Civic News & Info
Harkin Announces More Than $100,000 for Affordable Housing Assistance in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 19 March 2012 14:57

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded Iowa a total of $101,056 in grants under the Housing Counseling Program.  The funds will go toward counseling services to homebuyers, homeowners, low-to-moderate-income renters, and the homeless to expand homeownership and improve access to affordable housing.  Harkin is a senior member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds HUD.

“Quality, affordable housing is a necessity and any funds that can go toward expanding access to it is money well-spent,” said Harkin.  “I congratulate all of these recipients on this competitive funding and look forward to the improvements it will generate.”

The funding was awarded as follows:

Center for Siouxland – $25,000
Eastern Iowa Regional Housing Authority – $24,465
Home Opportunities Made Easy, Inc. (HOME, Inc.) – $28,014
United Neighbors, Inc. – $23,577


This Week in the Senate by Senator Shawn Hamerlinck PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Shawn Hamerlinck   
Monday, 19 March 2012 14:52

March 16, 2012

The first policy bill I authored this year passed through the Iowa Senate chambers on Tuesday.  In order to receive veteran discounts at stores, veterans must prove status.  It is irrational to believe these individuals must carry around their DD214 and Discharge Certificates to receive a 10% discount at a local business.  These documents are as important as birth certificates.  Therefore, Senate File 2037 allows the word “Veteran” to appear on a driver’s license or a state issued ID to serve the same purpose.  Keep your DD214 in the lock box from now on!

The second funnel deadline appeared on Thursday which means any bill which has not passed one of the chambers and a committee in the other chamber is no longer available for discussion.  Think of this as a taxpayer protection rule.  This means all the wish list bills are now dead.

Budget bills have stalled as the House, Senate and governor’s office are showing off to each other like peacocks displaying their feathers.  No one is ready to start the fight but the cards have clearly been displayed.  As a result there was still time this week to move through a series of “post-card” bills.  These are bills which sound good in theory and great to use as campaign fodder, however, in true application they are difficult to enforce.

The Iowa Senate passed a series of preservation clauses to buy American products and employ Iowa businesses in government contracts.  Though I whole-heartedly agree with the concept of these bills we must watch states like Illinois establishing the same protectionist clauses against Iowa companies.  These bills have the greatest impact upon the interstate commerce of companies on our borders.  Think of an Illinois company receiving a 5% leeway on bidding against Iowa companies.  Also, I fully support U.S. steel used in construction projects, however we must take on the bigger issue that steel refineries have largely been exported.  We are now feeling the drastic effects of businesses moving overseas.

The Iowa Senate also passed a bill allowing online gambling in virtual poker rooms with real money.  As I have never been a fan of gaming I simply caution on the extent which online gaming may go to in the future.  There is a possibility to move to betting on sporting events and even political races.  Sometimes, like with touch-play machines, you get more than what you asked for.

Next week the Senate will return to debate on education reform.  I look forward to sending you an update.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve in the Iowa Senate.

For more information please visit

hamerlinck signaturesmall.jpg
Shawn Hamerlinck
State Senator
District 42

News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Linda Martin   
Monday, 19 March 2012 14:44
The Moline Foundation has a grant opportunity through a fund called Karen’s
Summertime FUNd in honor of Karen Getz. Through the Karen’s Summertime FUNd,
The Moline Foundation is offering mini-grants between $300 and $1,000. The object of
this special opportunity is to provide non-profit organizations extra funds to develop
creative, educational, and fun-filled activities for kids during the summer months. Non-
profit organizations are encouraged to apply if they serve the citizens of Moline and the
surrounding region, including the Quad Cities.

Karen’s Summertime FUNd grants are made possible by Tom Getz, the Getz
family and friends and many generous donors to The Moline Foundation. In establishing
Karen’s Summertime FUNd program, the Moline Foundation honors the life of a woman
who gave to so many others. This special program will help us remember the many ways
Karen Getz reached out to children with her sparkling personality and tireless spirit.
All materials necessary to receive funds are due in The Moline Foundation offices
by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 13, 2012 or must be postmarked by or on Friday, April 13,
2012. Please call The Moline Foundation at (309) 764-4193 to request a Grant
Any child oriented non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, including those who have
never received Moline Foundation funding in the past, is welcome to apply.
The Moline Community Foundation offices are located at the Deere-Wiman
House, 817 11th Avenue, Moline.
The Moline Foundation, founded in 1953, is a community foundation which
provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts
and other charitable organizations. The Moline Foundation receives and administers
charitable gifts for the benefit of citizens in Scott County, Iowa and Rock Island, Mercer,
Henry, Warren, Henderson, and McDonough counties in Illinois.

