In the closing two weeks of session, Iowa's budget problems will take center stage.  The Revenue Estimating Conference's March prediction included $33 million more in revenue coming to the state than their previous December estimate.  Though this can be seen as a sign Iowa's economy has seen its worst days, the additional revenue will not be enough to make up the nearly half a billion dollar hole.

Funding education will be the one overriding budget item which will foster aggressive discourse in the Legislature.  Politicians should engage in aggressive debate over poor decision making practices which resulted in unfunded mandates, unfunded per-pupil promises, unfunded allowable growth and the play of politicians which resulted in this mess.  Politicians created the problem, and politicians should have a healthy debate on how to fix the problem.


If the 10% across-the-board cut is not backfilled and allowable growth is not funded the cost will fall back on local property tax payers.  Money was promised to school districts which was never provided.  Many of you are noticing your local school boards begin to make the difficult decisions of how to fund schools without promised state dollars.  State law requires school districts to ratify their budgets by April 15th and to publish them thirty days prior for public review.  School districts can't wait any longer for funds which the state spoiled away.  They are now facing the difficult task of turning to local property tax payers to keep schools functioning.


Rather than waiting for the state legislature, school districts in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Ankeny and Clinton have already approved substantial tax levy increases.


Last Thursday a new problem in education popped up:  One time stimulus dollars were used to offer additional pay to teachers for training.  Since the Governor's 10% across-the-board cut also cut this teacher quality pay, school boards found they are now on the hook for this pay as well.  Many school districts were notified of this issue after they certified their budgets.  The full breadth these two problems results in nearly $330 million in unfunded mandates falling to the local level by raising property taxes.


Understanding how Physical Plant and Equipment Levy or PPEL, allowable growth, property tax levies, the state sales tax and the 10% across-the-board cut all factor into this problem can be a task in itself.  And I applaud local youth for writing to me on the issue.  I have received many letters from youth frustrated with the fact that programs like art and music may be cut, as well as teacher positions.  I always encourage young Iowans to get involved in government at a local level and I want to thank them for these letters and I strongly encourage their questions and comments.


Another discussion on the Senate floor sparked intense debate this past week.  One section in the Government Reorganization Bill allowed for the sale and lease-back of state owned buildings.  An amendment to ban the authorization of this practice in the future by the Governor and Legislature failed.  It was passed as a way to offer "management flexibility."  This practice has nearly bankrupt New Mexico.


In closing, I received a message on Thursday in a fortune cookie which read, "If a lobbyist asks you to sponsor an amendment which has already failed twice - Run!"


Shawn Hamerlinck
State Senate 42nd District

DAVENPORT, IOWA (March 15, 2010) - Because minor water leaks account for more than one trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes, EPA's WaterSense program has declared March 15 to 21, 2010 as "Fix a Leak Week" to remind Americans to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.
"Leaks can account for an average of 10,000 gallons of water wasted in the home every year, or enough to fill a backyard swimming pool," said Randy Moore, president of Iowa American Water. "By raising awareness in our partnership with the EPA WaterSense program, water conservation not only saves our customers money, but it also helps to preserve the environment and meet future water needs."
To help consumers across the country save water, the WaterSense program promotes ways to identify and repair dripping faucets, running toilets, and leaky showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts can be installed by do-it-yourselfers and pay for themselves in no time.
Iowa American Water recommends the following tips to help save water lost by leaks:

 

