General Info
Legislation to Strengthen, Update Whistleblower Protections Passes Senate PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 10 May 2012 07:20

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today said that late last night legislation to strengthen and update the Whistleblower Protection Act passed the Senate and is now headed to the House for consideration.

Grassley is one of the primary authors of the bill, known as the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.  The bill was introduced on April 6, 2011.  The legislation is sponsored by Senator Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii and is cosponsored by Grassley along with Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Carl Levin of Michigan, Tom Carper of Delaware, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Ben Cardin of Maryland, and Chris Coons of Delaware.

“This update to the Whistleblower Protection Act makes big steps forward for all federal government employees.  It restores the congressional intent behind the law, but it is especially important in establishing whistleblower protection for employees in the intelligence community for the first time, without endangering national security,” Grassley said.  “We’ll continue to fight for additional improvements, like adding timelines for the Attorney General to address FBI whistleblower retaliation cases, that give whistleblowers the security they need to help us uncover the skeletons hidden deep in the closets of the federal bureaucracy.”

The legislation would:

·         clarify that “any” disclosure of gross waste or mismanagement, fraud, abuse, or illegal activity may be protected, but not disagreements over legitimate policy decisions;

·         suspend the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals sole jurisdiction over federal employee whistleblower cases for five years;

·         extend Whistleblower Protection Act coverage and other non-discrimination and anti-retaliatory laws to all employees of the Transportation Security Administration;

·         clarify that whistleblowers may disclose evidence of censorship of scientific or technical information under the same standards that apply to disclosures of other kinds of waste, fraud, and abuse;

·         codify the anti-gag provision that has been part of every Transportation-Treasury Appropriations bill since 1988;

·         allow jury trials under certain circumstances for a period of five years;

·         provide the Merit System Protection Board with authority to consider and grant summary judgment motions in Whistleblower Protection Act cases for a period of 5 years;

·         clarify that employees protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act may make protected classified disclosures to Congress using the same process as Intelligence Community employees;

·         establish protections for the Intelligence Community modeled on existing whistleblower protections for FBI employees;

·         establish a process within the executive branch for review if a security clearance is allegedly denied or revoked because of a protected whistleblower disclosure;

·         establish Whistleblower Protection Ombudsmen to educate agency personnel about whistleblower rights; and

·         provide the Office of Special Counsel with the independent right to file “friend of the court” briefs, or amicus briefs, with federal courts.

A long-time advocate for whistleblowers, in addition to co-authoring the 1989 whistleblower law, Grassley sponsored changes made in 1986 to the President Lincoln-era federal False Claims Act to empower private sector whistleblowers.  Since the 1986 amendments were signed into law, the False Claims Act has brought back more than $30 billion to the federal treasury, and has deterred even more fraudulent activity. In 2009, in coordination with Senator Patrick Leahy, Grassley worked to pass legislation to shore up whistleblower protections in the False Claims Act that had been eroded by the courts after years of litigation by defense and healthcare contractors.

Grassley is also the author of legislation that would give whistleblower protections to employees in the legislative branch similar to protections already provided to employees of the executive branch of the federal government.

-30-

 
ACOA Support Group Meeting PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Miyoshi Jordan   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 21:23
Adult children of Alcoholics support group at the Bettendorf Public Library, upstairs (room will be listed ) on May 10th, 24th, and 31st.  From 6pm until 7pm. FREE. Come and join us to share your inspiring story and help each other to overcome/deal with  characteristics of ACOA! Contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions.

 
Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action **Tuesday, May 8, 2012** PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:37

SPRINGFIELD – May 8, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bill:

Bill No.: SB 3393

An Act Concerning: Education

Provides that lapsed teaching certificates may be immediately reinstated once the applicant has paid all back fees to the State Board of Education by Sept. 1, 2012. After Sept. 1, the applicant must pay all back fees and either complete nine semester course hours or pay an additional penalty fee.

