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Illinois National Guard Members Assist with South Dakota Flooding PDF Print E-mail
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Written by readMedia Newswire   
Monday, 06 June 2011 15:30

SPRINGFIELD, IL (06/03/2011)(readMedia)-- The Illinois National Guard sent one CH-47 Chinook helicopter with five crew members from Company B, 2nd Battalion 238th Aviation based in Peoria to help the South Dakota National Guard battle flood waters on June 3.

"Our Soldiers and Airmen are always prepared and willing to help our neighbors," said Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. "Rising floodwater is something that we completely understand here in Illinois."

Approximately 1,000 South Dakota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have been helping to hold back the flood waters in the upper plains state for nearly a week. The Illinois National Guard Aircraft and crew will sling load one-ton sandbags to secure the levy along the Missouri River near Sioux City, Iowa.

Soldiers from Company B, 2nd Battalion 238th Aviation were among the 550 Illinois National Guard Soldiers and Airmen who helped to battle the floods in southern Illinois in April and May of this year.

For more information contact the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569 or at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Laurel White   
Thursday, 02 June 2011 07:45

SPRINGFIELD – May 31, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bill:

Bill No.: HB 3184

Allows county boards to determine fees (not to exceed $75) for each civil union or marriage license and provides for $5 from each fee to be remitted to the state’s Domestic Violence Fund.

An Act Concerning: Government

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

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SPRINGFIELD – June 1, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bill:

Bill No.: SB 754

Creates a craft brewer’s liquor license specifically permitting craft brewers to self-distribute beer.

An Act Concerning: Liquor

Action: Signed                        

Effective Date: Immediately

 
Sam’s Club, P&G team up with Junior Achievement in Iowa to Send Youth to Summer Programs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Kelly Jo Hinrichs   
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 14:45

DAVENPORT, Iowa, May 26, 2011 – Just when most students are packing up their books, participants in Junior Achievement’s (JA) summer programs are preparing to learn about success with support from two of the most well known brands in the business. Sam’s Club and P&G are teaming up to support enterprising students throughout our region and are also offering special savings at select local Sam’s Club locations.

$10 Gift Card Redemption Program
From now through June 20, 2011, Sam’s Club members can qualify to receive a $10 Sam’s Club gift card when they purchase $40 of eligible P&G products. Eligible items include some of P&G’s most popular products, such as Tide, Bounty, Charmin and Cascade. The $10 gift card offer is available at the following club:

Store #8238    3845 Elmore Ave.        Davenport       IA      52807

Details are available in participating club.

Junior Achievement Support:
In addition to the $10 Sam’s Club gift card offer, Sam's Club will make a contribution to help send a local JA student to summer activities offered by Junior Achievement. (The $10 gift card offer is available at the participating clubs only.)

During the school year, students learn about business by running JA BizTown. Now as a summer camp experience, JA is opening up the town for kids between the ages of 9-years-old and 15-years-old to give them a chance to find out what it takes to manage a city and run a business.

Junior Achievement has done some amazing things in Iowa that provide students with opportunities to learn about economics, ethics and careers with a purpose. The children and young adults involved in Junior Achievement represent the future of American business. Together with P&G, Sam's Club is supporting JA youth in its summer programs.

About Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is the nation’s eighth largest retailer and a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products and services to more than 47 million members in clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico. Members save an average of 30 percent over traditional retailers. To learn more about Savings Made SimpleSM, visit SamsClub.com, and look for Sam’s Club on Twitter and Facebook.

About P&G
Four billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers, Tide, Always, Pantene, Mach3, Bounty, Dawn, Gain, Pringles, Charmin, Downy, Iams, Crest, Oral-B, Duracell, Olay, Head & Shoulders, Gillette, Braun and Fusion. The P&G community includes approximately 127,000 employees working in about 80 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

About JA Worldwide® (Junior Achievement)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 126 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional 5.7 million students served by operations in 122 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.ja.org.

 
More News from Senator Grassley's Office PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 13:39

Feinstein, Grassley Release Senate Caucus on Int'l Narcotics Control Report on Mexico

Senators Urge Congress and Administration to use report as a blueprint for cooperation with Mexico to combat drug trafficking

Washington, DC – May 25, 2011 - U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), co-chairs of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, today released a report outlining key steps and initiatives to combat Mexico’s brutal drug trafficking organizations and reduce violence in the country.

The report, U.S. and Mexican Responses to Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations, is endorsed by all seven Members of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control and makes several recommendations for the U.S. government.  The report synthesizes information gathered through a country visit, briefings, interviews, and a review of documents from both government and non-government subject matter experts.

“The United States provides counternarcotics assistance throughout the world, but our security partnership with Mexico is unique since we share a 1,969 mile border,” said Senator Feinstein.

 

“What happens in Mexico has a deep impact on the United States and the reciprocal is also true. Today, U.S. – Mexico ties are stronger than ever, and we must take advantage of this historic moment by continuing to deepen our security partnership with Mexico,” continued Feinstein. “I urge my colleagues in Congress and members of the Obama Administration to read this report and use it as a blueprint for future cooperation with Mexico to combat drug trafficking.”

 

“The drug trade has long been associated with violence, but the recent escalation has been unprecedented. Stopping this violence will take cooperation from those of us on both sides of the border,” Senator Grassley said. "And, while more work needs to be done in this area, this report can be a guide as we move forward and work to curb the drug trade and the violence associated with it.”

Findings and recommendations of the report include:

Money Laundering

  • The report calls on the Obama Administration to do more to starve Mexico’s drug trafficking organizations of the money that fuels them.  Specifically, it urges the Obama Administration to immediately make pre-paid gift and credit cards – known as stored value – subject to cross-border reporting requirements.