  • Regularly check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks. American Water offers leak detection kits, which are available by calling the American Water Customer Service Center at 1.866.641.2108 or in the Learning Center of the company's Web site, www.amwater.com. If you find a leak, have it fixed as soon as possible.
  • Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replace them, or, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense labeled model.
  • Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home up to 200 gallons of water per day. Ask your water utility for a toilet leak detection kit, which will help you identify leaking commodes.
  • For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
  • Tighten connections on your showerheads if drips appear when the shower is off.
  • Check your garden and lawn irrigation system for leaks, or hire a certified WaterSense expert to check it for you.
If homeowners have to replace a plumbing fixture, EPA reminds them to look for the WaterSense label. WaterSense labeled toilets and faucets have been independently tested and certified to save water and perform as well as or better than standard models. WaterSense also partners with certified landscape irrigation auditors, designers, installers, and maintenance professionals with water-efficiency knowledge; see www.epa.gov/watersense to find a WaterSense irrigation partner in your area. For more information on Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak.
WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect the future of our nation's water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for water-efficient products and services. WaterSense labeled products must achieve independent, third-party testing and certification to prove they meet EPA's criteria for efficiency and performance.

WASHINGTON- Chuck Grassley today said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Rural Development awarded payments totaling $1,644,242.64 to Iowa through the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels.

"It's great to see the Department of Agriculture working with these Iowa biofuel companies to help lessen our dependence on foreign oil by continuing to develop advanced biofuels here at home," Grassley said.

The Department of Agriculture will distribute the funds as shown below.

· Central Iowa Energy in Newton will receive $114,239.69 to help support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels and to help provide economic incentives for increased production of advanced biofuels through the use of soybean oil and other oils.

· Iowa Renewable Energy in Washington will receive $216,592.82 to help support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels and to help provide economic incentives for increased production of advanced biofuels through the use of soybean oil, other oils and animal fat.

· Maple River Energy in Galva will receive $9,742.32 to help support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels and to help provide economic incentives for increased production of advanced biofuels through the use of soybean oil and other oils.

· Renewable Energy Group in Ralston, Iowa and Houston, Texas will receive $727,132.93 to help support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels and to help provide economic incentives for increased production of advanced biofuels through the use of canola oil, soybean oil, other oils and animal fat.

· Riksch Biofuels in Crawfordsville will receive $10,401.22 to help support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels and to help provide economic incentives for increased production of advanced biofuels through the use of soybean oil, grease oil and animal fat.

· Sioux Biochemical in Sioux Center will receive $13,961.87 to help support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels and to help provide economic incentives for increased production of advanced biofuels through the use of soybean oil and other oils.

· Western Dubuque Biodiesel in Farley will receive $253,695.87 to help support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels and to help provide economic incentives for increased production of advanced biofuels through the use of vegetable oil and technical tallow.

· Western Iowa Energy in Wall Lake will receive $298,475.92 to help support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels and to help provide economic incentives for increased production of advanced biofuels through the use of waste vegetable oil, oils, greases and animal fat.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels provides payments to eligible in rural areas to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels.  Payments are based on the amount of biofuels a recipient produces from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch, such as cellulose, crop residue, animal, food and yard waste material, biogas, vegetable oil and animal fat.

Each year, thousands of local Iowa organizations, colleges and universities, individuals and state agencies apply for competitive grants and loans from the federal government.  The funding is then awarded based on each local organization or individual's ability to meet criteria set by the federal entity.

-30-

MOLINE ? MARCH 12, 2010 ?West Music is proud to host a FREE screening of Note By Note on Friday, March 26 beginning at 6:00 PM. Please join us in store at 4305 44th Avenue, located off John Deere Road and 41st Street. For more information, call 309-764-9300.

The most thoroughly handcrafted instruments in the world, Steinway pianos are as unique and full of personality as the world-class musicians who play them. However, their makers are a dying breed: skilled cabinetmakers, gifted tuners, thorough hand-crafters. Note By Note is a feature-length independent documentary that follows the creation of a Steinway concert grand, #L1037 - from forest floor to concert hall.

Produced and directed by Ben Niles, Note By Note covers the process's highlights and touches on the benefits of a hand-crafted instrument. It reconciles the extremes of the piano's personality spectrum-craftsman to musicians. Ultimately, it pushes the story into new territory, infusing personal stories with the instruments, treating them as one in the same. For more information on this documentary film and to view trailer clips, visit www.notebynotethemovie.com and www.argotpictures.com.

