Civic News & Info
In Phone Conversation, Braley Pushes FEMA Administrator to Fulfill Promises to Cedar Rapids PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:53

Braley talked today with FEMA Administrator Fugate on outstanding flood recovery issues  

 

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) spoke with Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate about ongoing flood recovery issues still affecting Cedar Rapids years after the 2008 floods.  The call focused on FEMA’s indecision in providing promised support for several flood recovery projects – indecision that could cost the city and taxpayers millions of dollars in lost funding for projects that were initially approved by FEMA but were later cut after work had started.

Braley also pressed Fugate on FEMA’s inaction in processing several project funding appeals filed by the city of Cedar Rapids – which the city has been waiting for answers on for nearly a year.

“I had a productive conversation with Administrator Fugate today.  I made clear he was aware that Congressman Loebsack and I had discussed this issue with President Obama on Air Force One two weeks ago, and he assured me that FEMA is getting close to making final decisions on these critical flood recovery projects.  Without making any specific commitments, Administrator Fugate painted an encouraging picture for the city of Cedar Rapids.

 

“I’m cautiously optimistic.  Good news is long overdue, especially considering that four years after this disaster Cedar Rapids is still waiting for answers.  I’ll continue working as long as it takes to make sure FEMA keeps their promises.”

 

Braley inquired about FEMA decisions regarding debris removal at the Sinclair site and repairs to the city’s Water Pollution Control facility.  Both sites initially received funding commitments from FEMA only to have the funding de-obligated after recovery work had begun.  Braley also raised concerns over outstanding program appeals the city had submitted close to a year before.

Braley’s efforts follow the long work of Cedar Rapids city officials in engaging FEMA officials with their concerns.  Braley wrote letters to FEMA Administrator Fugate in November and December of last year pressing for answers on these issues, and spoke to President Obama with Rep. Dave Loebsack (IA-02) regarding the issues on Air Force One in late January after the State of the Union.

 
Olson's Observations PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Steven Olson   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:46

Currently there are a slew of Iowa gun bills pending in the House and Senate. I supported the stand your ground bill, HF 573 and would like you all to know I have serious concerns about some of the other gun rights bills that have been filed. Some of the bills pertain to banning guns in proprietary places, lead shot ban, optional permits, and carrying on the Fairgrounds. Thank you for your emails expressing
your views on all this legislation as I look to my constituents for guidance on this and all issues.

We’ve talked about property tax before and there were two similar proposals between the Governor’s office and House Ways and Means committee. As of now they are being consolidated into one bill. I’ll keep you informed on its future in the House.

As all of you are aware, the Chinese delegation is coming to Iowa next week including China’s Vice President Xi Jinping who is expected to succeed Hu Jintao as president of China. The visit will begin in Muscatine where Xi began his friendship with many Iowans. As expected, things are hectic here over the security and organizational aspect in anticipation of their arrival. Topics of discussion will be focused on trade relations and the substantial benefits of those relations to Iowa’s economy. Iowa’s exports to China have jumped 1,300% over the past ten years a direct result of our corn and soybeans selling so high.

Numeric standards for nitrogen levels in water won’t be imposed according to the regional EPA director. This means that for now, Iowa farmers won’t be affected when using nitrogen fertilizers.

Earlier the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would prevent the EPA from imposing anti-dust rules amid fears they would deny our farmers the use of farm equipment that kicks up dust.

As always you can reach me at the capitol building by visiting, emailing, or calling. Thank you all for sharing your views with me.

 
Harkin Announces $420,000 for Fair Housing in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:39
February 7, 2012 - WASHINGTON D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) has awarded $422,622 to seven Iowa cities. FHAP aims to assist state and local agencies that administer fair housing laws. The assistance includes support for complaint processing, training, technical assistance, data and information systems, and other fair housing projects. The program is also designed to provide incentives for states and localities to assume a greater share of the responsibility for administering fair housing laws. Senator Harkin is a senior member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds HUD.

“Quality, affordable housing is one of our most basic needs,” said Harkin.  “I am pleased the federal government is providing funding to Iowa cities that will allow each of them to take responsibility for fair housing laws and projects in their communities.”

Details of the funding are as followings:
Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission-$100,000
Davenport Civil Rights Commission-$64,285
Des Moines Human Rights Department-$44,680
Iowa Civil Rights Commission-$37,200
Mason City Human Rights Commission-$86,802
Sioux City Human Rights Commission-$23,655
Waterloo Commission on Human Rights-$66,000

 
Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action Monday, February 6, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:10

CHICAGO – February 6, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

 

Bill No.: HB 588 

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Allows the Secretary of State to award libraries grants to public libraries in municipalities that have reduced the tax levy for libraries.

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date:  Immediately

 

Bill No.: HB 1708

An Act Concerning: Criminal Law

Exempts peace officers from the unlawful use of a weapon if they are serving as members of a tactical response or special operations team.

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date:  June 1

 

Bill No.: SB 1640

An Act Concerning: State Government

Allows the Executive Ethics Commission to make temporary and acting appointments for the director of the Illinois Power Agency.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

Bill No.: SB 1701

An Act Concerning: Criminal Law

Provides limited immunity to a person who seeks medical attention for someone experiencing an overdose.

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date:  June 1

 

Bill No.: SB 1830

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Makes numerous changes to the Cemetery Oversight Act.

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

 

 

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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action - Monday, February 6, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Monday, 06 February 2012 11:45

CHICAGO – February 6, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

 

Bill No.: SB 965

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Authorizes the city of Chicago to use automatic speed enforcement cameras within one-eighth of a mile around schools from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. during schooldays. Also authorizes use of automatic speed enforcement cameras within one-eighth of a mile around parks from one hour prior to facility opening to one hour after facility closing.

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date:  July 1

 

 

Bill No.: SB 1697

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Mandates a $2 fee to be paid by defendants to the state’s attorney and public defenders in counties with a population of 3 million or more, in order to create and maintain automatic recordkeeping systems.

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: June 1

 

 

Bill No.: SB 1865

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Reduces fines set out in SB 965. Sets fines for driving six to 10 miles per hour over speed limit at a maximum of $50 with an additional $50 if late. Sets fines for driving 10 miles per hour over limit results at a maximum fine of $100, with an additional $100 if late. Requires cameras can be operated from Monday through Thursday, from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: July 1

 

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