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.
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On September 16, 2010, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that statewide unemployment decreased in August, marking the eighth consecutive month of steady or decreasing unemployment rates. IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell noted that while this trend may not be felt at the neighborhood level yet, continuing to create jobs, retrain workers, and encourage investment is the best plan for bolstering the Illinois economy. So far this year, Illinois has added more than 37,000 private-sector jobs, including the addition of more than 900 manufacturing jobs in August alone. Illinois has outpaced the nation in manufacturing job creation, and the state economy has grown .1 percent above the national average.
Women’s Equality Day
On August 26, 2010, Governor Quinn joined women leaders from across Illinois to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. Governor Quinn also proclaimed Women’s Equality Day in the Land of Lincoln and highlighted the importance the state is putting on fighting gender-based discrimination and ensuring equal wages for women.
On September 8, 2010, Governor Quinn announced that Navistar International Corporation will keep its world headquarters in Illinois and expand its state operations. As a result of Navistar’s $205 million investment, 3,000 permanent and 400 construction jobs will be created and retained over the next few years. Navistar’s decision was a result of previous legislation signed by Governor Quinn which increased tax credits given to auto manufacturing companies in Illinois.
Healthcare Panel to Protect Consumers
On September 22, 2010, the Healthcare Reform Implementation Council (HRIC) held its first public meeting to ensure that citizens have an active role in shaping healthcare practices in Illinois. The HRIC was created by Governor Quinn to assist in state implementation of the national healthcare reform. A new website has also been launched to provide information on how the reform policies will affect citizens, and to provide an opportunity for Illinois residents to offer their suggestions. To learn more about this legislation or to submit a question or comment, please visit www.HealthCareReform.illinois.gov.
400 Medical Jobs
On August 27, 2010, Governor Quinn announced a business investment package to aide Stericycle Inc, a leading medical waste disposal company in the state. This investment allows for the relocation of call center operations, the creation of 25 new jobs and retention of 360 jobs. This investment includes the EDGE Tax Credit, and ETIP job training funds.
$3 million Grant for Hospital
On August 28, 2010, Governor Quinn announced $3 million in capital funding to renovate and restore Carmi Hospital, located in an underserved area in Southern Illinois. This project will employ 160 medical personnel and support staff as well as create 21 construction jobs. The project will give local residents better access to medical care, especially those in low-income households. The project is funded through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, which Governor Quinn signed into law in July of last year.
Sustainable University Symposium
On August 27, 2010, Governor Quinn spoke at the 2010 Sustainable University Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to promote ‘Green’ Campuses. The speech was part of Governor Quinn’s ongoing effort to promote better energy efficiency, use of alternate energy sources, and protect Illinois resources. At the symposium, UIUC became the first campus to sign the Campus Sustainability Compact. For more information on the ongoing green initiative in Illinois, please visit Green.Illinois.gov.
145 Heating/Cooling Jobs
On Aug 27, 2010, Governor Quinn announced the completion of energy efficiency improvements at four Rantoul schools. The improvements made to the geothermal heating and cooling systems resulted in the hiring of 145 local workers. The installation of these systems, funded partly through a federal stimulus grant, was a part of the Thermal Efficiency for Public Facilities program. The amount of energy saved from these new systems will be close to that required to heat 125 homes for one year.
1,000 Infrastructure Jobs
On September 13, 2010, Governor Quinn announced that four more Illinois broadband projects would be awarded $73 million in federal funding to build and improve high-tech infrastructure throughout the state. This is in addition to the $100 million awarded on September 8 to construct more than 1,000 new miles of broadband fiber optics. As a result of these projects, broadband access will be given to underserved schools, hospitals, and businesses. A longtime advocate of broadband-based opportunities in Illinois, Governor Quinn made funding for technology projects a priority and included it in the Illinois Jobs Now! Capital program. Together, the four projects will create approximately 500 direct jobs and put more than $96 million public and private dollars into the Illinois economy.
24,900 Rail Jobs Created
On September 17, 2010, Governor Quinn joined local, state, and federal officials to announce the start of Illinois’ high-speed rail construction. Illinois is the first state in the nation to begin the high-speed rail construction. The $98 million project will fund the development of the Chicago-St. Louis High Speed Rail corridor, which will improve the track between Alton and Lincoln and create approximately 24,000 jobs. For more information on the high-speed rail initiative in IL, please visit www.connectthemidwest.com. To further support the cause and stay informed, you can also join the Midwest High Speed Rail Steering Group on Facebook.
Governor Quinn Calls on Congress to Extend Jobs Program
On September 13, 2010, Governor Pat Quinn called on the United States Congress to extend the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Emergency Contingency Fund (TANF/ECF). This program, which helps support Governor Quinn’s Put Illinois to Work Program, has created more than 26,000 jobs in Illinois and allowed more than 4,700 employers in Illinois to expand their businesses. “We cannot afford to lose momentum as we continue our economic recovery. Quick action by Congress on this job creation measure would keep thousands of people at work in Illinois and continue to build on the progress we have made” said Governor Pat Quinn.