Civic News & Info
Catholic Sisters launch “Welcoming Communities” for immigration reform PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sister Sallyann McCarthy   
Monday, 19 December 2011 13:12

Ten communities of Catholic Sisters based in the Upper Mississippi River Valley are calling on President Obama and Congress to work together to enact comprehensive immigration reform.

To make their point, they have issued a statement on “Welcoming Communities,” they are placing billboards in the Quad Cities, Des Moines, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Clinton, Iowa, this month in advance of the Iowa caucuses to make sure delegates, potential candidates and voters remember this critical issue, and they are holding prayer services at the billboard sites and at their headquarters on December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the day the billboards will be posted.

The billboards with the message: “I was a stranger an immigrant and you welcomed me” (see attached) will remain through early January.  The message, based on the words of Jesus, is taken from the Gospel of Matthew.

“We declare ourselves ‘Welcoming Communities’ in affirmation of our Catholic tradition that holds sacred the dignity of each person,” the Sisters said in the official statement, “and we invite other communities and people of faith to join us in becoming ‘Immigrant Welcoming Communities’ through prayer, reflection, education and action.”

“Our ‘Welcoming Communities’ stance is a direct response to the government’s ‘Secure Communities’ program which has transformed local police officers into a primary gateway for deportation,” explained the Sisters.  “The results have been hundreds of thousands of detentions and deportations, serious civil and human rights concerns, due process violations and damaged trust between immigrant communities and local police.”

They further noted that “the ‘Secure Communities’ process was marketed to local law enforcement agencies as a way to deal with serious and dangerous criminals. In fact, low-priority, non-violent offenders or even lawful permanent residents are being funneled into this program which is breaking up families, promoting racial profiling, and fueling a fear-filled and hateful anti-immigrant atmosphere.”

National immigration reform organizations assert that the “Secure Communities” program has actually made communities less safe because many individuals are afraid to report crimes that they experience or witness for fear of being deported or having neighbors, family members or friends deported.  As a result, they state, crimes are going unreported and communities, rather than becoming “secure” are living in fear.

“Failure on the part of the federal government to reform the present unworkable immigration system has resulted in states passing legislation that is punitive and harmful to human rights,” noted the Sisters.

“We understand that enforcement of law is part of any immigration policy,” the Sisters emphasized.  “However, the present policy of involving state and local law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of federal immigration law, such as in the ‘Secure Communities’ program, is not achieving that goal.  True security lies in building relationships and respecting human rights and only true, comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform can deal with the crisis in our nation.  Therefore, we are declaring ourselves Immigrant Welcoming Communities.”

“Welcoming Communities” is a project of the Dominican Sisters, Sinsinawa, Wis., This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;  Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dubuque, Ia., This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;  Sisters of the Humility of Mary, Davenport, Ia., ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it );  Sisters of the Presentation, Dubuque, Ia., This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Ia., This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Sisters of St. Francis, Dubuque, Ia., This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Sisters of St. Benedict, Rock Island, Ill., This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;  Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, La Crosse, Wis., This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;  Sisters of the Visitation, Dubuque, Ia., This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;  Sisters of Mercy, West Midwest Community, Omaha, Neb., This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/catholicsisters.

 
Iowa Supreme Court Opinions December 9, 2011 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Iowa Judicial Branch   
Monday, 19 December 2011 13:05
Notice: The opinions posted on this site are slip opinions only. Under the Rules of Appellate Procedure a party has a limited number of days to request a rehearing after the filing of an opinion. Also, all slip opinions are subject to modification or correction by the court. Therefore, opinions on this site are not to be considered the final decisions of the court. The official published opinions of the Iowa Supreme Court are those published in the North Western Reporter published by West Group.

Opinions released before April 2006 and available in the archives are posted in Word format. Opinions released after April 2006 are posted to the website in PDF (Portable Document Format).   Note: To open a PDF you must have the free Acrobat Reader installed. PDF format preserves the original appearance of a document without requiring you to possess the software that created that document. For more information about PDF read: Using the Adobe Reader.

For your convenience, the Judicial Branch offers a free e-mail notification service for Supreme Court opinions, Court of Appeals opinions, press releases and orders. To subscribe, click here.

NOTE: Copies of these opinions may be obtained from the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319, for a fee of fifty cents per page.

No. 09–0222

JOHN P. PAVONE and SIGNATURE MANAGEMENT GROUP, L.L.C. vs. GERALD M. KIRKE and WILD ROSE ENTERTAINMENT, L.L.C.

