Business & Economy
Lt. Governor Simon, Sen. Kotowski: Overhaul financial disclosure form PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Kara Beach   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:06

SPRINGFIELD – Longtime advocates of ethics and transparency in government, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and State Sen. Dan Kotowski will introduce legislation on Thursday that will overhaul the Statement of Economic Interests filed annually by tens of thousands of local and state government employees and officials.

The bill designs a disclosure form that asks clear questions on sources of income, lobbyist relationships and certain loans. It also closes loopholes that allowed filers to answer “not applicable” to almost all of the questions since the form was introduced 40 years ago.

Simon said the goal of the new form is to provide Illinois residents with information that allows them to determine if elected officials, high-ranking employees and candidates hold any conflicts of interest.

“Current disclosure forms are practically meaningless and haven’t been revised since their inception 40 years ago,” Simon said. “This bill protects the privacy of public servants while allowing taxpayers to better identify where a conflict of interest may exist.”

Simon has released her personal tax return in an effort to demonstrate transparent leadership, and has asked her senior staff to file more detailed disclosure forms that allow citizens to better find any potential conflicts of interest.

 

DATE: Thursday, Nov. 29

TIME: 9:30 a.m.

PLACE: Senate Chamber entrance, Capitol Building, Springfield

 
Loebsack Continues Push for Wind Energy Credit; Highlights Veterans Working in Industry PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:03

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today continued his push to extend the Production Tax Credit for wind energy during negotiations surrounding the “fiscal cliff.” Loebsack also highlighted an effort by a group of veterans, known as Operation Free, who are working in the wind energy industry. This group has called for moving forward on alternative energy solutions including wind.

“The [Production Tax Credit] has helped the still-growing domestic wind energy industry employ thousands of Americans, and many veterans,” wrote Loebsack to Speaker Boehner.  “I hope you give weight to this support and due diligence to Operation Free and their call to renew the PTC, particularly given these individuals’ sacrifices for our country. They should be respected and applauded for again taking a stand for the betterment of our nation. I again respectfully urge your support for extending the PTC during “fiscal cliff” negotiations and thank you for your time and consideration.”

Loebsack has taken a lead in Congress to demand that Speaker Boehner act to ensure the jobs associated with wind energy, including 6,000 in Iowa, are not lost because of the inaction by the Leadership in the House.  Since the beginning of the year, Loebsack has met personally with the President to encourage his leadership on this issue and stressed the importance of passing this legislation on multiple occasions with Speaker Boehner.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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Governor Quinn’s Public Awareness Drive Unveils Salman Khan Video on Illinois Pension Problem PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 09:44

Legendary “explainer” helps enlighten Illinoisans about pension squeeze

 

CHICAGO – November 27, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn’s new web campaign to educate Illinoisans about the pension squeeze was bolstered today by legendary “explainer” Salman Khan, who unveiled two videos to explain pensions in general and specifically lay out the Illinois pension crisis. Earlier this month, Governor Quinn met with Salman Khan in the governor’s Chicago office, and Khan agreed to create an explainer video on Illinois’ pension problem.

 

Khan’s video on Illinois’ pension problem and general video on pensions can be viewed at ThisIsMyIllinois.com and the “Thanks in Advance” Facebook page.

Founder of the trailblazing Khan Academy, Khan’s 3,600 teaching videos have been viewed 204 million times. Khan - named by Time Magazine as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People - has appeared on “60 Minutes,” “Colbert Report” and NPR to share his vision of offering a “world class education for everyone everywhere.”

“The power of Salman Khan’s videos comes from his ability to make a complex subject easy to grasp, and he does so in an informative and engaging style,” Governor Quinn said. “We’re delighted to have his help in enlightening Illinois citizens about how the pension problem came to be.”

Employing his trademark “ black blackboard” style, Khan focuses on Illinois’ pension obligations in a seven-minute video in which he explains how spending on pensions will surpass spending for education by 2016. In his more general 10-minute video, he explains the concept of pensions - particularly the distinctions between “defined benefit” and “defined contribution” plans.

“Khan Academy is about life-long learning and we strive to help clarify topics that are important for understanding our society,” Khan said. “When I learned about the underfunded pension situation in many states, especially in Illinois, I felt it was important that voters understand the issue themselves.”

