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Statement on first status report from federal Special Master on IDOT hiring scandal PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Catherine Kelly   
Friday, 06 March 2015 08:53

Statement attributable to Catherine Kelly, Press Secretary, Office of the Governor

“The report confirms that previous governors were engaged in a corrupt bargain with government unions, making illegal political hires and putting them into protected government union positions. Governor Rauner is committed to reversing the illegal hiring scheme and enacting civil service reforms that will prevent these types of abuses from happening in the future.”

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Loebsack's Representatives to Hold Office Hours PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Joe Hand   
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:18
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack will have a member of his staff in Clinton and Scott Counties for open office hours. Henry Marquard, Loebsack’s District Representative, will be at the following locations. Marquard will be on hand to work with individuals who are having difficulty with a government agency, have suggestions for Dave, or would just like to share their concerns. Members of the public are invited to attend. Marquard holds regular office hours throughout Eastern Iowa.

If residents are unable to attend but have a concern to share with the Congressman, please call our district office toll-free at 1-866-914-IOWA (4692).

Marquard’s schedule for March is as follows.

 

Tuesday, March 10

 

Camanche City Hall

917 Third Street

9:00 – 10:00 AM

 

Clinton City Hall

611 South Third Street, 1st Floor

11:00 AM – NOON

 

Bettendorf City Hall

1609 State St.

2:00 – 3:00

 

Tuesday, March 24

 

DeWitt City Hall

510 Ninth Street

9:00 – 10:00 AM

 

Clinton City Hall

611 South Third Street, 1st Floor

11:00 AM – NOON

 

Eldridge Scott County Library

200 North Sixth Avenue

 
Branstad, Reynolds to recognize five new Home Base Iowa Communities, four new Home Base Iowa Champs Friday PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:15

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced that they will travel to Fort Dodge, Iowa, on Friday, March 6, 2015 to recognize five new Home Base Iowa Communities and three new Home Base Iowa Certified Higher Academic Military Partner (CHAMPs).

The following communities will be announced as Home Base Iowa Communities Friday: Webster County, Hancock County, Humboldt County, Carroll County and Clay County. The communities will join Union County, Mitchell County, Dubuque County, Greene County, Howard County, Clarke County, Floyd County and the City of Marion as current Home Base Iowa Communities.

The following academic institutions will become Home Base Iowa CHAMPs on Friday: Mercy College of Health Sciences, Iowa Central Community College and Eastern Iowa Community College. These institutions will join The University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, Hawkeye Community College, University of Dubuque, Upper Iowa University, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and Mount Mercy University as Home Base Iowa CHAMPs.

“The Home Base Iowa initiative aims to ensure that members of the military leaving the service are met with an abundance of career and academic opportunities right here in Iowa,” said Branstad. “Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and I continue to be impressed by the outpouring of support for the Home Base Iowa initiative through the Home Base Iowa Community and Home Base Iowa CHAMPs programs.”

“With thirteen Home Base Iowa Communities and twelve Home Base Iowa CHAMPs institutions, it is clear that Iowans are ready to welcome veterans and their families to our great state,” said Reynolds. “I encourage all Iowa communities and higher education institutions to consider joining our Home Base Iowa initiative.”

The following event is open to credentialed members of the press:

Friday, March 6, 2015

11 a.m.         Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds announce additional Home Base Iowa Communities and Home Base Iowa CHAMPs

Heartland Communications – Fort Dodge

1003 Central Avenue

Fort Dodge, IA

 

Learn more about Home Base Iowa at www.HomeBaseIowa.org.

Background:

Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds launched the Home Base Iowa initiative in November of 2013 at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge. Branstad and Reynolds named Congressman Leonard Boswell and Casey’s CEO Bob Myers the co-chairs of the initiative.

The Home Base Iowa Act was signed into law on May 26, 2014. It passed the Iowa Senate 46-0 and the Iowa House 94-2. The Home Base Iowa initiative does the following:

  • Fully exempts military pensions from state income tax.
  • Gives veterans, their spouses and dependents in-state tuition at Iowa’s colleges and universities.
  • Allows Iowa’s licensing boards to adopt rules allowing credit for military training and experience in the licensing process.
  • Allows private-sector companies to follow the public sector’s lead by allowing a preference in hiring and promoting veterans.
  • Eliminates the special plate issuance fees charged for plates associated with military service.
  • Expands eligibility for the Military Homeownership Assistance Program, which provides $5,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance.  Additional funding for the program is provided in a separate appropriations bill.