No. 10–0354

JOSE ANGEL AGUILERA vs. STATE OF IOWA

No. 11–0114

IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. DAVID M. NELSEN

No. 11–1280

IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. STEVEN F. OLSON

 
Weekly Video Address: Cameras Provide Public Access and Accountability to Federal Courtrooms PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 16:32

Advisory for Iowa Reporters and Editors

Friday, December 9, 2011

During his weekly video address, Senator Chuck Grassley discusses a bill he introduced requiring the Supreme Court to broadcast and televise court proceedings.  By allowing cameras in the Supreme Court, the American people would have access to a court that few have the opportunity to see in person. In addition, access to the Supreme Court through audio and video coverage would help provide the public with an educational experience about our federal judicial system and the laws that are debated before the court. Grassley is also the author of legislation to grant federal judges the authority to allow cameras in other federal courtrooms.

Click here for audio.

Here is the text of the address:

This week a Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing about public access to the Supreme Court.  In conjunction with the hearing, I introduced a bill requiring the Supreme Court to broadcast and televise court proceedings.

This new bill goes with legislation I’ve sponsored for more than 10 years to grant federal judges the authority to allow cameras in other federal courtrooms.  That sunshine legislation has been passed many times by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it’s passed with bipartisan support.

The Judiciary Committee also has supported broadcast coverage of the Supreme Court.  The bill I introduced this week was previously sponsored by former Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.  Just last year, the Supreme Court started releasing audio recordings of its proceedings at the end of every week, a step in the right direction.

In 1947, the Supreme Court said that what transpires in the courtroom is public property.  So, it shouldn’t be limited to the 200 people who can fit inside the chamber.

In Iowa, we’ve had broadcast coverage of the courts for more than 30 years.  The chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court testified at the Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday about the success and value of this access.  He said that “cameras expose the courts to what they are – a proud institution of justice.”  In fact, for the Iowa Supreme Court, expanded media coverage includes not only traditional broadcast but also live and archived streams of all oral arguments.

I will work for passage of both pieces of legislation and complete access to the Supreme Court and the federal courts based on what President Lincoln said, that our government is of, by and for the people.  Today, the best way to make sure government accountable to the people is to establish access and transparency.

-30-

 
Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Nafia Khan   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 16:18

**Friday, November 18, 2011**

CHICAGO – November 18, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

Bill No.: SB 72

An Act Concerning: Insurance

Allows the state to issue revenue bonds to strengthen the Illinois Unemployment Trust Fund (UTF), avoiding federal penalties for businesses. Also provides for an average 16 percent unemployment insurance tax reduction for companies that have not laid off workers, and provides for increased unemployment fraud prevention.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

###

 
Grassley, Harkin urge Corps to factor in damaged levees in its water release plans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 09:52
WASHINGTON --- Led by Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, a group of 10 U.S. senators today called on a top official for the Army Corps of Engineers to carefully consider the weakened level of flood protection caused by damaged levees and other river infrastructure when deciding on water releases this winter and next spring.

In a letter to the Corps commander responsible for the Northwestern division, the senators said the Corps plans for an aggressive approach with winter and spring releases is encouraging, but that infrastructure damage also must be a major factor in the Corps management decisions because repairs will not be completed before possibly high water flows in 2012.    The reality of damaged levees means that water releases before March need to be above normal levels and that reservoir reserves need to be maximized, the senators said, noting the risk to communities and farmland.

Click here to read today’s letter.

Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Kent Conrad and John Hoeven of North Dakota, and John Thune and Tim Johnson of South Dakota signed the letter, along with Harkin and Grassley.

The Iowa senators are active participants in a Missouri River Working Group, which is comprised of the senators representing states along the river from Montana to Missouri.  Yesterday, the working group asked the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office for a formal review of the 2011 Missouri River flood and the actions taken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as recommendations for improving flood control operations along the river system.

In yesterday’s letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the senators detailed the record flooding that occurred this summer.  “There are varying viewpoints surrounding the recent flooding of the Missouri River. Various parties have suggested that more water than necessary was being held back in the upstream reservoirs.  Corps officials, on the other hand, contend that the unprecedented amount of rain changed their picture completely, forcing them to release record levels of water through the system.  Given the varying viewpoints on this issue, we are requesting that GAO examine key issues related to the Missouri River Flood of 2011,” the letter said.

Click here to read yesterday’s letter.

 
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