Ben Niles is a documentary filmmaker and award-winning graphic designer. During his fifteen years as a graphic designer, Ben has directed and produced photo shoots, commercials, videos and print campaigns for commercial and entertainment clients including Atlantic Records, The Nantucket Film Festival, and the Jacob Burns Film Center. Ben is a graduate of the University of Georgia at Athens and attended Urge's prestigious Crotona program, an intensive fine arts study-abroad program located in Crotona, Italy.

West Music was founded in Iowa City, IA in 1941. With five locations in eastern Iowa and western Illinois, West Music is a full-line music retailer, houses a full-time instrument repair staff, and conducts over 4,000 lesson students and 400 school music programs each week.

        • ###

O'Reilly Auto Parts, Kids Racing For Kids are new partners

Rock Island, IL - The Rock Island Grand Prix, the world's largest karting street race, is proud to announce that communications giant AT&T will return as a Presenting Sponsor of the race for the 16th year!

They will also be joined by several new sponsors in 2010.

While AT&T has shared the top billing at Rock Island from time to time, no other company has been such a high profile supporter for every year of the race's existence. The long-term support from AT&T has allowed the race to thrive in some years and survive in others, according to RIGP president Roger Ruthhart.

"AT&T's support of this grass roots motor sports event, the city of Rock Island and the Quad-Cities in general has been unsurpassed. Over the many years this support represents almost $150,000 in commitment to the sport of kart racing. We hope racers across the country keep that in mind when they make decisions about communication and internet suppliers and directory advertising," said Ruthhart.

"The Quad-Cities Convention and Visitor's Bureau has estimated that each year the Rock Island Grand Prix has an economic impact of more than $2 million on the local economy.  The investment by AT&T's and other sponsors in the Quad-Cities has translated into more than $32 million over the life of the event," Ruthhart added.

"Every year the Rock Island Grand Prix is an exciting event that brings the Quad-Cities community together and even brings racers and tourists from around the world," said Dennis Pauley, director of external affairs for AT&T. "At AT&T we want to connect people to their world, everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else. That's why we are proud to continue our investment in the Quad-Cities as the presenting sponsor of the Rock Island Grand Prix. We look forward to an exciting and enjoyable Rock Island Grand Prix in September."

The Rock Island Grand Prix also has signed a new corporate partnership deal with O'Reilly Auto Parts.

"We are excited to have a dominant national retail and service-oriented company like O'Reilly Auto Parts involved with our event," said Ruthhart. Our racers come from all over the country and whether it is parts for their karts, haulers, trailers or family vehicles, they can rely on the O'Reilly family of auto parts stores to keep their equipment rolling."

"We look forward to working with the O'Reilly stores in the Quad-Cities and surrounding region to help promote their service and product lines," Ruthhart added.

The RIGP is also proud to announce a new partnership with Kids Racing for Kids (KRFK). The foundation was started by Tim Self to benefit children who, unlike his son Austin, were unable to enjoy the thrills of racing. The foundation will sponsor the TAG Junior class at this year's Rock Island Grand Prix.

"We would like to thank Tim Self, Jim Sharkey and Kids Racing for Kids foundation for their support this year. We look forward to helping to educate the karting world and the Quad-Cities about the great work done by this group," said Ruthhart

"I started this foundation not only to give back to children in need, but also to promote positive values in kids that aren't always learned by what they're taught in school," said Self. "I wanted to partner with a racing organization with exposure so we could get attention to the foundation, while bringing exposure to karting in the communities we race in."

Race details are available on the Grand Prix website at rockislandgrandprix.com.

# # # # #

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced the recipients of this year's 'Harkin School Grants'.  The Iowa Department of Education has selected 58 schools to receive $5,361,576 in federal funds to modernize and improve their facilities.  Specifically, 47 Iowa schools of all sizes will receive $1,876,551 to improve and upgrade fire safety and 11 schools will receive $3,485,025 for projects such as replacing old buildings, updating facilities and improving energy efficiency.

