 4-H and FFA youth education programs
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – “We’re proud of their support,” Acting Director of Agriculture Bob Flider said after Tuesday’s Sale of Champions at the Illinois State Fair. “We’re grateful to the buyers, especially during this difficult time for agriculture.” Those buyers opened their wallets and paid record-breaking prices for five animals in the annual auction of prize-winning state fair junior livestock. With encouragement from Flider, Governor Pat Quinn and State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick, $159,210 was raised for the youngsters who exhibited the animals as well as the state’s 4-H and FFA youth education programs.

August 14, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Celebrate Agriculture Day at State Fair
Laws Support State’s Strong Agriculture Industry Currently Facing Drought
SPRINGFIELD – August 14, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today celebrated Illinois’ agriculture heritage by signing five new laws to support the state’s agriculture industry, which is currently facing record drought conditions. The governor signed the new laws on Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, where agriculture producers from throughout the state are gathered to showcase livestock and other products made and grown in Illinois.

August 14, 2012
The Illinois Department of Human Rights joins the Consul General of Mexico in Chicago during Labor Rights Week
IDHR Works with the Consulate to Promote Awareness of Workers’ Rights Under the Illinois Human Rights Act
CHICAGO – For the fifth year in a row, the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) is joining with the Consulate of Mexico in Chicago to celebrate the annual Labor Rights Week with a series of events designed to educate the public about their right to be free from discrimination in the workplace. Workshops and activities will be held in various locations to educate the community about the labor rights in Illinois that are enshrined in the Illinois Human Rights Act.

August 13, 2012
NASCAR Stars Coming To The Illinois State Fair
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – NASCAR drivers Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace are entered to race in the second annual UMP Modified Dirt Car Series Illini Dash. The event will be held at the Illinois State Fair Grandstand Saturday, Aug. 18. It is a 20-mile event ran in conjunction with the USAC Tony Bettenhausen 100.

August 13, 2012
Quinn Administration Releases Study Showing Impact of Pension Inaction on Higher Education
Governor Meets with Business Leaders to Discuss Impact of Pension Inaction on Universities, Community Colleges and MAP Grants
CHICAGO - August 13, 2012. In a meeting today with the Executives’ Club of Chicago, Governor Pat Quinn shared new data showing that higher education in Illinois is likely to receive more significant funding reductions in the coming years if comprehensive pension reform is not enacted. According to an analysis conducted by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), approximately 26,000 students may not have the needed resources to go to college in five years due to projected reductions to MAP grant funding.

August 13, 2012
Governor Quinn Statement on Violent Crimes Against Illinois Muslims
CHICAGO – August 13, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding recent violent crimes committed against Illinois Muslim centers.

August 12, 2012
Illinois State Fair Crowns Husband And Hog Calling Champions
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Lincoln Stage hosted two contests Sunday that both were a hollering good time. The Husband and Hog Calling contests have become Illinois State Fair traditions and a capacity crowd this year enjoyed listening to contestants use their lungs to get those husbands and hogs running. The winner of the Husband Calling Contest is no rookie. Julianna Willeford of Nilwood, Ill., won her second consecutive Husband Calling Contest. She called for her husband, Timothy, who was “lost” on the fairgrounds.

August 12, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Honor Vets and Fallen Heroes
SPRINGFIELD – August 12, 2012. To celebrate “Veterans Day at the State Fair”, Governor Pat Quinn today signed a package of new laws designed to honor our veterans and fallen heroes, including a measure to hire more veterans as Conservation Police. Today’s action is the latest by Governor Quinn to improve services for veterans in Illinois.

August 11, 2012
Governor Quinn Marches in Bud Billiken Parade, Continues Push for Pension Reform
CHICAGO – August 11, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today marched in the annual Bud Billiken parade and continued his push for public pension reform. Walking alongside hundreds of youth and students, the governor called for a school system and pension system that are built to last for future generations.

August 11, 2012
Grand Champion Steer And Barrow Selected
Both to be a part of Tuesday’s Sale of Champion livestock
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Hard work paid off for Mercer county teen A.J. Line at Saturday’s Junior Steer Show when Line’s crossbred steer was chosen as the grand champion of the 2012 Illinois State Fair.

August 10, 2012
Iconic Butter Cow Celebrates 90 Years At The Illinois State Fair
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The famous Illinois State Fair Butter Cow is celebrating its 90th birthday. And, visitors who attend the first weekend of the fair will have an opportunity to watch it being sculpted. Sharon BuMann is in her eighth year of sculpting the famous bovine. When she started at the State Fair, the Butter Cow was in a display case on the wall that displayed only one side of the sculpture.

