Washington, DC - A study released last week by the National Association of Manufacturers indicates that across-the-board budget cuts to the Department of Defense scheduled to begin in January 2013 would cost approximately 1 million jobs at a time when the nation's unemployment has remained at or above 8 percent for 40 consecutive months.  According to the NAM study, Illinois, with its 8.6 percent unemployment rate, is among the top 10 states to be impacted by job losses, with more than 35,400 jobs on the line in the next two years alone.

With the support of Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) the House of Representatives in May passed H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act, which would provide mandatory spending cuts to reduce the deficit and replace automatic cuts to discretionary spending in 2013 under the Budget Control Act.  It also passed H.R. 4310, the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.  To date, the Senate has passed neither.

This month House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Chairman Buck McKeon (CA-25) and Chairman of the HASC Subcommittee on Readiness, Congressman Randy Forbes (VA-04) joined Schilling in western and northern Illinois for discussions on the region's defense manufacturing capabilities and how local communities will be impacted by defense cuts if sequestration is not avoided.  For more information on these discussions and the impact of massive cuts to defense on our region, see the Quad-City Times and the Rockford Register Star.

Schilling, a member of HASC, today released the following statement urging the United States Senate to take immediate action to preserve Illinois jobs and our national security:

"For 50 years in a row, the Congress has approved a defense authorization bill.  But in recent years, passage of that bill has become further and further delayed.  We in the House approved our bill before Memorial Day, yet as we approach the 4th of July the Senate has still not scheduled time for floor consideration of this vital legislation.

"Congressman Loebsack and I have succeeded in winning key provisions to help increase the Rock Island Arsenal's ability to grow its workload and ensure that the Department of Defense recognizes in its overarching national security strategy the critical manufacturing work done at facilities like the Rock Island Arsenal.  The full Senate has yet to act.

"The military's manufacturing base plays a fundamental role in our national security.  In Iraq in 2004, for example, the Rock Island Arsenal was able to respond to the enemy threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by up-armoring our HUMVEES in as little as one-third of the time it would have taken the private sector because the necessary design, modeling, and manufacturing expertise was already operating and integrated at the Arsenal.  Countless lives were saved because our military could turn to the Rock Island Arsenal rather than wait for the private sector to design a solution.

"However, this critical manufacturing base is at risk not only because the Senate has not yet passed its NDAA but also because the Senate's inaction on sequestration threatens to further reduce meaningful defense programs that support the arsenal.

"The Budget Control Act charged a 'Super Committee' with recommending $1.2 trillion in savings or risk mandatory, across-the-board cuts known as 'sequestration.'  The Super Committee could not agree on spending reductions, but since then the House of Representatives has passed another annual budget, as required by law, as well as an alternate plan to achieve the savings we need to avoid an even greater debt crisis.  The Senate remains unwilling to act.

"The cost of this failure is well documented:  $50,000 of debt per American and rising.  With 10 kids and two grandkids, that's over half a million dollars in national debt just sitting at our dinner table every Sunday.

"Less documented is the cost of looming sequestration.  Instead of working with the House on specific reductions and reforms to wasteful, outdated, or duplicative programs, the Senate is happy to risk slashing every program equally -- valuable or not.  This will protect spending that is not in the national interest, and devastate critical programs that can't afford further cuts.

"Although national defense accounts for 20 percent of our spending, after sequestration it will have suffered more than 50 percent of the spending cuts.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says this is 'their share of the burden,' but I disagree.  Our military and their families have borne their fair share.

"Sequestration will mean fewer personnel and therefore longer and more frequent deployments; antiquated technology on the battlefield; and permanent loss of critical civilian expertise on our assembly lines, in our labs, and on our testing ranges at facilities like the Rock Island Arsenal, all of which pose a serious threat to our nation's defense.

"The House of Representatives has offered a plan to avoid these devastating cuts to our national defense.  But the House cannot do it alone.  It is time for the Senate - especially the leadership of the Senate - to step up.

"I remember how long it took President Reagan to rebuild our military after the post-Vietnam cuts.  I urge those who care about the future of the Rock Island Arsenal, our region's remarkable defense manufacturing capabilities, and our national defense to speak up and make your voices heard.  These cuts are avoidable, but only if our leaders put partisan politics aside, come together, and do the job they were elected to do for our community, our state, and the security of our great nation.

