MOLINE, Illinois (KWQC) -- Dozens of immigrants attended a seminar at World Relief on Saturday to learn how to become a United States citizen.

The informational seminar was held by State Representative Tony McCombie and the New Americans Initiative.

Presenters provided information on how to become a U.S. citizen, eligibility screening, application making and scheduling, as well as the benefits of being a citizen.

After the information session, people who felt ready to apply for the citizenship met with a member of World Relief for assistance. Organizers said anyone who does not feel ready to apply can choose to take citizenship classes to help them feel more prepared."


The Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism, Cory Jobe, visited Savanna on Thursday to discuss the importance of tourism and its effects on our local economy.


Rep. McCombie addresses the crown at Manny's in Savanna.

Cory Jobe, Director of Office of Tourism, Addresses the crowd on Thursday night.

SAVANNA – State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71st) released the following statement in response to the Illinois Department of Revenues Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax (also known as the 'replacement tax,' CPPRT, and PPRT) forecasts:

“Every week we uncover more problems in the superficial budget passed in July. The majority party continues to use the increase of taxes, mandates and now the diversion of PPRT to fund their own priority projects, which will have a devastating effect on local communities. The Department of Revenue just released its FY18 PPRT estimates and the effects are astounding. Included in the forecast was a reduction of $6 million to our local school districts and an additional reduction of $4 million to our local units of government,” said Rep. McCombie. “The majority claims they want to hold our schools harmless, however they just played a major part in taking $10 million from local schools and government entities.”

According to the Illinois Dept. of Revenue, “Replacement taxes are revenues collected by the state of Illinois and paid to local governments to replace money that was lost by local governments when their powers to impose personal property taxes on corporations, partnerships, and other business entities were taken away.”

Embedded in the budget’s spending plan (SB6) was a reallocation of money in PPRT to the tune of $297 million, $122 million of which are new diversions. In total, the FY18 replacement tax allocations are estimated at $1.12 billion. This represents a 23.8% decrease from the FY17 allocations that totaled $1.47 billion.

PPRT funds are intended to go to local school districts, counties, townships, fire departments, police departments, park districts, hospitals and various other local bodies. “This budget reflects an ever-increasing list of non-essential items that is impossible to balance without reforms to our structure or reforms to our spending. We have to stop the practice of sweeping money from our pensions, other funds and away from the people of Illinois.”

Attached is chart depicting how much each school district will lose under the enacted FY18 budget:
 

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SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71st) will partner with the New Americans Initiative and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to host an immigration seminar on becoming a US Citizen in Moline on Saturday, August 26.
                                                                                                                    
The informational seminar is being held on Saturday, August 26th from 10am – 12pm at World Relief located at 1852 16th Street in Moline.


The presentation will provide information on becoming a US Citizen. This will include the benefits of becoming a Citizen, information on individualized legal citizenship consultation, eligibility screening, and N-400 application appointment scheduling.

The program is funded by the New Americans Initiative-NAI. NAI is a non-profit partnership between the state of Illinois and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to help eligible Legal Permanent Residents through the process of becoming a U.S. Citizen with FREE assistance.

For more information please contact Nana Ouro-Agoro at (309) 716-7437.

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SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71st) released the following statement on the education funding reform bill that failed in the Illinois House of Representatives today:

“Rather than work together on a compromise to fairly and equitably fund our schools, legislators presented a bill to make a statement and put politics ahead of our students and school districts.

“I voted present on the legislation brought to the House, because I refuse to enable poor behavior and take part in anymore political theater. I came to Springfield, ready to work on a bipartisan compromise that would fairly reform education funding.  

Today’s actions were disappointing, but I am hopeful that a better education funding bill will be the end result.  Legislative leaders will meet on Friday, and I pray they come to a collaborative solution that I can support."
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On Friday, August 11, State Representative Tony McCombie (Savanna) and State Senator Neil Anderson toured the progress taking place on the Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge connecting Savanna, IL and Sabula, IA.

