General Info
2012 Community Visioning Program Applications Available PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Friday, 22 July 2011 22:10

AMES, Iowa — The Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program is currently accepting applications for the 2012 program. Eligible communities are those with populations of fewer than 10,000, existing transportation-related issues and a committee of volunteers willing to dedicate their time and talent to the visioning process.

The Visioning Program integrates technical landscape planning and design techniques with sustainable community action to empower local leaders through a planning process that results in an enhancement plan that reflects the values and identity of the community.

Communities selected to participate are required to contribute $2,000 toward program implementation. In return, the visioning program provides professional services valued at more than $60,000. Since 1996, 172 communities throughout the state have benefited from the program.

The program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Transportation in partnership with Iowa State University Landscape Architecture Extension and Trees Forever, an Iowa-based nonprofit with a mission to plant and care for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community and promoting stewardship.

Communities interested in applying to the 2012 Community Visioning Program or the Renewing Community Vision Program can download an application at www.communityvisioning.org/visapps.html.

Applications must be postmarked by Sept. 30. Selections will be announced in October.

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Grassley is Lead Co-sponsor of Bipartisan Measure to Strengthen Child Support Enforcement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:54

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is the lead Republican sponsor of legislation introduced today that would give states the tools they need to collect child support from parents who do not pay their support orders.   

“Ineffective enforcement of child support orders is a serious problem that threatens children’s well-being,” Grassley said.  “Oftentimes a child support payment can help keep a struggling family out of poverty and off of welfare.  The purpose of this legislation is to improve child support collections while also focusing on the fact that noncustodial parents should have regular opportunities to see their children.”  

Sen. Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, and Grassley introduced the Strengthen and Vitalize Enforcement of Child Support (SAVE Child Support) Act.   

“It is essential that children’s basic needs are met, and our bill helps ensure that all parents fulfill their responsibility in providing for them,” Menendez said.  “The bill streamlines child support enforcement by supplying states with new tools for interstate child support orders.  With these improvements in place, dead-beat parents will not be able to hide from their obligations to their children.”  

Under the senators’ legislation, each state would use a child support lien registry so that liens placed against property because of overdue child support can be easily found.  Additionally, the bill would make it easier for states to intercept payments made to individuals in order to satisfy child support orders by requiring automated data matches with state child support agencies.  The bill strengthens the procedures by which certain licenses, permits, and passports can be revoked by requiring greater coordination between child support agencies and license-issuing agencies, as well as requiring a passport to be restored only after complete repayment of arrears.  The bill also encourages state child support agencies to coordinate with state correction agencies to assist individuals with a support order to manage and fulfill their support obligations.   

According to the Health and Human Services Office of Child Support Enforcement FY 2010 Preliminary Report, over 11.3 million cases had child support arrears due in FY 2010. The total amount of child support due for FY 2010 was over $32 billion and 62 percent of that amount was collected and distributed. The total amount of child support due for all previous fiscal years was over $110 billion and only $7 billion of these arrearages were collected and distributed in FY 2010, a decrease of 0.5 percent in comparison with FY 2009.  

The SAVE Child Support Act would give states the tools they need to effectively collect child support.  

The bill would:  

  • make enforcement of child support liens more effective by requiring states to access a centralized database to check for liens placed against real property;   
  • clarify state jurisdictional rules to facilitate the collection of outstanding child support orders, expedites procedures for redirecting child support payments if the child has relocated, and streamlines and improves the ability of the courts to enforce child support orders. 
  •  increase the efficacy of withholding mechanisms by strengthening existing passport denial procedures and expediting the process by which states can suspend driver and professional licenses for non-payment;  
  • encourage increased coordination between child support agencies and corrections facilities to manage child support orders;
  • protect the right of non-custodial parents to visit with their children by requiring states to report on plans to facilitate access to and visitation of children by their parents; and  
  • protect vulnerable families from the deceptive and harassing practices of private child support collection agencies by extending federal debt protection laws to cover these companies.   

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ATF Director: DOJ Response to Fast and Furious Investigation Intended to Protect Political Appointees PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 18 July 2011 22:36

Chairman Issa and Senator Grassley Press Attorney General Holder with Key Testimony

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley today pressed Attorney General Eric Holder about the Justice Department’s unsatisfactory responses and lack of cooperation with an investigation into the highly controversial Operation Fast and Furious.  A letter sent by the two lead investigators highlighted testimony indicating internal disputes within the Justice Department and a statement from the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) that the Justice Department is attempting to protect its political appointees.

“It was very frustrating to all of us, and it appears thoroughly to us that the Department is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the Department,” ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson said of his frustration with the Justice Department’s response to the investigation in a transcribed interview.

