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IOWA FARM BUREAU SUPPORTS STATE ROAD FUNDING RECOMMENDATION PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Iowa Farm Bureau   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 09:49

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Oct. 27, 2011 – With rural roads making up nearly 90,000 miles of the state’s 114,000-mile road system, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) applauds the Governor’s Transportation 2020 Citizen Advisory Commission recommendation for an additional 8 to 10 cents per gallon fuel tax.

“Our roads and bridges have been severely impacted over the years by flooding and neglect, negatively impacting all of Iowa, but especially our rural communities, businesses and farms. Our members believe it’s imperative to repair the roads and bridges to help rural Iowa thrive,” said Craig Lang, IFBF president. “We believe that an increase in the fuel tax is the fairest way to fund those repairs because it charges people who actually use the roads whether they live in Iowa or are from out of state.”

Lang notes that IFBF delegates in 2008 passed policy calling for the fuel tax increase to repair the state’s roads and bridges.

The tax increase recommendation was made to the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) this week after several listening sessions around the state. The recommendations will be submitted to the Iowa Legislature by the IDOT by the end of the year.  The IDOT reports that Iowa needs an additional $215 million per year to meet critical roadway needs and the recommended increase will generate $184 million to $230 million per year.

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Braley Launches Petition Urging Postal Service to Stop Closures of Iowa Post Offices PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Molly Scherrman   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 09:47

Braley will mail petition to US postmaster general

Waterloo, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley today launched an online petition urging US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to stop the Postal Service’s proposed closures of 178 small town post offices across Iowa.

The petition, which Braley will send – via postal mail – to the postmaster general, can be viewed and signed at the following link: http://www.brucebraley.com/post-office.

“Washington bureaucrats want to close thousands of post offices across the country, including almost 200 here in Iowa,” Braley wrote in an email to Iowans.  “This is the wrong move, and I need your help to make sure Washington gets the message that our post offices must stay open.

“The Postal Service is in financial trouble, but closing post offices in Iowa isn’t the answer,” Braley continued. “One single post office is just a drop in the bucket for the massive Postal Service bureaucracy.  But it can be everything to a small town.” 

The Postal Service has released a long list of post offices in Iowa being studied for potential closure.

Earlier this month, a US House committee endorsed a controversial bill that would, in part, allow the Postal Service to move forward with its plans to those post offices.  Braley is a member of the panel, and opposed the bill.  The bill, known as the Postal Reform Act, now must be approved by the full US House.

The full text of Braley’s email to Iowans can be viewed below:

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From: Congressman Bruce Braley

Subject: Help Save Your Post Office

Dear Susan –

I grew up in Brooklyn, Iowa, and our post office was incredibly important to our small community. Back then, before cell phones, text messages and emails, the post office was our way of reaching folks in the outside world.

And still today in many small towns in Iowa, post offices are part of the economic life-blood of our rural communities.

But Washington bureaucrats want to close thousands of post offices across the country, including almost 200 here in Iowa.

This is the wrong move, and I need your help to make sure Washington gets the message that our post offices must stay open.

Will you sign my petition urging Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to keep Iowa post offices open?

I will send your name, along with everyone who signs the petition – via Postal Mail – to Postmaster General Donahoe.

Here’s the text of the petition:

We the undersigned urge you to stop the proposed closure of nearly 200 post offices throughout Iowa. Closing small town post offices jeopardizes the economic health of countless Iowa communities, and deals a blow to towns struggling to survive.

The Postal Service is in financial trouble, but closing post offices in Iowa isn’t the answer. One single post office is just a drop in the bucket for the massive Postal Service bureaucracy. But it can be everything to a small town. And I worry that closing post offices could effectively close small towns in Iowa to business.

And that’s why I’m fighting to keep post offices open here in Iowa.

Sign my petition and tell the Postmaster General to keep Iowa's post offices open.

Together, we’ll make sure Washington gets the message loud and clear: Don’t close Iowa’s post offices!

