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November
2006


November 30, 2006
Blagojevich administration celebrates National Meth Awareness Day; highlights innovative Meth Prison and Reentry Program
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Deputy Director Dr. Bertha Madras speaks at Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center Event
SPRINGFIELD – On National Meth Awareness Day, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s administration today touted Illinois’ new innovative Meth Prison and Reentry Program. Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center will become a first-of-its-kind national model for reducing crime and recidivism among Meth offenders. Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Director Roger E. Walker Jr., joined by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Deputy Director and other state and local partners, explained the Meth Prison and Reentry Program this morning at the Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center (SWICC) in East St. Louis. The Governor also proclaimed today Meth Prevention Day in Illinois.


November 30, 2006
Governor Blagojevich praises Senator Miguel del Valle and declares today Miguel del Valle Day
Senator del Valle steps down to serve as the first Latino City of Chicago Clerk
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today praised State Senator Miguel del Valle (D-Chicago) for his devotion and service to Chicago and the State of Illinois, and issued a proclamation dedicating November 30, 2006 as Miguel del Valle Day. Senator del Valle has served with distinction for 20 years in the State Senate, and steps down today to assume an appointment as the first Latino City Clerk for the City of Chicago.


November 30, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich’s plan to increase minimum wage wins final legislative approval
Illinois’ hourly wage will increase to $7.50 for nearly 650,000 Illinoisan; Wage to reach $8.25 by 2010
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s legislation increasing the minimum wage to $7.50 per hour in July 2007 and to $8.25 an hour by 2010 won final legislative approval today, passing in the Senate, 40 votes to 17. The minimum wage increase will boost the average annual income for more than 900,000 full-time minimum wage workers and their children from $13,520 to $15,600 next year. By 2010, the yearly salary for a full-time minimum wage earner will be $17,160. The Governor first proposed increasing the minimum wage earlier this year and has consistently championed the issue. Senate Bill 1268, co-sponsored by Representatives Marlow Colvin (D-Chicago), Larry McKeon (D-Chicago), Louis Lang (D-Skokie), Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago), Deborah Graham (D-Chicago), and Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.


November 29, 2006
Illinois House approves Gov. Blagojevich’s plan to increase minimum wage; bill heads to Senate
Illinois’ hourly wage would increase to $7.50 for nearly 650,000 Illinoisans; Wage Would Reach $8.25 by 2010
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House of Representatives today approved Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s legislation that increases the minimum wage to $7.50 per hour in July 2007 and reach $8.25 an hour by 2010. The raise will help more than 900,000 minimum wage workers and their children earn an additional $2,060 a year. The Governor first proposed increasing the minimum wage earlier this year and has consistently championed the issue. Senate Bill 1268, co-sponsored by Representatives Marlow Colvin (D-Chicago), Larry McKeon (D-Chicago), Louis Lang (D-Skokie), Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago), and Deborah Graham (D-Chicago), now moves to the Senate for consideration.


November 28, 2006
Illinois House committee approves Gov. Blagojevich’s plan to increase minimum wage
Illinois’ hourly wage would increase to $7.50 for nearly 650,000 Illinoisans
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today praised the House Labor Committee for approving legislation that would increase the minimum wage to $7.50 per hour in July 2007. Under terms of the Governor’s bill, the state’s minimum wage would increase incrementally, first by $1.00 to $7.50 per hour beginning July 1, 2007. Up to 647,000 Illinois workers are expected to benefit from the minimum wage increase either directly or indirectly. In addition, 269,000 children are expected to benefit. The Governor first proposed increasing the minimum wage earlier this year. Senate Bill 1268, co-sponsored by Representatives Marlow Colvin (D-Chicago), Larry McKeon (D-Chicago), Louis Lang (D-Skokie), Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago), and Deborah Graham (D-Chicago), now moves to the House for consideration.


November 28, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich’s nominee for Director of Veterans’ Affairs, Tammy Duckworth, urges Illinois House to pass Property Tax Cap bill to help Illinois Veterans
Senate Bill 2691 will provide $5,000 exemption for Illinois veterans returning home from combat overseas
CHICAGO – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Tammy Duckworth, the Governor’s nominee for Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, today urged the Illinois House of Representatives to pass the Senate version of a property tax cap bill that will help returning Illinois Veterans get back on their feet. Passed by the Illinois Senate during the Spring session, SB2691 will protect Illinois veterans returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq from property tax increases they cannot afford, by giving them a $5,000 extra exemption. Ms. Duckworth will also travel to Springfield tomorrow to lobby the House on this issue.


