Civic News & Info
Governor Quinn Secures SBA Disaster Assistance for Tornado Recovery PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Annie Thompson   
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:23

People, Businesses in Nine Southern Illinois Counties Eligible to Apply

for Low-Interest Loans

 

SPRINGFIELD – March 22, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the state’s request for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster declaration has been approved for nine counties in Southern Illinois that were hit by deadly tornadoes and severe storms on Feb 29.

 

The declaration makes low-interest loans available to homeowners, renters and businesses in the primary county of Saline, as well as the contiguous counties of Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Pope, White and Williamson.

 

“I’m very pleased with the swift approval of our request for SBA assistance,” Governor Quinn said. “This is great news for many people and businesses who suffered devastating losses from the tornadoes and severe storms. The low-interest, long-term loans available through SBA will provide a much-needed helping hand as people repair and rebuild their homes and businesses.”

 

Governor Quinn submitted the request for an SBA disaster declaration on Wednesday after receiving word that the state’s appeal to FEMA for a federal disaster declaration had been denied. In his letter to the SBA, Governor Quinn affirmed that there are at least 25 homes and/or businesses that sustained uninsured losses of 40 percent or more.

 

“These low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration will be a big help for the people who lost homes and businesses to the terrible storms and tornadoes,” said Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton). “The state of Illinois has been great. We're already doing a lot for these unfortunate families. I'm glad that the federal government is lending a hand, too.”

 

“Although I was disappointed that we did not receive a FEMA disaster declaration, I am happy that the SBA approved the Governor’s request for assistance so quickly,” said Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg). “These low-interest loans mean that the people of southern Illinois can put the devastation of last month’s storms in the past, and instead work on rebuilding and moving forward.”

 

“This SBA disaster declaration will help many people and businesses with their recovery efforts,” said Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). “I encourage people to contact the SBA to learn more about these loans.”

 

###

 
Statement from Governor Pat Quinn On FEMA’s Denial of State’s Appeal for Federal Assistance for Southern Illinois Tornado PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Friday, 23 March 2012 12:46

SPRINGFIELD - March 21, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement regarding FEMA’s denial of the state’s appeal for federal assistance to help people affected by the Feb. 29 tornado.

 

“Today we were informed that FEMA denied our appeal for federal assistance to help people in Southern Illinois rebuild their homes and lives following the deadly tornado and storms on Feb. 29. I am very disappointed with this decision and do not believe it reflects the reality and devastation on the ground. I remain committed to obtaining any and all assistance available to help our Southern Illinois communities recover.

 

“At this time we are submitting a request to the U.S. Small Business Administration seeking low-interest loans that will help many people rebuild their homes and replace personal items lost in the storms. I urge the SBA to review and approve this request quickly so that people can begin to apply for those loans.

 

“On Thursday, staff from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will meet with a recovery specialist from FEMA Region 5 and pursue other viable options to provide much-needed assistance to those in great need. My administration will continue deploying all state agencies and continue maximizing all the options available to lessen the burden for storm victims.

 

“I again want to thank Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Mark Kirk and the Illinois Congressional Delegation for their tireless support of our efforts to help the people of Southern Illinois.”

 

###

 
Braley Introduces Bill to Create National “Kadyn’s Law” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 23 March 2012 12:28

Bill would require states to match new Iowa penalties for passing stopped school bus

 

Washington, DC – Less than one week after Governor Terry Branstad signed “Kadyn’s Law” to strengthen penalties in Iowa for drivers that pass stopped school buses, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today introduced a bill that would seek to apply Iowa’s new tough penalties under “Kadyn’s Law” to the entire country.

 

Kadyn’s Law was championed in Iowa by Kadyn’s mother, Kari Halverson, her family, and Kim Koenigs, a local advocate.

 

The federal Kadyn’s Law would require states to strengthen their penalties for drivers who pass stopped school buses to the new Iowa standard at a minimum – or face losing 10 percent of federal highway funding each year.

 

Braley said, “When reckless drivers ignore warnings and pass stopped school buses, children’s lives are put in danger.  Toughening penalties for drivers who violate school bus safety laws will save lives and convince more people to drive responsibly around kids and schools.  It’s a common sense change that rises above petty partisan politics.