"Last year I voted for the Budget Control Act to change business as usual in Washington.  After years of both parties increasing our debt limit with no plan and no cuts, we passed a bipartisan bill to avoid default, cut spending, and change business as usual.  I hoped that after two and a half years of failing to do its job and pass a budget, the Senate would finally join the House, face reality, and do the tough work necessary to get our financial house in order, our economy back on track, and Americans back to work.  Unbelievably, the Senate continues to be content to fail.

"The Senate has gone more than three years without a budget.  They are sitting on more than 25 bipartisan House-passed jobs bills and have failed to advance a single appropriations bill this year.  The Senate showed no willingness to make meaningful spending reductions during the Super Committee process.  The Senate has yet to pass its version of this year's defense bill, and now, with the meat cleaver hanging over the Department of Defense and by extension the hard-working men and women at the RIA, the Senate is once again A.W.O.L.  We need to get the Senate to work for the American people."

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Senate Bill 1313 a Step in Restoring Fiscal Stability to Illinois

CHICAGO - June 21, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law to help ensure that state of Illinois retirees will continue to receive access to quality health care, while also lowering the cost to taxpayers. Illinois currently offers free health insurance to retirees after 20 years or more of service, at a time when no other state offers a healthcare benefit of this size.

"Those who have faithfully served the state deserve access to quality health care, and insurance costs should be more balanced and based on actual retirement income," Governor Quinn said. "We also have a duty to taxpayers to ensure these plans are cost-efficient and put Illinois on the path to fiscal stability."

Introduced at the request of Governor Quinn, Senate Bill 1313 passed the General Assembly with bi-partisan support. Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) and House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), SB 1313 was also supported by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego).

The purpose of the new law is to increase fiscal responsibility by requiring all state retirees to help with the cost of health care based on their ability to pay. Currently, retired legislators receive free health insurance after four years, retired judges after six years, and retired state and university employees after 20 years of service. The result is that approximately 90 percent of retirees are not contributing anything for the cost of their health insurance. The annual cost to taxpayers is nearly $800 million. This law ensures the state will be able to continue offering quality healthcare coverage for retired employees, while making healthcare benefits more affordable for taxpayers.

Many Midwestern states, including Iowa and Minnesota, do not provide any subsidy for retired employees. Instead, they provide access to their plans and leave the entire cost to be paid by the retiree. Other states offer a very limited subsidy. For example, Florida offers retirees a monthly subsidy of $150, while the retiree covers the remaining cost. While some states utilize a formula similar to Illinois', where the amount of the subsidy is based upon years of service, no comparable state offers free health insurance after 20 years. This law allows Illinois to continue offering affordable health insurance that is based on a retiree's ability to pay and length of state service.

While the bill goes into effect July 1, final decisions on rates will be made following labor negotiations and approval by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Please see the attached document for quotes from the bill's sponsors, as well as General Assembly leadership.



Legislator Quotes

"This is a year for difficult choices, and passing this bill is the first of many. While I take no joy in the loss of a benefit for hard working retirees, I am proud of our efforts to stabilize the state budget for now and the future," said Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago).

"I have a lot of compassion for those people who retired anticipating a certain benefit that now may be changed somewhat," said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont). "Having said that, this is a step Illinois must take to right the financial ship. Without critical reforms, the current structure is unsustainable, and taxpayers are on the hook for programs they cannot afford. Senate Bill 1313 is critical to accomplishing the goal of fiscal stability."

"This important step was absolutely necessary to protect the quality and affordability of health insurance for retirees from public employment, particularly those living on fixed incomes who have no other coverage," said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston), who was the sponsor of SB 1313.

"Close to 80,000 state retirees do not pay a premium for their healthcare; we simply cannot afford that anymore," said Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego). "I commend the Governor and other leaders in the General Assembly for supporting this important reform that will bring more fiscal stability to the state. These new premiums will be negotiated by the administration and labor unions, who will come to an agreement that is fair for the taxpayers and the retirees."

AMES, Iowa - Registered dietitians have a new source for continuing education on safe food preservation. Preserve the Taste of Summer, a research-based program from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, has been approved for up to 20  continuing education units from the Commission of Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

As Iowans continue to be interested in local foods, gardening and preserving food themselves, registered dietitians need to be aware of safe food preservation practices so they can properly advise their clients, said Sarah Francis, an assistant professor and nutrition specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. Gardens are advocated as a means for helping families meet the MyPlate fruit and vegetable recommendations needed for good health. Home food preservation helps families keep the produce from the garden safe year round, Francis said. "The more people who know about safe food preservation methods, the safer Iowans are going to be," Francis said.