November 24, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces new environmental health website to keep kids safe in school
Healthy Schools for Healthy Learning site launched
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the launch of the Healthy Schools for Healthy Learning website, http://app.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/healthyschools/. The website is an educational tool for parents, teachers and students to learn about indoor environmental quality, safe chemical storage, and other environmental health topics that affect Illinois schools.


November 22, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces acquisition of helicopters from federal government that will strengthen public safety in Rockford
Rockford area police will have new surveillance tools for search and rescue missions, and counter-drug, counter-terrorism operations
CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to enhance public safety in Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the state will acquire two helicopters from the federal government that will be available for search and rescue, counter-drug and counter-terrorism operations in Illinois.


November 22, 2006
Governor Blagojevich urges people to remember fire safety during holiday season and winter months
State Fire Marshal and Governor’s Keep Warm Illinois campaign offer safety tips to help families stay safe
SPRINGFIELD – As people throughout Illinois turn up the heat in their homes to fight the cold winter air and begin decorating their homes for the holidays, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich is reminding everyone to stay safe by keeping fire safety in mind.


November 21, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich appoints Tammy Duckworth as new Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Decorated Iraqi war veteran will lead effort to expand outreach for Veterans Care, improve the delivery of services to Illinois veterans
CHICAGO- Building on his commitment to recognize the efforts of Illinois veterans and provide them with the services and benefits they have bravely earned, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today appointed decorated Iraqi war veteran and experienced health advocate Tammy Duckworth as the new Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA). Ms. Duckworth’s appointment is effective December 15, and requires State Senate confirmation. The Governor also thanked outgoing IDVA Director Roy L. Dolgos for his hard work serving the state’s veterans. Mr. Dolgos will remain in the Blagojevich Administration, as Deputy Director of Administration with the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Highways.


November 21, 2006
Blagojevich Administration moves forward with Governor’s plan to open innovative prison to treat meth addicts and reduce repeat crimes
Administration announces team of expert partners to help develop specialized meth treatment program; IDOC to celebrate National Meth Awareness Day on November 30th in its development of the Historic Meth Prison and Reentry Program
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s innovative Meth Prison and Reentry Program is moving forward toward its goal of becoming a first-of-its-kind national model for reducing crime and recidivism among meth offenders. Today, the Governor announced that the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) officially chose a group of partners and community-based providers to help build a new, cutting-edge model for reducing crime among meth-involved offenders. Under the Meth Prison Initiative, hundreds of IDOC inmates at Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center will undergo a newly developed, highly intensive drug treatment and community reentry program to combat meth addiction and reduce crime.


November 21, 2006
Blagojevich Administration announces focus on safety belt enforcement over Thanksgiving holiday
Saturation Patrols and Enforcement Zones mean “Click It or Ticket”; IDOT Also Debuts New “True Stories” PSAs
CHICAGO – Just days before millions of Americans will hit the highways, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP), the Secretary of State Police, the Chicago Police Department and hundreds of other local police agencies in Illinois announced they will team up to crackdown on drivers who don’t buckle up during a two-week period around the Thanksgiving holiday. Also over the holiday, IDOT will debut two new Public Service Announcements in its “True Stories” ad campaign, featuring real circumstances to remind drivers why wearing their seatbelts is so important.


November 21, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich’s $1.8 billion plan to help Illinois hospitals wins federal approval
Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services wins federal approval for Hospital Assessment Plan
CHICAGO - Gov. Rod Blagojevich today learned that the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved his plan for securing $1.8 billion in new federal funding to strengthen Illinois’ health care system over three years. The state’s Hospital Assessment plan will help Illinois hospitals continue to recruit and retain doctors, provide advanced medical care, and serve Illinois’ most vulnerable patients.


