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Governor's Monthly Newsletter: February 2011 

This electronic newsletter is an opportunity for you to learn more about what we’ve accomplished in Illinois government, and how you can get involved. Whether it’s volunteering in a Serve Illinois volunteer project, receiving state services, or learning about new laws and programs, I want to ensure that you know what’s happening in your government.

If you have ideas for improving any State service, program, or this very newsletter, please click here and let us know.

Sincerely,

Pat Quinn
Governor


Featured Articles

Free Tax Preparation Assistance

For assistance in preparing tax returns, families who earn less than $50,000 and individuals who earn less than $25,000 annually qualify for free tax preparation counseling. Volunteers will help individuals file both federal and state taxes. To find free tax help near you, view the Center for Economic Progress and Ladder Up’s publication. Most locations are open from January 22- April 18. The State of Illinois, in addition to the United States Department of Revenue, has extended the tax filing deadline to Monday, April 18, 2011.

For information concerning changes in the 2011 state taxes, please refer to the Illinois Department of Revenue’s publication.


Illinois Innovation Council Created

On February 16, Governor Pat Quinn announced the creation of the Illinois Innovation Council which will help ensure that Illinois remains on the cutting edge in the global economy by creating the jobs of today and tomorrow. The council is made up of key business executives across a variety of critical sectors as well as science, technology and university leaders. This council will promote the role and importance of innovation in economic development and quality of life; convene and partner academic, business and governments to evaluate and recommend initiatives to improve support for innovation, and align public and private resources. This council will identify, promote and attract innovation-driven enterprises and individuals to Illinois, further expanding growth within the Illinois economy.


Illinois Increases Sustainability Efforts

On February 18, Governor Pat Quinn announced an initiative to boost Illinois’ sustainability efforts through the increased use of electric vehicles. Under the plan, the state will invest $1 million of Illinois Jobs Now! capital funding to install state-of-the-art electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and EV infrastructure throughout the Chicagoland area. This project will create the largest concentration of “DC Quick-Charge” stations in the world. Installation is expected to be complete by the beginning of 2012. In addition to the environmental benefits of the expanded EV infrastructure, this project will encourage long-term growth and support innovation to create the jobs of today and tomorrow.


Public Safety Workers, National Guard Assist Stranded Motorists

On February 4, Governor Pat Quinn thanked the first responders and Illinois National Guard who assisted more than 4,000 motorists and cleared 16,500 miles of roadway during the major snow storm that hit the state at the beginning of this month. More than 500 Illinois National Guard soldiers and airmen were mobilized Tuesday to assist the Illinois State Police (ISP) with response to stranded motorists. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Police were also activated. In addition, 2,800 Department of Transportation (IDOT) drivers cleared highways throughout Illinois.

“Nearly the entire state was affected by this major snow storm, but by working together we were able to help more than 4,000 people in distress and ensure that essential state services were continued without interruption,” said Governor Quinn.


40 New Jobs

On February 9, Governor Pat Quinn announced that The Chamberlain Group, Inc, an Elmhurst-based manufacturer, will expand its operations in Illinois thanks to a $1 million investment package , expected to leverage more than $6 million in private investment and support the creation of 40 new jobs over the next two years, and potentially 100 jobs over the next four years. Illinois continues to see strong signs of economic growth and recovery. The state ranked fourth in the nation for job growth in 2010, leading the Midwest.


Boards and Commissions

Are you interested in serving on a State Board, Commission, Task Force or Council? If so, please visit Appointments.Illinois.Gov to apply today! Governor Quinn is always in search of highly qualified individuals who are willing to serve. Nominate yourself today for an opportunity to help shape state government.