Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Boland Introduces E85 Legislation For Local Government
SPRINGFIELD - State Representative Mike Boland (D-East Moline) announced today that he will continue his efforts to make Illinois a leader in the ethanol industry by introducing legislation requiring local governments to purchase flex fuel vehicles, when making new vehicle purchases. In the 2006 session of the Illinois General Assembly, Boland was the sponsor of HB 4137 which requires that all new vehicles purchased by the state be fuel efficient hybrids, or Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV’s), cars and trucks that run on both E85 and traditional gasoline,. That legislation was recently signed into law by Governor Rod Blagojevich. Boland’s newest proposal simply adds a requirement for local governments to also comply with this rule.
“By encouraging the use of E85 fuel, we are helping farmers here at home while also reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” Boland said. “This legislation will help to promote the development of greater capacity and infrastructure for the Illinois ethanol industry,” he continued. “Using E85 fuel produced from crops grown here in Illinois can also help stabilize commodity prices, and enhance agricultural profitability for our family farmers,” he stated. “By taking an active leadership role in promoting this new fuel technology, the State of Illinois will help to ensure a strong future for this important product and for our agricultural economy,” Boland emphasized.
“Because of our geographical position in our Nation’s heartland, and because we’ve been blessed with wonderfully rich agricultural soils, Illinois has a unique opportunity to become a leader in E85 technology,” Boland said. “Not only does the further development of E85 fuels open up exciting new markets for agriculture, it will also foster job growth as this industry continues to develop,” he stated. “By promoting and developing further markets for a cleaner burning fuel that frees us from dependence on foreign sources of oil, all the current and future residents of the Land of Lincoln come out far ahead,” Boland continued.
E85 fuel is produced by blending 85 percent ethanol, which is produced from domestically grown corn, with 15 percent traditional unleaded gasoline. This fuel blend provides fuel economy and power comparable to normal unleaded gasoline. In addition to the economic benefits of manufacturing E85 in Illinois with Ethanol made from corn grown in our state, there is the added benefit that E85 burns cleaner than traditional gasoline. E85 has the highest oxygen content of any motor fuel available today, so it burns cleaner than gasoline. This reduction in exhaust emissions improves air quality and reduces smog, which results in lower rates of respiratory disease and a better quality of life for those with breathing problems.
Boland’s current proposal is being drafted by the Legislative Reference Bureau for introduction in the upcoming, 2007 Spring Session of the Illinois General Assembly. Updates on Boland’s legislative activities can be found by visiting www.MikeBoland.blogspot.com. Representative Mike Boland can be reached at his district legislative office located at 4416 River Drive; Moline, Il 61265; or by phone at 309/736-3360. Boland’s local email contact is ILREPMikeBoland@aol.com .
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Wednesday, January 24, 2007
BOLAND-SPONSORED LAW PROTECTS HOMEOWNERS FROM EMINENT DOMAIN
MOLINE – Illinois law is now a leading example of stronger protections against property taking through eminent domain, due to legislation sponsored by state Rep. Mike Boland, D-Moline. Senate Bill 3086 makes it more difficult for government entities to occupy private property through eminent domain and went into effect on January 1, 2007.
“Just because the federal government has made a ruling, does not mean that Illinois cannot step up our protections a little higher,” Boland said. “This law is important because while we want to improve economic development in our local communities, we must also respect and protect the holdings of private landowners.”
In the case of ‘Kelo v. New London,’ the U.S. Supreme Court held that governments could use their eminent domain powers to transfer the land of one individual to another for private or public development. To protect against the major risk this ruling posed to landowners in Illinois, Rep. Boland worked with a bi-partisan group of legislators to pass SB 3086, ensuring that property can only be taken in Illinois under very specific conditions.
“An individual’s land is their investment and often their livelihood,” Boland said. “Illinois must be very clear about when and why land can be taken. I will continue working to ensure that the property rights of local residents are secure.”
According to SB 3086, the exercise of eminent domain power and the proposed use of the property must be consistent with a regional plan set out within a certain time and only for public, not private, benefit. Property owners must be properly compensated for costs associated with relocation, and specifications are laid out for recouping attorneys’ fees, setting valuation dates, and tightening the definition of “blighted” property.
