Business & Economy
Loebsack Statement on Department of Labor’s July Jobs Report PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 06 August 2012 08:55

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack today issued the following statement in response to the Department of Labor’s announcement that the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in July and 163,000 jobs were added.

“The American people did not elect Members of Congress to continually fail to do their jobs and kick the can down the road on critical issues such as job creation or a reformed farm bill. But with the Republicans choosing to pack up and get out of town a day early for five weeks of vacation instead of getting to work on the critical issues facing Iowans, once again politics have won out at the expense of middle class families and Iowa’s rural communities.

“I have worked to pass numerous commonsense initiatives, including a reformed farm bill that will help provide certainty and assistance to farmers during this historic drought and economic growth for rural Iowa communities.  Today’s announcement just further demonstrates that Congress must stop bucking its responsibilities and get to work, as I have repeatedly called on the House Majority to do.”

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Governor Quinn Announces Plans to Expand Walgreens Headquarters PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 06 August 2012 08:50

Walgreens Adds 500 Jobs, Spurs Economic Growth in Northern Illinois

DEERFIELD – August 3, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and Walgreens today announced the “Invest Illinois Initiative,” an agreement that calls for the nation’s largest drug store chain to create 500 jobs over three years and invest $75 million to expand and renovate more than two dozen corporate offices spread throughout metropolitan Chicago. Walgreens currently employs more than 5,000 workers at its Deerfield headquarters and surrounding offices. Governor Quinn has made economic growth and job creation his top priority.

“Walgreens has deep roots in Illinois and is an important part of the region’s flourishing health care hub,” Governor Quinn said. “This expansion will create good paying jobs, attract additional investment to the area and help fuel our economic recovery.”

The new jobs will focus heavily on supporting Walgreens’ growing online business and its expanding pharmacy, health and wellness services. The new jobs are corporate positions and don’t include the additional store-level positions the company anticipates creating in the same time period.

Walgreens’ corporate workforce is currently housed in 27 different office buildings in Deerfield, Northbrook, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Bannockburn, Mt. Prospect, Northlake and Chicago. The company’s investment will be used to retrofit disparate offices and make it easier for workers to travel between buildings.

Walgreens opened its first downtown Chicago office at the historic Sullivan Center in 2010 where it houses its e-commerce staff. It opened its first store on Chicago’s South Side in 1901. The company has been based in Deerfield since 1975.

“We are proud of our Illinois heritage,” said Greg Wasson, Walgreens president and CEO. “Just as our stores and pharmacies are health and daily living anchors for the communities we serve, we as a company are now recommitted to serving as an economic anchor for northeastern Illinois. A state and workforce that has served us so well for more than a century will now see our footprint grow even larger.”

Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, the state of Illinois has worked diligently to identify companies with the potential to bring jobs and economic growth to Illinois.  Illinois has added 140,700 private sector jobs since January 2010, when job growth returned to the state following a two-year period of declines during the recession.

Under the terms of the agreement, Walgreens will also be eligible for tax credits tied to retaining 1,500 existing jobs. The state’s targeted investment package, estimated at $47 million, includes Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credits, which are based on jobs and distributed over a period of 10 years; tax credits under the High Impact Business (HIB) Program which supports companies that propose substantial capital investments in operations; and training grants through the Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP). The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will administer the package.

Walgreens operates 592 drugstores in Illinois. Last year it announced plans to quadruple the number of Chicago stores offering healthy food selections to urban communities identified as food deserts. Walgreens had fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion and serves nearly 6 million customers a day. It operates 7,907 drugstores in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations nationwide.

For more information on why Illinois is the right place for business, visit http://illinoisbiz.biz.

 
Support for the wind-energy production tax credit PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 06 August 2012 08:39
Thursday, August 2, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley issued the following comment about the inclusion today of a one-year extension of the wind-energy tax credit in The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012 reported by the Committee on Finance.  The overall package includes an amendment written by Senator Grassley and accepted this morning as part of the modified proposal of Committee Chairman Max Baucus.

Grassley comment:

“The wind-energy production tax credit is designed to level the playing field for this renewable resource against coal-fired and nuclear electricity generation.  The credit has been successful in developing clean, renewable, domestically produced wind energy and the jobs that go along with it.  The one-year extension approved today would make the credit effective for producers for one more year.  In the face of an effort to end this incentive, I persuaded committee leaders to include the extension in a way that keeps it at full value and that puts the wind-energy production tax credit in a strong position for the floor debate this fall.  No single energy tax incentive should be singled out over others, energy-related and not, before a broad-based tax reform debate.  Congress and the President need to take up tax reform to make American business more competitive with lower rates, a broader tax base, and a simpler code.  Until tax reform is undertaken, workers and employers need certainty in existing tax law.”

