Civic News & Info
Olson's Observations PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steven Olson   
Friday, 03 February 2012 15:47

As I write this edition of the newsletter it is Groundhog Day and even though he’s seen his shadow ensuring 6 more weeks of winter I think we’ve been lucky so far so it’s not quite as damning as it has been in the past.

The House Transportation Committee is set to meet today on the “Traffic Camera Bill” HF 2048.  This bill would ban the use of all automated traffic law enforcement systems, and require their removal by July 1st. I’m still researching this bill and have yet to decide my position. Other states across our country vary greatly on their laws on automated traffic enforcement.  I’ve already received many emails from my constituents
on this subject and welcome many more, as your views are an important part of my decision making.

On our budgeting process, this is based on an ongoing revenue stream that is determined by the Revenue Estimating Conference at their December meeting, the figure determined was 6.251 billion for 2013. We can spend up to 99% of that figure. The House Republicans beginning target is 6.059 billion, which is 97% of said ongoing revenue stream.

Many of you may have heard in the news that State revenue is reported to jump by approximately 62.6 million more than the previous year. This does not alter the state budgeting process that was mentioned in the previous paragraph. HF 2150, the IRC Coupling Bill, references the Internal Revenue Code to make federal income tax revisions enacted by Congress in 2011 applicable for Iowa income tax purposes. The updates include revisions to the federal research credit, the basis for Iowa research activities credit.

On the “Lead Shot Nullification” bill, HJR 2001, legislative intent versus the rule making process by state agencies has become a hotly debated issue. I will be supporting this bill which reinstates legislative intent.

If you have questions or comments please feel free to contact me via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

WQPT To Broadcast Illinois State of the State Address Live PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lora Adams   
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 14:13

MOLINE, ILLINOIS – WQPT, Quad Cities PBS will air Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s State of the State Address on February 1st at 12:00 noon, live from the State Capital in Springfield, Illinois. The address will include a proposal for tax relief for Illinois families.

The program will be hosted by Jak Tichenor. This program is part of “Illinois Lawmakers,” a series that provides coverage of the Illinois legislature. “Illinois Lawmakers” is a joint production of all Illinois public television stations.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University in Moline, Illinois.

# # #

Senators Question Inconsistent Immigration Policy Enforcement PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sen. Chuck Grassley   
Monday, 30 January 2012 16:02

Administration Ignores Cook County, Ill. While Suing States Working to Address Illegal Immigration

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley is leading a group of senators to continue pressing the administration on its controversial policy to sue states for passing immigration laws to protect their citizens while turning a blind eye to jurisdictions that actively promote safe harbor immigration policies, like Cook County, Illinois.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder, the senators wrote that Cook County, “Should not be rewarded with federal taxpayer dollars for defying federal immigration authorities and putting public safety at risk.”  The county had been reimbursed with nearly $8 million through the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program in fiscal 2009 and 2010.

Grassley was joined by senators David Vitter of Louisiana, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, John Cornyn of Texas, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Jon Kyl of Arizona.

Here is the text of the letter to Napolitano and Holder.  A copy of the signed letter can be found here.  In addition, Grassley, Cornyn, Coburn and Sessions previously sent a letter to Napolitano on November 2, 2011.


January 30, 2012

The Honorable Janet Napolitano


Department of Homeland Security

Washington, D.C. 20528


The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Attorney General

Department of Justice

Washington, D.C. 20530


Dear Secretary Napolitano and Attorney General Holder:

Over two months ago, several members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent Secretary Napolitano a letter regarding the Cook County, Illinois, ordinance that permits local law enforcement to release suspected illegal immigrants and to thereby ignore requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain these individuals.  That letter requested that Secretary Napolitano personally intervene to ensure that the implementation of the ordinance was not creating a public safety risk.  To date, we have not received a response.  We write again to express our concerns to both of you and ask for your immediate attention to this matter.

We were encouraged by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Morton’s January 4th letter to the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners expressing serious concern with the ordinance.  However, we are extremely concerned that Cook County has refused to honor over 268 detainer requests issued by ICE.  We agree with Director Morton that this ordinance undermines public safety and hinders ICE’s ability to enforce our nation’s immigration laws.  We also believe it violates federal law.   It is ironic and frustrating that the Administration has filed suit against several states for passing laws that aim to protect their citizens and help enforce immigration law while essentially turning a blind eye to jurisdictions that actively promote safe harbor policies.  If the Administration truly believes immigration law is only to be enforced by the Federal government, as it has argued before several courts, it should adhere to that position and take action against jurisdictions that actively thwart effective Federal enforcement of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Accordingly, we strongly urge you to take immediate action to determine if Cook County is in violation of federal law, including consideration of whether to seek an injunction in federal court.  We believe such action is more than justified, given that the ordinance not only obstructs justice but also impedes the execution of federal statutes.

In his letter, Director Morton also mentioned that Cook County had been reimbursed with nearly $3.4 million through the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) in fiscal year 2010, and nearly $4.4 million in fiscal year 2009.  We are in complete agreement with Director Morton that “it is fundamentally inconsistent for Cook County to request federal reimbursement for the cost of detaining aliens who commit or are charged with crimes while at the same time thwarting ICE’s efforts to remove those very same aliens from the United States.”  As such, we urge to you immediately suspend any reimbursement of SCAAP funds – or any other funds that may be available from your Departments for these or similar purposes -- to Cook County.   The County should not be rewarded with federal taxpayer dollars for defying federal immigration authorities and putting public safety at risk.

