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Congressmen on Social Security’s 79th Anniversary PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Kirsten Hartman and Joe Hand   
Friday, 15 August 2014 13:28

Braley's statement on Social Security's 79th anniversary

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement on the 79th anniversary of the Social Security program.

“Social Security is one of the most important, effective programs in American history—it’s significantly reduced poverty among seniors and ensured a basic safety net for generations. I’m committed to protecting it for the Iowans who rely on it today and the Iowans who will rely on it in the future.”

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

Loebsack Applauds 79th Anniversary of Social Security; Vows to Protect Social Security from Privatization


Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Loebsack marked the 79th anniversary of the enactment of Social Security and released the following statement.  The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on August 14, 1935.

“For years, Social Security has provided Americans with the promise of economic security in retirement.  As someone who was raised in poverty by my grandmother who relied on Social Security survivors benefits to put food on the table for my siblings and me, I know how vital this initiative is for both seniors and their families.

“That is why I staunchly oppose efforts to privatize Social Security and end the guarantee to seniors that a lifetime of work will be rewarded with the peace of mind, certainty, and sense of security of a stable retirement.  Remembering what it was like to sit around the table and wonder how to pay the bills each month, I firmly believe that no senior should face the possibility of retiring into poverty.  We must keep the promise that we have made to our seniors.”


Governor Quinn Calls for State Building to Be Named in Honor of U.S. Senator Alan Dixon PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Katie Hickey   
Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:25

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today announced a plan to name the Illinois State Museum Building in Springfield after the late U.S. Senator Alan Dixon. Governor Quinn initiated and is working with the Illinois General Assembly to pass a joint resolution making that designation official.

"Alan Dixon served with distinction on the local, state and federal levels and was an integral part of our state’s history for four decades,” Governor Quinn said. “Naming this building in his honor will help serve as a reminder of his lasting legacy of public service and his dedication to the people of Illinois.”

"This is a very fitting way to honor the career of Alan Dixon who served the residents of our state with honor and energy for decades. I will be proud to sponsor this resolution," Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan said.

“Alan Dixon’s legacy of bipartisanship, leadership and commitment to seeking the common good represents the best aspects of public service in our state and country,” Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton said.

The Illinois State Museum at 502 S. Spring St. in Springfield will be named the Alan J. Dixon Building of the Illinois State Museum upon passage of the joint resolution.

Dixon was born in Belleville on July 7, 1927. He earned a law degree and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Dixon was elected one of the youngest legislators ever to serve in the Illinois House of Representatives and served as an Illinois State Representative from 1951 to 1963. He served in the Illinois State Senate from 1963 to 1971, rising to the position of Assistant Democratic Leader. He also served as Illinois Treasurer from 1971 to 1977 and Secretary of State from 1977 to 1981. Dixon served in the U.S. Senate from 1980 to 1993, and was chairman of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission in 1994 and 1995. Dixon died on July 6, 2014 and is survived by his wife, Joan “Jody” Fox Dixon, three children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

The Illinois State Museum inspires discovery and caring about Illinois' cultural and natural resources and heritage. The museum’s extensive collections and research activities provide the foundation for exhibitions and public programs that tell the story of the land, life, people and art of Illinois. The Illinois State Museum is headquartered in Springfield with branch facilities throughout the state. All State Museum facilities are open to the public free of charge.


USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Increase Economic Opportunity and Improve the Quality of Life in Rural Areas PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Thursday, 14 August 2014 08:27

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is seeking applications for grants that will be awarded to organizations to provide critical financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop and strengthen their capacity to carry out housing, community facilities and community and economic development projects.

"Many rural nonprofits often need capital and technical assistance to carry out their missions," Vilsack said. "These grants will provide both of these components through local and regional organizations that are experts at delivering such services."

USDA is making nearly $6 million available to qualified organizations under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI).

Recipients must be non-profit organizations, low-income rural communities, or federally recognized tribes. Intermediary organizations are required to provide matching funds at least equal to the RCDI grant. The grants do not go directly to business recipients but rather through qualified intermediaries.

The deadline for submitting RCDI applications is November 12, 2014. Applications must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development state office where the applicant's headquarters are located. More information about the program and how to apply is available on page 47427 of the August 13, 2014 Federal Register.

Here is an example of how the RCDI program is helping rural communities. The Western Maine Community Action Program (WMCAP) has received several RCDI grants in recent years to help low-and very-low-income seniors maintain their independence and remain in their homes through the Keeping Seniors Home Program. Started in 2004, this program has served nearly 3,000 low-income senior homeowners in Maine. WMCAP is also working on a regional job creation plan to train energy auditors, private contractors, and other community partners to provide additional support services to Maine's elderly rural citizens.

