Civic News & Info
Fiscal Leadership Needed PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 18 May 2012 14:27

Advisory for Iowa Reporters and Editors

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The failure of the Senate majority to produce a budget blueprint for more than three years means there’s no plan for deficit reduction, economic growth or a path toward a balanced federal budget.  Senators voted 99 to 0 against President Obama’s budget this week.  Senate Democrats voted against three proposals by Republican senators yet offered none of their own.

There were budget votes in the Senate this week out of tremendous frustration that the Senate majority party has failed to act on its responsibility to produce an annual budget for three years.  The Senate hasn’t adopted a budget since April 2009.  Since then, $4 trillion has been added to the national debt.  It’s the fourth consecutive year of spending $1 trillion more than we take in.

Because of failed leadership in the Senate, there’s been no budget blueprint to lay out priorities for deficit reduction, economic growth or a path to balance.  Our nation is driving toward a fiscal cliff of deficits and debt.  No one in the majority party that controls the Senate’s work is willing to take hold of the wheel.

The President proposed a budget in February, but it wasn’t credible and it was rejected in the House of Representatives by a vote of 0 to 414.  The Senate rejected it 0 to 99.  The President hasn’t done anything to spur responsible action in the Senate.

In contrast, the House of Representatives has met its responsibility in producing and passing a budget.

The bottom line is that Democratic leaders in the Senate and the White House seem content to ignore the fiscal train wreck that’s coming and the harm it does to America’s economy and jobs situation, putting political maneuvering in front of governing.

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Scott County Board of Supervisors' Tentative Agenda PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Chris Berge   
Friday, 18 May 2012 14:20
Monday, May 21, 2012

Special Committee of the Whole - 8:00 am
Board Room, 1st Floor, Administrative Center

1. Roll Call: Hancock, Minard, Sunderbruch, Cusack, Earnhardt

2. Tour of Scott County secondary roads.

3. Other items of interest.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Committee of the Whole - 8:00 am
Board Room, 1st Floor, Administrative Center

1. Roll Call: Cusack, Earnhardt, Hancock, Minard, Sunderbruch

Presentation

2. Discussion with the following Authorized Agencies:

10:00 A.M. - Bi-State Regional Commission - Denise Bulat

10:30 A.M. - Humane Society - Pam Arndt

11:00 A.M. - 7th Judicial District Correctional Services - Jim Wayne

Facilities & Economic Development

3. Approval of temporary road closures for the Quad City Triathlon on June 16, 2012.
(Item 3)

4. Approval of the Final Plat of Oak Valley Addition. (Item 4)

5. Discussion of request by Jeff Smid to rezone 1.17 acres from Commercial Light
Industrial (C-2) to Heavy Manufacturing District (M). (Item 5)

6. Discussion of City of LeClaire's Urban Renewal Area expansion. (Item 6)

Human Resources

7. Approval of personnel actions. (Item 7)

Health & Community Services

8. Approval of the FY13 County Agreement with the Center for Alcohol and Drug
Services, Inc. (Item 8)

Finance & Intergovernmental

9. Approval of the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group Intergovernmental
Agreement renewal. (Item 9)

10. Approval of ordinance to adopt the 2012 County Code. (Item 10)

11. Approval of cigarette licenses and permits: Perfect Value Liquor Mart, Davenport
Country Club, Casey's General Store and Mt. Joy BP/Amoco.

12. Approval of appointment to the Airport Zoning Commission. (Item 12)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Regular Board Meeting - 5:30 pm
Board Room, 1st Floor, Administrative Center

Public Hearing - 5:30 pm
Rezoning request in Sheridan Twp from C-1 to M

 
Advocates, industry compromise on strip club bill PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Justin Stofferahn   
Friday, 18 May 2012 13:50

Club fees would help restore cuts to rape crisis centers

SPRINGFIELD – May 16, 2012. With bipartisan support and agreement from victim advocates and the adult entertainment industry, strip clubs that permit alcohol would have two options to help restore funding to rape crisis centers under a bill passed 8-0 by the Senate Public Health Committee, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said today.

Strip club owners would choose to pay the state a $3 per patron surcharge on an annual basis or opt to pay a flat fee based on the taxable receipts they report to the Illinois Department of Revenue each year, under House Bill 1645 Amendment 3. Clubs that report taxable receipts of $2 million or more would pay $25,000 a year; clubs that report total receipts of $500,000 to $2 million would pay $15,000; and clubs that report total receipts of less than $500,000 would pay $5,000, according to the legislation.

The $3 surcharge and fee structure in House Bill 1645 Amendment 3 replaced the $5 per patron entrance fee proposed in an earlier bill. The new language was agreed to by rape crisis advocates, club owners and sponsor Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights). House Bill 1645 Amendment 3 now moves to the Senate for a vote.

“I am pleased all the interested parties came to the table with Sen. Hutchinson and my office and agreed on a common sense way to restore funding to rape crisis centers that have struggled to provide critical services to sexual assault survivors, school children and law enforcement agencies on ever-shrinking budgets,” Simon said.