Stored value is not subject to any cross-border reporting requirements.  This means that an individual crossing from the United States into Mexico with thousands of dollars on pre-paid cards is not required to declare these cards at the border.

Mérida Initiative

  • The report calls on the State Department to expedite the delivery of air assets to Mexico under the Mérida Initiative, a security assistance program that includes air assets, other equipment and training.
  • It also recommends that the State Department quickly develop performance measures for the Mérida Initiative and provide these metrics to Congress.  A multi-year timeline should be developed with targets in several areas, including equipment delivery, judicial and police reform, and state capacity to respond to drug trafficking organizations.

The U.S. government has provided vital security assistance to Mexico, including 11 helicopters – eight Bell 412 helicopters for the Mexican military and three Blackhawk helicopters for the country’s federal police.  Six more Blackhawk helicopters are still in the pipeline.

Justice Reform

  • The report concludes that in order to have long-term success in combating organized crime, much-needed judicial reforms must be implemented throughout Mexico.

According to data from the Mexican government, 1.55 percent of suspected crimes in Mexico result in convictions.  By comparison, the U.S. federal courts logged a 90.3 percent conviction rate in FY 2008.

The report recommends that judicial sector training be proactively offered by the United States through the Mérida Initiative to each Mexican state that requests it.  This should include specific training on oral trial topics, such as evidence, opening and closing statements, direct and cross examination and objections.

Southbound Inspections

  • The report asks the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to conduct and submit to Congress an assessment of immediate infrastructure and staffing needs at the Southwest border – including important tools like License Plate Readers – and activities and resources by the Mexican Government to stand-up southbound inspections on the Mexican side of the border.

Border Tunnels

  • The report calls on Congress to pass legislation to enhance the 2007 law that criminalizes the financing, construction and use of border tunnels.  The legislation proposed in the report would increase prosecutorial options by criminalizing conspiracy to use, construct or finance a border tunnel.  The Caucus also recommends that illegal tunneling be included as an offense eligible for Title III wire interception.

Cross-Border Kidnappings

  • The Caucus’s report calls on the FBI to develop and sponsor a vetted unit with trusted Mexican counterparts who have the expertise to conduct investigations of the kidnappings of U.S. citizens.

The entire report can be found here:  U.S. and Mexican Responses to Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations

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SEC approves whistleblower rules

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa helped to enact provisions beefing up the Securities and Exchange Commission’s treatment of whistleblowers.  Earlier, Grassley was the Senate author of the 1986 whistleblower amendments to the federal False Claims Act, which has become one of the government’s most powerful tools against fraud.  He also was key to improving the IRS’ whistleblower office.  He made the following comment on the SEC’s approval today of new rules giving whistleblowers incentives to come forward about financial fraud.

“In general, there’s a long history of retaliation against whistleblowers.  To come forward, they need protection and independence from the operation that’s potentially doing wrong.   The SEC took a step in the right direction today.  A whistleblower might prevent the next Madoff.   Twenty years ago, the Justice Department resisted whistleblowers.  Since then, whistleblowers have helped the department recover $28 billion that otherwise would have been lost to fraud.  More recently, there was a lot of skepticism about beefing up the IRS’ whistleblower incentives.  That office recently recovered $20 million for the taxpayers in the first reward under the new set-up.  Both of these programs faced some of the same criticisms facing the SEC program but the concerns were overstated.   Now, the SEC needs to break away from its past of resisting whistleblowers.  It needs to make sure whistleblowers are taken seriously and that their complaints are given the attention needed to prevent fraud.”

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Grassley Elicits Confirmation of Risk to U.S. Market Share Over Korea Trade Agreement Delay

WASHINGTON -- May 25, 2011 - In response to a question from Sen. Chuck Grassley, a top U.S. trade official confirmed today that U.S. agricultural producers are indeed at risk of losing valuable market share in Korea to the European Union because the United States has not implemented its pending Free Trade Agreement with Korea, and the European Union has implemented such an agreement.  The White House and congressional allies continue to move the goal posts on the necessary conditions for implementing pending trade agreements, to the detriment of U.S. producers.

The exchange occurred at a hearing of the Finance Committee, with jurisdiction over international trade.  Grassley is a senior member and former chairman and ranking member of the committee.

A video clip is available here.

The text of a Senate floor speech Grassley delivered today on the value of trade agreements is available here.

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Governor Quinn Honors Fallen Heroes PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Andrew Mason   
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 12:44

Unveils Portrait of a Soldier Memorial Exhibit at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

SPRINGFIELD – May 27, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Gold Star families to honor the sacrifices that Illinois servicemembers have made in the global war against terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001. Governor Quinn unveiled the Portrait of a Soldier Memorial exhibit today at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library in Springfield.

“As we approach Memorial Day, we must never forget the contributions our servicemembers have made around the world to ensure America remains strong and free,” said Governor Quinn. “We honor their sacrifices and stand with our Gold Star Families to make sure we keep the memories of their loved ones alive.”

The Portrait of a Soldier Memorial exhibit, which has been viewed by thousands of people throughout Illinois, is a series of hand-drawn portraits of more than 250 Illinois men and women who have died in service to our country since Sept. 11, 2001.

Artist Cameron Schilling of Mattoon drew the first portrait of a soldier in August 2004, after Army Spc. Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, was killed in Iraq. Schilling presented the portrait to Spc. Neely’s parents to convey his sympathy for their loss. In Oct. 2005, while a student at Eastern Illinois University, Schilling decided to draw a portrait of every Illinois servicemember who has fallen during the Global War on Terror.

Governor Quinn also encouraged Illinois residents to view the exhibit at Daley Plaza or O’Hare Airport in Chicago, where it will be on display through next week, recognizing the servicemen and servicewomen who have lost their lives fighting for freedom and democracy overseas.

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