Preserve the Taste of Summer consists of eight online lessons covering food safety, the basics of canning, and information on specific food preservation methods, including pressure canning, freezing and drying, as well as preparing and preserving fruit spreads and pickled and fermented foods. People who do not have computer access have the option to view the online lessons in a group setting during four in-person sessions at a participating ISU Extension and Outreach county office.

After completing the online lessons, participants are eligible to take any of the four hands-on workshops covering salsa making and freezing, jams and dehydrating, pickle making or pressure canning.

Completing the online lessons and workshops does not qualify registered dietitians to teach Preserve the Taste of Summer, but does provide the research-based information they need regarding food preservation methods so they can accurately advise clients. Those who are interested would be eligible to serve as volunteers to assist ISU Extension and Outreach nutrition and health specialists with future workshops and program promotion.

Registered dietitians may receive four continuing education units for completing the online lessons and four CEUs for completing one workshop (eight CEUs total) for a combined registration fee of $100. They may receive an additional four CEUs for each of the remaining workshops (up to 12 additional CEUs), with a registration fee of $40 per additional workshop. The entire program (eight online lessons and four workshops) will provide 20 CEUs for $220. Registration is available online at http://www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/preservation/home.html. Registered dietitians should sign up for Preserve the Taste of Summer at the professional level and indicate that they are registered dietitians seeking CEUs.

Registered dietitians must complete 75 CEUs every five years to retain their registration. Francis, who also is a registered dietitian, said, "With 20 CEUs, Preserve the Taste of Summer provides a solid foundation for that continuing education."


Statement of Support Signing Ceremony Demonstrates Commitment to Military Employees, Families

DEERFIELD, IL (06/14/2012)(readMedia)-- Walgreens reaffirmed its support for National Guard and Reserve members and their families today by signing a Statement of Support. Walgreens Chief Human Resources Officer Kathleen Wilson-Thompson signed the Statement on behalf of Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson and the company's 247,000 employees nationwide.

Walgreens has a comprehensive strategy in place to hire and transition military talent. In addition to working with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the company is working closely with numerous key veteran service organizations to raise awareness and support for military members, their spouses and qualified veterans. As part of its outreach strategy, Walgreens also announced today a new veteran outreach email box available at vetoutreach@walgreens.com that will serve as a resource to help link potential Walgreens applicants with the company's military and disability outreach community recruiter.

"We're proud to be a part of an organization designed to help American employers support the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve," said Wilson-Thompson. "Transitioning to civilian life is challenging for many returning service members and it is our hope that we can help provide insight and assistance to help veterans obtain civilian employment."

At the ceremony representing ESGR were National Chairman, James Rebholz; ESGR Chief of Employer Outreach, Tom Bullock; Illinois ESGR State Committee Chair, Dr. Michael Ayers, Ph.D., as well as other ESGR staff and Committee members.

"Today, supportive employers like Walgreens are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's Guard and Reserve units. I am asking all employers to take a look at their current human resources policies to incorporate policies supportive of Guard and Reserve employees," Rebholz told Walgreens employees attending the event. "Many employers provide 'Above and Beyond' support to complement military coverage, such as providing pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extending health care benefits while their employees are mobilized."

Walgreens has a long history of supporting American troops and veterans, from providing a store in the Pentagon beginning in the 1940s, to decades of donation and product drives, and extending company benefits to employees called to active service. Under the Walgreens military leave policy, employees called to active service receive their full salary, less military pay, for 42 months from the last day worked. In addition, they have the option of continuing medical, prescription and dental coverage at active employee rates.

Rebholz also talked about the crucial role employers play in allowing Guardsmen and Reservists to continue to serve in uniform and thanked Walgreens leadership for its culture of support for those who serve our nation.

"Walgreens joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal agencies and thousands of America's employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces," added Rebholz. "By signing the Statement of Support, it sends a clear message to the employees of Walgreens that while they are serving their country, they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs."

About ESGR

Today, approximately 4,800 volunteers, ranging from business executives, senior government representatives, educators and military personnel, serve on ESGR State Committees located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-CNMI, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. With help and resources from the National ESGR Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, the 54 ESGR State Committees conduct employer support programs, including informational briefings, mediation and recognition of employers whose policies support or encourage participation in the National Guard and Reserve. By explaining the missions of the National Guard and Reserve and by increasing public awareness of the role of the employer, ESGR works to develop a dialogue among employers, the ESGR State Committees, and local National Guard and Reserve unit commanders and service members. ESGR is the lead advocate within the Department of Defense for Reserve Component employers.