Governor Quinn recently launched an Internet campaign to educate everyday people on the 70-year old Illinois pension problem, deemed worst in the nation by the Pew Center on the States. Since launching, more than 28,000 unique visitors have gone to ThisisMyIllinois.com and a video featuring “Squeezy the Pension Python” has been viewed 20,000 times. The “Thanks in Advance” campaign is designed to boost public awareness about the “squeeze” caused by soaring pension costs and the need for pension reform.

In April, Governor Quinn proposed a plan to the General Assembly that would rescue Illinois’ public pension systems, ensure employees have access to benefits and prevent skyrocketing pension costs from squeezing out core services such as education, health care and public safety. Quinn’s plan would fully fund the pension system by 2042.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Khan is a former hedge fund manager who founded the nonprofit Khan Academy after discovering a knack for tutoring. What began as a favor to his niece and nephews in 2006 - sharing his mathematics explainer videos - has grown into one of the world’s fastest-growing, widely-used education tools. Last month, www.khanacademy.org had 6,000,000 unique visitors from nearly every nation on earth. Available in 16 languages, Khan’s explainer videos cover topics ranging from math and science to history and finance. He is author of “The One World School House: Education Reimagined”.

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Mr. Calvin N. Hileman joins Raufeisen Development Company. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Susan Shrader   
Monday, 26 November 2012 15:33
Todd Raufeisen of Davenport, Iowa introduced Calvin N. Hileman today as the newest member of the development staff of Raufeisen Development Company. Mr. Hileman will be responsible for leasing and management. Cal comes to Raufeisen Development from Mercy Medical Centers and Clinics where he was in charge of the real estate department based in Cedar Rapids, IA.

He was formerly with Cullinan Properties in Peoria, IL as Vice President of Leasing. He directed the internal and third party leasing activities for Cullinan’s retail properties in Illinois, Texas, and Missouri.

He brings more than 30 years of retail property management and leasing experience and the leasing of more than 1.5 million total square feet of GLA.

Cal was Regional Leasing Director for CBL Properties directing the leasing activities of twelve enclosed malls, fourteen strip centers and more than 11 million square feet of GLA.

As Executive Vice President for Equity Growth Group, he was responsible for management of the property management and leasing company.

As Sr. Vice President for General Growth /Center Companies he was responsible for the leasing and remerchandising of 16 enclosed malls in the East and Midwest.

Cal began his leasing career at The Taubman Company and the leasing of centers including Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL, Columbus City Center in Columbus, OH, The Mall at Short Hills, Short Hills, NJ, Beverly Center, Beverly Hills, CA and Stamford Town Center, Stamford, CT. Major accounts included Melville Corp., Hallmark Cards, Crate & Barrel, Ralph Lauren Polo and Hartmarx.

Raufeisen Development has major mixed use land developments in Iowa, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

 
Lt. Gov. Reynolds to lead trade mission to Vietnam and the Philippines in February PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 26 November 2012 15:30

Trade mission is part of the administration's goal to increase trade opportunities by 20 percent. Interested Iowans are encouraged to participate in the trade mission.

(DES MOINES) – Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will lead a trade mission to Vietnam and the Philippines from February 22 – March 2, 2013. This trade mission will focus on two main components; increasing exports of Iowa pork to Southeast Asia and fostering export opportunities for Iowa manufacturers who are considering development or expansion in the region. The Iowa Economic Development Authority's (IEDA) International Trade Office will assist in coordinating the trip, and interested Iowans are invited to participate in this mission.

"This mission will generate new trading relationships with Vietnam and the Philippines," said Lt. Gov. Reynolds. "Both countries have shown tremendous economic growth and continue to be open to new business opportunities – it makes sense for us to have a presence there and I am pleased to be leading this effort."

"Vietnam and the Philippines are burgeoning markets for Iowa businesses, especially when it comes to pork products and manufacturing," said Gov. Branstad. “Trade missions like this one open Iowa companies up to new growth opportunities in expanding markets outside of the United States."

Visits to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Manila are part of the Iowa delegation's itinerary.  The trade mission’s agenda will include meetings with senior government officials, prospective industry association leaders and events promoting Iowa to potential economic partners. Iowa companies will participate in meetings specific to their market entry or expansion needs.

Additional information on this trade mission can be found at: www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/intlevents/downloads/VietnamPhilippinesMission.pdf. The deadline for application is December 15, 2012.

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