This legislation was supported by the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Realtors Association, Illinois Home Builders Association, National Federation of Small Businesses, United Food and Commercial Workers, and the AFL-CIO.
BOLAND SPONSORS LAW TO PROVIDE SPEECH THERAPY FOR AUTISTIC KIDS
MOLINE – As of January 1, 2007, group benefit health plans can no longer exclude speech therapy treatment for children with autism due to HB 4125, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Boland (D-Moline).
“As a grandfather, it is a high priority for me that all Illinois children receive the health care they need,” Boland said. “This law is important because it recognizes the life-altering effects of autism and the benefits of early intervention to develop and improve communication skills.”
A report by the Illinois Autism Task Force found that some health insurers in Illinois excluded coverage for treatment for autism and other pervasive development disorders. Legislation was passed to require coverage, but this past year, Rep. Boland worked with the Illinois Autism Society and Illinois health insurers to pass HB 4125 and expand this coverage to include speech therapy. HB 4125 ensures that individuals with “Pervasive Developmental Disorders” such as autism and Asperger’s Syndrome receive 20 outpatient visits for speech therapy. Though not curable, these neurological disorders can be effectively treated with proven techniques of early intervention and speech, occupational, and physical therapy.
“It is not acceptable that health insurance companies can exclude coverage for patients with mental health disorders merely to cut corners and save money,” Boland said. “Especially when the sufferers of autism and Asperger’s are most often children, we cannot ignore the need for better medical attention.”
HB 4125 went into effect January 1, 2007. The legislation is supported by the Illinois Autism Society, the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois, the Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois, and the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.
Representative Boland Announces Availability of Circuit Breaker Applications & Assistance
“I want to encourage anyone who is over 65 or disabled to contact my office for further information and assistance in signing up to qualify for this program,” Representative Boland stated. “The Illinois Circuit Breaker program provides some very important benefits for senior citizens and the disabled,” he continued. “Everyone who qualifies for the Circuit Breaker is entitled to a discount on the price of license plates for one vehicle, and they can also qualify for a property tax rebate, as well as pharmaceutical assistance,” Boland said.
“It’s important that folks remember to sign up for this program every year, so that there are no delays or problems with getting their benefits,” Boland continued. “Starting in February, my office staff will be available to assist seniors and disabled individuals with filing their circuit breaker online from my office,” he added. “By filing online through my office, people can expect to have their applications processed more quickly, and when they are finished my staff will provide a receipt showing that the application has been filed and accepted in Springfield,” Boland concluded.
In order to qualify for the Circuit Breaker individuals must be disable or over the age of 65, and meet certain income guidelines that depend on the size of the household. For more information or to see if you qualify, Representative Boland’s office can be reached by phone at: 309/736-3360 or via e-mail by writing ILRepMikeBoland@aol.com . Boland’s district office is located at 4416 River Drive in Moline.
Mt Carroll Check Presentation Thursday 1-25-07
11:00 AM - MOUNT CARROLL
MOUNT CARROLL CITY HALL
302 NORTH MAIN AVENUE
Rep Mike Boland Presents $50,000 to Mt. Carroll for Infrastructure
State Legislator Helps to Fund Brick Street & Water Improvements
MOUNT CARROLL, IL —— At a news conference and check presentation ceremony, State Representative Mike Boland (D-71) will present a $50,000 ceremonial check to the City of Mount Carroll. Boland secured two different grants for the city, the first for $25,000 to help fund the redevelopment of Mt. Carroll's historic brick streets, and a second $25,000 grant for water infrastructure repair and improvements. Alderwoman Doris Bork, who played an essential role in helping to secure the grants, as well as other members of the City Council and City Staff, are expected to be on hand to accept the check from Representative Boland. Mount Carroll's grant presentation is part of a total of $1 million in grants awarded by Boland to the 71st district in 2006/2007.