August 10, 2012
Governor Quinn Opens 2012 Illinois State Fair
“Family Fun for Everyone" Fair Showcases Food, Entertainment, Illinois Produce and Livestock
SPRINGFIELD – August 10, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today officially opened the 2012 Illinois State Fair, “Family Fun for Everyone.” Today’s ribbon cutting at the fairground’s main gate marks the start of the 10-day celebration that features food, racing, music, carnival rides and a wide variety of family-friendly activities.

August 10, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Honor Veterans with Special License Plates
JOLIET, Ill.– August 10, 2012. In addition to several other laws, Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law at a VFW post in Joliet to honor partially disabled veterans with special vehicle license plates. House Bill 1151 allows veterans who may not qualify for disabled license plates to still be honored for their sacrifice with a special license plate. Today's action is the latest by Governor Quinn to support veterans across Illinois.

August 10, 2012
IDOT, Ford, Allstate, Illinois Secretary of State and Law Enforcement Launch Operation Teen Safe Driving at State Fair
Unique Program Contributes to 48 Percent Drop in Teen Motor Vehicle Fatalities
SPRINGFIELD –Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) officials were joined today by representatives from the Ford Motor Company Fund, The Allstate Foundation, the Illinois Secretary of State and state police to kick-off the sixth year of Operation Teen Safe Driving (OTSD) at the state fairgrounds. The statewide program, led by IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety, is the first-of-its kind across the nation, and has contributed to a 48 percent decline in teen fatalities over the past five years.

August 10, 2012
Illinois State Fair Junior Meat Goat And Poultry Shows Select Grand Champions
Winners will take part in Governor’s Sale of Champions on Ag Day
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Hummel family has captured its second straight Grand Champion Meat Goat title. Tara Hummel, 11, of Cabery, Ill., won the top prize Thursday night in this year’s Illinois State Fair Junior Meat Goat Show, one year after her brother, Dylan, exhibited the prize-winning animal.

August 10, 2012
State Insurance Department Reviews Reduction of Workers Compensation Advisory Rate
NCCI Proposed Decrease for Workers Compensation Advisory Rates and rate reduction of 3.8% effective January 2013
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today announced that the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has filed for a reduction in workers' compensation advisory and loss cost rates with the Department. The NCCI proposed an overall decrease of 3.8 percent effective January 1, 2013. The NCCI advisory rates determine the premiums businesses pay for workers compensation insurance. Department of Insurance actuaries must confirm the calculations submitted by NCCI, a process that typically takes about 60 days.

August 10, 2012
Department on Aging Invites Seniors and Their Families to Attend Activities at the Illinois State Fair
August 13 is “Senior Day” when admission is free for those 60 years & older
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) will host activities for seniors and their families to attend during the Illinois State Fair, which runs August 10 - 19. IDoA is offering a lineup of special events in the senior center, which is the air conditioned setting of the Illinois Building located near the main gate of the fairgrounds. Attendees 60 years of age and older will be admitted to the fair for free, on Senior Day which is Monday August 13.

August 9, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Boost Bilingual Education
New Law to Pave the Way for “Parent Academies” in Illinois
CHICAGO – August 9, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law designed to strengthen bilingual education in Illinois. The law authorizes the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education to study and make recommendations on the state of bilingual education in Illinois, as well as the role of parents of students whose first language is not English. Today’s action at the Inter-American Magnet School paves the way for the possible implementation of “parent academies” and is the governor’s latest to further improve education in Illinois.

August 9, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Stiffen Penalties for Sale of Heroin, Flavored Wrapping Paper
CHICAGO – August 9, 2012. As part of his commitment to improve public health, Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to stiffen penalties for the sale of heroin and flavored wrapping paper. The new law lowers the threshold for mandatory imprisonment for the sale of heroin from five grams to three grams, and bans flavored wrapping paper which is often marketed to young people. This issue has been considered by the General Assembly for several years, and a similar proposal was introduced by then-State Sen. Barack Obama.

August 9, 2012
Gov. Quinn Launches Program to Connect Veterans with Growing Businesses
Illinois Hires Heroes Consortium a National Model
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today stood with Illinois business leaders to launch the Illinois Hires Heroes Consortium, an innovative new program that will recruit Veterans and identify Veteran-friendly businesses. Today’s action is the latest in a series of initiatives that will help Veterans re-enter the civilian workforce and strengthen the Illinois economy through policies that support business growth.

