Civic News & Info
Special Session: No Comprehensive Pension Reform, House Votes to Expel Smith PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rep. Rich Morthland   
Monday, 20 August 2012 08:33

Springfield, IL… On Friday the Governor called a Special Session for lawmakers to consider pension reform to save the State’s growing pension crisis, however, no true reform was enacted.

State Representative Rich Morthland (R-Cordova) was disappointed with the legislation presented and voted against Senate Bill 3168 Amendment #3 because it lacked the needed reform.

“Today’s Special Session was nothing more than a political theatre,” said Morthland. “It was disappointing that no meaningful pension reform was presented to us. Illinois needs a comprehensive package and not to merely put a one-quarter of one-percent dent in an $83 billion problem. You can’t fix big problems with bad bills. I strongly oppose the Governor’s plan to shift the cost of our pension problem to downstate and suburban taxpayers. Nothing was accomplished today because the Governor has spent more time talking to the media than he has working with the leaders and lawmakers to come up with a fair and comprehensive solution.”

In addition to pension reform, the Illinois House of Representatives voted in favor 100-6 to expel indicted State Representative Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) from the Illinois House. Rep. Smith was arrested March 13, following an undercover investigation by the FBI; Smith now faces federal bribery charges for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe.

Rep. Rich Morthland voted in favor of expelling indicted State Representatives Derrick Smith.

“After the culmination of a several-months long internal House investigation by two bi-partisan committees, it is clear former-Representative Smith severely violated his oath of office and abused his position and the public trust.” said Morthland. “Smith’s actions have given our state yet another black-eye. It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this place. I take no pride or joy in expelling another member of the House.”

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Braley Highlights Importance of Infrastructure to Iowa’s Economy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Kira Ayish   
Monday, 20 August 2012 08:26
Rides train with business leaders to promote Iowa jobs and partnerships

Fairfax, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today boarded a Union Pacific Train in Fairfax headed to Marshalltown to promote and support enhancements to Iowa’s infrastructure. Braley was joined by representatives from Union Pacific and Cargill to discuss the importance infrastructure plays in Iowa’s economy.

“Investing in infrastructure is one of the best ways to get Iowa’s economy back on track,” Braley said. “Iowa businesses rely on strong infrastructure to make sure that goods and services are delivered as promised, whether it’s across town or across the country.

 

“By working with businesses in our communities, we are able to create strong partnerships that not only create good jobs for Iowans, but make more substantial improvements to our infrastructure than we ever could working alone.”

Braley has been an effective leader in contributing to enhancements in infrastructure. Braley secured the funding to rebuild Waterloo and Cedar Rapids rail bridges after the devastating 2008 floods. These projects were completed through a public-private partnership, which highlights how government and business can successfully work together on projects that impact entire communities, like improving railways, roads, and airports, among others.

Cargill and Union Pacific each have a significant presence in Iowa. Cargill employs 4,095 at 29 locations across Iowa, including Cedar Rapids, that produce and market food products across the world, and depends on strong infrastructure. Union Pacific Corporation is an American rail transportation company covering 23 states across the western two-thirds of the United States.

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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action Thursday, August 16, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Erin Wilson   
Monday, 20 August 2012 08:07

CHICAGO – August 16, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

 

Bill No.: HB 3969

An Act Concerning: Public Employee Benefits

Changes the entity responsible for paying the difference in annuity attributable to a former General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) participant’s higher final average salary if the employee works for a reciprocal employer for less than two years after ending participation in GARS; allows individuals who became GARS participants prior to Aug. 22, 1994 to make themselves subject to the final average salary limitations that took effect for new GARS participants on that date.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

Bill No.:  HB 4996

An Act Concerning: Public Employee Benefits

Creates a return to work policy for State University Retirement System (SURS) affected annuitants and requires employers to make contributions to SURS for the retirement annuities of affected annuitants.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

Bill No.: HB 5337

An Act Concerning: State Government

Amends the State Comptroller Act by requiring itemized vouchers under $5 to be processed electronically.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

Bill No.: SB 180

An Act Concerning: Government

Includes circuit court clerks among entities that can apply to the comptroller for the offset of claims.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

Bill No.: SB 679

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Allows individuals previously diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders to remain eligible for insurance coverage even if diagnostic criteria are changed in the future.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Jan. 1

 

Bill No.: SB 3629

An Act Concerning: Public Employee Benefits

Amends the Illinois Pension Code to align the fiscal year of the Chicago Park District pension fund with the fiscal year of the Chicago Park District.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

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Loebsack Announces More Than $124,000 to Support Families in Need PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 20 August 2012 08:06

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that five Iowa counties will receive a total of more than $124,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP)  Counties receiving the grants include Appanoose, Des Moines, Johnson, Scott, and Wapello.  This funding will help Iowa’s social service agencies feed and shelter those who are hungry and homeless.  EFSP funds are used to supplement food, shelter, rent, mortgage, and utility assistance programs for people with non-disaster related emergencies.

“Far too many Iowans are trying to get back on their feet, and many still find themselves in need during these difficult times,” said Loebsack.  “It is important to assist those who are struggling, and this funding will better equip our local social service agencies to do so.”

Details of the funding are below:

  • Appanoose County       $4,236
  • Des Moines County      $14,232
  • Johnson County            $33,106
  • Scott County                $59,087
  • Wapello County           $13,520
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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action Wednesday, August 15, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Erin Wilson   
Friday, 17 August 2012 13:37

SPRINGFIELD – August 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

 

Bill No.: HB 4022

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Includes Class II rail carriers in the requirement that a counseling or trauma program be filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and be updated every three years.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

Bill No.: HB 5212

An Act Concerning: Wages

Requires public bodies or other entities to Illinois Department of Labor revises the prevailing hourly wage rate applicable to the contract.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Jan. 1

 

Bill No.: SB 3279

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Adds additional protections for consumers and licensed roofing contractors by making changes to the roofing licensing and permitting process.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

Bill No.: SB 3792

An Act Concerning: Civil Law

Extends the timeframe for obtaining a mechanics lien under the Mechanics Lien Act in connection with any type of property other than residential property.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Jan. 1

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