Description of the Grassley amendment to The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012:

Extend for one year, through December 31, 2013, the section 45 production tax credit for wind which expires on December 31, 2012.  Modify placed-in-service date for wind to a “begin construction” rule.

Background information:

Senator Grassley authored the legislation that created the wind-energy production tax credit in 1992 and has won passage of extensions a number of times.

Today, wind-energy production supports 75,000 American jobs and drives as much as $20 billion in private investment.  During the last five years, 35 percent of all new electric generation in the United States was wind.  There are nearly 400 wind-related manufacturing facilities in the United States today, compared with just 30 in 2004.

Conventional energy sources, including oil, gas and nuclear, enjoy countless tax incentives and many of them are permanent law.

 
HUD Secretary Donovan and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller Unveil First Public Service Announcement for $25 Billion Mortgage Servicing Settlement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Derrick L. Plummer   
Monday, 06 August 2012 08:24

Television PSAs, Homeowner Help Website, New Mortgage Assistance Guide Launched to Educate Homeowners about Resources Available to them through Historic Mortgage Servicing Settlement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced today the launch of the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement’s first public service announcement (PSA) television ad titled “Homeowner Help.”  The PSA, which can be viewed at www.hud.gov and www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com, is designed to educate homeowners about the resources available to them through the mortgage servicing settlement.

The “Homeowner Help” PSA, amplified through three key components – 30 second television and radio spots, customized for both national and local media markets, a HUD Homeowner Help website and a new Mortgage Assistance Guide – is aimed at educating homeowners about the various options and opportunities they can seek for assistance to find out if they are eligible to benefit from the settlement.

“The National Mortgage Servicing Settlement represents the single largest-scale principal reduction effort we’ve seen since this housing crisis began and the PSAs and online tools announced today will create an extended opportunity for homeowners, across the country, to gain  access to information, options and opportunities that could help to keep them in their homes,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Already the servicing settlement is helping homeowners and making a difference, and our goal is to ensure every eligible family is aware of the help it provides.”

In addition to being televised, “Homeowner Help” will also be broadcast in both English and Spanish language radio formats for national and localized markets. The launch of the national PSA and new online tools will remind people who are in mortgage trouble, to call the their servicer, Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE or visit the national settlement website at NationalMortgageSettlement.com to seek out available help.

“If we learned anything from the housing crisis, it is that that there is no one solution,” said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. “We want homeowners to know the possibilities that they have with this settlement. PSAs are already running in Iowa and we’re hopeful that information shared helps people in a substantial way.”

In April, a Federal District Court approved the landmark $25 billion agreement between the Justice Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 49 state attorneys general and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers – Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo – to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. The settlement will provide up to $25 billion in relief to borrowers and direct payments to the states and federal government and it is the largest multi-state settlement since the Tobacco Settlement in 1998.

To view the new PSA “Homeowner Help,” click HERE:

Script (.30):

Announcer:     Are you a homeowner who’s facing mortgage trouble?

A government settlement with the nation’s biggest mortgage servicers provides help and hope for many people fighting to save their homes from foreclosure.

If you’re behind on your home loan, call your mortgage servicer—that’s who handles your mortgage.

See if this settlement affects you and if maybe there’s other help available.

Contact your state attorney general, click on NationalMortgageSettlement.com, or call the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE.

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HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and  transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter @HUDnews, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.

 
Loebsack Introduces Middle Class and Small Business Tax Relief Act PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 06 August 2012 07:43

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after introducing the Middle Class and Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2012.

“I am fighting for commonsense, fiscally responsible tax cuts for middle and low income families, small businesses, and family farms.  That’s why I’ve introduced an initiative to allow them to keep their tax cut.  Growing up, my family wouldn’t have been able to afford to put food on the table if taxes on working families went up.  I stand ready to work with anyone who will support commonsense compromise to get these tax cuts done.

“Washington is broken, and today is just more evidence of that.  There are too many people in Congress interested only in political ideology rather than actually helping Iowa families.  Last year the economy was taken to the brink by a group in Washington that is more concerned about rigid ideology than people’s jobs. That is simply not me.  I am not willing to do that to Iowa families. Washington needs to learn how to compromise.  I have introduced commonsense legislation and am willing to work with anyone who is interested in putting the middle class, small businesses, and family farms ahead of politics.  I always have and always will fight for Iowans.”

Loebsack’s Middle Class and Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2012 extends tax cuts for married joint filers making up to $250,000 and individual filers making up to $200,000.  Additionally, the bill:

  • Includes an exemption for small business and family farm income;
  • Extends for one-year the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and current capital gains and dividend rates;
  • Includes a one-year patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax;
  • Extends for one year the current Estate Tax rates.

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