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Still the Governor: Blago Stays Busy Doing the People's Business

Rod Blagojevich vowed that despite his legal woes, he is still the governor of Illinois 

His appointment of Roland Burris to President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat was the ultimate reminder of his incumbency. But Blagojevich, always upbeat and cordial in front of the cameras, has been sending out little reminders ever since his arrest a month ago and the convening of a panel to consider whether to recommend impeachment. 

Here's a sampling of the 20 or so bills he's signed and advisories issued: 

Jan. 8: "Governor Blagojevich Urges Women to get Screened During January - Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today declared January Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in Illinois and is urging all women, especially women who smoke, to get screened regularly for cervical cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, women who smoke are almost twice as likely as non-smokers to develop cervical cancer." 

Jan. 5: "Governor Blagojevich Designates April 7, 2009, as date for Fifth Congressional District Seat Special Election. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today issued a Writ of Election designating Tuesday April 7, 2009, as the date for the Special Congressional Election for the Fifth District Seat which was formerly held by Rahm Emanuel, now President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff. The Governor also set Tuesday, March 3, 2009, as the date for the Special Primary Election." 

Jan. 4: "Governor Blagojevich Announces Good Samaritan Initiative to Help Restore Heat During the Winter. In an effort to help Illinoisans heat their homes during the national recession, Governor Rod Blagojevich today launched the Good Samaritan Initiative for the 2009 winter season. Through this initiative negotiated by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), utility companies including Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, and Ameren Illinois Utilities provide more affordable reconnection terms to Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) recipients who have had their utility services disconnected." 

Dec. 31: "New Law Cracking Down on Drunk Drivers Takes Effect at Midnight. The Blagojevich administration is asking that you think twice before driving drunk this New Year's holiday. The warning comes as a new law requiring Breathe Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) for first time DUI offenders is set to take effect." 

Dec. 31: "Governor Blagojevich Reminds Illinoisans of Four Bills Designed to Protect Citizens from Sex Offenders. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded Illinoisans of four new laws that will take effect January 1, 2009 that protect children and sex abuse victims from sex offenders in Illinois. These pieces of legislation will increase safety measures by: prohibiting sex offenders from serving as election judges; redefining the 500 foot boundary that offenders must adhere to; increasing penalties for possessing child pornography; and allowing prosecution of a sex crime at any time within 10 years after the crime, when the DNA profile of the sex offender is obtained." 

Dec. 29: "Governor Blagojevich Reminds Illinoisans about Five New Health Laws to Take Effect January 1. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that five new health laws will take effect January 1, 2009. The laws will expand the definition of 'serious mental illness' to include eating disorders; increase awareness for women's heart disease; increase the privacy for genetic testing results; expand instruction for students' chronic health conditions; and require defibrillators at outdoor fitness facilities." 

Dec. 28: "Governor Blagojevich Announces $2 Million in Grants to Help Persons with Disabilities Stay in Their Own Homes. Illinois is investing an additional $2 million to support the Home Modification Program, a statewide program that adds ramps, chair lifts and other features to homes so low-income seniors and residents with disabilities can continue to live in their communities, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced. The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), a state agency dedicated to creating and preserving affordable housing, will allocate the grant money to 14 non-profit organizations and public agencies around the state to administer the program." 

Dec. 15: "Governor Blagojevich Signs Legislation to Strengthen Illinois' Film Tax Credit. Building on his commitment to help the Illinois film industry continue to achieve record success, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed Senate Bill 1981, legislation that renews and strengthens the Illinois Film Tax Credit."

Dec. 12: "Governor Blagojevich Signs 'Brianna's Law.' Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed Senate Bill 934 into law, providing insurance coverage to parents of children with autism. The new law, also known as 'Brianna's Law' and which received overwhelming support from the Illinois General Assembly, will provide coverage for all individuals under age 21 for the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) up to $36,000 per year. The new law is named for Brianna DiCianni, who was diagnosed with autism in 2006 and was denied coverage by her family's health insurance company."