For more information about careers at Walgreens, visit careers.walgreens.com.

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America's first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 7,889 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

Home Food Preservation 101 will be offered on June 21, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Freight House, 421 W. River Drive in Davenport.

The workshop, taught by ISU Extension and Outreach specialist, Vera Stokes, is intended for those wanting to learn how to safely preserve food. It will also serve as a refresher for those who have experience preserving food.

Since 2006, there have been new canning recommendations that everyone should be aware of when canning at home. Participants will receive current Iowa State University Extension food preservation publications and learn about a new program, Preserve the Taste of Summer.

The workshop is $10.00 and participants need to register by June 15 by calling the Extension Office at 563-359-7577 so there are enough materials available.

"People are 'rediscovering' the joy and economies and fresh taste of home gardening and want to preserve that bounty to enjoy throughout the year by freezing, drying or canning those foods," says Stokes. The program will touch on canning, both hot water bath and pressure canning, freezing, equipment needed and a review of resources available.

Food preservation information and answers to your questions are available by calling the Iowa State University toll free Answer Line 1-800-262-3804 or 1-800-735-2942 (Relay Iowa phone linkage for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals). The Answer Line is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 am - 12noon, 1 pm to 4 pm.


Jason Smith, Vice President of Midland Communications, to Share His Vision on the Future of Unified Communications

DAVENPORT, IA - June 5, 2012 - Midland Communications, a leading provider of unified communications, announced today that Vice President, Jason Smith, has been invited by Technology Assurance Group (TAG), an international organization representing nearly $350 million in products and services in the industry, to share his vision on the future of unified communications with some of the industry's top manufacturers, vendors, suppliers and resellers at TAG's national convention. The 12th Annual TAG Convention will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 9th-12th.
With more and more businesses headed to the cloud, networking and IT infrastructure has grown substantially more complex in the past year. Today's unified communications providers require unprecedented levels of technical expertise, industry foresight and customer service in order to remain competitive. Midland Communications has been invited to attend this year's convention due to its superiority in each of these areas.
"Midland Communications has dominated their marketplace for quite some time," states Brian Suerth, Executive Vice President & Partner of TAG. "They are continually striving to stay on the leading edge of technology, and that's why no one can compete with them. Midland Communications knows what's coming down the pipeline and how it's going to ultimately affect their customers. That's why they are able to proactively support their customers and implement powerful technologies before their competitors even realize that they're behind the curve."
Several industry topics will be covered at the convention and best business practices will be revealed in areas ranging from cloud technologies, virtualization, hosted solutions, managed IT services to customer service. "The only constant in life is that it never stops changing. It's no different in our industry," commented Jason Smith, Vice President of Midland Communications. "That's why we continue to remain active in the industry and share our views at these kinds of events. We always come back to the office with something new and valuable that we can pass on to our customers. We're passionate about what we do and we feel that it's our duty to our customers to find out what's on the horizon. We're often able to leverage new developments and find ways to boost our customers' productivity, and more importantly, their bottom line profitability."
Midland Communications is among the top unified communications providers in the nation and its success is due largely to its innovative approach to business.


Midland Communications began more than 60 years ago in 1946 as the Worldwide Marketing Arm of Victor-Animagraph Projectors. In 1977 a communications division was formed due to a partnership with NEC America. Today, As a distributor of NEC America, for 33 years, Midland Communications has a customer base of more than 3,000 satisfied customers that include general businesses, government agencies, Universities, colleges, hospitals, and hotels.
Midland provides a wide range of communication services including VOIP, PBX and key systems, Wide Area and Local Area networking, computers, Computer integration, voice mail, CCIS, and video conferencing and paging systems. Our philosophy is simple, provide quality products at a fair price, backed by an average emergency response time of twenty minutes, and the best service in the industry. For more information on Midland Communications, call (563) 326-1237 or visit www.midlandcom.com.


Technology Assurance Group, LLC (TAG) is an international organization of leading independently owned unified communications companies. TAG provides its members with the competitive advantages necessary to achieve a dominant position in their marketplace. Members benefit from programs including strategic partnerships with communication solution providers, best business and management practices, and advanced sales training programs.  TAG's mission is to increase its Members' sales and profits through education and to ease their introduction of new technology to the marketplace by leveraging their combined intellect and purchasing power. For more information on TAG, please call 858-673-5800 or visit www.tagnational.com.


