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Under Bipartisan Pressure from Reps Loebsack and Fitzpatrick, Ethics Committee Reverses Rule Change PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 07 July 2014 08:30

Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA-08) Thursday commended the House Ethics Committee for reinstating the disclosure requirements for privately funded travel for Members of Congress. Loebsack and Fitzpatrick had authored a resolution that would have forced the Ethics Committee to take this step had it not overturned the changes.

“I commend the Ethics Committee for coming to their senses and reinstated the disclosure requirement for privately funded travel. These moves only deepen the mistrust the American people have in Congress. It is important for the American people to have greater access to information about who is paying for these trips and I plan to continue to monitor any future rule changes,” said Congressman Loebsack.

“I applaud the Ethics Committee for their swift decision to overturn the changes to the travel disclosure requirements for members of Congress. In these times of heightened partisanship, it is important to recognize that Representatives from both sides of the aisle joined to express their wishes to be held to a higher standard,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick.

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Governor Quinn Hosts Annual “Iftar” Dinner PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dave Blanchette   
Thursday, 03 July 2014 15:18

Governor Observes Ramadan with Muslim American Community Leaders in the “Peoples’ House”

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn was joined by more than 100 Illinois Muslim American community leaders Wednesday evening to observe Ramadan with a traditional “Iftar” meal at the Executive Mansion. Governor Quinn inaugurated the custom in 2013 as part of his agenda to make Illinois the most welcoming state in the nation.

“The sacred month of Ramadan is a time of fasting, sacrifice and reflection and I’m honored to participate in this special occasion,” Governor Quinn said. “With more than 500,000 members, Illinois’ Muslim American community is rich in its diversity and Ramadan reminds us that our common bonds far outweigh our differences.”

In 1805, Thomas Jefferson was the first U.S. President to observe Ramadan in the White House with a sunset dinner for Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, a Tunisian who was the first Muslim envoy to the United States. Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama have all hosted Iftar meals in the White House.

The menu for Governor Quinn’s Iftar featured halal lamb kabuli palau, mantoo (beef dumplings), dates, baklava (a honeyed pastry) and tea.

The Governor has strived to make Illinois the most welcoming state in the nation. This year, he approved plans to establish the first health care facility in the nation to meet the needs of Muslim American patients. He has also signed legislation to ensure that Muslim college students are not penalized for missing an exam on Muslim holy days. In addition, the Governor announced the creation of the first-of-its-kind council in 2011 to advise appropriate policy developments and other issues of significance impacting Illinois’ Muslims.

The diversity of Illinois’ Muslim American community is reflected in the Governor’s Muslim American Advisory Council. Appointees of the council – who serve with no compensation – represent many ethnicities and national origins, speak many different languages and represent a wide variety of professions. Governor Quinn today received the recommendations of his Muslim American Advisory Council’s third semiannual report.

The Council commended Governor Quinn for his efforts to increase Muslim American participation in the state workforce and foster greater cultural sensitivity by state employees, as well as for his condemnation of attacks on Illinois Muslim centers.

To learn more about Iftar and Governor Quinn’s Muslim American Advisory Council, see: www.muslimamerican.illinois.gov.

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Governor Quinn Signs Law to Strengthen African American Family Commission PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Katie Hickey   
Thursday, 03 July 2014 08:14

Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act by Signing New Law at Chicago’s Oldest African American Church

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law to strengthen the Illinois African American Family Commission. The Governor signed the legislation at the Quinn Chapel AME Church, the oldest African American congregation in Chicago. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all Illinois residents.

“The Civil Rights Act was signed 50 years ago and proved that working hard for what you believe in can change the world,” Governor Quinn said. “History shows that in the fight against injustice, justice will always prevail. This new law is the latest of many steps in the long journey toward true equality in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 121, sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and State Representative Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago), expands the African American Family Commission’s role to include monitoring legislation and developing programs to address the needs of African Americans in Illinois. The new law also updates official statistics concerning education, employment, income and health and adds additional state agencies to the commission to assist with implementing the commission’s recommendations. The new law is effective Jan. 1, 2015.

“Including African-Americans in the development and planning process of policies and programs will guarantee Illinois is better serving the needs of minorities,” Senator Hunter said.

“I am proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights movement and the strides that we have made toward social equality,” Representative Dunkin said. “The African American Family Commission is a critical tool in furthering our efforts to overcome inequalities in the black community such as access to employment opportunities, healthcare, quality education and a fair justice system. I am honored to stand here with my colleagues and the residents of Illinois to make positive change for the future of our state.”

Courageous acts such as nation-wide sit-ins, the March on Selma and the integrated Southern bus tour of the Freedom Riders in the 1960s helped lead to passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. President John F. Kennedy first proposed the legislation, and it was drafted by Attorney General Robert Kennedy. President Lyndon Johnson picked up the torch and a bipartisan push in the U.S. Senate, led by Illinois’ U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen, broke the filibuster that opponents were trying to use to stop the legislation.

