Civic News & Info
Grassley plans August meetings in Southeast Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 23 July 2012 13:09

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley will meet with Iowans in Columbus Junction, Donnellson, Burlington, Agency, Bloomfield, Keosauqua, Mount Pleasant, Lockridge, and Cedar Rapids during the first week of the Senate’s August recess.


“I look forward to these events and meetings to listen to comments and respond to questions.  My town meetings are open to the public, and everyone is welcome.  I also appreciate the opportunity to go to service clubs for Q and A,” Grassley said.  “Representative government is a two-way street and strengthened by dialogue between elected officials and the people we represent.”


Grassley has held at least one meeting with Iowans in every one of the state’s 99 counties since 1980, when he was first elected to serve in the U.S. Senate.


Below is more information about the August 7, 8 and 9 schedule.  Grassley will be available to answer questions from reporters following each event.


Grassley is planning additional meetings with Iowans for the week of August 20.


Tuesday, August 7

9:15-10:15 a.m.

Louisa County Town Meeting

Columbus Junction City Hall, ICN Room

232 2nd Street in Columbus Junction


12 noon-1 p.m.

Lee County Town Meeting

Pilot Grove Savings Bank, Community Center

506 North Main Street in Donnellson


2-3 p.m.

Speak at the Burlington Chamber of Commerce Meeting

Connect with Leadership Series

River Park Place

610 North 4th Street, Suite 200 in Burlington


4:30-5:30 p.m.

Wapello County Town Meeting

Agency Area Community Center

100 West Main Street in Agency


Wednesday, August 8

6:45-7:45 a.m.

Speak to the Bloomfield Rotary Club

Davis County Hospital, Conference Room D

509 North Madison Street in Bloomfield


8:45-9:45 a.m.

Van Buren County Town Meeting

Village Cup and Cakes

202 Main Street in Keosauqua


12 noon-1 p.m.

Speak to the Mount Pleasant Noon Rotary Club

Iowa Wesleyan College Student Center

Second Floor, Food Services Area

Mount Pleasant


1:30-2:30 p.m.

Jefferson County Town Meeting

Lockridge Senior Center

104 West Main Street in Lockridge


Thursday, August 9

5:30 p.m.

Speak at the Central States Shrine Association Legions of Honor Banquet

Cedar Rapids Marriott

1200 Collins Road Northeast in Cedar Rapids



Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action Friday, July 20, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Monday, 23 July 2012 12:32

CHICAGO – July 20, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:


Bill No.: HB 3340

An Act Concerning: Transportation

The law requires the Secretary of State’s office to regulate scrap processors and properly issue vehicle titles based certain requirements.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately


Bill No.: HB 4569

An Act Concerning: State Government

The law consolidates the responsibilities of the Secretary of State Merit Commission and gives the Secretary of State inspector general greater flexibility when hiring investigators and auditors.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately


Bill No.: HB 4602

An Act Concerning: Education

The law gives the Ridgeland School District 122 bonding authority of up to $50 million, in order to refund bonds originally issued in 2000 by voter approval.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately


Bill No.: HB 5073

An Act Concerning: Secretary of State

The law allows the Office of the Secretary of State to waive drivers’ fees once the Governor declares a disaster.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Jan. 1


Bill No.: HB 5190

An Act Concerning: Business

The law prohibits any person from knowingly filing a false or fraudulent document with the Secretary of State in connection with a secured transaction.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately


Bill No.: HB 5362

An Act Concerning: Local Government

The law extends the deadline for non-home rule municipalities to use the tax proceeds for municipal operations from the following: the Non-Home Rule Municipal Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act, the Non-Home Rule Municipal Service Occupation Tax Act, or the Non-Home Rule Municipal Use Tax Act.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately


Bill No.: HB 5493

An Act Concerning: Transportation

The law allows expands the offenses for which the Secretary of State must revoke a driver’s license or permit and permits the Secretary of State to issue an administrative citation in lieu of filing a criminal complaint in certain situations.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately


Bill No.: SB 1691

An Act Concerning: Business

The law amends the Secretary of State’s business entity laws to add provisions pertaining to the reinstatement of certain business entities, the resignation of registered agents and the electronic filing of required documents.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately


Bill No.: SB 2492

An Act Concerning: Local Government

The law enables individuals serving on a jury to waive any payments they receive.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Jan.1


Bill No.: SB 3453

An Act Concerning: Regulation

The law creates the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards Fund and gives control of the fund to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately


Bill No.: SB 3718

An Act Concerning: Public Health

Requires the development and implementation of rules regarding the denial of reimbursement for non-emergency ambulance transport.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately




Branstad/Reynolds Administration encourage participation in public discussions on housing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:58

Comprehensive housing study includes public discussions

(DES MOINES) – The Branstad/Reynolds Administration today announced that a comprehensive statewide housing study is underway and encourage Iowans to participate in the process by sharing information about the housing needs in their areas at one of eight public meetings that are scheduled throughout the state in the coming weeks.  The study is commissioned by the Iowa Finance Authority in partnership with RDG Planning & Design.

“I encourage Iowans to participate in the public discussions on housing throughout the state, as the results will be incorporated into an analysis of current housing programs and opportunities for other initiatives to most effectively meet housing needs throughout the state,” said Governor Branstad. “Affordable housing translates to safe and affordable homes for Iowa’s workforce, strong neighborhoods, vibrant communities and ultimately a thriving economy – and there is no better way to learn about the unique affordable housing needs of communities throughout the state than from Iowans.”

“The statewide housing study will not only include public forums and expert round tables throughout the state, but it will also include an in-depth analysis of the current housing stock,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison. “The results of this study will provide the information needed to assist the Iowa Finance Authority and our housing partners throughout the state to most effectively advance affordable housing for Iowans for many generations to come.”

More information about the housing study, details on the public meetings as well as a housing survey for the public is available at


Iowa Housing Study Public Meetings:




July 23, 7:00 p.m.

Region XII Council of Governments Office

1009 East Anthony Street, Carroll



July 25, 7:00 p.m.

Center for Town/Craft

1122/1124 Willis Avenue, Perry


Mason City

August 7, 7:00 p.m.



August 8, 7:00 p.m.



August 13, 7:00 p.m.


August 20, 7:00 p.m.



August 21, 7:00 p.m.



August 28, 7:00 p.m.



Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Improve Road Safety PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:50
“Julie’s Law” Among New Measures to Reduce Speeding and Distracted Driving


FRANKFORT – July 20, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed four new laws to improve road safety across Illinois by reducing speeding and distracted driving. The governor was joined by legislators, community leaders and families of crash victims to enact Julie’s Law, named after a Chicago-area crash victim, and several additional laws that restrict cell phone usage in school and construction zones. Today’s action is the latest by Governor Quinn to increase safety on Illinois roads and highways.


“By working together, we can deter reckless driving behavior and create safer roads across our state,” Governor Quinn said. “These new laws will protect children and families, and prevent dangerous trends such as speeding and distracted driving.”


Senate Bill 2888, also known as Julie’s Law, is sponsored by Sen. Maggie Crotty (D-Oak Forest) and Rep. Sidney Mathias (R-Arlington Heights). The law prohibits courts from granting supervision to any defendant charged with operating a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than 30 mph over the posted speed limit, or in excess of 25 mph in an urban district.


Julie’s Law is named after Orland Park teen Julie Gorczysnski, who lost her life in 2011 after being struck by a speeding driver going 76 mph in a 40 mph zone. The driver who collided with Gorczysnski’s car had previously been placed on court supervision seven times for excessive speeding. The law is effective Jul. 1, 2013.


“A young woman in my district was killed in an accident caused by someone who should have never been behind the wheel at all,” Sen. Crotty said. “This law will help make sure that no family will have to endure the loss of a loved one in the way that has befallen the Gorczysnski family.”


