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Loebsack Statement at Hearing Entitled “Protecting America’s Youth: An Update from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 14:26

Earlier this morning, Congressman Loebsack made the following statement on the need to ensure the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children receives the support necessary to carry out its mission and protect our children. Loebsack also made comments about the importance of the Amber Alert and the recent success of the Alert in locating three missing children in Eastern Iowa. The remarks were given at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, which Loebsack serves as Ranking Member, the senior most Democrat.

Loebsack also supports efforts to prevent and reduce child exploitation, including a recently passed package of anti-trafficking legislation. This included measures to improve services for victims of trafficking and treat them as victims rather than criminals, crack down on online advertisements for trafficked children, and improve outreach and supports for youth in foster care to prevent them from falling into these devastating circumstances.

Video of Loebsack’s opening statement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scFWj52h_oU&feature=youtu.be

Questioning of John Ryan, President, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T61YG_74tUc&feature=youtu.be

 
48 State Leaders Selected as CSG Toll Fellows PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Council of State Governments   
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 14:20

LEXINGTON, Ky.--Forty-eight state policymakers from across the country have been selected as The Council of State Governments' Henry Toll Fellows for the Class of 2014.

The 2014 Toll Fellows represent 34 states and Puerto Rico, with 33 representing the legislative branch, five serving in the judiciary and 10 hailing from the executive. A nine-member committee of state leaders, many who are Toll Fellows themselves, reviewed a record number of applications to select the class.

"Individually, these leaders have a proven track record of accomplishing great things; collectively they represent the future leadership of the states," said David Adkins, CSG's executive director/CEO.

Members of the 2014 CSG Toll Fellows Class by state are:

Alabama: Sen. William Holtzclaw

Alaska: Rep. Lora Reinbold

Arizona: Sen. Kelli Ward

Arkansas: Judge Rhonda Wood, Court of Appeals & state Supreme Court justice-elect;Marquita Little, director of Policy and Planning, Department of Human Services

Colorado: Rep. Lois Landgraf

Connecticut: Andrew Clark, director, Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy; Rep. Roland Lemar; Judge Erika Tindill, Connecticut Superior Court

Delaware: Deputy Secretary Nicole Majeski, Delaware Department of Transportation; Sen. Nicole Poore

Hawaii: Rep. Linda Ichiyama

Idaho: G. Richard Bevan, administrative district judge, District Court for Fifth Judicial District

Illinois: Rep. David Harris

Indiana: Rep. Judson McMillin; Sen. Karen Tallian

Iowa: Rep. Deborah Berry

Kansas: Sen. Elaine Bowers

Kentucky: Matthew Trebelhorn, legislative analyst, Judiciary Committee, Legislative Research Commission

Maine: Rep. Michael Devin

Massachusetts: Scott MacLeod, Mitigation and Disaster Recovery section chief, Emergency Management Agency

Nebraska: Sen. Lydia Brasch

Nevada: Assemblyman Elliot Anderson; Assemblyman Michael Sprinkle

New Hampshire: Rep. Cindy Rosenwald

New Mexico: Rep. George Dodge; Sen. Tim Keller

North Dakota: District Judge Bradley Cruff, Southeast Judicial District

Ohio: Judge David Michael Gormley, Delaware Municipal Court

Oklahoma: Rep. Lee Denney; Sen. Dan Newberry; Commissioner Terri White, Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services

Oregon: Rep. Nancy Nathanson

Pennsylvania: Rep. Ryan Mackenzie

Puerto Rico: Sen. Jorge Suárez

Rhode Island: Rep. John Edwards

South Dakota: Secretary Trevor Jones, Department of Public Safety; Secretary Lynne Valenti, Department of Social Services

Tennessee: Sen. Becky Massey; Sen. John Stevens

Utah: Sen. Deidre Henderson

Vermont: Commissioner Noelle MacKay, Department of Housing and Community Development

Virginia: Nathan Hatfield, assistant clerk, Virginia Senate

West Virginia: Jason Pizatella, deputy chief of staff, West Virginia Governor's Office; Sen. Roman Prezioso

Wisconsin: Rep. Jill Billings;Sara Buschman, assistant deputy secretary, Department of Children and Families

Wyoming: Rep. Donald Burkhart

 
Governor Quinn Statement on the First Meeting of the Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Katie Hickey   
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 14:18

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn issued the following statement on the first meeting of the Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee:

"I salute Representative Zalewski and the Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee as they convene for their first meeting this afternoon.