In addition to the Home Base Iowa Act, Branstad also signed Senate File 2352 in 2014.

Senate File 2352 an Act relating to the additional homestead credit for certain disabled veterans and including effective date and applicability provisions.

HOME BASE IOWA COMMUNITY criteria

  1. Ten percent of the businesses with potential to hire in the designated area become Home Base Iowa Businesses.
  2. The community develops its own welcome/incentive package for veterans.
  3. The community prominently displays the Home Base Iowa Community designation.
  4. The community obtains a resolution of support from the appropriate local governing body.

HOME BASE IOWA CHAMPs criteria

To become a Home Base Iowa CHAMP campus, education institutions must meet three of the four criteria in each of the three categories below:

1.       On-Campus Veteran Resources

a. Full Time Veterans Services Coordinator or Veterans’ Representative and office.
b. Veterans Center/study space dedicated to veteran student population with possibility of computers to sign up for benefits or meeting area for Vet Club.
c. Veterans’ Services Support Group (made up of Veterans’ Representative, Advisors, Faculty, Staff) to address issues veterans face and encourage veterans clubs and meetings.
d. Career placement assistance


2. Mindfulness of Service Member Transitions

a. Consistent credit honored for all of the established military training and schools (Joint Services Transcript, Community College of the Air Force credit, ACE recommended credit, CLEP, DSST).
b. Advanced/Preferential registration dates for student veteran population.
c. Offer veterans sections for new student orientation.
d. College President Signature on Principles of Excellence laid out in Executive Order 13607


3. Financial Considerations

a. Automatic in-state tuition for former active-duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members, spouses and children domiciled in Iowa, regardless of residency requirements.
b. Deferred billing options to ensure timing of VA benefit payments does not hinder academic success.
c. Deferred billing or options to assist student veterans in purchasing books, tools and supplies required for vocational programs.
d. Specific scholarship for transitioning service members and/or their dependents.

Those interested in becoming Home Base Iowa Communities or Home Base Iowa CHAMPS should contact Kathy Anderson, Home Base Iowa Program Manager at 515.725.3149 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Treasurer Fitzgerald Auctioning "Lucky" Items in eBay Auction PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Karen Austin   
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:10

DES MOINES, IA (03/04/2015)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald has a pot o' gold better than the one waiting at the end of the rainbow. Fitzgerald will be hosting his next unclaimed property eBay auction beginning on March 9. "If you're looking for that one-of-kind lucky coin, check out our eBay auction," Fitzgerald stated. "The auction is filled with unique collectibles that were turned over in unclaimed safe deposit boxes." Interested bidders may view selected items before the auction at www.treasurer.state.ia.us/for_citizens/great_iowa_treasure_hunt/ebay-auction/.

The auction will begin on Monday, March 9 and will close on March 16. Some of the treasures in this online auction will include an elephant pin; gold charm bracelet; tie tack in the shape of a clover; and ten 1981 D Lincoln cent– one of these could be your lucky penny! Visit the eBay page at myworld.ebay.com/ia.unclaimed.property. Items included in the auction are from abandoned safe deposit boxes reported to the state treasurer as unclaimed property by financial institutions across the state. Photos, letters and other personal memorabilia will not be included in the auction. The auction proceeds are held for the rightful owners should they come forward.

Search our unclaimed property database to see if the state treasurer has property belonging to you at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.com to begin. Be sure to like Great Iowa Treasure Hunt on Facebook and follow the program on Twitter @GreatIATreasure for information about future auctions.

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7 Steps To A Fear-Free Money Plan PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:45
Women Overwhelmed By Financial Worries Can Ease Their Anxieties, Planner Says

Money worries can lead to sleepless nights for just about everyone, but surveys routinely reveal that women more than men feel the anxiety from a rocky financial situation.

In a 2014 Money Magazine survey, for example, two-thirds of women said they were worried about their financial outlook, compared with 54 percent of men.

