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Branstad and Reynolds congratulate Xi Jinping on becoming China’s new president PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Friday, 15 March 2013 14:18

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today congratulated Xi Jinping on becoming China’s new president.

Branstad noted Iowa’s long-standing history with President Xi, from his first visit to Iowa in 1985.

“Iowa is fortunate to have a strong, friendly relationship with China’s new president,” said Branstad. “When he was in Iowa last year, Xi Jinping told me he still remembers the families he stayed with in Iowa, and how much he appreciated the friendliness and hospitality that was shown to his entire delegation during their trip to Iowa. He has made a very good impression with the people he has met here in this state, both in 1985 during his initial visit, as well as his visit to our state for the reunion last year. We enjoyed hosting him at a state dinner here, and I was very impressed how he went off his script to describe his first visit to Iowa and the people he had met here. We are very impressed with his leadership. We think he will be someone who is very good to work with and it is an opportunity for us to build better relationships between the United States of America and China. I was honored to be hosted by Xi Jinping at a reunion with his Iowa friends in Beijing last spring. I look forward to visiting President Xi very soon, and continuing our great relationship.”

Reynolds says she looks forward to the unlimited growth potential with the world’s largest country.

“Whether it is our agricultural exports, or China’s growing need for financial services, Iowa is poised for significant growth over the next decade thanks to our strong relationship with President Xi,” said Reynolds. “The governor and I have both had the opportunity to meet with President Xi and other high ranking officials as we led trade missions throughout China. When you compare China with where it was just two decades ago, the change is substantial. The standard of living for people has improved exponentially. I think all of this is very positive and it is evident that as China improves economic opportunities for its people, Iowa will have even more customers on the world stage.”

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News Releases - General Info
Written by Renee Luze-Johnson   
Friday, 15 March 2013 14:17
March 18 - 22, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Special Committee of the Whole - 11:00 am
Clarion Hotel, Davenport

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

2. Legislature Forum for State Legislators and Scott County Government.

3. Other items of interest.

Smiddy-Sponsored Legislation Cracks Down on Methamphetamine Production Passes House PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Rep. Mike Smiddy   
Friday, 15 March 2013 14:16
PORT BYRON, IL – Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Mike Smiddy (D-Port Byron) increasing the ability
of law enforcement officers to examine the distribution records of a pharmacy or its employees to
prevent substances like Sudafed from being used to make illegal drugs passed out of the Illinois House
on Wednesday.

“We must give law enforcement officers the tools they need to fight the production of dangerous
drugs,” Smiddy said. “By expanding the ability to examine and distribute pharmacy records, we are
taking important steps to crack down on the production of harmful substances.”

House Bill 1311 adds the Department of Corrections, the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System,
the U.S. Parole Commission, and any probation and court services department authorized by the
Probation and Probation Officers Act to the list of agencies that may investigate violations of the
Methamphetamine Precursor Tracking Act. This act sets out specific standards for maintaining
distribution records of methamphetamine precursors (like Sudafed).

Currently, only law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices have the authority to investigate
these distribution records. Smiddy’s legislation would authorize a greater number of people to access
the distribution records of pharmacies and their employees for certain methamphetamine precursors to
provide greater oversight of these potentially dangerous substances.

“I believe empowering more investigators will mean less drugs on our streets,” Smiddy said. “Bringing
more people into the fight against drugs can help put criminals behind bars. I encourage the Senate to
pass this important piece of legislation quickly so it can start protecting the people of our district.”

For more information, contact Smiddy’s office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , (309) 848-9098, or toll free at
(855) 243-4988.


Loebsack Calls on Pentagon to Explain Decision to Overturn Sexual Assault Case PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:35

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack and a bipartisan group of Members that serve on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) have demanded answers from the Secretary of Defense after a sexual assault conviction and sentence were overturned.  Loebsack is the only member of the Iowa delegation to serve on the House Armed Services Committee, which has oversight of policies concerning sexual assault prevention and prosecution.  As a member of the committee and the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, Loebsack has worked to strengthen sexual assault and harassment prevention and response policies, including provisions signed into law as part of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requiring independent reviews of how sexual assaults are prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

“As a parent of a step-son and daughter-in-law who serve our nation in the military, ensuring their safety on both the battlefield and on base is one of my top priorities. Sexual assault in our Armed Forces is unacceptable.  A zero-tolerance policy must include effective prosecution and support for victims.  I have worked to make improvements to sexual assault and harassment prevention and response policies in our military, but we still have a long ways to go to protect victims and to better prosecute these cases.

“I have very serious questions that remain unanswered in the recent case where a sexual assault conviction and sentence were overturned.  As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I will work to ensure adjudicated cases cannot be overturned without proper oversight and evidence and to ensure better prosecution of these cases.”

The letter was in response to the overturning of a conviction of an Air Force officer for sexual assault.  Last year, Air Force Lt Col James Wilkerson was found guilty of sexual assault by a panel of military officers and a judge sentence him to a year in prison and dismissal from the Air Force.  However, Lt Gen Craig Franklin, who was the convening authority for the court-martial and reviewed the finished case and sentence, dismissed the charges against Lt Col Wilkerson under a rarely used provision of the UCMJ.

A copy of the letter sent to the Department of Defense can be seen here.


Speedway Fire-Rescue will hold its annual Motorsports Conference (training) this coming weekend, March 16-17 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Phil Roberts   
Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:30
Davenport, Iowa (March 13, 2013) -- The crash that sent debris into the stands, injuring spectators at this year’s Nationwide Series race in Daytona, is a reminder that injuries can occur in racing -- and not just to participants -- despite major advances in safety equipment and track barriers.
A group of Quad-Cities area volunteers who have been working hard to protect life and property around area speedways since 1966 are holding their annual training session this weekend so they’ll be ready for the 2013 racing season.
Speedway Fire-Rescue ( is a non-profit 501C3 organization based in Davenport. Roughly 40 volunteers, who are trained in firefighting, vehicle extrication and emergency medical service, serve at a drag strip and more than half a dozen dirt race tracks in the area every weekend from April through October. They also work at the Quad City Air Show each year in Davenport.
The SFR volunteers will undergo two days of classroom and hands-on training in all pertinent aspects of fire and rescue at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, 2815 W. Locust St., Davenport.
Classes and roundtable presentations take place in the Keppy 4-H Building, located west of both the grandstand and Expo Building. Much of the outside training, including a large burn planned for around 2 p.m. Sunday, takes place on the south side of the fairgrounds along the backstretch of the half-mile race track.
For more information, contact: SFR’s Secretary and Training Coordinator, Capt. Karri Coyne, at (563) 370-6446, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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