• Iowa State Rep. Monica Kurth, D-Davenport, has endorsed NJ Sen. Cory Booker for president. Kurth made the announcement Thursday, saying Booker is a candidate who carries a message of accountability and compassion. 

"Cory Booker is not afraid to confront the most difficult problems facing this nation because he does so with love," Kurth said in a statement. "At a time of great pain, Cory is the candidate we need to help unite us, heal our nation, and restore a sense of dignity and decency back to America. As a local elected official, I want a president who has an understanding of what it means to be accountable to your entire community."

Booker just wrapped up a swing through Iowa, stopping at the state fair to speak at the Des Moines Register Soapbox on Saturday. He is one of 22 Democratic candidates vying for the presidential nomination next year. 

  • U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, has introduced her Rural Green Partnership, a plan to combat climate change while spurring economic growth. Bustos wants to make sure the agriculture community and Midwest farmers are not left out of the climate change conversation. She submitted her plan Tuesday to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

"The climate chaos that we are seeing, not just in Illinois, not just in our nation, but literally all over the world, will truly take a partnership to address this, and I want to make sure that rural America is part of the solution," Bustos said in a statement.

The Rural Green Partnership will expand and improve conservation programs; invest in rural infrastructure; encourage low interest loans, tax credits and grants to incentivize new clean energy development; increase research funding for farming practices and sustainable land uses and clean energy technologies; and support green workforce development at union and registered apprenticeship programs and community colleges.

Bustos' bill has already earned the support of the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Illinois Corn Growers Association. 

  • Illinois State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, has written legislation aimed at stopping outsourcing in the Quad-City area. House Bill 1554 was recently signed into law. The bill allows for the creation of the Quad Cities Outsourcing Prevention Task Force, which will bring together a panel of experts and businesses leaders to come up with solutions to prevent job loss and keep businesses in Illinois.

"We have made great progress building a stronger economy in Illinois and working to grow a robust jobs market, but there is still more work to be done," Halpin said in a statement. "It’s time for fresh ideas on how to tackle job outsourcing in Illinois because it is depleting our communities. We need new solutions to this problem, so I helped create the Quad Cities Outsourcing Task Force. This group will unite experts, legislators and business leaders under one goal: preventing job outsourcing."



Sarah is a reporter for the Dispatch-Argus-QCOnline.com.

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