"If we expect our children to learn and be competitive in the global economy, we must provide them with safe and modern schools in which to thrive.  This funding will allow for upgrades to improve the safety and quality of school infrastructure and help improve the quality of the learning done inside," said Harkin. "I congratulate all of these schools on being chosen by the Iowa Department of Education for this year's grants."

This federal funding comes from pilot programs Harkin created in 1998 in his role as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds education initiatives. Since then, these grants have provided $134 million in federal dollars to the Iowa Department of Education to make competitive grants for school repair and construction. Because most of the funding required a local match, over $600 million has been leveraged for construction and repairs in over 300 Iowa school districts.  For the first time in the history of the program, the competition gave preference to school districts that plan energy efficient projects.

"This program has shown to have very positive results in Iowa.  It is my hope that this method of using a small infusion of federal dollars to leverage construction and repair funding becomes a national model to provide all children with safe, energy efficient school facilities that are conducive to world-class learning," said Harkin.

A full list of grantees can be found here.

A 1705 emblem book created for Peter the Great, a 19th-century Buddhist monastic code of discipline, a first edition of Dostoyevsky's "The Possessed" and George Gershwin's song-book were among the treasures uncovered by the 2009 class of Junior Fellows Summer Interns, who located them among the copyright deposits and gifts that have come into the nation's library.

This summer the Library of Congress is once again offering special 10-week paid internships to college students. For a stipend of $3,000, the 2010 class of Junior Fellows Summer Interns will work full-time from June 7 through Aug. 13 with Library specialists to inventory, describe, and explore collection holdings and to assist with digital preservation outreach activities throughout the Library. The focus of the program is on increasing access to collections and awareness of the Library's digital preservation programs by making them better known and accessible to researchers including scholars, students, teachers and the general public.

The interns will be exposed to a broad spectrum of library work: preservation, reference, access standards and information management. The program is made possible through the generosity of the late Mrs. Jefferson Patterson and the James Madison Council.

In addition to the stipend (paid in bi-weekly segments), interns will be eligible to take part in programs offered at the Library. Interns are temporary employees of the Library, and as such are not eligible for federal employee benefits and privileges.

Applications will be accepted online only at USAJobs.gov, control # 1840256, from Friday, March 12, 2010, through midnight, Friday, March 26, 2010.  For more details about the program and information on how to apply, visit www.loc.gov/hr/jrfellows/. Questions about the program may be sent to interns2010@loc.gov.

The Library of Congress is an equal-opportunity employer. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities who meet eligibility requirements are strongly encouraged to apply.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library's rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

# # #

First of Five Workshops Features Discussion on Competitive Dynamics in the Seed Industry, Trends in Contracting, Transparency and Buyer Power

ANKENY, Iowa, March 12, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today held the first-ever joint public workshop on competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. The workshop, led by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, featured panel discussions on a variety of topics important to America's farmers and ranchers, including competitive dynamics in the seed industry, trends in contracting, transparency and buyer power, and concluded with public testimony.

"In my travels across the country, I hear a consistent theme: producers are worried whether there is a future for them or their children in agriculture, and a viable market is an important factor in what that future looks like," said Vilsack. "These issues are difficult and complex, which is why this workshop today is so important and long overdue."

"Today's workshop provided the Department with an important opportunity to hear from a variety of perspectives and individuals about competition in the agriculture sector," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "We appreciate the importance of this industry to our economy and are committed to enforcing the antitrust laws effectively to ensure fair and open competition that protects both consumers and farmers."

Today's meeting was the first in a series of workshops that will be held over the next several months, the first joint Department of Justice/USDA workshops ever to be held to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. The goals of the workshops are to promote dialogue and foster learning, as well as to listen to and learn from people involved in agriculture. Additional information about the workshops can be found at http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/workshops/ag2010/index.htm#overview.