“Substantial evidence links the consumption of alcohol at strip clubs to negative secondary effects, including sexual harassment, sexual assault and prostitution. This legislation will address the social ills and protect free expression. Clubs that do not want to pay the surcharge or fee can choose to stop permitting alcohol,” Simon added.

The newly generated revenue will go into the new Sexual Assault Services and Prevention Fund and be distributed by the Department of Human Services for community-based assistance to victims of sexual assault and sexual assault prevention.  There are at least 32 rape crisis centers – 10 in the Chicago-metro region and 22 in the non-metro area. State funding for the centers has decreased about 28 percent in the past five years.

Last year, the Texas Supreme Court upheld legislation that funded crisis centers through a $5 entrance fee at strip clubs that permit alcohol based on the correlation between alcohol, live nude dancing and negative secondary effects, such as sexual assault. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge of that decision, effectively opening the door for other cities and states to purse similar measures. California is among the states seeking legislation; it is considering a $10-per-patron fee.

Simon, a longtime domestic violence and women’s advocate, first voiced her support for Hutchinson’s legislation in February and testified in support of the amended legislation today. She visited rape crisis centers across the state this spring to call for a budget-neutral way to restore state funding.

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Governor Quinn Launches “SaveOurState.Illinois.Gov” Website PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Friday, 18 May 2012 13:48

New Online Tool Empowers Public to Take Action to Rescue Medicaid and Pension Systems

 

SPRINGFIELD– May 16, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced SaveOurState.Illinois.gov, a new resource to empower the people of Illinois to help restore fiscal stability to our state.  This new online tool provides helpful background on the state’s Medicaid and pension challenges, details about the governor's proposed solutions, and the latest media reports on these issues.  In addition, SaveOurState.Illinois.gov helps citizens take action by directing them to contact information for their local legislators.

“We owe it to the next generation to rise to the occasion in the next 15 days and restore fiscal stability to Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “It's important for the people of Illinois to make their voices heard like never before and urge their legislators to address these difficult challenges.”

The Medicaid and pension systems currently take up 39% of state general revenue spending, and will grow to 50% next year without major reforms. Inaction could also severely limit the state’s ability to fund core services like education and public safety, threaten the state’s credit rating and hurt the long-term sustainability of both systems.

Governor Quinn’s plan to stabilize public pensions would save taxpayers up to $85 billion, eliminate the unfunded liability over 30 years and allow public employees who have faithfully contributed to the system to continue to receive pension benefits. His Medicaid restructuring plan would create $2.7 billion in savings by cutting waste, fraud and abuse; raising the price of cigarettes by one dollar, and bringing in dollar-for-dollar federal matching funds.

For more information about the urgency of repairing Illinois’ Medicaid and public pension systems and to take action, visit http://saveoursate.illinois.gov

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Iowa Legislative Update PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Peggy Huppert   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 09:54

As most of you are aware, the Iowa Legislature adjourned for the year last Wednesday evening (5-9-12). It was three weeks later than expected, and it was a painful process as they haltingly ground to a close, trying to reach consensus on several high-profile, contentious issues.

Each year seems to bring a different experience lobbying and educating the Legislature and executive branch on cancer-related issues. This session started out with a lot of promise, took a big dip downward about a month in when many of our priorities died and the House again proposed eliminating the state tobacco control programs, and then rallied at the end.  Things could have been a lot worse. We appreciate that there isn't the same gridlock at the Iowa Capitol as there is in Washington, DC.

First let’s celebrate our legislative successes:

  • Increase of $400,000 on tobacco prevention and cessation funding, dedicated to the Quitline
  • Increase of $500,000 in funding for cervical cancer education and screening
  • New appropriation of $250,000 for IowaCare patient lodging for those required to travel to Iowa City for care and treatment.  This is of particular importance to cancer patients, who must often stay in Iowa City for many weeks.

There were many legislators who helped accomplish these victories, but I’d like to give special recognition to the co-chairs of the Health & Human Services Appropriations Committee – Sen. Jack Hatch and Rep. Dave Heaton. They both were strong advocates for maintaining and increasing funding for cancer-related programs and services.  Without their support these successes would not have happened.

And a huge Thank You to all of you for contacting your legislators, visiting the Capitol and attending legislative forums. None of our work can be accomplished without your voices!

Of course we still have work to do on some important policy issues such as establishing an Iowa Health Insurance Exchange, eliminating the casino smoking exemption, prohibiting tobacco products on school grounds, and reducing Iowans’ exposure to deadly radon gas. We will be starting work soon on outreach and education to legislators and others on these issues.

The governor will have 30 days from the last day of the legislative session to sign, line item-veto appropriations bills, or veto entire policy bills. He has never been shy with his veto pen in the past, so we don't assume he will be now.  As soon as the governor deals with the HHS appropriations bill we will schedule a conference call open to all advocates to de-brief on the session. Stay tuned!

 
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