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January 11, 2000

Ryan Issues Executive Order Expanding The Governor's Rural Affairs Council

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. George H. Ryan today issued Executive Order 1, expanding the Governor's Rural Affairs Council and naming Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood as council chair.

"The expanded council brings additional resources and expertise to Illinois' efforts to strengthen rural communities," Gov. Ryan said. "The council is an important link between rural Illinois and state services, and this expansion will help local leaders create jobs, provide essential services and improve community life."

The updated council includes 19 member organizations, up from 12 previously. Organizations new to the council include: the state departments of Aging, Employment Security, Human Services, Natural Resources and Public Health; the Community College Board, State Board of Education, University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service and Southern Illinois University; and Rural Partners and the Rural Bond Bank.

Continuing members are: the state departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Community Affairs and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Farm,

Finance and Housing Development authorities; and the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.

"The original members were chosen to address the rural issues of the 1980s," said Gov. Ryan, who spearheaded creation of the council in 1986. "Those needs have changed due to advances in technology, streamlining of the food and fiber industry, and urban growth. The expanded council reflects those changes and better addresses today's rural needs."

Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood said, "Access to health care, jobs, housing, transportation services and technology are all key issues for rural residents. I look forward to working with Governor Ryan, council members and community leaders to develop an agenda for rural improvements and to provide assistance suited to each area's needs."

In addition to linking rural residents with existing state services, the council has helped identify service gaps and assisted in developing successful new state programs. Those programs include the Center for Rural Health at the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Rural Bond Bank, which provides low interest financing for community improvements, and the Illinois Main Street program, which helps communities revitalize their historic downtown districts.

The first meeting of the expanded council was held today in Springfield.



WHEREAS, the Governor's Rural Affairs Council was created in 1986 to maintain the rural emphasis in Illinois government, strengthen the rural economy, increase the capacity of viability of local governments and improve education and human service opportunities in Illinois; and

WHEREAS, these goals remain priorities of the State of Illinois in order to improve the capacity and viability of rural residents into the 21st Century; and

WHEREAS, the needs of rural residents and communities vary greatly from one part of the State to another; and

WHEREAS, the rural challenges and opportunities continue to evolve over time; and

WHEREAS, rural residents are best served by a comprehensive approach to rural development and planning;

THEREFORE, I, George H. Ryan, hereby order the following:

The Governor's Rural Affairs Council shall include the Illinois Departments of Aging, Agriculture, Commerce and Community Affairs, Employment Security, Human Services, Natural Resources, Public Health, Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Community College Board, State Board of Education, University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service, the Farm Development, Development Finance and Housing Development Authorities, Southern Illinois University, Rural Partners, the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, and the Illinois Rural Bond Bank. Membership may be expanded at the discretion of the Governor, however, membership shall not exceed a total of 20 members.

The Governor's Rural Affairs Council shall be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood.

The Chair of the Governor's Rural Affairs Council may appoint representatives from government, private industry and not-for-profit organizations to serve on Council committees and to provide input to the Council as a whole.

The Governor's Rural Affairs Council shall develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for improving delivery of state services to rural Illinois with the aim of expanding opportunities and improving the quality of life for rural residents.

This Executive Order Number 1 (2000) shall be effective upon filing with the Secretary of State.




January 11, 2000


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