A six-person panel of farmers presented their views on competition and regulatory issues. Other workshop panels examined the competitive dynamics of the seed industry; trends in contracting issues, marketplace transparency and buyer power; and agriculture enforcement and cooperation at the Federal and state levels. Following the panels officials received public testimony.

The workshop was held at the FFA Enrichment Center at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and was attended by several key federal and state leaders, including Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, Congressman Leonard Boswell, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division Christine Varney, Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.

Transcripts from today's workshop will be available for review at a later date on the Antitrust Division's Web site. Individuals seeking more information on the workshops should contact agriculturalworkshops@usdoj.gov.


WASHINGTON, March 12, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 funding is available again through three USDA programs to promote increased production of biomass and bioenergy.  The programs are authorized under the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (The Farm Bill).

  • Applications for remaining FY 2009 funding under the Biorefinery Assistance Program (Section 9003), which uses loan guarantees to develop, construct, and retrofit commercial-scale biorefineries, must be received by June 1, 2010.
  • Applications are also being accepted for remaining FY 2009 funding under the Repowering Assistance Program  (Section 9004), which provides for payments to biorefineries (that were in existence when the Farm Bill was passed) to replace the use of fossil fuels in their operations with renewable energy from biomass. Biorefineries interested in obtaining funding must apply by June 15, 2010.
  • Those biomass producers eligible under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels (Section 9005) may also apply to receive payment from remaining FY 2009 funds.  Applications must be received by May 30, 2010.  During the first round, the Department awarded funding to 123 recipients in 34 states to accelerate the production and usage of advanced biofuels.

"The Obama Administration is working aggressively to give our nation's rural communities, farmers, ranchers and producers of biofuels the financial tools they need to help bring greater energy independence to America," Vilsack said. "This funding will help the nation's advanced biofuel industry produce energy from sustainable rural resources, and in doing so create jobs and stimulate rural economies across the nation."

Under Section 9005, the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, payments are made to eligible producers in rural areas to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels. Payments are based on the amount of biofuels a recipient produces from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch.  Eligible examples include biofuels derived from cellulose, crop residue, animal, food and yard waste material, biogas (landfill and sewage waste treatment gas), vegetable oil and animal fat. Information on how to apply for payments can be found in the March 12, 2010, Federal Register. Information on how to apply for funding under Sections 9003 and 9004 is also available in the March 12, 2010 Federal Register or by going to http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/fr-cont.html#Rural%20Business-Cooperative%20Service. Funding for these programs is not provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The producer payments are intended to help biorefineries reduce energy costs and fossil fuel consumption - necessary steps toward meeting the nation's energy needs. The following is a list of biofuels producers that have already received funding under USDA's Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels. Recipients of payments less than $500 are not listed.

Alabama

  • Athens Biodiesel, LLC, $2,262.11

Arizona

  • Pinal Energy, LLC, $1,337,529.99

Arkansas

  • FutureFuels Chemical Company, $544,785.84
  • Pinnacle Biofuels, Inc., $20,085.18

California

  • Energy Alternative Solutions, Inc., $4,269.21
  • Imperial Valley Biodiesel, LLC, $1,999.57
  • Imperial Western Products, Inc. $55,105.91
  • Yokayo Biofuels, Inc., $8,308.57

Florida

  • Agri-Source Fuels, LLC, $7,103.50
  • Biofuel Consultants of North America, $2,004.77

Georgia

  • Alterra Bioenergy of Middle Georgia LLC, $530.98
  • Down To Earth Energy LLC, $1,062.62
  • Nittany Biodiesel, $196,949.91
  • The Edge Group, Inc., $8,167.17
  • U.S. Biofuels Inc., $106,208.25
  • American Proteins, Inc., $32,935.57