In May, both houses in the General Assembly unanimously adopted Joint Resolution 58 naming the Bridge after Captain Dale Gardner, an astronaut and naval captain, who was a native of Savanna, IL. Dale Gardner was the valedictorian of Savanna Community High School class of 1966, and earned a Bachelor of Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1970 with a 5.0 GPA. After graduation he joined the US Navy where he earned his Naval Flight Wings and rose to the Rank of Captain. In 1978, NASA selected Captain Gardner to be an astronaut where he logged 337 hours in space, and orbited the earth 225 times. Before passing away On February 19, 2014, at the age of 65, he earned numerous awards and medals for his service and accomplishments.

The new Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge is scheduled to open in 2018 and will cost $80 million. It will replace the current outdated and functionally obsolete US-52/US-64 bridge that opened over 85 years ago.
SAVANNA – State procurement reforms co-sponsored by State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71) were signed into law on Wednesday. Senate Bill 8 starts paving the way for efficiency, savings and transparency on future state purchases.

“SB8 streamlines our purchasing process by eliminating unnecessary costs in our procurement code to save taxpayers money. This reform is an example of what can be accomplished when there is collaboration in Springfield,” said Rep. McCombie. “The legislature must aggressively work together on common sense structural reforms to promote stability and revitalize our business community. I will continue to push for reforms that will lower property taxes, lower workers compensation rates, improve our transportation infrastructure, and support growth incentives like the EDGE and River’s Edge tax credits."

The reforms in SB8 is the beginning to positive change and will allow for cost savings, while still maintaining oversight and transparency in the state procurement process. The reforms included will simplify the procurement process for both the state and vendors by removing the red tape. SB8 was supported by a bipartisan group of legislators, state universities and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

To follow legislation sponsored and co-sponsored by Rep. McCombie visit her website at repmccombie.com. 

Rep. McCombie spent the day with Sen. Anderson in Rock Island talking to constituents about this isssue and many other issues facing the state. Read about it by clicking here

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The Illinois Firearms Manufacturing Industry Tour is day-long educational event for legislators and their staffs. It included a tour of Springfield Armory in Geneseo, a tour of Rock River Arms in Colona, a presentation by firearm component manufacturer L.W. Schneider of Princeton, and a shooting event at Milan Rifle Club to allow federal and state officeholders to better understand the firearms industry and their economic in Illinois.

There are 194 Firearm Manufacturers operating in Illinois, representing nearly 14,000 jobs paying an average on $59,000/year in wages and benefits. Firearm manufacturers and suppliers represent $639 million in wages and a $2.18 billion impact on Illinois’ economy. The industry pays $129 million/year to the State of Illinois in taxes in addition to $200 million in federal business and excise taxes. Millions more dollars are invested in our communities by these businesses, such as little league teams, to support of Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, to support of causes like Komen for the Cure and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.



On August 4, Representative McCombie took part in the Illinois and Iowa corn growers barge tour along the Mississippi of Lock and Dam 15.  During the tour elected official, agency heads, and their staffs from both Illinois and Iowa saw first hand the wear-and-tear on the US waterway system.

The current federal budget doesn't provide enough funding for waterways, to keep up with the maintenance. Maintaining the system will provide economic benefits both locally and nationally. Moving grain by barge is cheaper, more efficient, and keeps tens of thousands of 18 wheelers off the road.

The lock and dam system is over half a century old and is ready to be upgraded to accommodate modern day barge traffic. fix Fixing the system and upgrading it, presenters from the industry argue, will allow local farmers to stay ahead of international competition and grow our economy.