November 20, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces $115 million to help more than one thousand families in Illinois buy their first homes
The Illinois Housing Development Authority will release the bonds for sale January 9 and 10
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that more than one thousand hardworking families across the state will be able to realize their dream of owning their own homes, thanks to the sale of $115 million in Homeowner Mortgage Revenue Bonds approved this week by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). The bond sale will give low- income first-time homebuyers affordable, below market interest rate financing and allow them to enjoy the security and stability that homeownership provides.


November 20, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces I-74 reopens after major reconstruction
Downstate’s largest highway construction project wrapping up; time capsule being placed to commemorate event
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the end of major construction for the four-year, $500 million reconstruction of I-74 through Peoria. A ceremony was held today by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), attended by local and state officials celebrating the end of major construction activities for the Upgrade 74 project. Marking the significance of the construction milestone, IDOT unveiled a project time capsule filled with both Upgrade 74 and community memorabilia. The time capsule will be buried in Riverfront Park near the Murray Baker Bridge in Peoria and reopened in 2056.


November 18, 2006
Governor Blagojevich salutes adoptive families in Illinois on National Adoption Day
Governor’s adoption reform regarded as national model; 1,867 children adopted into loving families in Illinois in 2005
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich marked National Adoption Day today by recognizing the generosity and compassion of the many families in Illinois who have adopted a child into their home. Last year nearly 1,900 children were adopted into families throughout Illinois.


November 17, 2006
Illinois Department of Corrections graduates 54 cadets from the training academy
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the graduation of 54 correctional officer cadets, who completed a six-week, paramilitary training course at the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) training academy in Springfield. On behalf of the Governor, IDOC Director Roger E. Walker Jr. congratulated the new correctional officers during a graduation ceremony held at the agency’s General Headquarters.


November 17, 2006
Governor Blagojevich accepts resignation of DCFS Director Bryan Samuels
Names Erwin McEwen as Acting Director
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted the resignation of Bryan Samuels, the Director of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) since 2003. The Governor named the agency’s current Deputy Director for Monitoring and Quality Assurance, Erwin McEwen, as acting director until a permanent replacement is chosen and confirmed by the State Senate.


November 16, 2006
IDNR commends USDA for amending VHS fish order
Amended order now allows for interstate movement of VHS-susceptible live species of fish under certain conditions
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood today applauded the actions of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for reconsidering a comprehensive ban on live import/exports of certain fish species throughout the Great Lakes region to control the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS).


November 16, 2006
Governor Blagojevich launches year-round energy efficiency initiative to reduce energy use at state facilities
Successful pilot program prompts ongoing effort to lower energy costs; Energy conservation plan expected to save more than $4 million this winter amid high natural gas prices
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today launched a year-around energy efficiency initiative expected to save the state millions of dollars annually by making slight adjustments to the thermostats in thousands of state facilities. Natural gas costs remain at near-record levels and by turning down the thermostat in state office buildings and other facilities from now until April 15, 2007, the state is expected to save an estimated $4.1 million in heating costs. The Governor made this decision based on $4.8 million in savings generated through his 2005 Winter Energy Conservation Plan as natural gas costs reached record levels.


November 15, 2006
Governor Blagojevich’s minimum wage proposal passes in Senate, heads to House for final passage
Hourly wage would increase to $7.50 for nearly 650,000 Illinoisans
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today applauded members of the Illinois Senate for approving legislation to increase the minimum wage to $7.50 per hour, and provide for future cost of living adjustments indexed to inflation. Senate Bill 1275 now moves to the Illinois House of Representatives for consideration. Under terms of the Senate bill, the state’s minimum wage would rise by $1.00 per hour to $7.50 per hour beginning July 1, 2007. Starting in January 2008, the minimum wage would be indexed to inflation to provide an annual wage adjustment in order to help workers keep up rising prices. Up to 647,000 Illinois workers are expected to benefit from the minimum wage increase either directly or indirectly. In addition, 269,000 children are expected to benefit.