August 9, 2012
Illinois Department Of Agriculture Presents Explore Illinois Agriculture
A newly-designed Ag tent for the 2012 state fair
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Department of Agriculture invites fairgoers to Explore Illinois Agriculture in the department’s newly-designed tent in the Gate 2 Area sponsored by America’s Natural Gas Alliance. Explore Illinois Agriculture will show consumers just how much agriculture impacts their daily lives in a fun, interactive setting. Exhibits, including flying pigs and spinning horses, are geared towards the entire family. In addition, the tent will host special events that change daily.

August 8, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs New Laws to Make Schoolchildren Safer and Healthier
CHICAGO – August 8, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed three new laws designed to make Illinois schoolchildren healthier and safer through immunizations, anti-bullying measures and alternative education programs. Today's action at Pershing West Magnet School is the latest by Governor Quinn to further strengthen education in Illinois.

August 8, 2012
Veterans Cash lottery ticket helps seven non-profits deliver support programs to veterans
Instant ticket responsible for more than $330,000 in grants this quarter
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today announced $330,185 in grants from Veterans’ Cash scratch-off lottery ticket sales to help seven non-profits deliver specialized programs and services to the Illinois veteran community. “Veterans Cash continues to provide much-needed funds to organizations providing proven, impactful services to Illinois veterans,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “As tens of thousands of new veterans return to Illinois in the next several years, we are grateful that the support of Illinois citizens continues to translate into direct veterans’ services through this great program.”

August 8, 2012
Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Oak Creek, Wisconsin
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Friday, August 10, 2012.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from The President of the United States of America that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Friday, August 10, 2012.

August 8, 2012
Twilight Parade Grand Marshals Chosen
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Two award-winning teachers have been selected as grand marshals of this year’s Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade. Josh Stumpenhorst, a sixth-grade language arts and social science teacher at Naperville’s Lincoln Junior High School, and Annice Brave, a high school English and journalism instructor in Alton, will lead the parade when it steps off this Thursday evening at six o’clock. Both are immediate past recipients of the Illinois State Board of Education’s prestigious Teacher of the Year award.

August 8, 2012
Grand Champion Rabbit Meat Pen Selected
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – “If I win, I win. If I don’t, I don’t. It’s not about winning. I just enjoy showing,” Chelsea Wycoff said before her pen of Californian rabbits was selected as the Grand Champion Meat Pen of the 2012 Illinois State Fair.

August 8, 2012
Simon: Illinois River wetlands gain world recognition
Hennepin, Lewistown marshes attract endangered species, international praise
LEWISTOWN – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today dedicated two wetlands along the Illinois River that gained international prestige this year for transforming flood-prone land into natural habitats for endangered and native species and plants. Restoration of one wetland, the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge near Hennepin, helped bring back the pied-billed grebe from risk of extinction in Illinois, while the restoration of the Emiquon Complex near Lewistown has attracted thousands of American coots.

August 7, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Pro-Jobs Law to Extend Illinois Enterprise Zone Program
Law Provides Businesses with Greater Certainty, Will Boost Economic Development Across Illinois
CHICAGO – August 7, 2012. As part of his agenda to grow jobs and increase economic development across Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to extend the Illinois Enterprise Zone program, a state and local partnership to encourage economic growth across the state. Senate Bill 3616 will create greater long-term stability for businesses, attract more investment in Illinois and protect the interests of taxpayers. The new law provides for a 25-year extension of the program, which creates a process for existing communities with zones and new communities to apply for the designation.

August 7, 2012
Affordable Care Act Now Requires Insurance Companies to Fully Cover More Preventive Care for Women
New rules take effect on or after Aug. 1 for most health insurance plans
SPRINGFIELD – Women will have access to even more life-saving preventive care free of charge according to new rules under the federal Affordable Care Act. According to a new report by the U.S. Health and Human Services, approximately 47 million women are in health plans that now must cover these new preventive services at no charge. Under the Affordable Health Care Act, women, not insurance companies, can now make decisions that will keep them healthy, catch potentially serious conditions at an earlier state, and protect them and their families from crushing medical bills.