SPRINGFIELD – Today State Representative Tony McCombie (IL – 71) released the following statement in support of the Governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1:

“I support the changes made by the administration to SB1 so that Illinois can have a fair and equitable school funding formula that will treat all students across the state equally. SB1 as written did not reflect the bipartisan negotiations that took place over the last several years under Governor Rauner or more recently this session under Speaker Madigan.  The majority party decided alone to amend the legislation and to imbed a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) pension bailout.  Governor Rauner issuing an Amendatory Veto on SB1 should not have come as a surprise, as he stated he would do just that since May 31st.
 
The reforms in SB1 as amended will prioritize education funding for low income school districts, and will give schools the necessary resources to provide the best possible education to our students.  It is a historic piece of legislation that provides for a better future for every child in Illinois.  Every school district will see new and additional funding, and local school districts may be less reliant on burdensome property taxes.

The Amendatory Veto provides for a separate pension payment taking into account that CPS is the only school district funding its own pensions. In 1995, an agreement was made with CPS to give them a separate block grant in exchange for them self-funding their pensions.  CPS chose to skip pension payments for 11 years, and because of this financial mismanagement their pension obligations are expected to substantially rise.  It is the intent of the AV to run the CPS block grant through the formula, pick up CPS pensions through a pension bill and distribute funds fairly across all 852 school districts.  I support this proposal because it is fair, adequate and equitable.  I am disappointed that some are willing to settle for less than what is fair in our districts and it is unacceptable that our children are being used as political pawns in this politically motivated state.

It is time to move forward. The legislature must take immediate action on SB1 to ensure our schools open on time and stay open with the appropriate funding. No child should miss a minute of school as a result of inaction by the General Assembly. Passing SB1 as revised means the legislature can achieve a genuinely, fair and equitable reform to our current education funding formula in a timely manner."


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SPRINFIELD –State Rep. Tony McCombie (Savanna) and State Sen. Neil Anderson (Rock Island) and will host a free Jobs Fair from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16 at the Scottish Rite located at 1800 7th Avenue in Moline.

“This is a great opportunity for those looking for employment from all over the Quad Cities region to connect with local employers,” said McCombie. “The jobs fair is a tool we are making available to constituents to help make Illinois a better place to live, work and raise a family.  We must take the initiative to make Illinois a growth state and this is a way we can help to grow our local economy.”

The jobs fair, which is free and open to the public, will feature workshops on successful interviewing, networking strategies, and resume writing.  Please bring plenty of resumes to share with employers!

"From the very beginning, it has been my goal to make sure that the people of the 36th Senate District have access to good paying jobs," said Anderson. "I'm proud to have supported policies in Springfield to make that possible, and am excited to offer this jobs fair to give people an idea of the opportunities that are out there in our district."

Refreshments and giveaways, and free informational legislative brochures will also be available. More than 40 employers are participating in the fair.

Employer Participants at the Jobs Fair Include:

A.U.S.P. Thomson; A.D. Huesing Corporation; Alpha and Omega Transit Network; American Bank & Trust; Blackhawk College; Blain’s Farm & Fleet; Brandt Construction Company; Burlington Coat Factory; Callos Resource; Cintas Corporation; DES Employment Group; FedEx Ground; Flo-Pro Systems, Inc.; Genesis Health System; Help at Home; HNI-HON & Allsteel; I80 Equipment; Illinois Department of Corrections; Illinois Department of Employment Security; Illinois Department of Human Services; Illinois Department of Revenue; Illinois State Police; Iowa 80 Group; J.T. Cullen; Kelly Services; Metrolink; Morrison Tech; Partners in JobTraining Placement; Reynolds Manufacturing; Rock Island; Tri-County Consortium; Schneider; Securitas Security; Services USA; The Arc of the Quad Cities; Total Solutions; Tri-City Building Trades Council; UnityPoint Health; Trinity Muscatine; Von Maur; Walgreens; Walmart Distribution Center #7024; WHBF-TV/KLJB-TV


For more information contact Rep. McCombie’s Office at (815) 632-7384 or Sen. Anderson’s office at (309) 736-7084.