Business & Economy
McDonald joins MSA PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Leslie Blaize   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:48

DAVENPORT, IA: Robert McDonald, P.E., has recently joined MSA Professional Services, Davenport, as a senior project engineer. For the past 30 years, he has provided design services for municipal roadways and storm sewer systems.

Mr. McDonald earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

MSA is a full service consulting firm with 15 offices throughout the Upper Midwest. For more information, call 866.732.6321 or visit

Judiciary Committee Approves Bipartisan Bill to Help Small Businesses PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:47

Legislation Would Make Bankruptcy Process Easier for Small Companies


Washington, DC – With small businesses across the country struggling in the wake of the recession, the Senate Judiciary Committee today approved bipartisan legislation by U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that would help small businesses facing bankruptcy.  The Small Business Reorganization Efficiency and Clarity Act would modify the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process to be more manageable for small businesses hoping to remain in business and preserve jobs.


“Chapter 11 was designed for large publicly-traded corporations and does not work for many small businesses,” said Whitehouse.  “Our bill is a first step in improving the process for small companies and would implement some important changes to make it more flexible.  Providing viable small companies with a better reorganization process will help businesses maintain jobs.”


“Judges, attorneys and businesses raised concerns.  This bill responds with good, common sense changes to help small businesses in bankruptcy.  It will also help us, the Congress, in determining whether future changes are needed,” Grassley said.  “The bill is a step in the right direction as we continue work going forward.”


The Small Business Reorganization Efficiency and Clarity Act would:


·         Give debtors and courts 45 additional days (total of 90) to confirm bankruptcy plans.  While the current 45-day deadline was intended to expedite small business cases, it has proven to be an insufficient amount of time for many debtors and courts;

·         Eliminate an ambiguous “catch all” reporting requirement that results in unnecessary filings and wasted attorney hours; and

·         Allow small business debtors to retain pre-filing counsel and other professionals even if such professionals have small claims against the estate.  It doesn’t make sense to disqualify a lawyer familiar with a company from representing it just because the lawyer has a small claim.


The legislation would also direct the Government Accountability Office and the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts to report information on small business cases and to make recommendations for further reforms.



Harkin Commends Obama Visit to Iowa: Job Creation by Investing in Renewables PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:45

No More Urgent Priority than Rebuilding the Middle Class

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement on the President’s visit to Iowa.  Harkin, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, is leading the effort in Congress to rebuild the middle class in America.   Last August, he held a listening session in Newton with local officials, which informed his Rebuild America Act legislation.  Senator Harkin is also a senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.  

“One thing is clear: there can be no sustained economic recovery without a recovery of the middle class in America, the backbone of our economy.  And one way to spur job creation and aid in that rebuilding effort is by supporting the diverse and growing renewables sector in Iowa, including both wind and biofuels.  

“I am glad the President is visiting Newton today – an area that has clearly demonstrated it is possible to create jobs and rebuild through the renewables sector.  It is now imperative that Congress extend alternative energy tax credits, including credits for wind and biofuels, so that small towns like Newton will have the boost they need over the long-term.  

“So I commend President Obama, I welcome him to Iowa, and I applaud his call to support the renewable industry, spur job creation, and rebuild the middle class in America.”


IRJA Chairman Rep. Bill Black on SB 1849's passage: PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:01
"The Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance commends the leadership demonstrated today by the Illinois House of Representatives. With the tens of thousands of jobs and the hundreds of millions in new revenue that the passage of SB 1849 will create, our state has now officially taken the first step on the road to financial recovery. Thank you to our House members in Springfield and to Representative Lou Lang and Senator Terry Link for working so hard to get this done. We hope now that members of the Illinois Senate will act in kind."

-Rep. Bill Black, Chairman, The Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance

Grassley follows up with USDA about discrimination claims PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 10:39

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a status report on the agency’s effort to improve its process for resolving discrimination claims made by employees following independent assessments that recommended improvements in 2008 and 2011.


“The discrimination issues and delays in resolving claims are not a new issue for the Department of Agriculture, but it’s time for a clear indication that systemic problems are being resolved.  To date, the agency response to questions about progress being made have been somewhat vague and inadequate,” Grassley said.


The Iowa senator made his request for a status report in a letter sent today to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  Click here to read Grassley’s letter to Vilsack.


Both a 2008 report of the Government Accountability Office, which is the investigative arm of Congress, and a 2011 Jackson Lewis report commissioned by the Department of Agriculture identified problems in the way the agency managed employee claims of discrimination and made recommendations for improvements.



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