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

 

 

###

 
Finding Homes for Greyhounds PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:19

Tens of thousands of greyhounds are bred every year for the 27 racetracks in the United States, according to the U.S. Humane Society. They’re intentionally over-bred so there will be ample to replace old and underperforming greyhounds at the tracks. Each year, thousands of these retired dogs do not find a home; they are killed.

“These dogs have feelings and intelligence, but they are treated like racing slaves so people can gamble,” says retired police officer Irvin Cannon, a dog lover whose book, For the Love of Dog Tales (www.FortheLoveofDogTales.com), gives voice to man’s best friend. “Who is the winner in this scenario?”

The Humane Society estimates thousands of retired racing dogs are put to death every year. Rabbits are another industry victim; thousands are maimed or killed in the race-training process.

Cannon says there are some things to remember for those considering adopting a greyhound:

• They typically don’t have issues associated with abuse: Greyhounds may not get a lot of love in the kennels, but are not oftenabused by track personnel. They tend to respond to fear and violence by either freezing in place or running. Since they are trained to chase rabbits, they may be inclined to pursue small running animals.

• Greyhounds tend to be intelligent, timid: These dogs are considered gentle and reserved, but stubborn. If they sense they can take control, they will, so owners should quickly establish authority.

• Not used to other breeds: Greyhounds are born and raised around people and other greyhounds only. They may become confused or frightened by other dogs, and may need to get accustomed to cats.

• No fat, little hair: No dog should be left outside in the cold or heat. Greyhounds are especially sensitive to extreme temperatures and rain.

• Sweet affection: They do not bite; they show affection by licking, leaning and rubbing, much like cats.

Although there is a well-known and dedicated effort to find homes for aged-out greyhounds, Cannon said there is only one way to fix the racing industry – it must be ended. There are several national and international groups trying to put a stop to greyhound racing and gambling, including the Humane Society, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Until then, Cannon hopes these gentle dogs find homes.

“When you adopt a needy canine, you won’t find a better companion,” he says,“ whether you bring home a greyhound, a mystery mixed-breed or a purebred Labrador.”

About Irvin Cannon

Irvin Cannon was a poor kid growing up in Detroit when his family took in a stray dog. It surprised young Irvin that his father would be willing to share the family’s meager groceries with a dog, but he soon discovered the return on their investment was enormous. A former police officer in Detroit and Denver, he also worked as a corrections officer.

 
State Treasurer Fitzgerald Hosts College Student Body Representatives for Phone Call With President Obama PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Karen Austin   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:03

DES MOINES, IA (05/08/2012)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald hosted five Iowa College Student Body Representatives in his office to join a call with President Obama regarding the potential interest rate hike for student loans. Public officials and students across the country joined together to support the President in his efforts to keep the student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1st.

Treasurer Fitzgerald invited student leaders from colleges across Iowa to participate in the discussion. The following students were able to join him on the call: Justin Meyers, Grandview College in Des Moines; Greg Ellingson, Central College in Pella; Jordan Bancroft-Smithe, the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls; Jared Knight, Iowa State University in Ames; and David Karaz, Drake University in Des Moines.

"It is great to have students actively involved in this conversation," Fitzgerald stated after the call. "Students need to use their voices to encourage their Congress Members to act. I am proud to have such high quality students here in Iowa representing all Iowa students."

President Obama urged the students on the call to get involved and ask Congress to act. "I need your help," the President explained.

"It's really great that President Obama took the time to talk with us and many other student, municipal and state leaders about the potential impending doubling of federally subsidized student loan interest rates. Here in Iowa, especially with the current "Brain Drain," it is imperative to the future of Iowa's economy that interest rates stay as low as possible. Iowa college and university students are leaving school with the highest levels of debt in the nation. If interest rates were to double, more students will be forced to leave Iowa in order to pay off those loans."- Jordan Bancroft-Smithe, Student Body President, University of Northern Iowa

###

 
<< Start < Prev 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 Next > End >>

Page 307 of 439