“The Department should not be withholding what Mr. Melson described as the ‘smoking gun’ report of investigation or Mr. Melson’s emails regarding the wiretap applications,” wrote Issa and Grassley. “Mr. Melson said he reviewed the affidavits in support of the wiretap applications for the first time after the controversy became public and immediately contacted the Deputy Attorney General’s office to raise concerns about information in them that was inconsistent with the Department’s public denials. The Department should also address the serious questions raised by Mr. Melson’s testimony regarding potential informants for other agencies.”

Click here for Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley’s letter to Attorney General Holder.


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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action **Thursday, July 14, 2011** PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Laurel White   
Monday, 18 July 2011 13:31

CHICAGO – July 14, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:  

   

Bill No.: HB 103  

Requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to post a report on their website by pharmaceutical manufacturers and group purchasing organizations by September 30, 2013 as required by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

An Act Concerning: State Government  

Action: Signed                           

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 144  

Allows a municipality to dissolve their police or fire pension fund if there are no active participants.  

An Act Concerning: Public Employee Benefits  

Action: Signed                           

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: HB 177  

Removes paper copies of library registration records from the definition of public records once the information is transferred into a secure electronic format and checked for accuracy.  

An Act Concerning: Local Government  

Action: Signed                           

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 179  

Allows library districts to obtain insurance policies to protect against financial malfeasance and loss as an alternative to a personal surety bond posted on the library district treasurer.  

An Act Concerning: Libraries  

Action: Signed                           

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: HB 274  

Provides recourse against the license of a dentist or dental hygienist who violates an existing probationary status.

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 275

Prohibits the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) from employing persons with specified criminal backgrounds in child care facilities licensed and operated by DCFS.

An Act Concerning: State Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 276

Amends the County Jail Act and provides that when - in the opinion of the warden - the lives or health of the prisoners are endangered, or when the security of the penal institution is threatened, that the warden may move an individual or a group of prisoners to some suitable place within the county or to the jail of some convenient county where they can be confined until they can be safely returned.

An Act Concerning: Corrections

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 991

Requires that all energy policy statements adopted by homeowners associations shall address the location, design and architectural requirements of any allowed composting, rainwater collection, solar energy or wind energy collection systems.

An Act Concerning: Civil Law

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 1093

Eliminates two cost-ineffective methods of emissions testing from the Vehicle Code, known as the steady state idle exhaust gas analysis (“idle exhaust”), and the evaporative system integrity test (“gas cap”).

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1096

Requires each nursing home to have a staff member trained as an infection control professional to help prevent the spread of institutional infections.

An Act Concerning: Health Facilities

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 1112

Allows victim and witness assistance centers to help families of victims of fatal injury crashes obtain roadside memorials, and adds offenses from which penalties can be assessed for deposit into the Violent Crime Victims Assistance Fund.

An Act Concerning: Criminal Law

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1220

Provides municipalities with the authorization to impose administrative fees for impounded vehicles.

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 1255

Allows birth parents of adopted or surrendered children born before Jan. 1, 1946 to use the same Birth Parent Preference form as birth parents of adopted children born after that date, and also provides clean-up language to adoption reform language from last session.

An Act Concerning: Families

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1259

Requires the Department of Public Health to send death records to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services every three months.

An Act Concerning: Public Health

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 1279

Strengthens the requirements for renewing a license to inspect fire sprinkler systems.

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1287

Defines “webinar” in the Insurance Code and allows insurance producers to attend webinars to satisfy continuing education requirements.

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1303

Allows the Fire Prevention Fund to be used for the maintenance, operation and capital expenses of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System.

An Act Concerning: Safety

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 1311

Allows local corporate authorities to enact ordinances regulating sound devices.

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 1316

Creates interest-bearing accounts for moneys received from federal grants received by the Illinois State Police and Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

An Act Concerning: State Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 1338

Codifies the state immunization registry (ICARE) to keep track of child immunizations as an opt-out system, rather than opt-in.

An Act Concerning: Health

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1379

Amends the Registered Titles (TORRENS) Act to repeal the Act on Jan. 1, 2014 instead of July 1, 2037.

An Act Concerning: Civil Law

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 1490

Creates a regulatory framework for the boxing and mixed martial arts professions.

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1513

Amends the Wage Payment and Collection Act to allow municipalities with populations of less than 500,000 to make deductions from employee wages or final compensation that do not exceed 15 percent of the net amount of the payment for an excess payment made due to, but not limited to, a typographical or mathematical error made by the municipality or to collect a debt owed to a municipality after notice to the employee and an opportunity to be heard.

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 1524

Allows qualified examiners to examine a respondent and testify at a hearing before a person can be found subject to involuntary admission to a mental health facility.

An Act Concerning: Health

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1684

Changes the requirements for lifting patients to minimize the risk of injury to patients and nurses.

