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Governor Quinn Takes Action to Strengthen Humane Treatment of Animals Law PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grant Klinzman   
Monday, 04 August 2014 08:52

Signs New Law Proposed by Illinois Third-Graders Devoted to Fighting Puppy Mills; Issues Order to Create Illinois Pet Advocacy Task Force

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today took action to protect animals across Illinois by fighting puppy mills. The Governor today signed a new law that was proposed by three dedicated third-graders from Arlington Heights and increases penalties for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Today’s action, taken at a Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS) event in Chicago, is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure that all animals are treated humanely in Illinois.

“Our pets are a part of the family, and we must always treat them with care and respect,” Governor Quinn said. “Three students from Arlington Heights created this new law because they wanted to make a difference and protect animals across Illinois.”

House Bill 4410, sponsored by State Representative David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) and State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry), increases fines on anyone that violates the state’s Animal Welfare Act, which makes it a crime to mistreat animals. A first violation is more than doubled from $200 to $500; a second violation is doubled from $500 to $1,000; and a third violation will result in a $2,500 fine in addition to a probationary status for the violator. The law is effective immediately.

This bipartisan measure was conceived by Claire Hackmann, Brooke Martin and Maddie O’Dell, third grade students from Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights. Claire, Brooke and Maddie read a book about two students that rescued a puppy from a puppy mill, which led them to research puppy mills and contact Representative Harris about ways to limit these operations. Their lobbying efforts included a presentation at an all-school assembly to members of Patton Elementary School faculty, gathering signatures from students and concerned citizens and even testifying before the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

“It is great to see the Animal Welfare Act updated by House Bill 4410 for the protection of all animals, and it is wonderful that the initiative for the bill was started by three third graders from Patton School,” Representative Harris said. “I am proud to have been able to help them, and I applaud their dedication in pushing the bill."

“This legislation was an initiative of a class at Patton School in Arlington Heights to ensure that pet stores, dog dealers and those that board cats and dogs properly comply with the Animal Welfare Act,” Senator Althoff said. “Most dealers and kennel operators are professionals who take their responsibilities seriously, but unfortunately, there are always exceptions and under current law, the penalties being enforced for those who violate the Animal Welfare Act were too minimal to deter irresponsible breeders and dealers from mistreating or abusing animals in their care. Increasing the administrative fines for those who violate the Act will offer greater protection for animal welfare and ensure that violators are held accountable.”

"We applaud the state of Illinois and Governor Quinn for working to deter the abuse and neglect of animals by increasing fines for violators of the Animal Welfare Act,” PAWS Chicago Founder Paula Fasseas said. “Animals are defenseless living beings and we must be their voice and protectors."

In addition to signing House Bill 4410, the Governor today also issued an executive order creating the Illinois Pet Advocacy Task Force. The Task Force will study issues of animal cruelty, neglect and abuse and make recommendations that will ensure proper treatment and care of Illinois pets. The Task Force will issue a report to the Governor and the General Assembly within 12 months

The legislation was signed at PAWS Chicago, Chicago’s largest no-kill shelter. PAWS is focused on solutions to end the killing of homeless pets. Since the organization’s founding in 1997, the number of homeless pets killed in the city has been reduced by nearly 70 percent, from 42,561 to fewer than 14,000 last year. The animal rescue spares animals from this fate and provides them with a forever home. For more information about PAWS Chicago and pet adoption, visit http://www.pawschicago.org.

Governor Quinn is the proud owner of a rescue dog named Rosie, a Yorkshire Terrier mix whom he adopted from PAWS. The Governor has long been a pet lover and advocate for the humane treatment of animals. Last year he signed the “Puppy Lemon Law” to give buyers protection for pet purchases and to help reduce the possibility of emotional trauma that comes from losing a pet. He also signed new laws to help ensure that all dogs in Illinois are treated humanely when tethered outside and to provide humane options for stray farm animals such as adoption or placement in a sanctuary.

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Loebsack Statement on Border Funding Bill PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 04 August 2014 08:27

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the House voted on a supplemental appropriations bill for the Southwest border.

“I have long said that the status quo isn’t working and bipartisan action is needed to address the immigration problem that our nation is facing. Unfortunately, Republicans in the House have continued to play political games and have not actually fixed the problem. The Ted Cruz and Steve King wing of the Republican Party are more interested in scoring political points than dealing with the children who came to this country alone to escape the violence they were facing back home. The legislation voted on today was not a serious attempt to secure our border and address the real humanitarian crisis that is happening.