Hawaii

  • Pacific Biodiesel, Inc., $8,655.92

Idaho

  • Coeur D'alene Fiber Fuels, Inc., $203,769.40

Illinois

  • Blackhawk Biofuels, LLC, $258,309.90
  • Nova Biosource Fuels, Inc., $239,740.09
  • Valley Energy, Inc., $4,717.00

Indiana

  • E Biofuels LLC, $165,980.73
  • Indiana Flex Fuels, LLC, $5,164.00
  • Kingsbury Energy Group, $17,861.00
  • T and M Limited Partnership, $30,702.24

Iowa

  • Central Iowa Energy, LLC, $114,239.69
  • Iowa Renewable Energy, LLC, $216,592.82
  • Maple River Energy, LLC, $9,742.32
  • Renewable Energy Group, Inc., $727,132.93
  • Riksch Biofuels LLC, $10,401.22
  • Sioux Biochemical, Inc., $13,961.87
  • Western Dubuque Biodiesel, LLC, $253,695.87
  • Western Iowa Energy, $298,475.92

Kansas

  • Arkalon Ethanol, LLC, $663,270.50
  • Bonanza Bioenergy, LLC, $266,261.11
  • East Kansas Agri-Energy LLC, $34,500.65
  • Emergent Green Energy, Inc., $1,700.79
  • ESE Alcohol,        $17,688.56
  • Healy Biodiesel, Inc., $5,281.14
  • Kansas Ethanol, LLC,       $690,080.67
  • Nesika Energy, LLC, $104,104.40
  • Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy, LLC, $            824,692.23
  • Reeve Agri Energy Inc., $150,398.26
  • Trenton Agri Products LLC, $130,867.50
  • Western Plains Energy LLC, $848,999.36

Kentucky

  • Griffin Industries, Inc., $17,278.36

Maine

  • Corinth Wood Pellets, LLC, $176,855.44
  • Maine Woods Pellet Company, LLC, $231,291.84

Michigan

  • Hillside Farms, LLC, $793.50
  • Michigan Biodiesel, LLC, $1, 372.22
  • Scenic View Dairy, LLC, $10,219.43

Minnesota

  • Cargill Inc., $269,307.51
  • Chippewa Valley Ethanol Coop LLP, $8,560.08
  • Corn Plus LP,      $182,421.73
  • Fumpa Biofuels, $25,793.57
  • MN Soybean Processo, $565,695.38
  • Riverview LLP, $3,993.54
  • West River Dairy, LLP, $4,874.74

Mississippi

  • Greenlight Biofuels, $18,732.10
  • Scott Petroleum Corporation, $106,190.64

Missouri

  • Global Fuels LLC, $13,748.25
  • Mid-America Biofuels, LLC, $538,101.79
  • Natural Biodiesel Plant LLC, $26,909.55
  • Prairie Pride, Inc., $133,712.70
  • Show Me Energy Cooperative, $35,813.38

Montana

  • Earl Fisher Bio Fuels LLP, $586.66
  • Huls Dairy, Inc., $1,041.68

Nebraska

  • AG Processing Inc., $120,115.61
  • Chief Ethanol Fuel Inc., $1,345,588.16
  • Northeast Nebraska Biodiesel, LLC, $9,264.65

Nevada

  • Bently Biofuels Company, $2,144.76

New York

  • MST Production, LTD, $82,410.75
  • TMT Biofuels LLC, $1,728.06

North Carolina

  • North American Bio-Energies, $4,149.60
  • Piedmont Biofuels Industrial, LLC, $7,710.29
  • Triangle Biofuels Industries, Inc., $9,148.67

North Dakota

  • Archer Daniels Midland Company, $385,062.16

Ohio

  • American AG Fuels, LLC, $923.99
  • Arlington Energy, LLC, $1,699.77
  • Bridgewater Dairy, LLC, $2,028.39