"I am very excited to be able to award state funding in the amount of $50,000 to Mount Carroll," Boland stated. "I attended a special City Council Meeting early last year, and I've remained in contact with Alderwoman Doris Bork, as well as other elected officials and staff from the city, so I was well aware of the city's current needs," he added. "Hopefully, this grant will help take a bite out of the significant cost of infrastructure repair and improvement that Mount Carroll faces," Boland said.
"Mt Carroll is a beautiful historic community, so I was thrilled to be able to play a part in the repair of Mt Carroll's historic brick streets," Boland stated. "A safe and reliable water supply is an absolutely essential service, so everyone in the community should get some benefit from the grant for water infrastructure repair and improvements," Boland emphasized.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Rep Mike Boland Presents $100,000 to East Moline for Infrastructure
NEWS CONFERENCE - 11:00 AM WEDNESDAY 1-24-2007
EAST MOLINE CITY HALL - 915 16TH AVENUE
Rep Mike Boland Presents $100,000 to East Moline for Infrastructure
Legislator Helps to Fund Sewer Improvements for East Moline
EAST MOLINE, IL —— At a news conference and check presentation ceremony, State Representative Mike Boland (D-71) presented a $100,000 ceremonial check to the City of East Moline to help fund sewer infrastructure repair and improvements. Mayor John Thodos, as well as members of the East Moline City Council and staff, were on hand to accept the check from Representative Boland.
"I am very excited to be here today to award state funding in the amount of $100,000 to East Moline," Boland stated. "My office has been in contact with Mayor Thodos, as well as other elected officials and staff from the city, so I was well aware of the tremendous need for sewer repair and improvements," he added. "Hopefully, this grant will help take a bite out of the enormous cost of infrastructure repair and improvement that East Moline faces," Boland said.
"Water and sewer are absolute essentials, so everyone in the community should get some benefit from this funding," Boland emphasized. "I realize that investing in infrastructure, like helping with sewers in East Moline, the well here in Port Byron, or the water storage tank I am helping to fund for Orion, is not the flashiest or most exciting way to use the grants I can help with as a State Representative," he continued. "However, I also know that investing in infrastructure has the largest possible impact in helping local government provide essential local services that we all depend on every day," Boland added. "It’s all about making government work for people right here in our communities," Boland concluded.
The sewer grant for East Moline is part of the total of $1 million in grants awarded by Boland to the 71st district in 2006/2007. In total, Representative Mike Boland has brought home more than $2,000,000 in grants and funding to help local governments in the district he represents. For more information, Boland’s office can be reached at: 309/736-3360. Updates on Boland’s legislative activities are also available online at: www.MikeBoland.blogspot.com and he can be reached by e-mail at ILRepMikeBoland@aol.com.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Another Call for Open Primaries
I thought it was worth re-posting here since Rep. Boland has been a longtime advocate of election reform (Mike served two terms as the Chairman of the House Committee on Elections and Cmapaign Reform) and he is in favor of the concept of open primaries for Illinois.
Here is the link to the story. - Post Dispatch Open Primary Article
And here is the text of the story.
Supporters hope lawmakers will heed voters' wishes on open primaries
By Adam Jadhav - ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Supporters of allowing primary voters in Illinois to keep their party affiliation secret say they hope lawmakers will listen to the outcome of anumber of local referendums held in November. In more than 20 township advisory questions across the state, voters saidthey support a so-called open primary system by no less than 78 percent. The movement, spearheaded by Springfield attorney Sam Cahnman, who lost his race as a Democratic challenger for a state representative seat, was intended to get the Legislature to act. Illinois election law requires voters to choose one party's ballot in theprimary — and that choice becomes public information, something Cahnman anda number of state legislators wish to change. Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, has repeatedly introduced a measure to makesuch information secret, and he and other lawmakers have pledged to do soagain this spring. Such a move has historically met with strong opposition from partymachinery on both sides of the political aisle. "I know it's still an uphill battle despite the overwhelming public supportwe saw," Cahnman said. Supporters of changing the law cite a number of reasons. First and foremost, they say that primary participation is dampened because voters simply don't like the idea of their friends, neighbors or bosses being able to check their political proclivities at the local county clerk's office. Black and others say such information can also be used for dirty politics, such as cronyism and hiring discrimination. "We have a lot of problems in Illinois with perception that politics is not a clean and above-reproach business," Black said. "But simply put, you can't use politics to hire or fire. The courts have ruled on this." About 20 states use a variation of the open primary system. Some stateshave seen court challenges to such rules. Arguments for keeping the current system include the idea that it keepsvoters honest and would potentially stop one party pulling ballots for theother, just to vote for the weaker candidate. But some experts say that's largely a myth. Chris Mooney, a political scientist at the University of Illinois atSpringfield, called it more of an "urban legend" and offered a different reason why changes to the primary structure typically fail."Political parties need that information," Mooney said. "The party peopleand the people running for office can go down to the county courthouse andget a list of their voters. It helps them strategize. "Black himself has used such lists as a precinct committeeman to get voters to the polls. But he still thinks it's time for a change. "It's just an anachronism," Black said. "Why do we need to do it?"