November 14, 2006
Governor Blagojevich urges Illinois seniors to apply for Illinois’ wrap-around prescription drug coverage as open enrollment season begins for Medicare Part D
To find out more about Illinois Cares Rx, call Governor Blagojevich’s Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966
CHICAGO – As seniors around the country get ready for Medicare Part D’s open enrollment season starting tomorrow, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged Illinois seniors to apply for Illinois Cares Rx, which provides wrap-around prescription drug coverage to fill in the gaps created by Medicare Part D. In addition, Illinois Cares Rx offers unbiased Medicare counseling to help seniors find the drug program that best suits their needs and to make sure they are getting all of the benefits they are eligible for. Illinois seniors and persons with disabilities who want to find out more about the Illinois Cares Rx program should call Gov. Blagojevich’s Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966.


November 14, 2006
IDOT, ISP make preparations for winter driving; motorists to prepare themselves and their vehicles
Drivers and equipment get prepped for snow removal efforts
CHICAGO—Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Timothy W. Martin, and Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry Trent urged motorists to prepare themselves and their vehicles for winter driving conditions.


November 14, 2006
October wet, ninth coldest on record
Home heating demand up 38%
SPRINGFIELD, IL – October temperatures were 3.8°F below normal and the 9th coldest October on record. Temperatures across the state dropped to the freezing mark or lower for the first time this fall on October 12 and 13, including a low of 20oF at Park Forest on October 12. Those temperatures effectively ended the 2006 growing season.


November 14, 2006
Illinois State Fair to Offer Holiday Mega Pass
Discount pass good for unlimited carnival rides at the 2007 Illinois State Fair
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Looking for a unique gift to stuff in a child’s stocking this holiday season? Illinois State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick suggests parents and grandparents consider a Holiday Mega Pass.


November 14, 2006
Hunters head into the field this weekend
2006 firearm deer season opens Nov 17th
SPRINGFIELD, IL- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) expects nearly 200,000 hunters in the field this weekend as the 2006 firearm deer season opens across Illinois. Over 335,000 permits have been issued for this year’s season, which is a slight increase over last year.


November 14, 2006
Senate Committee approves Governor Blagojevich’s minimum wage increase proposal, sends bill to full Senate for vote
Hourly wage would rise to $7.50 an hour for nearly 650,000 Illinoisans; Provide annual increases linked to inflation
CHICAGO – The Senate Labor Committee today approved Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $7.50 per hour, and provide automatic cost of living adjustments indexed to inflation. Sponsored by State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester), Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1275 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.


November 13, 2006
Award-winning Illinois journalist Bob Arya joins Blagojevich Administration as Senior Advisor
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Bob Arya, an award-winning and nationally recognized television news anchor/reporter and author, is joining the Office of the Governor as a Senior Advisor.


November 10, 2006
Governor Blagojevich nominates seven watershed projects in Illinois for U.S. EPA grant funds
Grant program is designed to protect and restore waterways through community-based approaches
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that he has nominated seven projects in Illinois for U.S. EPA Targeted Watersheds Grant Program. The projects nominated by the Governor will help improve waterways quality across the state, from the South Branch of the Chicago River, to the Kinkaid-Reeds Creek in Jackson County, to the Mackinaw River Watershed. The U.S. EPA is expected to announce the final grant recipients in the Spring of 2007.


November 10, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, November 10, 2006
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, November 10, 2006.


November 9, 2006
Illinois Department of Agriculture Expands Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has expanded its emerald ash borer quarantine to part of a second county infested with the tree-killing beetle.


November 9, 2006
Illinoisans encouraged to get ready for cold, snow and ice during Winter Storm Preparedness Week
IEMA and National Weather Service join with Governor Blagojevich’s Keep Warm Illinois campaign to help people stay safe this winter
SPRINGFIELD – The good news is the National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting milder temperatures and below normal precipitation in Illinois this winter. The bad news is people throughout Illinois can still expect a few outbreaks of bone-chilling cold and typical winter precipitation – snow, sleet and ice.


November 9, 2006
Reminder to Illinois landowners and wildlife enthusiasts: Don’t feed wild deer
Ban on feeding wild deer in place since 2002 to help prevent spread of CWD
SPRINGFIELD- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding Illinois residents and visitors of the state’s ban on the feeding of wild deer and other wildlife in areas where wild deer are present.


November 9, 2006
Nursing Home Violations for the Month of August
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced the following type “A” violations of the Nursing Home Care Act were cited during the month of August. An “A” violation, which is the most serious licensure violation imposed by the state, pertains to a condition in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result.


