Tuesday, June 16, 2009
A shortfall in state funding could mean fewer jobs at the University of Iowa. U of I spokesman Tom Moore says around 130 positions could be eliminated. Moore says they hope that number will come down due to retirements and a higher freshmen enrollment this fall. 750 Washington County residents work for the University of Iowa.
A Southeast Iowa State Lawmaker wants to avoid a special session to address budget shortfalls. Fairfield Democratic Senator Becky Schmitz says holding a special session might cost taxpayers more than it's worth. A legislative panel recently slashed the branch's budget by four-million dollars. Republicans have reluctantly backed the plan saying it doesn't go far enough.
More help for Iowas citizens and businesses from Capitol Hill. Congressman Dave Loebsack recently announced the Americas Recovery Capital, or ARC, program to allow small businesses to take out 35 thousand dollars to pay down existing business debts. Loebsack says the economic downturn and last years record floods are major reasons for putting forth this program. The act went into effect yesterday and is expected to help many areas, especially Columbus Junction whose downtown area was nearly completely submerged by floodwaters.
Washington County Supervisors are talking payroll at this morning's (6/16) meeting. They're slated to approve next year's wage and step wage recommendations. They also sign off on three withdrawls from agricultural districts, and appoint additional members to the eminent domain commission. The meeting starts at 9:30 in the lower level of the Washington County Courthouse.
The Iowa State Patrol is stepping up it's weekend presence. Jason Marlow is a safety education officer for District 13 in Mount Pleasant. He says the "Safe Saturdays" will put every uniformed officer out on the roadways. Marlow says statistics show accidents are more likely to happen at night. He says 65-percent of alcohol related fatalities in Iowa last year, happened at night. Staffing levels for District 13 we're up 41% this weekend. Unfortunately their was a fatal accident in Jefferson County.
Administrative employees for Keokuk County may be getting added benefits. Headlining yesterdays (6/15) board of supervisors meeting was a proposal for a premium only plan which would allow pre-tax deduction of employee contributions to insurance premiums. The Keokuk County Courthouse was also an area of interest, as the board also considered allowing two area organizations use of the building for the weekend of July 3-5. Those two groups were the First Christian Church, and Youth United.
Report card A's will pay off in more than one way for area students this summer. The Washington Family Video is giving free rentals for A's in core classes. They say that includes math, language, reading, history, geography, science and spelling classes. The free rentals are offered to any student kindergarten through high-school, and can be redeemed until the end of this month.