Home Food Preservation 101 will be offered on June 21, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Freight House, 421 W. River Drive in Davenport.

The workshop, taught by ISU Extension and Outreach specialist, Vera Stokes, is intended for those wanting to learn how to safely preserve food. It will also serve as a refresher for those who have experience preserving food.

Since 2006, there have been new canning recommendations that everyone should be aware of when canning at home. Participants will receive current Iowa State University Extension food preservation publications and learn about a new program, Preserve the Taste of Summer.

The workshop is $10.00 and participants need to register by June 15 by calling the Extension Office at 563-359-7577 so there are enough materials available.

"People are 'rediscovering' the joy and economies and fresh taste of home gardening and want to preserve that bounty to enjoy throughout the year by freezing, drying or canning those foods," says Stokes. The program will touch on canning, both hot water bath and pressure canning, freezing, equipment needed and a review of resources available.

Food preservation information and answers to your questions are available by calling the Iowa State University toll free Answer Line 1-800-262-3804 or 1-800-735-2942 (Relay Iowa phone linkage for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals). The Answer Line is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 am - 12noon, 1 pm to 4 pm.


May 18, 2012

DES MOINES, IA -- Iowa Workforce Development today will release their most recent total non-farm employment statistics. Regardless of the newly announced employment figures, Governor Branstad and his administration deserve serious scrutiny for their methods in compiling and promoting Iowa jobs numbers.

At issue is the Governor's calculating 'gross jobs' as opposed to 'net jobs' and how his administration makes those calculations. Governor Branstad promised to create 200,000 jobs in 5 years, and according to his administration, they have already created 69,700 'gross jobs'. According to the Des Moines Register, 'net jobs' have grown by just 16,500 since the end of 2010. The difference between the two is simple: Governor Branstad ignores the job losses, and doesn't factor them in his calculcation.

"Out of work Iowans need a job -- not a Governor worried about saving his own job," said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. "With Governor Branstad's history of cooking the books, we should not be surprised that he is skewing the figures to make up for his failed campaign promise. Iowans deserve honest leadership, and instead we're getting falsified statistics."

This week, local economists and media have examined the Governor's lack of candor when accounting for Iowa job growth:

Iowa State University Economist Dave Swenson said the gross totals are not used for any official purpose that he is aware of. He borrowed a line from Lowell Junkins, a Democratic candidate for governor in 1986, to describe the situation. "When someone raises the "gross jobs" notion with me, I always say this: 'If all I counted were my deposits into my checking account, I'd be a millionaire after awhile.  Honest accounting makes me declare, with high certainty and all sincerity, that I, on net, am merely a thousandaire,'" Swenson said. [Des Moines Register, 5/15/2012]


Using the gross numbers by themselves is problematic, said Peter Fisher, research director for the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project. Using Branstad's figures, the state could have a net loss of tens of thousands of jobs and the economy could tank, yet he could still claim progress on his job creation goal. "I can't think of any justification of just focusing on gross job gains," Fisher said. [Des Moines Register, 5/15/2012]

This week, Gov. Terry Branstad was grilled about Iowa's progress toward his whopper of a campaign promise to create 200,000 jobs in five years. The governor contends he's ahead of schedule, with nearly 70,000 jobs created. Trouble is, the governor is using "gross" instead of "net," as in the net number of jobs created after subtracting jobs lost. Any economist will tell you that net is the thing when it comes to tracking job growth. Any first-grader will tell you 7 minus 5 is not 7. Between January 2011, when he took office, and March 2012, Iowa's seasonally adjusted, non-farm employment has grown by a net 15,400 jobs, according to figures compiled by Iowa Workforce Development. [Cedar Rapids Gazette, 5/17/2012]

This isn't the first time Governor Branstad has cooked the books to make his record on job growth appear more impressive than it is. Branstad has a history of inflating job growth and altering official reports for political gain:

Branstad: Lost Jobs Don't Count Against Promise: The Des Moines Register reported in February 1984 that, "By his own count, the Republican governor said, 30,185 jobs were created last year, leaving him with 149,815 jobs still unfound. Democrats in the Legislature, however, count differently. Citing Job Service of Iowa figures, they claim Branstad closed out the year in the hole by about 17,000 jobs."  [Des Moines Register, 2/7/1984]