Oklahoma

  • Ecogy Biofuels LLC, $85,057.55
  • High Plains Bioenergy, LLC, $329,457.85

Oregon

  • Green Fuels of Oregon, $643.33
  • Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc., $735.50

Pennsylvania

  • Middletown Biofuels LLC, $17,510.92
  • Soy Energy, Inc. dba Custom Fuels, Inc., $3,382.39

Tennessee

  • SunSoil, LLC, $2,811.54

Texas

  • Beacon Energy (Texas) Corporation, $69,453.37
  • Double Diamond Energy, Inc., $8,711.97
  • New Energy Fuels, LLC, $5,424.50
  • Levelland/Hockley County Ethanol, LLC, $432,305.71
  • Texas Green Manufacturing LLC, $558.14

Vermont

  • Audet's Cow Power, LLC, $757.59
  • Berkshire Cow Power, LLC, $2,107.69
  • David and Cathy Montagne, $586.29
  • Green Mountain Dairy LLC, $918.17

Virginia

  • Chesapeake Custom Chemical Corporation, $12,438.66
  • Red Birch Energy, $6,583.85
  • Virginia Biodiesel Refinery LLC, $23,341.53

Washington

  • Farm Power Rexville LLC, $1,115.41
  • FPE Renewables, LLC, $6,987.32
  • GDR Power LLC, $16,162.98
  • Imperium Grays Harbor LLC, $195,671.27
  • Inland Empire Oilseeds LLC, $8,012.82
  • Qualco Energy, $1,558.79
  • Standard Biodiesel USA Inc., $3,219.96
  • Whole Energy Fuels Corporation, $10,661.75

Wisconsin

  • Badger Biodiesel, Inc., $193,237.25
  • Best Biodiesel Cashton, LLC, $6,149.62
  • Bio Blend Fuels, $1,976.11
  • Buckeye Ridge Renewable Power LLC, $10,518.57
  • Clover Hill Dairy, LLC, $1,371.50
  • Green Valley Dairy LLC, $5,733.51
  • Grotegut Dairy Farm, Inc., $1,066.92
  • Holsum Dairies, LLC, $6,891.98
  • Norm E Lane, Inc., $2,264.82
  • Norswiss Digester, LLC, $11,535.15
  • Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy, LLC, $2,045.72
  • Quantum Dairy, LLC, $1,718.79
  • Stargest Power, LLC, $11,636.27
  • Statz Brothers, Inc., $1,464.80
  • Walsh Bio Fuels, LLC, $6,656.94
  • Sun Power Biodiesel, LLC, $9,050.39

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $130 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

Iowa Recovery Dollars Have Provided Funding For More Than 6,200 Education Jobs

U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that an additional $127,503,336 is now available for Iowa under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.  To date, Iowa has received $864,657,970 through the Recovery Act. The State recently reported that recovery dollars have been used to provide funding for more than 6,200 education jobs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2009, while also supporting programs that drive education reform.

"With this application, Iowa provided us with basic information on what is working in their classrooms," said Duncan.  "This data is a critical tool in helping us work together-with students, parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders, and elected officials at every level-to improve education for Iowa's students."

The application required states to provide data that will lay the foundation for reform including:

*       How teachers and principals are evaluated and how this information is used to support, retain, promote, or remove staff.

*       The extent to which the state has a Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems that includes all the necessary America COMPETES Act requirements and how it will implement a comprehensive system by 2011.

*       Whether the state provides student growth data on current students and the students taught in the previous year to, at a minimum, teachers of reading/language arts and mathematics in grades in which the state administers assessments    in those subjects in a manner that is timely and informs instructional programs.

*       The number and identity of the schools that are Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring that are identified as persistently lowest-achieving schools.

State applications must describe the state's current ability to collect the data or other information needed for the assurance indicators and descriptors as well as the state's current ability to make the data or information easily available to the public. If the state is currently able to fully collect and publicly report the required data or other information at least annually, the state must provide the most recent data or information with its plan.

