Western Illinois – At least three people have announced their candidacy to replace Lane Evans as the Democratic nominee for Congress in Illinois' 17th District. The latest person to throw his hat into the ring is State Representative Mike Boland (D-East Moline). Boland says he's progressive on social issues and conservative on fiscal matters. Boland says it's important for the Democratic nominee to hit the ground running and thinks he's prepared to do that. Evans announced late last month that his battle with Parkinson's disease will prevent him from seeking a 13th term.
Kahoka, MO – One U-S Senator from Missouri says the key to dealing with the immigration issue is tightening up our border with Mexico. Senator Kit Bond (R) says Congress's focus should be on coming up with money for more border agents, detention facilities, detection sensors, and unmanned aircraft patrols. He says any piece of immigration legislation must include methods for finding where the illegal immigrants are and registering them.
Fort Madison, IA – Fort Madison residents have rejected a proposal to put more money into the city's coffers... 66% to 34%. Voters were asked to shift 80% of the dollars generated by a 1% local option sales tax into the city's general fund. The remaining 20% would have been used for streets. The current ratio is 60% / 40%. The shift was expected to raise as much as $180,000, which city leaders plugged into Fort Madison's budget for next year. Since the property tax rate has already been set, it is likely cuts will have to be made to make up for the proposal failing.
Fort Madison, IA – Lee County is closer to creating a drop-in center for those with mental health and other developmental disabilities. Almost 1 year ago, the county received 4 bids to establish a community mental health center. Now, the Board of Supervisors wants to proceed, and is asking Burlington-based Hope Haven Area Development Center and the Fort Madison YMCA to update their bids to reflect current prices. Chairman George Morgan believes, for the most part, the board supports the concept of a drop-in center.
Keokuk, IA – Classrooms in several Keokuk elementary schools will close their doors during the next school year. The school board has approved the district's certified budget for next year. The district faced a nearly $1,000,000 shortfall due to increased costs of salaries, benefits, energy, and additional staff. To clear the deficit, the school board approved using new state revenue and making some significant cuts. One such move is to close classrooms in Lincoln and Torrance elementary schools... and mvoe the students to other builidngs.
Macomb, IL – The McDonough County Board wants to be sure it ends the budget year in the black. Board Vice Chairman Glen Foster says he'll be arranging a meeting among board members and county office-holders to review progress about half-way through the fiscal year. Foster says some office-holders had indicated interest in such a meeting. He says some budget lines are exceeding their projected spending already, while others are on-track. Foster says the board has already had to borrow money to meet expenses, and property tax money won't be received until some time this summer.