Thanks for all you do,

Bruce

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New Reports: Proposed Super Committee Cuts Poised to Weaken State and Local Economies PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Josh Rosenblum   
Monday, 31 October 2011 14:06

Non-lobbyists Show Secret Supercommittee Could Make Cuts to Over $621 Billion in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in Their States

(Washington, DC) – As lobbyists in Washington converge on the Super Committee, local advocates in states represented by the 12-member “Super Committee” today released new reports detailing the projected fall-out resulting from the committee’s proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Information on the new reports was discussed at press conferences throughout the nation and in Washington where the Supercommittee met publicly for the first time in a month.  In the eleven Super Committee states represented, 20.3 million Americans receive Social Security, 18.5 million Americans receive Medicare, and 21.4 million Americans receive Medicaid.

Money Injected in to Super Committee Members’ States Economies By Programs

Social Security in Super Committee States

Medicare in Super Committee States

Medicaid in Super Committee States

Total Spent: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in Super Committee States

$267.3 Billion

$206.1 Billion

$147.5 Billion

$620.9 Billion

“You can see she would have no housing, day activities, medical, dental or prescription coverage without Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security,” said Tom Taranto and Diane McCormack of Dorchester, MA, with regard to their daughter Christina who was born with severe disabilities.

“Too often political and media elites talk about these programs as just cold, unfeeling facts and figures, as if they are divorced from the people whose lives they touch,” said Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works. “Too often, the programs are talked about as ‘problems’ when in fact they really are ‘solutions’ – solutions that provide benefits that have been earned through the hard work of Americans.”

The so-called Congressional “Super Committee” is just 30 days from its deadline.  As lobbyists attempt to save tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, the new reports reveal a possible economic crisis for many Americans should the committee vote to cut benefits.  The full reports are available at http://www.strengthensocialsecurity.org/super-committee/.

"The American people oppose any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.  Our elected officials need to know that if they ignore this message, they do so at their own peril," said Ed Coyle the Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. "This fall, as the Super Committee completes it work, the Alliance for Retired Americans will continue to educate and mobilize seniors and people of all ages on the need to strengthen – not cut – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."

Opinion poll after opinion poll show that the vast majority of Americans want no cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

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Lt. Governor Simon, AARP to urge legislators to uphold SB1652 vet PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Kara Beach   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 14:43

SPRINGFIELD – With legislators back in Springfield, AARP Illinois, other advocacy groups and community organizations are bringing the voice of Illinois consumers to the State Capitol to ensure the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1652 stands. The legislation, pushed by ComEd and Ameren, would increase electric rates annually for the next ten years, while eroding regulation that protects consumers. Today hundreds of residents from across the state, joined by Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, will rally outside AARP Illinois’ State Office in Springfield, before visiting legislators in the Capitol.

TIME: 1 p.m.

DATE: Tuesday, Oct. 25

PLACE: Outside AARP headquarters, corner of College and Edwards, Springfield

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Braley Statement on Iowa Bridges Ranking Third Worst in US PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 12:46

Report ranks Iowa bridges among most “deficient” in the country 

 

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after a report by the nonprofit group Transportation for America released today said Iowa has the third worst bridges in the United States in terms of their condition and upkeep:

“For four summers in college, I worked for the Poweshiek County Roads Department fixing roads and bridges.  Iowa’s economy moves on its roads.  If they’re crumbling, our ability to attract new jobs and new businesses to Iowa will crumble too.

 

“We can create jobs in the short-term and make a lasting boost to economic growth - not to mention keeping Iowans safe - by investing in new highways and proper maintenance of our bridges and roads.  We spent billions rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan – it’s irresponsible not to make the same investment here at home.”

The report says that nearly 22 percent of Iowa’s bridges statewide are considered structurally “deficient.”  The only states ranking below Iowa were Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.

The full report can be found at the following link: http://t4america.org/

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