Gov. Blagojevich signs law creating Demuzio Governmental Internship Program       Send a link to a friend

SIUC and SIUE students to be eligible to study state government

[AUG. 15, 2005]  SPRINGFIELD -- In honor of the late State Senate Majority Leader Vince Demuzio, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation Aug. 5 creating the Vince Demuzio Governmental Internship Program. House Bill 2435, which unanimously passed both the House and Senate, allows for up to 30 undergraduate students from the Southern Illinois University campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville to be placed in state government internships while earning academic credit and a stipend.

"Vince Demuzio dedicated his life to serving the people of this state and was a champion of education during his long tenure at the Statehouse. This is a fitting way to honor his memory," Blagojevich said. "These students will learn firsthand about the governmental process and, hopefully, will be inspired to serve our state as the next generation of leaders."

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Gary Hannig, D-Gillespie, from Demuzio's hometown and the late senator's wife, Sen. Deanna Demuzio, D-Carlinville.

"I am very pleased HB 2435 has been signed into law," Mrs. Demuzio said. "Vince had a passion for helping students learn the intricacies of the legislative process and was a mentor to many individuals. This legislation will provide students financial help as well as 'on the job' experience."

"Vince Demuzio was a great friend not only to the people of his district, but for the entire state of Illinois," Hannig said. "This scholarship fund named in his honor is a great way to memorialize that commitment to public service by allowing our students to gain experience directly with state government."

The late senator, a resident of Carlinville, was first elected to the General Assembly in 1974, making him the longest-serving member of the Senate as well as the Senate majority leader at the time of his death in April 2004. Demuzio earned his bachelor's degree in 1981 and his master's in 1996, both from what is now the University of Illinois at Springfield. From 1986 until 1990, he served as the state chair of the Democratic Party, the first downstate official to hold the post in decades.

The fiscal 2006 budget allocates $250,000 to the internship program. The legislation is effective immediately.

[News release from the governor's office]


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