by Adam.Jadhav@post-dispatch.com 618-659-3637
Congrats to State Scholars of the 71st District
We all know how much hard work it takes to be an outstanding student, so each of these outstanding young men and women deserves some recognition for their academic accomplishments. Representative Boland and I want to encourage these students to continue striving for academic excellence, so each of them will receive a letter of congratulation from Mike. I also wanted to acknowledge their accomplishments by listing their names here on the blog I've dedicated to the work we do from Mike Boland's office.
I would like to extend my personal congratulations to these outstanding local students, and also encourage others to give your personal accolades to these fine young men and women from the 71st District.
Corey Akers - Geneseo
Brianna Allen - Carbon Cliff
Heather Andersen - Morrison
Emily Arnold - Geneseo
Joshua Bartels - Morrison
Sobir Bazarbayev - East Moline
Teresa Beiermann - Cordova
Kaitlyn Breaux - Port Byron
Erik Bredberg - East Moline
Trisha Brenner - Thomson
Brandon Brown - Hillsdale
Samuel Browning - Colona
Matthew Burch - Mount Carroll
Emma Burgess - East Moline
Tyler Bybee - East Moline
Andrew Cain - Moline
Chelsea Caldwell - East Moline
Richard Casper - Fulton
Jixin Chen - Silvis
Ashley Clark - Hampton
Kara Crawford - East Moline
Kendal Cross - Lynn Center
Kara Dasso - East Moline
Hilary Dauphin - Savanna
Joshua Day - Port Byron
Daniel DeJaegher - Moline
Jason Doh - Moline
Shelly Drehmer - Morrison
Eliot Driver - Morrison
Katelyn Duyvejonck - Moline
Adam Eaker - Moline
Stefan Escontrias - Hampton
Anna Evert - Cambridge
Christopher Flikkema - Lanark
Jonathan Flikkema - Lanark
Ashley Foglesong - Colona
Lisa Gombert - Orion
Willard Gombert - Orion
Jessica Halverson - Moline
Jerome Harms - East Moline
Jaclyn Harrington - Lynn Center
Michelle Hartman - Savanna
Travis Helgren - Colona
Brett Hockman - Port Byron
Alisha Hoffman - Thomson
Amanda Holland - East Moline
Jacob Hollars - Coal Valley
Laura Hull - Coal Valley
Ashley Huston - East Moline
Tali Jamir - Fulton
Charles Janicek - Morrison
Amber Johnson - Colona
Nicole Johnson - Moline
Kate Juhn - Moline
Sarah Juist - Fulton
Brittney Kajdacsi - Colona
Holly Kimball - Orion
Laina Logomarcino - Moline
Cory Law - Mount Carroll
Melanie Lindell - Geneseo
Rustin Lindsey - Morrison
Kelli Lofgren - Erie
Anna Lopez - East Moline
Karina Martin - East Moline
Jonathan McDonnell - Lynn Center
Shawn McNalley - Moline
Mollie McNitt - Morrison
Ben Meersman - Moline
Benjamin Moncivaiz - Silvis
Joshua Moshier - Port Byron
Brian Oostenryk - Morrison
Kayla Papish - East Moline
Nolan Paxton - Geneseo
Shaterika Perkins - East Moline
Adam Pierce - Orion
Trevor Popkin - Morrison
John Quandt - East Moline
Blake Rauba - Moline
Kelly Reese - Geneseo
Jose Rico - East Moline
Timothy Rogis - Fulton
Nicole Ross - East Moline
Natalie Rotz - Silvis
Thomas Rotz - Silvis
Marcus Saad - Erie
Kristen Schaeffer - Moline
John Scott - Moline
William Sedig - Morrison
Gautam Shine - Moline
Lindsey Smith - Morrison
Julianne Teerlinck - Orion
Victoria Teichman - Colona
Katie Tenboer - Morrison
Megan Thacher - Mt Carroll
Bryce Thomsen - Orion
Courtney Tichler - Fulton
Michael Tuttle - Orion
Tara VanZuiden - Albany
Arlene Vandermyde - Morrison
Austin Verbeck - Geneseo
Abigail Vock - Morrison
Emily Warren - Hillsdale
Staci Wherry - Fulton
