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Adam Gregg named legislative liaison for office of Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Albrecht   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 15:29

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced that Adam Gregg will serve as the administration’s new legislative liaison. Gregg will begin his duties on Monday, December 10. Gregg replaces Todd Schulz, who served in the position two years prior to accepting a new opportunity in the private sector.


“Adam Gregg is a talented young professional, and his extensive knowledge of the legislative process will serve Iowa’s taxpayers well as we promote sound fiscal policies and economic development initiatives to benefit all Iowans,” said Branstad. “This position is important, because an individual needs to work well with both parties, and Adam will be a good consensus builder. I have always sought the most talented person for each position, and Adam will be a great addition to our team.”


Gregg graduated in 2009 with high honors from Drake University Law School, where he received the institution’s most prestigious honor, the Opperman Scholarship. While there, he earned the faculty’s William and Ellen Cooney Hoye Award, given to the student who demonstrates the greatest promise as an advocate, public servant and practitioner.


While in school, Gregg conducted legal research in his capacity as an Iowa Supreme Court scholar with Justice Mark Cady, was a staff member for the Drake Law Review, and presided over both the Drake Law Federalist Society and Drake Law Republicans.


Gregg earned his B.A. from Central College in 2006, graduating first in his class as Summa Cum Laude in Political Science and History.


Gregg’s experience includes internships with the U.S. Dept. of Defense, U.S. Congress and United Kingdom Parliament. Most recently he served in the private sector as an attorney and multi-client lobbyist.


“Adam Gregg is a true talent, and his experience will be invaluable as we promote our educational and economic initiatives at the Statehouse,” said Reynolds.


Branstad and Reynolds thanked Schulz for his work on behalf of the administration, and they wish him well in his new position working in government affairs for an energy transmission company.



Lt. Gov. Simon, Sen. Kotowski announce ethics reform PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kara Beach   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:14

New disclosure forms to close loopholes, expose conflicts of interest

SPRINGFIELD – November 29, 2012. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon joined State Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) today to introduce ethics reform legislation that will overhaul the much-maligned financial disclosure forms filed by tens of thousands of public servants each year.

The bill proposes a new disclosure form – known as a Statement of Economic Interests – that would require filers to list outside sources of income, lobbyist relationships and loans made or accepted on terms not available to the general public, for the first time. It also closes loopholes that allowed filers to answer “not applicable” to almost all of the questions on the current version of the form introduced 40 years ago.

Simon said the goal of the new form is to help Illinois residents determine if elected officials, high-ranking employees and candidates hold any conflicts of interest. The new form will also be easier for filers to complete thanks to the plain-language questions, definitions of terms and obvious connections to information found on tax returns and investment statements.

“At over 40-years-old, it’s time our financial disclosure forms get a facelift,” Simon said. “This legislation is about making our Statement of Economic Interests more understandable for the people who fill them out, and making them more transparent for those who want to get information from them.”

State Sen. Dan Kotowski will introduce the bill in the Senate today after working with Lt. Governor Simon’s office, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform and the Better Government Association to redesign the form over the past year.

Residents want more transparency and accountability in Springfield, Kotowski and Simon said, citing a recent Southern Illinois University poll in which 65 percent of respondents said they were “not very” or “not at all satisfied” with the information available on elected officials’ finances.

“With this important change, taxpayers can easily search information regarding potential conflicts of interest, and hold public officials and candidates accountable,” Kotowski said. “This reform adds needed transparency in my effort to end politics as usual in Springfield.”

Cook County Clerk David Orr, whose office created an online Statement of Economic Interests database to improve transparency, applauded Lt. Governor Simon for spearheading the effort to overhaul the inadequate disclosure forms. Analysis of the 22,000 local government respondents that filed with his office in 2012 showed that 87 percent answered “not applicable” or “N/A” to every question on the disclosure form.

“For 40 years, these forms have revealed too little about elected officials' and public employees' financial profiles,” Orr said. “I am so pleased to find a champion in Sheila Simon, whose commitment to expanding disclosure will help draw back the curtain on hidden conflicts of interest.”

The Illinois Constitution and Illinois Governmental Ethics Act require elected officials, high-ranking government employees, and political candidates to complete a Statement of Economic Interests each May. State government workers file with the Secretary of State, while workers for local units of government file with their county clerk. The forms are supposed to expose existing or potential conflicts of interest, but the documents use such vague and cumbersome language that the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform has called them “woefully inadequate” and “a waste of paper.”

“Delegates writing the 1970 Constitution mandated the Statement of Economic Interest because the public has a right to know about public officials' conflicts of interest. It's high time the form caught up to modern economic practices,” said David Morrison, Deputy Director of the ICPR.

Simon and Kotowski said they will work together to pass the legislation by January.

Lt. Governor Simon supports licenses for all eligible Illinois drivers PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kara Beach   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:04

SPRINGFIELD – November 28, 2012. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today issued the following statement regarding legislation to allow every qualified Illinois resident to obtain a driver’s license. Simon urged the legislature to take action on this item during veto session.

“This bill is a proactive step to help guarantee the safety and well-being of all Illinois residents. Our goal is to train, license and insure every eligible Illinois driver, regardless of legal status, to make our roads safer for all travelers. I am pleased to support this progressive bill and call on legislators to vote in favor of this public safety measure,” Simon said.

Simon joined the bipartisan coalition supporting Senate Bill 957/House Bill 6228 based on her experience as a Jackson County prosecutor who witnessed the damaging financial impacts of uninsured, unlicensed drivers on Illinois roadways. New licenses are also projected to generate much needed new revenue for the state, she said.


Loebsack to Mark 500th Event in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 09:55

Will host ‘Holiday Mail for Heroes’ card writing event in Ottumwa

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that he will mark his 500th in-state event for the year in Ottumwa.  This Saturday, December 1st, Loebsack will join employees at the Ottumwa North Hy-Vee to write Holiday cards to the troops serving overseas.  Cards will be provided at the event and then distributed through the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Click here for additional information about the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. The public is invited to stop by and give the troops a “touch of home” for the Holiday season.

This event will also be the 500th event Loebsack has held in Iowa since January 1st, 2012.  Media are invited to attend.

Holiday Mail for Heroes Event

Saturday, December 1st


North Hy-Vee

2453 North Court



Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds announce Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit video contest winners PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 09:36

(DES MOINES) – Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds today announced the winners of the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit video contest.

The first place winner of the video contest was Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Community School District of Hartley, Iowa with nearly 37,000 views and will receive a $500 prize and a visit from Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds. Lisbon Community Schools, of Lisbon, was awarded second place with over 28,000 views and will receive a $350 cash prize. Central Lee Middle School, of Donnellson, took third place with over 25,000 views and will receive a $150 cash prize.

Originally, the contest was going to recognize only one winner, but the Change at the Anamosa State Penitentiary raised money to award second and third place.

“I think the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit was a wonderful learning experience and exchange on ideas and strategies of preventing bullying and the challenges we need to overcome. We need to have not just the schools but also the parents and the community actively involved also. The summit has exceeded my expectations,” said Gov. Branstad.

Department of Education Director, Jason Glass, made the formal announcement of the winners during today’s afternoon session of the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit. The winners were determined by the number of views received online.

“It’s really encouraging to know that the winning video had over 36,000 views. It’s very powerful to have this many students raising awareness and talking about the importance of preventing bullying. I look forward to visiting the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Community School District,” said Lt. Gov. Reynolds.

The videos can be found on the EduVision Bully Prevention Entries Channel here: starting Wed. Nov. 28. There were 23 videos submitted for the contest. Voting ran from Nov. 12 through Nov. 21.


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