November 6, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces return of air service between Chicago and downstate communities of Decatur, Quincy and Marion in February
Air Midwest will fly into Midway under I-Fly deal
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that regular air passenger service to Chicago will be returning to the Decatur, Quincy and Marion markets in February 2007. The deal worked out with state assistance through the I-Fly program calls for daily flights to Chicago’s Midway airport between the three downstate airports. Currently, the only air service at the three airports is to St. Louis.


November 6, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich takes first step toward building innovative and environmentally friendly Carbon Dioxide pipeline; major component of his Energy Independence Plan
State submits Request for Information for construction and operation of Carbon Dioxide pipeline, which would allow for safe containment and transportation of greenhouse gases released by coal gasification plants
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced that today the state will issue a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the construction and operation of a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) pipeline stretching from the coal gasification plants planned for central and southern Illinois to Illinois Basin oilfields in southeastern Illinois. The RFI, submitted to companies with expertise in pipeline development, is to determine the best construction and operation practices, the appropriate siting, as well as the interest level within the industry to work with the state to develop a CO2 pipeline system in Illinois. The CO2 pipeline is an integral part of the Governor’s Energy Independence Plan released earlier this year.


November 3, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces results of increased crackdown on unlicensed mortgage loan originators
More than 45 mortgage companies and individuals slated for discipline by the Governor’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force; Latest inspections found problems in Chicago and Metro East regions
CHICAGO – Building on efforts to protect homebuyers from fraudulent practices, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the results of the State’s increased crackdown on unlicensed mortgage loan originators. The latest inspections conducted by the Governor’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force (MFTF), found that six residential mortgage firms in the Chicago and East St. Louis regions used unlicensed loan originators to process more than 700 home loans. Today’s announcement brings the total of companies and individuals slated for discipline by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR) to more than 45, since unannounced inspections across the state began last March.


November 3, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces prestigious Lincoln Foundation award given to Illinois Division of Child Support two years in a row
Illinois Child Support Enforcement wins Silver Award in 2006; building on success after winning Bronze Award in 2005
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Illinois’ Division of Child Support Enforcement received the prestigious Lincoln Foundation Award for Performance Excellence for the second year in a row. Illinois’ Division Child Support was one of six recipients of the Lincoln Foundation Silver Award this year, building on successes that led to a Bronze Award last year. The State of Illinois’ child support collection reached a record breaking high of $1.14 billion in Fiscal Year 2006, surpassing record-breaking collections of $1 billion in 2005. The Lincoln Foundation recognizes organizations that have shown continued progress, leadership, and excellence in their field.


November 3, 2006
Child Magazine November edition credits Gov. Blagojevich for making Illinois one of the safest states for kids
Illinois rates high in national survey by major parenting magazine
CHICAGO – In the November edition of Child Magazine, Illinois was ranked among the top 10 safest states for kids. The Magazine conducted a six-month survey of every state, considering protection from both accidents and violence, to determine which states are the safest for children. The survey, which examined more than 55 criteria, including crime rates, child-hood injury rates, and protection from sex offenders, found Illinois to be the sixth safest state in the nation as a result of Governor Blagojevich’s child-safety efforts.


November 2, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, November 2, 2006
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, November 2, 2006.


November 2, 2006
Illinois Department of Agriculture To Train Local Veterinarians As Emergency First Responders
Seminar will enhance Illinois’ preparedness for an animal disease outbreak
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – More than 100 Illinois veterinarians who have volunteered to help in the event of an animal health emergency will receive specialized training during a day-long seminar Nov. 3 at the Wyndham Hotel in Itasca.


November 2, 2006
Blagojevich Administration officials open Illinois Center for Nursing
New center to help determine future healthcare demand and develop adequate supply of well-trained nursing professionals; New center part of Governor’s comprehensive plan to stem critical nursing shortage in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Carrying out a goal set by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich during his Fiscal Year 2007 budget address to stem the state’s nursing shortage, officials from his administration today opened the Illinois Center for Nursing in Springfield. The new center is beginning its work today, less than six months after the Governor signed comprehensive legislation designed to help the state meet the growing health care needs of Illinois’ aging baby boomer generation.