“On top of that, nearly two-thirds of this bill is paid for by taking over $400 million away from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Fund. Iowans are still recovering from the severe storms and flooding that crippled our state earlier this month and to take this funding away will have a direct impact on our communities. Thirty five counties in Iowa have already received a Presidential Disaster Declaration and Governor Branstad has requested this declaration for 22 more.”

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AUGUST 8TH: Loebsack to Host “Getting Iowans Back to Work” Tour in Muscatine PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Friday, 01 August 2014 07:35

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced that he will bring his “Getting Iowans Back to Work” Tour to Muscatine on FRIDAY, August 8th. At this forum, Loebsack will bring together businesses, labor organizations, local stakeholders, and education and training providers to discuss the SECTORS Act. This legislation, a jobs and workforce investment bill that Loebsack introduced in the House, creates partnerships to help close the gap between the kinds of skills that workers have and skills that businesses need. Large portions of Loebsack’s SECTORS Act were recently signed into law by the President as part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

“When traveling around Iowa meeting with business leaders, I hear time and time again that they can’t find workers with the skill set they need to be able to hire, despite high unemployment rates,” said Loebsack. “There is a gap between the kinds of skills that workers have and the skills that businesses need. The tools created by the SECTORS Act work to address this gap by targeting workforce development efforts to foster the kind of skills that local businesses need right now.”

Loebsack will also hold forums in Burlington, Ottumwa, Davenport, Newton, Keokuk and Osceola. Media are invited to attend.

“Getting Iowans Back to Work” Tour – August 8th

 

2:15pm @ Muscatine Community College, 152 Colorado Street, Muscatine IA 52761

 

Attendees will include:

Bob Allbee, President of Muscatine Community College

Gary Mohr, Executive Director of External Affairs for Eastern Iowa Community College

Greg Jenkins, President of Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce

Muscatine Community College Staff

Local Industry Representatives

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Simon Named to Leadership of Nation’s Lieutenant Governors Association PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ken Lowe   
Thursday, 31 July 2014 09:17

CHICAGO — July 30, 2014. Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will serve on the leadership committee of the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA).  NLGA is a professional association enabling regional and nationwide policy discussion and progress at the state level.

 

“I’m very proud to continue serving in the NLGA, and look forward to keeping the lines of communication open between Illinois and other states as we work toward bipartisan, nationwide progress on the issues that cross state lines,” Simon said Wednesday.

Simon has been named Midwest Regional Chair of the NLGA Executive Committee. She was elected unanimously by a bipartisan group of other lieutenant governors who are members of the organization.

The Association provides research and best practices exchange to the officeholders first in line of succession to governor in all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

“Through NLGA’s bi-partisan nature, the priorities of lieutenant governors and their states and territories are united, not divided,” said NLGA Director Julia Hurst.

The committee meets about three times a year and is responsible for charting the course of policy issues and national impact to be pursued by the nation’s second-highest state and territorial officeholders.  In addition to its specific duties, the committee will also address issues of mutual concern to all members.

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"Nothing Compares" at the State Fair to State Treasurer Fitzgerald's Great Iowa Treasure Hunt PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Karen Austin   
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:26

DES MOINES, IA (07/30/2014)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald announced today a stop at the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt booth during the 2014 Iowa State Fair may pay off. "With over a million names listed, fair goers could find they have unclaimed money waiting for them to claim," Fitzgerald said. "The State Fair is one of the most successful events we do to reach people who may have money in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt."

"Over the years, we have been successful in reuniting people with their lost treasures," Fitzgerald added. "Last year during the fair, over 8,500 claims of unclaimed property were discovered, totaling more than $1.9 million. The booth will have computers set up for people to search for their name and staff will be on hand to answer questions and to help treasure hunters print claim forms."

The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program has returned over $180 million in unclaimed property to more than 434,000 people since Fitzgerald created it in 1983. Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property's owner for a specific period of time. State law requires these institutions and companies to annually report unclaimed property to the state treasurer's office. The assets are then held until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits, and safe deposit box contents.

to search for your treasure today. Be sure to like Great Iowa Treasure Hunt on Facebook and follow the program on Twitter @GreatIATreasure.

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