Governor Quinn has long supported equal rights and opportunities for all. Between 2008 and 2013, Illinois increased state contracts awarded to minority and women-owned firms by more than 59 percent – an increase of more than $120 million. He fought for legislation creating a program that provides working capital loans for minorities and women and ensuring a fair state contract bidding process for minority and women-owned businesses.

In addition, Governor Quinn led the charge for marriage equality and signed legislation making Illinois the 16th state in the nation to embrace full marriage equality. He also created the Governor’s Office of New Americans to provide services, build partnerships and spearhead legislation to improve the integration of Illinois’ two million immigrants. The Governor has also more than doubled the number of Illinois Welcoming Centers, which provide a wide range of services to newcomers.

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Housing Credits to Create or Preserve 48 units of Affordable Housing in Rock Island PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Cami Freeman   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 16:16
Housing credits leverage private investment, create jobs, bring in revenue for local and state economies and do not impact local or state budgets

 

Chicago - Nearly 700 affordable rental apartments will be built or preserved across Illinois thanks to Housing Credit allocations approved by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) on Friday, June 27.

The Housing Credit is the most successful federal affordable housing program in our nation’s history, producing and preserving close to 100,000 affordable rental homes annually through public-private partnerships.  It creates quality affordable housing for working families and people with special needs (such as the elderly, the disabled, veterans and the homeless) in urban, suburban and rural communities throughout the country.

Since its creation in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the Housing Credit has enabled IHDA to provide a critical financing tool for the development of 80,000 units and created an estimated 80,000 jobs in Illinois.  Since Governor Pat Quinn took office, 16,450 units have been built and an estimated 16,000 jobs have been generated across the state thanks to the Housing Credit program.

“Governor Pat Quinn is dedicated to leveraging public-private partnerships to meet the affordable housing needs of working families, seniors and people with disabilities,” IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. “Our communities improve as a whole when low- to moderate-income residents have options for affordable housing, and these new developments will create quality full-time jobs that keep our economy moving.”

The Housing Credit contributes more to the creation of housing than any other federal housing resource. Housing Credits generate private investment in affordable housing when the credits are sold to private investors. The equity generated reduces the debt that the developer would otherwise have to borrow, and as a result, a property can offer lower rents.  The Housing Credit serves those whose income is 60 percent or less of the area median income (AMI) or $25,380 for a one-person household in the Rock Island area. However, the Housing Credit exceeds this requirement by assisting households well below that limit.

Private investors, not the Federal Government or the taxpayer, bear the risk.  Housing Credit properties perform well and have an extraordinarily low foreclosure rate of only 0.62 percent over the history of the program.

The Tax Credit allocations approved on Friday will generate an estimated $7 million in private equity to support one development and more than 90 jobs across the Rock Island Area. Demonstrating the State of Illinois’ dedication to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities or special needs, nearly one-half of the total units will be supportive housing, providing more options that enable residents to live independently in the community of their choice.

The Rock Island development approved for Housing Credits is below. For a full list, visit www.ihda.org/developer/approvedProjects.htm.

  • Diamond Senior Apartments of Princeton (Princeton): New construction located blocks from downtown Princention. The development will consist of 48 single-story homes, including one and two-bedroom units for low incomes residents and seniors.
About the Illinois Housing Development Authority

IHDA (www.ihda.org) is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and the preservation of affordable housing across Illinois. Since its creation in 1967, IHDA has allocated $12.4 billion and financed approximately 240,000 affordable housing units for residents of Illinois.

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Man arrested for assaulting female at SCC PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lieutenant Bryce Schmidt   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 15:59

On Wednesday, July 02, 2014 at approximately 1010 hours, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Scott Community College (SCC) reference a report of a female who had been physically assaulted.

Just minutes prior to the assault, the 47 year old female parked at SCC to watch a PV/Central high school baseball game. As she was exiting her vehicle, she was approached and physically pushed back into her vehicle by a male subject. The female struggled back, honking her vehicle horn and yelling.

She drew the attention of spectators at the game. The male subject took off running toward SCC, as a few spectators ran after him and kept view of his whereabouts. The spectators initiated a call to the Scott Emergency Communications Center (SECC) who in turn dispatched Deputies. A Deputy was able to take the male subject into custody shortly thereafter without incident.

The female while visibly upset by the incident, was not seriously injured.

The female did not know the male subject prior to the incident.

The male subject was identified and charged as follows:

Name: Anthony Duane Williams, Jr, age 24, a resident of Rock Island.

Charges:

1 count of Burglary 2nd Degree, a class “C” felony.

1 count of Driving While Revoked, a simple misdemeanor.

William’s total bond on the charges filed is $ 10,300.00.

A photo of Williams can be seen at www.scottcountyiowa.com under “Sheriff’s Office Inmate Listings” for today’s date.

The case remains under further investigation.

No further information is being released at this time.

“A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.”

 
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