If a state is not currently able to fully collect or publicly report the data or other information at least annually, the plan must describe the state's process and timeline for developing and implementing the means to do so as soon as possible but no later than Sept. 30, 2011. The state plan must describe the state's collection and public reporting abilities with respect to each individual indicator or descriptor. The application, requirements, and summary of the requirements can all be found here: http://www.ed.gov/programs/statestabilization/applicant.html <http://www2.ed.gov/programs/statestabilization/applicant.html> .

In addition to the more than $127 million announced today, the Recovery Act has provided $737,154,634 in funding through 10 different programs to the state of Iowa. Prior to today's announcement, Iowa had received:

*       $ 344,836,206 in State Fiscal Stabilization funds through their successful completion of part 1 of the application. The State Fiscal Stabilization Fund program is a new one-time appropriation of $53.6 billion distributed directly to states to:

*       Help stabilize state and local government budgets in order to minimize and avoid reductions in education and other essential public services.

*       Help ensure that local educational agencies (LEAs) and public institutions of higher education (IHEs) have the resources to avert cuts and retain educational personnel and staff.

*       Help support the modernization, renovation, and repair of school and college facilities.

*       Help advance reforms, from early learning through post-secondary education, to benefit students and families.

*       $51,497,022 in Title I funds. The Recovery Act provides $10 billion in additional Title I, Part A funds to state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) to support schools that have high concentrations of students from families that live in poverty in order to help improve teaching and learning for students most at risk of failing to meet state academic achievement standards.

*       $130,805,036  in IDEA funds. The Recovery Act provides $12.2 billion in additional funding for Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Part B of the IDEA provides funds to state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) to help them ensure that children with disabilities, including children aged three through five, have access to a free appropriate public education to meet each child's unique needs and prepare him or her for further education, employment, and independent living. Part C of the IDEA provides funds to each state lead agency designated by the Governor to implement statewide systems of coordinated, comprehensive, multidisciplinary interagency programs and make early intervention services available to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

*       $3,344,836  in Education Technology Grants. The Recovery Act provides $650 million in additional funding for Education Technology Grants.  The primary goal of the Education Technology Grants program is to improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in schools. It is also designed to help ensure that every student is technologically literate by the end of eighth grade and to encourage the effective integration of technology with teacher training and curriculum development.

*       $5,715,709 in Vocational Rehabilitation Funds.  The Recovery Act provides $540 million in additional funding for the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) State Grants program. The VR State Grants program provides grants to states to help individuals with disabilities, especially those individuals with the most significant disabilities, prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment.

*       $742,085 in Independent Living Services Funds.  The Recovery Act provides $140 million in additional funding for the Independent Living (IL) programs. The IL programs support services to individuals with significant disabilities and older individuals who are blind to maximize their leadership, empowerment, independence, and productivity, and to promote the integration and full inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of American society.

*       $791,492 in School Improvement Grants. The Recovery Act provides $3 billion in School Improvement Grants to support the transformational changes that are needed to turn around the nation's persistently lowest-achieving schools by using rigorous school intervention models.

*       $443,632 in McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance funds. The Recovery Act provides $70 million under the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth program to assist States and local educational agencies (LEAs) in addressing the educational and related needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our society - homeless children and youth - during a time of economic crisis in the United States.

*       $196,212,129 in Pell Grants have been awarded to students attending schools in Iowa. Pell Grants are awarded based on student applications, not by state.  The Recovery Act provides $17.1 billion in additional funds for students across the country in need of Pell Grants. The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain postbaccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions. The additional funding allowed the Department of Education to raise the maximum Pell award from $4,731 to $5,350.

*       $2,766,488 in Work Study funds have been awarded to students attending schools in Iowa. The Recovery Act provides an additional $200 million to the Work-Study program, providing colleges and universities with additional funding to provide jobs to students to help with their college and living expenses.

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