President Obama's historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Iowa Finance Authority to Host 2014 HousingIowa Conference September 3-5 in Des Moines PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ashley Jared   
Thursday, 14 August 2014 08:25

500 Housing Professionals Expected to Attend HousingIowa Conference

DES MOINES  – The Iowa Finance Authority will host housing professionals from throughout the state at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown for the HousingIowa Conference Sept. 3-5. The conference, themed Awesometown, will showcase the wide-ranging benefits affordable housing has on communities. Attendees will hear from national housing experts, discuss local issues and network with housing professionals. The event is open to anyone interested in learning more about the housing industry. The registration fee is $200. More information is available at

Conference highlights:

Keynote speakers

  • Liz Murray, From Homeless to Harvard
  • Mary Kelly, PhD,  An Economic Update: What Housing Professionals Need to Know in Awesometown
  • Jon Stetson, Invest in your Intuition
    • 2014 HousingIowa Awards
# # #

Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Improve Emergency Response Services in Rural Areas PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dave Blanchette   
Thursday, 14 August 2014 07:44

New Laws Will Help Improve Emergency Response Times and Quality Care to People Across Every Corner of Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today visited the Illinois State Fair on Agriculture Day to sign legislation that will help improve emergency response services in rural areas throughout the state. The new laws help ensure the highest quality of care can be provided in ambulances and on the scene of accidents across Illinois. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to protect and improve the health and well-being of the people of Illinois.

“These common sense laws take advantage of the advanced emergency medical training that many emergency workers in rural areas already have,” Governor Quinn said. “When every second counts and you've got a lot of territory to cover, it's comforting to know that responders in any area of the state can use all of their training in emergencies.”

"By signing these bills, Governor Quinn has made Illinois a safer state, and even more lives will be saved,” State Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson), the House sponsor of both rural emergency response bills, said. “I commend Governor Quinn for making this upgrade in the level of emergency medical care available for the citizens of Illinois.”

House Bill 4523, sponsored by Representative Moffitt and State Senator John M. Sullivan (D-Rushville), allows ambulance providers in rural areas to be upgraded to the highest EMT license of any person staffing that ambulance, including registered nurses. This will allow more kinds of life-saving procedures to be performed when an ambulance responds to an emergency.

Under existing law, the ambulance itself is restricted to a set level of emergency care regardless of who is staffing it. Rural Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers have struggled to properly staff emergency vehicles, and this legislation allows for the addition of a licensed, highly-qualified medical professional to help fill the void. The law is effective Jan. 1, 2015.

“In some rural areas of the state an ambulance ride can last up to an hour,” Senator Sullivan said. “It only makes sense to allow nurses certified at a specific level to provide the highest level of care during the ambulance ride.”

Governor Quinn also signed House Bill 5828, sponsored by Representative Moffitt and State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet).  Many rural communities do not have an ambulance service, but most are part of a fire protection district. Many volunteer firefighters are also trained as paramedics. This new law will allow those firefighters who are trained as paramedics to use those skills in their roles as firefighters. This was not allowed under the previous law. HB 5828, which is effective immediately, offers rural areas in Illinois increased access to medical response and care.

“This is part of my continued effort to help rural emergency service responders increase their capabilities to serve the population in some of Illinois' most underserved medical areas,” Senator Rose said. “This capability will better enable our EMS crews to take care of a wider variety of emergencies.”

In addition, Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 3398, sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and State Representative Elgie Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago), which exempts certain specially-designated vehicles used solely for farming purposes from federal trucking regulations. The Governor signed the bill on Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair as part of his commitment to supporting Illinois’ agriculture businesses. The law is effective immediately.

Governor Quinn is committed to protecting and improving the health and well-being of the people of Illinois. Earlier this year, Governor Quinn invested $4 million to help 193 fire departments across the state purchase equipment and other tools necessary to provide effective responses to emergencies. Over the past few years, the Governor signed multiple pieces of legislation to modify a state financing program to assist local fire departments in purchasing fire trucks and ambulances as well as making station upgrades.

In 2010, Governor Quinn signed legislation to ensure the highest quality of emergency medical transportation for people across Illinois who are critically ill. The law establishes minimum standards for ambulance services that provide advanced critical care transportation.

In 2013, Governor Quinn signed legislation to make emergency response systems in Illinois more efficient and effective by developing an Illinois 9-1-1 systems directory to allow calls answered by one system to be easily forwarded to another 9-1-1 system when necessary.


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