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Governor Quinn Announces State’s First-Ever Homebuyer Expo PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Erin Wilson   
Friday, 01 March 2013 13:41

Hundreds of Qualified Buyers to Receive Up to $24,000 in Financial Assistance 

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today continued his commitment to supporting working families in Illinois by announcing the first ever state-sponsored homebuyer expo and proclaiming 2013 as the “Year of Home Ownership.” The governor also announced that hundreds of qualified homebuyers will be able to receive thousands of dollars in financial assistance for down-payments and closing costs through state-supported programs, including a new three-pronged initiative called SmartMove Trio.

“A home is the foundation on which we build our families and our communities,” Governor Quinn said. “By encouraging home ownership, we can create jobs and grow our economy. We’re working hard to keep the Illinois housing market on the road to recovery by doing everything we can to help Illinois families buy or stay in their homes.”

The State of Illinois Homebuyer Expo will take place on Saturday, March 23 at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and will be hosted by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the state’s housing finance agency. IHDA offers a variety of loan programs that combine affordable mortgages with up to $10,000 cash for down payment and closing costs.

SmartMove Trio is IHDA’s latest offering and is one of the best packages ever offered in the agency’s history. Available for a limited time, SmartMove Trio offers first-time homebuyers that meet certain requirements an affordable 30-year fixed rate mortgage, up to $6,000 cash for down payment and closing costs and a federal income tax credit worth up to $18,000 over the life of the loan.

Interested buyers can apply for IHDA’s mortgage programs, including SmartMove Trio, at the homebuyer expo. Lenders and housing counselors will be on hand to advise homebuyers of the best loan for them. Registration at www.ihda.org is required.

IHDA’s SmartMove program made homeownership a possibility for the Carter family in Chicago. Married for 24 years with two children, Jonathan and Melinda Carter were able to afford their first home, which they moved into this Valentine’s Day. Both are pastors, and Jonathan also has a full-time job in computer technology at a not-for-profit.

“IHDA’s program was such a blessing,” Jonathan Carter said. “The down payment assistance made it possible to buy our home. Other lenders were asking for $15,000 or $25,000, and we don’t have that kind of money.”

January 2013 home sales in Illinois were up 31 percent over last year, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors. When people buy homes, Illinois’ economic recovery advances. For example, the sale of 500 homes supports 250 full-time jobs and generates almost $20 million in economic activity.

“Governor Quinn has demonstrated strong leadership in sustaining homeownership in Illinois,” IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. “Under his administration, IHDA has focused on foreclosure prevention to keep people in their homes, rehabilitating vacant properties to create valuable homebuyer opportunities and is now increasing opportunities for homeownership.”

For those who have been considering buying a home, now is the perfect time to take action. Register for the Expo today at www.ihda.org.

 

About the Illinois Housing Development Authority

IHDA 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 more than $11.6 billion and financed approximately 225,000 affordable units across the state.

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Lt. Governor Simon applauds Congressional renewal of Violence Against Women Act PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kara Beach   
Friday, 01 March 2013 10:54
CHICAGO – February 28, 2013. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. House’s renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.

“The organizations that serve victims of domestic violence do much more than provide a safe haven for women. They offer victims a chance to build a new life free from abuse,” said Simon, a lawyer who prosecuted domestic battery cases. “I thank Congress for renewing the Violence Against Women Act, extending federal support for these crisis organizations and expanding protections for vulnerable communities. I welcome this opportunity to continue working to help rape victims, reduce violence on college campuses and end domestic abuse.”

Simon’s Firearms Working Group, which is examining gun issues in Illinois, met yesterday in Springfield with advocates to learn about the impact guns have in domestic violence.

The Violence Against Women Act was originally passed in 1994 and among other services, it helps support organizations that provide services to victims of domestic violence. The act also strengthened federal law by toughening sentences for individuals convicted of stalking. The act has already passed the U.S. Senate and now heads to President Obama. 

Nationally, one in four women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.

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Governor Quinn, AFSCME Announce Tentative Contract Agreement PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Friday, 01 March 2013 10:44

Negotiators Send Proposed Three-year Agreement to AFSCME Members for Ratification

SPRINGFIELD - The Quinn Administration and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 have reached a tentative agreement on a new union contract covering some 35,000 state employees. Negotiations have been ongoing for more than 15 months.

“At a time when the state is facing unprecedented financial challenges, this agreement is fair to both hard-working state employees and all taxpayers of Illinois," Governor Pat Quinn said. "I want to thank the women and men who have stayed at the table for more than a year for their commitment to reaching an agreement.”

“AFSCME is very pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that protects our members’ standard of living, and is fair to them and all Illinois citizens, even in these very challenging economic times,” AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Henry Bayer said.

AFSCME members must ratify any contract negotiated by their elected bargaining representatives. The ratification process will get under way at worksites statewide during the week of March 4.

Details of the tentative agreement will be released after the union’s membership has had the opportunity to review it.

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Loebsack Welcomes Quad Cities Chamber to Washington DC PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:46

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today welcomed leaders from the Quad Cities Chamber to Washington for their annual trip to discuss economic development, transportation issues such as the I-74 Bridge, infrastructure, as well as the importance of the Rock Island Arsenal and the possible effects of sequestration.   Each year, Loebsack meets with community leaders and local Chambers of Commerce groups from around the state to discuss issues important to their region.

“Meeting the members of the Quad Cities Chamber in Washington gives me a very important opportunity to continue to the conversation we have when I am in the district,” said Loebsack.  “There are many important issues that have a direct impact on the Quad Cities region being discussed in Washington.  I am glad the Chamber could come and discuss these topics.  I look forward to working alongside them to move the region forward and be a strong voice for their priorities.”

 
Lt. Governor Simon’s Firearms Working Group meets with health care professionals PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kara Beach   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:06

Simon, members hear how gun laws intersect with trauma, health care and mental health fields

SPRINGFIELD – February 27, 2013. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon's Firearms Working Group met today with experts in trauma, mental health care, domestic violence prevention and public health fields to learn how gun laws affect quality of life issues.

The working group, comprised of freshmen Senators and Representatives from across the state, is meeting with stakeholders on all sides of the gun safety debate as the General Assembly considers Illinois’ first law to allow Illinoisans to carry concealed firearms.

“The intersection of guns and domestic violence can be tragic,” said Simon, a lawyer who has prosecuted domestic battery cases. “As the General Assembly considers gun legislation, it is important that we balance public safety with our Second Amendment right.”

The working group met with experts from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Peoria, the Illinois Association of Court Clerks and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The meeting comes one day after the House began discussing significant gun reforms, including dozens of firearms-related amendments filed to House Bill 1155. Illinois has until June to pass a law that permits people to carry concealed guns in public spaces.

Currently Illinois is the only state in the nation with a law that bans carrying concealed firearms. The law was declared unconstitutional in December by a three-member panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the state was given 180 days to pass a constitutional law.

Over the next month, the working group will continue meeting with stakeholders on all sides of the debate – from hunters to law enforcement to education professionals – to promote dialogue and work toward consensus on pending legislation. Please visit www.ltgov.il.gov/guns for additional information about the working group.

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