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December 31, 2001

Ryan: $5 Million in Illinois FIRST Projects for Chicago

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan announced today that he is releasing $5.065 million in Illinois FIRST funding for projects in Chicago, including $5 million to Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center to help outfit a new, state-of-the-art bio-medical research facility on its main campus.

The building shell has been completed and four of the seven floors are ready for occupancy. The basement and second floor are devoted to animal research, with the third through seventh floors to be used as research laboratories that will include twenty-two generic lab modules. The fields of concentration at this facility will include biochemistry, cancer, pharmacology, neuroscience, immunology/microbiology as well as a cardiovascular-thoracic surgery xenotransplantation program.

Other Illinois FIRST grants announced by Ryan:

  • $50,000 to Habilitative Systems, Inc., a nonprofit organization that operates seventy social service programs, to install a heating/ventilation/air- conditioning system at its facility on South Kedzie. The organization is contributing $45,000.
    This Illinois FIRST project was initiated by State Rep. Annazette R. Collins, D-Chicago.

  • $15,000 to the Chase House to support its Certified Nursing Assistant program at St. Thomas Head Start on South Wabash.
    This project was initiated by State Sen. Margaret Smith, D-Chicago.

    Illinois FIRST funds are not part of the state budget's General Revenue Fund. Recently, lagging tax collections brought on by a slowdown in the national economy and the terrorist attacks of September 11 have forced the governor to order spending cuts in the General Revenue Fund that amount to less than 2 percent of total spending. Illinois FIRST monies are derived from separate accounts in the state budget -- the Road Fund and the Fund for Illinois Future -- as well as through the sale of state bonds.

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