Scott County-wide Burn Ban in Lifted PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Ross E. Bergen   
Monday, 19 March 2012 14:33

March 22, 2012

Effective 1:45 pm today the county-wide burn ban has been lifted with the approval of the Scott County Fire Chiefs.

March 14,  2012

At the request of the Scott County Fire Chiefs a county wide burn ban is being requested effective immediately.  Coordination with the State Fire Marshal Office will be finalized Thursday morning on this request.  We expect an official ban to be approved tomorrow.  Due to the extremely dry conditions, the Chiefs are requesting this ban be in effect until measurable rainfall is experienced.


100.40 Marshal may prohibit open burning on request.

1. The state fire marshal, during periods of extremely dry conditions or under other

conditions when the state fire marshal finds open burning constitutes a danger to life

or property, may prohibit open burning in an area of the state at the request of the

chief of a local fire department, a city council or a board of supervisors and when

an investigation supports the need for the prohibition. The state fire marshal shall

implement the prohibition by issuing a proclamation to persons in the affected area.

The chief of a local fire department, the city council or the board of supervisors that

requested the prohibition may rescind the proclamation after notifying the state fire

marshal of the intent to do so, when the chief, city council or board of supervisors

finds that the conditions responsible for the issuance of the proclamation no longer


2. Violation of a prohibition issued under this section is a simple misdemeanor.

3. A proclamation issued by the state fire marshal pursuant to this section shall not

prohibit a supervised, controlled burn for which a permit has been issued by the fire

chief of the fire district where the burn will take place, the use of outdoor fireplaces,

barbecue grills, properly supervised landfills, or the burning of trash in incinerators

or trash burners made of metal, concrete, masonry, or heavy one-inch wire mesh,

with no openings greater than one square inch.

Simon wants state hearing on Starved Rock sand mine PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Kathryn Phillips   
Monday, 19 March 2012 12:25
Asks LaSalle County Board to initiate hearing, promote public input

SPRINGFIELD – March 12, 2012. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is advocating for more transparency and public input as a proposal to open a sand mine on 300 acres of farm land adjacent to Starved Rock State Park moves ahead.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is only required under state law to hold a public hearing on the proposed Mississippi Sand, LLC mine if a hearing is requested by the LaSalle County Board, Simon said. IDNR is not expressly required by law to hold a public hearing at any other party’s request.

Simon sent a letter today to the LaSalle County Board urging it to request IDNR hold a hearing on the project’s reclamation plan. The plan explains how the mine would be used in 40 years, after the sand is exhausted. Mississippi Sand, LLC proposes to fill the mine with water and turn it into a recreational lake.

“Your action in demanding the hearing will show your commitment to an open, public process that serves all citizens of your county,” Simon said in the letter addressed to LaSalle County Chairman Jerry Hicks. “Democracy is not speedy, and it works best when as many people as possible, representing all sides of an issue, can provide input.”

Simon serves as chair of the Illinois River, Mississippi River and Ohio and Wabash Rivers Coordinating Councils, advisory bodies comprised of citizens and government agency officials that work with local communities to raise awareness of watershed issues. The Illinois River Coordinating Council adopted a resolution in February to promote public input into the mine proposal and ensure local, state, and federal agencies consider fully all impacts of the proposed mine.

Starved Rock State Park is located along the south side of the Illinois River, one mile south of Utica. Known for its hiking trails and eagle watching, the park celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2010 and set an attendance record in 2011, attracting nearly 2.2 million visitors.

Mississippi Sand, LLC is seeking a permit for phase one of the project, which would mine sand from 80 acres near the east entrance of the park. The proposed sand mine would create 39 jobs.


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