November 2, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces the nation’s first statewide Veterans Job Fair, encourages Illinois veterans and employers to participate
Veterans Job and Benefits Fair to be held by the state on Nov. 9
CHICAGO--In recognition of Veterans Day and building on his commitment to help the state’s veterans get the benefits they have bravely earned, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the state will host the country’s first-ever Statewide Job Fair for Veterans on Thursday, November 9. Administered through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the fair brings together employers, veterans’ benefits-related agencies, and veterans’ service organizations to reach veterans at seven locations simultaneously throughout Illinois.


November 2, 2006
Governor Blagojevich applauds PA Governor Rendell for signing Cover All Kids legislation
Pennsylvania joins Illinois in providing affordable health care to all uninsured children in the state through “Cover All Kids”
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today congratulated Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell for signing far-reaching legislation to ensure that every child in the state of Pennsylvania is covered by affordable health insurance. Pennsylvania’s program Cover All Kids is structured similarly to Governor Blagojevich’s landmark All Kids program, which made Illinois the first state in the nation to provide affordable, comprehensive healthcare coverage to every uninsured child in the state.


November 2, 2006
Illinois Pollution Control Board approves Gov. Blagojevich’s plan to aggressively reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants
Board adopts enforceable rules requiring drastic emissions reductions beyond federal requirements for Illinois power plants; Rules pushed by Governor would achieve largest overall amount of mercury reduction by any state
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) today adopted the mercury pollution reduction plan proposed by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich in January, a major step towards reducing mercury pollution that will improve the environment and protect the health of the people of Illinois. Under the aggressive plan, Illinois coal fired power plants will be required to install modern pollution control equipment designed to reduce mercury pollution by 90 percent or more by June 30, 2009. The newly adopted state standards reduce toxic mercury emissions faster and more thoroughly than federal restrictions adopted last year and will achieve the largest overall amount of mercury reduction of any state in the country.


November 1, 2006
First Lady commends Champaign Pharmacies for full compliance with new contraceptives access rule
Independent survey found 100 percent of Champaign pharmacies followed Governor’s requirement to post signs detailing women’s rights to contraception
CHAMPAIGN – First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today announced the success of a new rule introduced by her husband, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, requiring Illinois pharmacies to post signs outlining consumers’ right to obtain contraceptives, and providing information on where to file a complaint with the state if a pharmacy violates that right. The rule, adopted in August, was introduced by the Governor to prevent pharmacies from trying to get around an emergency rule he filed in April 2005 that requires them to fill all FDA-approved birth control prescriptions in a timely manner if the drugs are in stock and a legal prescription has been presented. Today, the Campaign for Access to Emergency Contraception announced that 100 percent of Champaign pharmacies surveyed had posted the signs in clear view of customers.


November 1, 2006
IEMA helps schools safely dispose of unused radioactive materials from their labs
Agency begins collecting materials from 42 schools
SPRINGFIELD – Unused radioactive materials currently stored on shelves or in closets in middle and high schools throughout Illinois will soon be collected by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to help schools ensure the safe disposal of these items. So far, 42 schools have contacted IEMA to request pickup of unwanted radioactive materials previously used in science classes.


November 1, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces applications now available for Ticket for the Cure Community Grants
Funding available for breast cancer education and supportive services in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Ticket for the Cure grant applications are now available for non-profit organizations to apply for funding that will support breast cancer education efforts and provide supportive services for breast cancer victims and their families. Launched last January, Ticket for the Cure is the nation’s first lottery ticket dedicated to helping fund breast cancer early detection, education, research, and patient services throughout the state. So far, the ticket has raised more than $3 million to be awarded through community and research grants to support the fight against breast cancer.


November 1, 2006
First Lady Patricia Blagojevich announces November selections for Children’s Reading Club: Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis and Indian Captive by Lois Lenski
CHAMPAIGN – First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today joined kindergarten and first grade Stratton Elementary School students to announce the November selections for her Children’s Reading Club – Jamie Lee Curtis’ Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day and Lois Lenski’s Indian Captive. The First Lady read excerpts of Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day with the children and passed out free books to each child. The Children’s Reading Club, a recommended reading list made up of books the First Lady and her daughters enjoy at home, encourages parents to read with their children and engage in early development of reading skills.

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