An Act Concerning: Health Facilities

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1706

Changes the qualification standards for children who receive home or hospital instruction. 

An Act Concerning: Education

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1760

Reforms the evaluation system for employees of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. 

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1857

Permits commissioners and employees of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to engage in political activities on personal time.

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1877

Allows the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital to request registration from the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation under the Controlled Substances Act.

An Act Concerning: Criminal Law

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 2019

Repeals the Community Senior Services and Resources Act.

An Act Concerning: Aging

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 2043

Provides that the Senior Pharmaceutical Assistance Review Committee (SPARC) shall meet and provide reports as deemed necessary.

An Act Concerning: Aging

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 2101

Permits a county to deposit public funds into credit unions and allows the county to make certain other interest-bearing investments.

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 2936

Codifies a federal notification requirement pertaining to transferring persons found subject to involuntary submission from one mental health hospital to another hospital.

An Act Concerning: Health

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 2993

Amends the election schedule for filling unexpired park district governing board terms.

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 3019

Requires duck hunters in Alexander, Union, Williamson and Jackson counties to observe 100-yard setback from any commercially-licensed hunting property when placing duck hunting blinds, unless they have permission from the property owner.

An Act Concerning: Wildlife

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 3050

Clarifies the powers and duties of credit unions and agencies under the Credit Union Act.

An Act Concerning: Finance

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 3139

Allows production of switchgrass along highway right-of-ways.

An Act Concerning: Highways

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: HB 3155

Updates numerous statutes relating to public health to reflect current practices.

An Act Concerning: Public Health

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 3360

Provides that the Illinois Department of Employment Security, in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Corrections, shall seek to provide proper employment opportunities for discharged convicts or prisoners.

An Act Concerning: State Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 3371

Allows the Pollution Control Board the flexibility to permit higher concentrations of carcinogens to be present in soil used as fill material and permits licensed geologists as well as engineers to certify tests for contamination.

An Act Concerning: Safety

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 3468

Removes a requirement to maintain a record of a patient’s menstrual cycle for patients staying in a state mental health facility for fewer than 60 days.

An Act Concerning: State Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 3513

Prohibits the displaying of Social Security numbers on wristbands or files.

An Act Concerning: Business

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: SB 1074

Creates the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act to allow courts in Illinois to recognize and enforce certain money judgments in other countries.

An Act Concerning: Civil Law

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: SB 1361

Extends the Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act to sunset Jan. 1, 2016.

An Act Concerning: State Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: SB 1555

Authorizes the State to establish a health benefits exchange (“exchange”) beginning on October 1, 2013 and requires the State to offer a health savings account (“HSA”) program to employees covered by high deductible health plans.

An Act Concerning: Insurance

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: SB 1603

Exempts certain individuals who provide mortgage loans without having to maintain a commercial license.

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: SB 1641

Permits local units of government to pass ordinances allowing low-speed vehicles on streets.

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: SB 1643

Allows school districts to increase driver education course fees from $50 to $250.

An Act Concerning: Education

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: SB 1686

Changes the publishing rates and requirements for local government entities on all public notices.

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1; Section 12-45 provisions take effect immediately.

Bill No.: SB 1699

Increases penalties for financial crimes.

An Act Concerning: Criminal Law

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Jan. 1

Bill No.: SB 1877

Removes language in the Power of Attorney Act which provides an agent immediate authority over personal health information even if the document specifies agency is to take effect at a future date.

An Act Concerning: State Government 

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: SB 2034

Authorizes Office of the State Fire Marshal vehicles as emergency vehicles.

An Act Concerning: Transportation 

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

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The Arc reveals 7-15-11 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Maureen Dickinson   
Monday, 18 July 2011 13:25

The Arc of Rock Island County is announcing to the public its new name, graphic identity and signage at its four main sites. Individuals served, staff, board members, organization members and family of individuals served will be in attendance.

Founded in 1952, The Arc promotes living and working in partnership with the community to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc serves 325 individuals on a daily basis throughout the community.

WHO: All are welcome! The event is open to the public.

WHAT: “Reveal Event” celebrating the organization’s new name and revealing its new graphic identity and signage. Light refreshments will be provided.

WHY: Publicly announcing these major organizational changes.

WHERE: The series of reveal events will kick off at the Arc Administration Building, with three additional reveals at other main sites as set forth below.

WHEN: Friday, July 15, 2011

10:00 am

Arc Administration Building

4016 9th Street, Rock Island, IL

The Arc will hold subsequent reveal events at other sites as follows:

11 am  Arc Industries
610 37th Avenue, Rock Island, IL

12 pm  Heritage Fifty-Three
4601 53rd Street, Moline, IL

1 pm  Opportunity Center
5101 52nd Avenue, Moline, IL

 
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