 

Braley continued, “Thanks to Kadyn, Iowa has become a national leader in school bus safety.  It’s time every state adopt these strict standards so the penalty matches the severity of this crime.”

 

Kari Halverson said, “The fact that Kadyn's Law is being introduced at a federal level today is beyond amazing to us.  As a mother who has lost a child by someone illegally passing by a stopped school bus, I can only hope and pray our leaders at the national level will embrace this act for our children all over the country.  I applaud Congressman Bruce Braley for stepping up and taking on an issue that is extremely near and dear to my heart as well as others who have lost children in this way."

 

Iowa’s Kadyn’s Law mandates for first offenders fines of at least $250 and the possibility of jail time of up to 30 days.  For a second offense of passing a stopped school bus within 5 years, fines would range from between $315 and $1,875 with up to one year of jail time.

 

The federal Kadyn’s Law would threaten to cut 10 percent of a state’s federal highway funds each year until that state adopts at least these standards.

 

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services estimates that cars illegally pass stopped school buses 13 million times per year.  An average of 16 children per year are killed by drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.

 

Full bill text can be downloaded at the following link: http://go.usa.gov/ED2

 

# # #

 
Scott County Farmer Wins $2,500 for Eldridge Fire Department Through America’s Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Paul Spooner   
Friday, 23 March 2012 11:01

Richard and Mary Hemphill of Davenport have been selected as winners in America’s Farmers Grow CommunitiesSM, which gives farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their favorite local nonprofit organizations. The donations are available through the Monsanto Fund. Richard and Mary have designated the Eldridge Fire Department to receive the award in Scott County.

In 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states, farmers could win $2,500 for their favorite community nonprofit.  The Monsanto Fund expects to invest more than $3.1 million in local communities.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to our society by helping them grow their local communities. Nearly 60,000 farmers participated in the second annual Grow Communities program, which is designed to benefit nonprofit groups such as ag youth, schools and other civic organizations. For more information and to see a full list of winners, visit www.growcommunities.com.

 

###

 
Iowa Legislative Update PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Peggy Huppert   
Monday, 19 March 2012 14:57

Do you think it’s true that good and bad things come in threes? Well it certainly seemed that way this week in the Iowa Legislature, where it was the second “funnel” week of the session. By today all bills not dealing with spending or taxing have to pass out of their originating chamber and out of committee in the other chamber to remain alive. This eliminates many bills!

We had three disappointments related to our legislative agenda:

(1)  The bill to legalize online poker was brought up for debate in the Senate. An amendment requiring that all casinos applying for the new license be smoke free was offered by Sens. Bob Dvorsky (D-Iowa City) and Randy Feenstra (R-Orange City). Unfortunately the amendment was determined to be not relevant (germane) to the bill so was not even debated. The House did not take the bill up so it is now dead for the session. The stand-alone bills eliminating the casino smoking exemption died earlier in the session, so it seems likely this issue will not be addressed this session.

(2)  The education reform bill was passed in the House this week. The massive bill had dozens of amendments, most of which were defeated. One of those amendments, offered by Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad (D-Des Moines), would have required that all K-12 school property be tobacco and nicotine free.  That amendment was ruled not relevant, so Rep. Abdul-Samad requested that the House suspend the rules to consider the amendment. That motion failed, so the amendment was not considered.

(3)  A bill sponsored by Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, establishing a consumer-friendly health insurance exchange was eligible for consideration in the Senate but was not brought up for debate by Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. It now seems almost certain that the Legislature will not pass legislation establishing an exchange this year.

Luckily we also have some good news!

(1)  The K-12 tobacco-free school requirement is part of the Senate education reform bill.  This bill will likely end up in conference committee where we will urge members to include it.

(2)  A number of House and Senate leaders have pledged that funding for tobacco prevention and cessation will be restored in Health & Human Resources appropriations bill. We are hopeful that will happen and will continue to work to see that it does.

(3)  Sixty high school students from across the state came to the Capitol on Tuesday and made their voices heard on tobacco-related issues. All costs associated with this youth advocacy day were covered by the Iowa Tobacco Prevention Alliance. The kids did a great job. They were articulate advocates for public investment in tobacco prevention and cessation!

As always, feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
<< Start < Prev 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 Next > End >>

Page 132 of 199