“This legislation addresses motorists who are pulled over for driving more than 25 miles over the speed limit in urban areas and more than 30 miles an hour over on highways,” Rep. Mathias said. “It is my hope that the more stringent penalties will serve as a deterrent for motorists who put their lives and the lives of others at risk by driving too fast.”

Governor Quinn also signed additional laws to improve traffic safety today. Senate Bill 2488, sponsored by Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Highwood) and Rep. Karen May (D-Highwood), expands the definition of construction and maintenance work zones to include areas where Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) or a local agency has posted signage advising motorists of an approaching speed zone. This expansion prohibits the use of cell phones in all roadway work zones, which will prevent distracted driving and increase protection for work crews. Previously, the use of cell phones was only prohibited in work zones with speed limit reductions. The law is effective Jan. 1, 2013.

House Bill 5099, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Costello, II (D-Sparta) and Sen. William Haine (D-Alton), prohibits motorists from using mobile phones when driving within 500 feet of an emergency scene, and expands the definition of “electronic message.” The legislation will reduce distracted driving by banning talking and taking photos on a mobile device near an emergency scene. The law is effective immediately.


House Bill 5101, sponsored by Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago) and Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero), brings the Illinois Vehicle Code (IVC) into compliance with federal regulations, and prohibits a commercial motor vehicle operator from using a hand-held mobile phone or engaging in texting while driving. The legislation also amends the code to include texting or using a hand-held mobile device as a “serious traffic violation.” The law is effective Jan. 1, 2013.


“Our goal is to drive zero fatalities to reality, and these new measures take us another step in the right direction,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider.


For more information about traffic safety, visit




Federal welfare program requirements, White House press secretary remarks PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 20 July 2012 13:39
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Office of Senator Chuck Grassley issued the following information today in response to comments made by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about waivers to the federal welfare program’s work requirements being supported in 2003 by Senator Grassley.

Senator Grassley’s demonstrated goal for the TANF program has been to make work requirements stronger.

As Chairman of the Finance Committee in 2003, Senator Grassley authored and won passage of a reauthorization bill reflecting that goal.  The legislation didn’t push for work waivers, as suggested by Jay Carney.  The only broad waiver authority in the Grassley bill was for a 10-state demonstration project to improve the coordination and delivery of services by TANF, the Social Services Block Grant, and child care services.  This project was specifically objected to by every Democratic senator serving on the Finance Committee in the Minority Views expressed in Finance Committee Report 108-162.  Ironically, in light of the current executive branch’s interest in controlling waivers, the Minority Views call the super-waiver demonstration “an ill-considered attempt to cede Congressional authority to the Executive branch.”  The Views are attached.  The Views include objections to the bill as a whole such as “not enough flexibility for states,” “higher hour standards,” and not enough flexibility for education and rehabilitation.  No Democratic senator voted for the legislation in committee.  On the Senate floor, the Democratic caucus launched a filibuster against the legislation.

As far as work requirements, then-Chairman Grassley’s 2003 legislation increased required participation hours from 30 to 34 per week and set a hard cap on the state-determined participation rate, in contrast to the Obama administration’s apparent current effort to reduce work requirements and to do so without any proper authority.

Carney remarks:

Carney-- weds: 13:14:56 to address hypocritical criticism I have been surprised by it as... By the hypocrisy of our critics since many of them have in the past supported and even proposed such waivers -- Governor Romney, Governor Barbour, Governor Huckabee, Secretary Tommy Thompson and Senator Grassley -- all supported these kinds of waivers for states in the past. In a 2005 letter to the Senate Republicans governors including then Governor Romney requested such waivers. Under President George W. Bush, HHS Secretary Thompson put forward a proposal that would allow quote "super waivers" in the program. The Senate under republican control at the time passed a bill authored by Senator Grassley with broad waiver authority. And just last year, states led by democrats and republicans including Nevada and Utah called for these waivers.. these very waivers so they could have more flexibility to get more people back to work faster. So given this long documented history of bipartisan support it is surprising to say the least to see this kind of flip flopping on the part of republicans. 13:16:08

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