Recent studies also found that women tend to be overwhelmed by debt more frequently than men, says financial strategist Donna M. Phelan, author of “Women, Money and Prosperity: A Sister’s Perspective on How to Retire Well” (www.donnamphelan.com).

They are more likely to carry over a credit card debt from one month to the next, as well as pay only the minimum required by their lender.

“That can lead to the misconception that women are bad with money, but that’s not necessarily the case,” Phelan says. “Emergencies arise. Children need school supplies. Elderly parents can need medication. The list can go on and on.”

Women don’t need to remain in perpetual state of anxiety, Phelan says. She offers seven tips for developing a fear-free plan of action:

•  Learn financial basics. Go online or to the library and read financial articles, books and newspapers. Also, Phelan says, seek the help of a financial advisor who can assess your situation, suggest ways to improve and create a financial plan that could get you on track for retirement.

“Many women avoid going to see a financial advisor because they don’t have any money or are deep in debt and believe they can’t afford it, but that’s precisely when you should see a financial advisor,” Phelan says.

•  Get organized. Rid yourself of clutter and set up systems to keep track of paperwork. If the task seems overwhelming, take it a step at a time, such as cleaning out just one desk drawer a week, Phelan says.

Balance your checkbook regularly, too. Do it weekly or bi-weekly if possible, Phelan suggests, but never go more than a month. “This isn’t a chore most people enjoy, but it’s necessary for a healthy budget,” she says.

•  Use cash instead of credit. Credit cards distance us from the effect purchases have on our bank accounts, at least until the bill arrives. “Cash, on the other hand, is an immediate reminder of the financial consequences of that purchase,” Phelan says. “Sometimes a reminder is a good thing.”

One away to wean yourself off credit is to carry and use your checkbook and leave the credit cards at home, Phelan says.

•  Track your spending. Write down everything you spend money on for one week, Phelan says. Then look in your checkbook and credit-card statements and write down everything you spend money on for one month. “You will be amazed at how much you spend and where the money goes,” she says.

The next step is to create a spending plan. Write down how much income you have each month and decide how you want to spend it. Pay yourself first, Phelan suggests, by saving a certain percentage each month. After that, list all your mandatory bills and find ways to cut non-essentials.

•  Look for ways to increase your income. When you can’t pay your bills each month, you have two options. Increase your income or reduce expenses. “It’s likely some combination of the two will be necessary,” Phelan says. “No matter how you view it, you need to start looking for ways to open up new income streams.”

•  Develop new retirement strategies. Women should create what Phelan refers to as Stackable Income Streams to Empower Retirement Security, or SISTERS. Essentially, they need to “stack” enough dependable income streams to meet their monthly spending needs in retirement. Women should consider non-traditional residence sharing, such as renting out empty rooms, getting a roommate or downsizing, she says. They could create profitable home-based businesses from their hobbies. Women should consider delaying their retirement start date and working part-time in retirement, Phelan says.

•  Talk with other women. What are your friends doing to better manage money and prepare for retirement? Phelan suggests women form a SISTERS club that meets regularly to discuss retirement planning. They might discover that they have ideas, talents and resources to share with other women, which might enhance the retirement planning experience and success of a larger scope of women.

About Donna M. Phelan

Donna M. Phelan is the author of “Women, Money and Prosperity: A Sister’s Perspective on How to Retire Well” (www.donnamphelan.com). Donna has spent 19 years at some of Wall Street’s largest and most prestigious investment firms. She holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Connecticut, and provides personal finance advice to clients in 20 states coast to coast. She has been featured in USA Today, Yahoo Finance.Com, CNBC.Com and The Houston Chronicle, among others. Donna has lectured at conferences nationwide on a broad range of financial topics and is the author of numerous articles on investments, retirement and financial planning. Donna was formerly President of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Connecticut state chapter and was active in the Financial Women’s Association (FWA) in New York. She is currently a member of the South Bay Estate Planning Council in Los Angeles. Prior to working on Wall Street, Donna was Principal of a jewelry design and manufacturing company whose customers included Tiffany & Co, C. D. Peacock, and Cartier, for whom she did freelance design.

 
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