"Violence knows no political affiliation, and this bipartisan group is coming together to identify reforms that will strengthen our criminal justice system and our state's public safety.

"As I've made clear, it is necessary to take a comprehensive approach to public safety that includes stronger gun laws such as those included in the Public Safety Act, smarter sentencing reforms and greater investments in proven re-entry and diversion programs as I proposed in this year's budget.

“I look forward to hearing the issue frankly discussed in these hearings, and I am eager to work with the members to make our state and our communities safer for all."

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Braley’s Fight to Prevent Social Security Cuts Gains Bipartisan Momentum PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Monday, 14 July 2014 13:13

Republican co-sponsor, prominent national organization declare support for Seniors’ Access to Social Security Act

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley’s (IA-01) continued push to prevent impending Social Security service cuts got a bipartisan boost, as Rep. Don Young (R-AK) signed on to the Seniors’ Access to Social Security Act. The bill has also received the support of the Alliance for Retired Americans—a group with millions of members focusing on issues affecting seniors. The bill now includes nearly two dozen sponsors from over a dozen states and the support of multiple national organizations.

“Protecting services that eleven million Americans use every year isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue—it’s an issue of commonsense,” Braley said. “They’re gutting services Iowa’s seniors rely on and there’s absolutely no evidence the cuts will save a penny. The bottom line is that the cuts need to be delayed until savings are shown and the administration can clearly illustrate how the cuts won’t harm the Iowans that depend on them.”

 

Last week Braley called on Iowans to visit braley.house.gov and share their experiences with Iowa Social Security Administration offices as he continues his push to delay the cuts to the essential services that 11 million Americans—including many Iowa seniors—used just last year. Braley will share the comments he receives with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Beginning August 2014, SSA will no longer issue Social Security number printouts in its field offices.  In addition, beginning October 2014, SSA field offices will stop providing benefit verification letters, except in emergency situations.  Many seniors rely on these verification letters for a variety of services. Those requesting this information would be able to do so only online or over the phone. Last year alone, 11 million Americans used SSA offices to request this information.

Iowa’s 19 SSA field offices are located in Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Dubuque, Marshalltown, Waterloo, Burlington, Coralville, Davenport, Ottumwa, Council Bluffs, Creston, Des Moines, Ames, Carroll, Ft. Dodge, Mason City, Sioux City, Spencer, and Storm Lake.

Over 450,000 Iowa seniors received Social Security benefits in 2013.

Braley’s Seniors’ Access to Social Security Act would prevent those cuts for one year, during which time Braley will seek verification that the proposed service cuts will not adversely affect Iowa’s seniors and will save taxpayers money.

Braley recently wrote a letter to SSA Commissioner Carolyn Colvin asking her to provide a series of answers about the proposed cuts, including whether an analysis of cost savings has been done and if public input was solicited prior to the proposed cuts. Braley also sought information from Colvin on how Iowans seeking these services would be informed of cuts.

In June, Braley joined a Congressional push to prevent the elimination of the SSA services in a letter to the head of the SSA, noting that it’s vital that seniors be able to receive these services in person especially given that telephone wait times for SSA services have risen drastically in the last year, and that many seniors lack internet access.

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Governor Quinn Statement on the Passing of U.S. Congressman Kenneth J. Gray PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dave Blanchette   
Monday, 14 July 2014 11:53

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement on the passing of U.S. Congressman Kenneth J. Gray:

“Ken Gray was a gentleman and statesman who never tired of advocating for his beloved state and region.

“Congressman Gray was the people's voice.

“A grateful state fondly remembers what the Congressman did for Illinois. I join my fellow citizens in keeping Congressman Gray's family and friends in our thoughts and prayers."

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