Finally, the Department of Homeland Security has pledged to make Secure Communities a staple in every jurisdiction by the end of 2013.  We believe you should accelerate the implementation of this program in Illinois, and specifically Cook County.  Please advise whether the Department will take steps to activate Secure Communities in Cook County earlier than previously planned.

Thank you and we look forward to your timely response.





___________________________________                   _________________________________

Charles E. Grassley                       David Vitter

United States Senator                     United States Senator

Grassley's Schedule for this Week PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 30 January 2012 15:54
Monday, January 30, 2012

Here is information about Senator Grassley’s schedule this week in Washington.  The Senate is in session.

·         Senator Grassley will meet during the week with Iowans from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, the National League of Postmasters, the ALS Association, the National Rural Health Care Association, the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Communications Workers of America, the Iowa State Troopers Association, officials and community leaders from the Dubuque area, and the American School Counselor Association.

·         Senator Grassley will meet during the week with an Iowa family visiting Washington from Council Bluffs.

·         On Monday, January 30, at 2:30 p.m. (ET), Senator Grassley will meet with Marilyn Tavenner, who has been nominated to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Department of Health and Human Services.  Her appointment must be considered and approved by the Senate Finance Committee.

·         On Tuesday, January 31, at 8:15 a.m. (ET), Senator Grassley will speak to the National Rural Health Care Association at the Capitol Hilton.  He will address uncertainty in health care policy, as well as pending legislation for Medicare doctor reimbursement rates and expiring rural health care provisions, including reimbursement raises for ambulance services and an outpatient hold-harmless provision.

·         On Tuesday, January 31, at 10 a.m. (ET), Senator Grassley will participate in a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee titled “Extenders and Tax Reform:  Seeking Long-Term Solutions.”

·         On Tuesday, January 31, at 4:30 p.m. (ET), Senate Grassley will attend, if possible, an event at the Department of Justice marking the 25th anniversary of enactment of a major update of the False Claims Act.  In 1986, Senator Grassley and Representative Howard Berman of California authored the legislation with provisions to empower private-sector whistleblowers to come forward with valuable information about fraud by government contractors.  Then focused on defense contract fraud, these qui tam provisions today have become the government’s most effective tool against health care fraud, especially in Medicare.  In 25 years, the whistleblower provisions have recovered more than $30 billion for taxpayers that otherwise would have been lost to fraud.  Experts estimate the deterrent effect of the law to be billions of dollars more. Senator Grassley continues to safeguard and strengthen the provisions legislatively and through oversight.

·         On Tuesday, January 31, at 6:30 p.m. (ET), Senator Grassley will answer questions via Skype from a UNI journalism class taught by Waverly Independent editor Anelia Dimitrova.

·         On Wednesday, February 1, at 2:30 p.m. (ET), Senator Grassley will participate as Co-Chair in a hearing of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control titled “Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.”  The hearing will examine drug-related violence in the Caribbean and U.S. security assistance.  The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica have been named by President Obama as major drug-transit counties.


·         On Wednesday, February 1, and Thursday, February 2, Senator Grassley will meet with community leaders and city officials traveling with the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce to Washington to discuss economic development initiatives and other public policy matters as they relate to the Dubuque area.

·         On Thursday, February 2, at 10 a.m. (ET), Senator Grassley will participate as Ranking Member in a business meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  These nominations are on the calendar for possible consideration:  Paul J. Watford to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit and Dennis J. Erby to be United States Marshall for the Northern District of Mississippi.  Additionally, the committee will begin consideration of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011, S.1925.

Scott County Board of Supervisors' Tentative Agenda PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Chris Berge   
Thursday, 26 January 2012 16:16

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8:00 A.M.

(Board Room, 1st Floor, Administrative Center)


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



1. Approval of adoption of a Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for Scott County. (ITEM 1)



2. Approval of updates to the County's General Policy.


3. Approval of organizational changes in the Health Department.
(ITEM 3)


4. Discussion of strategy of upcoming labor negotiations with the County's organized employees pursuant to Iowa Code Section 20.17(3). - CLOSED SESSION


5. Approval of personnel actions.




6. Discussion with Scott County Kids on Parenting Program: Inside Out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8:00 A.M.


7. Approval of assessment of the 2011 election costs for school board and municipalities elections totaling $163,528.68.
(ITEM 7)


8. Semi-annual GIS Update.

9. Approval of ESRI GIS Software maintenance. (ITEM 9)

_____ 10. Approval of Kwik Shop, Inc., Eldridge, beer/liquor license.

_____ 11. Approval of the appointment of Ned Schroder to Benefited Fire District #1. (ITEM 11)

_____ 12. Approval of the appointments to the Condemnation Appraisal Jury. (ITEM 12)

_____ 13. Approval of setting a public hearing for February 23 at 5:30 p.m. for an amendment to the County's current FY12 Budget. (ITEM 13)

_____ 14. Approval of authorization for the filing and publication of the budget estimate for FY13 and setting a public hearing for February 23 at 5:30 p.m. (ITEM 14)

_____ 15. Discussion of Administration FY13 budget presentation. (The meeting will move to the 6th Floor Conference Room for this discussion.)


_____ 16. Consideration of appointments with upcoming term expirations for boards and commissions. (3 month notice)

o Zoning Board of Adjustment (Needs 1 more female representative) Kevin Jenkins (term expires 05-01-12)


REGULAR BOARD MEETING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5:30 P.M.

(Board Room, 1st Floor, Administrative Center)

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