Lauren White - East Moline
Mason Wiegel - East Moline
Wendy Wigant - Erie
Katelyn Witherspoon - Port Byron
Hannah Zurn - Morrison
The preceding list was provided by the ISBE for Rep Boland. I apologize in advance for any inadvertent errors or omissions which might have been made in compiling this listing of outstanding students from our area. And again, congratulations on your academic achievement!
Boland to Tour CHC Clinic - Friday 1/5/07
2:00 PM - ROCK ISLAND
Community Health Care Inc Clinic
2750 11th Street - Rock Island
Revisiting ARC of Rock Island County
Boland is now considering sponsoring legislation on behalf of ARC of Rock Island County's parent affiliate, ARC of Illinois. No one would accuse the workers who assist the disabled of being overpaid, in fact it's been several years since they've had any kind of significant funding/salary increases from the state. We also learned that the health care coverage offered to most of these workers leaves a lot to be desired.
At Boland's office, we are now looking for ways to improve that situation. In the last legislative session, Boland passed legislation to help workers at Child Advocacy Centers access state health care insurance, so we are looking at the possibility of something similar on behalf of ARC of Illinois. We'll also be working to see if it's possible to get these workers a well deserved COLA.
I know it’s a tough job working as the caregiver for any individual who is disabled, and I’d imagine that individuals who are developmentally disabled present very unique challenges. I also know workers who help the developmentally disabled are making a real difference in the lives of their clients, hopefully we’ll succeed in making a difference in the lives of those workers.
Barstow Fire Says "Thank You"
I was recently notified that the Barstow Fire Protection District has posted a thank you message to Rep. Boland for our office's effort in helping to secure a grant for essential fire equipment.
Barstow Fire Web Link links you directly to their page thanking Mike. It includes several nice pictures as well as the following message.
All of us here at the Barstow Fire Protection District would like to thank Representitive Mike Boland. Representitive Boland recently awarded the Barstow Fire Protection District a grant for $50,000 to purchase a replacement piece of apparattus for the district. The Barstow Fire Protection District recently signed a purchase agreement to obtain Engine 83. Photos are on the web page Engine 83. We were notified at a press conference at the Colona Community Fire Protection District station #1 where Representitive Boland also announced that Carbon Cliff Volunteer Fire Department would also recieve a $50,000 grant to help purchase a replacement apparattus for protection of the Village of Carbon Cliff.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Starting off the New Year
9:00 AM - ROCK ISLAND
ARC of ROCK ISLAND COUNTY
This Wednesday afternoon, 1/3/07, State Representative Mike Boland will take part in an awards assembly at Southwest Elementary School in Geneseo honoring student Payton Demay, winner of the “Smokey the Bear Conservation Award.” Boland will speak about environmental issues that the legislature has tackled and what improvements in environmental law still need to be made in Illinois.
2:30 PM - GENESEO
SOUTHWEST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL