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Town of Normal Offers Tree Removal Program
Capitol Commentary from Sen. Bill
According to Senator Brady it looks like no vetoes will be overridden during this year’s veto session. Only three measures that had been vetoed by Governor Quinn were on the agenda at the beginning of the week, none of which were overridden.
Two of these vetoes were in the House and one was in the Senate. The sponsor of the vetoed Senate measure, which affected bidding rules at the Regional Transportation Authority and its operating agencies, elected not seek a vote on the veto.
In the House, a bill that reduced the number of free admission days at state supported museums failed to win the needed three-fifths vote to override the Governor’s veto and the third measure – which affected advisory questions that townships must place on election ballots –never received a vote.
Due to constitutional deadlines, all three proposals died at the end of the week.
Major Issues Remain
Many have speculated that a compromise to address the state’s looming pension crisis may emerge, but so far no proposal has come to light during the first week of the fall veto session. Pension reform is an issue that has dogged the Governor and General Assembly for years.
At the Governor’s suggestion, the negotiations on pensions were kicked over to a special joint Senate-House conference committee in June. The committee has met throughout the summer and fall, trying to develop a compromise that can win bipartisan support in the legislature.
Medicare Advantage Hearing
Also this week the bi-partisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability heard testimony on the state’s new Medicare Advantage program. The program will impact retirees eligible for state health insurance and has become controversial because one large insurer, Health Alliance, was not approved to be among the companies able to offer the policies.
Lawmakers also sought more details about a planned audit of dependent care coverage that will require participants to provide new documentation proving that those receiving coverage under state insurance programs are eligible
Audubon Society to present Programs about the Environment
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Sugar Grove Nature Center Happenings
Fourth Annual Nature Photography Contest
Sugar Grove Nature Center is excited to announce the “Call for Entries” for our Fourth Annual Nature Photography Contest! From a close-up of a tiny insect to the vast expanse of a landscape, every year we are astounded by our guests’ abilities to capture the natural beauty of Funks Grove and its surrounding areas by camera. Any photo taken between the dates of January 1, 2012 and September 27, 2013 in McLean and the surrounding counties are eligible for submission. The photos with completed forms and entry fee must be delivered to Sugar Grove Nature Center in person or by mail between September 1 and September 27, 2013. There will be several categories judged in the adult division, and a special division will be held for youth, 13 years-old and under. A complete list of contest rules and entry forms are available on our website, http://www.sugargrovenaturecenter.org/npc.html or by calling 309.874.2174, or emailing email@example.com. All winning photographs will be displayed on the Sugar Grove Nature Center website. Winning photographs will also be on display during our Autumn Celebration on October 19, 2013.
Sugar Grove Nature Center is located in beautiful, historic Funks Grove, just south of Bloomington-Normal. For a map and directions to the Nature Center, membership and program information visit us on-line at
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) now taking applications
Mid Central Community Action, Inc. (MCCA) has announced that the LIHEAP program in McLean and Livingston Counties is now taking applications. The program begins on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 and concludes Friday, May 30, 2014 (or until funds are exhausted). Applications will be taken by appointment only, with the exception of Walk-In days on Thursdays in McLean County.
To qualify, households must have incomes equal to or less than 150 percent of the poverty level. For example, a single-person household can qualify with a monthly income of up to $1,436; a family of 4 can earn up to $2,944.
Households must meet requirements in one of the following priority periods in order to be eligible to apply in that time frame.
September eligibility includes:
• Households that contain a member who is elderly (age 60 and above)
• Households that contain a member receiving social security disability benefits or with a pending determination case at the Social Security Administration
[Required documentation must include a letter of determination from the Social Security Administration or receipt of social security disability benefit statement]
October eligibility includes:
• Households that contain a member who is age 5, or under 72 months
• Households that are disconnected from one or both utilities
November eligibility includes:
• Open enrollment to all households that meet income guidelines
The focus of the program is gas heat and electric services. Payment amounts will be based on household size and 30-day income.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, please make an appointment by calling 309-829-0691 in McLean County or 815-844-3201 in Livingston County ON or AFTER September 3, 2013.
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