Branstad Changed Jobs Report to Make It Appear They Created More Jobs:  The Des Moines Register reported in January 1984 that, "Iowa Development Commission Director Jack Bailey acknowledged Thursday that a commission report was altered at the request of a top aide to Gov. Terry Branstad to make it appear that the Branstad administration had brought more jobs to the state. ... [Bailey] said he did not remember seeing a note from a former employee complaining that the change amounted to 'cheating.'"  [Des Moines Register, 1/27/1984]


May 2, 2012, Des Moines, Iowa– Don't wait to make those restaurant reservations, Mother's Day surpasses even Valentine's Day as the most popular holiday on which to dine out according to research from the National Restaurant Association. In fact, nearly half of moms would pick a favorite restaurant as the place to celebrate Mother's Day. The study also indicated that restaurant gift cards and certificates are a top gift pick for moms, with one in five saying this is their preferred gift.

Children Important Part of Choice
"There's really no need to worry about how to celebrate the moms in your life," said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. "Moms love restaurants. Not only do restaurants provide a much-deserved reprieve from cooking at home, they also provide a celebratory atmosphere."
Atmosphere can be an especially important factor because children are a major part of the mix when dining out on Mother's Day.  The study found that two-thirds of those dining out on Mother's Days this year will have children under the age of 18 in their party.
Mother's Day Celebrated at All Meals
Dunker noted that it is important to get on top of making those Mother's Day restaurant reservations. "It's not too soon to make those reservations regardless of the meal you're planning to celebrate," said Dunker.  Fifty-eight percent of Mother's Day diners will go out to a restaurant for dinner, 32 percent lunch, 24 percent brunch, and 10 percent for breakfast.  In addition, one in five Mother's Day diners (19 percent) will go out for more than one meal that day.
Find a Restaurant
Looking for a new restaurant to try this Mother's Day? Dunker encourages people to check out Dine Iowa, a free statewide restaurant directory.  Available online as well as a free smart phone app and on Facebook, Dine Iowa allows consumers to check out menus and hours, as well as run unique searches on everything from Gluten Free offerings to patio seating.  It is available at www.dineiowa.org.
Iowa Restaurant Association
The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa's hospitality industry with educational and promotional programs across the state.  www.restaurantiowa.com.

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Washington, DC - Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) today released the following statement regarding the Path to Prosperity, the House of Representatives' Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal, which cleared the House today by a vote of 228-191:

"As I said last year when the 2012 Path to Prosperity was released - before our debt hit $15 trillion - folks in Illinois' 17th District did not send me to Washington to continue down the road of failed economic policy, job loss, and reckless spending.  Neither side of the aisle and neither chamber of Congress is blameless for the financial crisis we are in, but all are responsible to lead us out.  

"As Winston Churchill once said, you can count on Americans to do the right thing once they've exhausted every other option.  And the right thing is to face this problem now, or face a bigger one tomorrow.  But believe it or not, it has now been more than 1,050 days since the Senate last passed a budget, and the budget proposal recently put forth by the President calls for more spending and more debt.  It just plain fails to address our staggering national debt, and it unanimously failed in the House last night.  

"My colleagues in the House and I refuse to sit on our hands and ignore the urgent need to modernize our government to prevent our debt from crippling our nation.  Our plan is about ending empty promises from a bankrupt government, and guaranteeing our kids and grandkids are left with a stronger America than our parents left us.   

"This budget proposal provides certainty for small businesses, reforming the broken tax code to make it simple, fair, and competitive.  It clears out special loopholes, and lowers tax rates to promote growth.  This budget proposal makes no changes to Medicare for those 55 or older - absolutely no disruptions for those in and around retirement - while saving Medicare for current and future generations.  Under the health care reform law, Medicare was raided $500 billion and an unelected, unaccountable board of bureaucrats was given the ability to cut Medicare even further.  Instead of this approach, our plan advances a bipartisan health care proposal that takes power away from government bureaucrats, and puts patients and their doctors in charge of their health care choices.  

"The House budget proposal presents Americans with a choice - we can sit on the sidelines with the Senate, continue borrowing and spending with the President, or make the bold decisions necessary provide certainty, create jobs, and preserve financial security for our ancestors.  While I may not agree with every proposal contained in the budget, I remain ready to make some bold decisions and right our course."


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