August 6, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Increase Fire Safety in Illinois
New Legislation to Help Communities Purchase Emergency Vehicles and Strengthen Dormitory Fire Safety
CHICAGO – August 6, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn continued his commitment to increasing public safety in Illinois by signing several new laws that will help local fire departments purchase equipment and assist universities in installing sprinkler systems in student dormitories. Legislators, Illinois Fire Marshall Larry Matkaitis and representatives from the Chicago Fire Department joined the governor at today’s ceremony.

August 5, 2012
Quinn Administration Releases Study: Without Pension Reform, Illinois Will Spend More on Pensions than Education by 2016
Property Taxpayers Far More Protected With Comprehensive Pension Reform That Includes Responsibility for School Districts Than Without
CHICAGO – August 5, 2012. Governor Quinn released data today prepared by the Illinois Office of Management & Budget (OMB) that shows without comprehensive pension reform, Illinois will spend more on pensions than education by Fiscal Year 2016. The budget office performed the district-by-district analysis based on current projections to examine the long-term funding challenges of the state if comprehensive pension reform is not enacted. The analysis was released just days after Governor Quinn called a special session dedicated to pension reform on August 17.

August 4, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Crack Down on Human Trafficking
Gives Prosecutors New Tool and Increases Protections for Survivors
CHICAGO – August 4, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to help law enforcement agencies crack down on human traffickers. The new law strengthens prosecutors’ ability to go after pimps while offering greater protection and help for survivors. The legislation passed unanimously in the Illinois Senate and House, with the support of human rights advocates and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

August 3, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Plans to Expand Walgreens Headquarters
Walgreens Adds 500 Jobs, Spurs Economic Growth in Northern Illinois
DEERFIELD – August 3, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and Walgreens today announced the “Invest Illinois Initiative,” an agreement that calls for the nation’s largest drug store chain to create 500 jobs over three years and invest $75 million to expand and renovate more than two dozen corporate offices spread throughout metropolitan Chicago. Walgreens currently employs more than 5,000 workers at its Deerfield headquarters and surrounding offices. Governor Quinn has made economic growth and job creation his top priority.

August 3, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Housing Bills to Support People with Disabilities and Protect Homeowners from Mortgage Fraud
Announces up to $50 million for permanent supportive housing
CHICAGO – August 3, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed two new housing laws to provide people with disabilities with more access to affordable rental housing, and to further protect homeowners from mortgage fraud. The supportive housing law makes $10 million in rental housing subsidies available over 15 years to eligible landlords. In addition, the governor announced the commitment of up to $40 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funds for developers of permanent supportive housing. These laws build on the governor’s strong commitment to providing more housing options for people with disabilities, and to protecting consumers from predatory lenders.

August 2, 2012
Community Association Managers Must Be Licensed by October 1
CHICAGO – Recently enacted legislation requires professional Community Association Managers to apply for a license by October 1, 2012. The law, led by Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Des Plaines), makes sure that the people hired to manage and maintain common areas of community associations are of good character and trained to handle the sometimes complex financial and legal responsibilities of multi-unit complexes of more than 10 units.

August 2, 2012
Liquor Control Commission July Underage Compliance Report
SPRINGFIELD – In July the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) conducted compliance checks around the state and visited 101 businesses licensed to sell liquor. They cited 25 licensees for violations of liquor control laws. Seventy-five percent of the licensees visited complied with Illinois liquor laws and refused to serve underage customers.

August 1, 2012
Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Protect Workers’ Right to Privacy
New law makes Illinois one of the first states to prevent employers from demanding social network passwords
CHICAGO – August 1, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law protecting current and prospective employees’ right to privacy in the fast-growing world of social media. House Bill 3782 makes it illegal for an employer to request an employee’s or job candidate’s social network account information, such as username or password, in order to gain access to their account or profile. Illinois is the second state to enact such a law.

August 1, 2012
Governor’s Request for Agricultural Disaster Declaration Approved for Additional 50 Counties
Farmers in 98 of 102 Illinois Counties Now Eligible for Federal Drought Relief
CHICAGO – August 1, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 98 of 102 Illinois counties as disaster areas. Approval of Governor Quinn’s latest request means federal disaster assistance is now available to help farmers in an additional 50 drought-stricken Illinois counties.

August 1, 2012
Nominations for Senior Hall of Fame Awards Due August 20
IL Dept on Aging will announce winners during a ceremony later this year
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) Director John K. Holton, Ph.D., is reminding people about the fast approaching deadline to nominate seniors, ages 65 years and older, for the 2012 Illinois Senior Hall of Fame. For consideration, nomination forms must be postmarked or faxed by Monday, August 20, 2012.

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