Press Releases

05.29.14

Durbin, Kirk: University of Illinois Awarded Federal Funding For Farm Bill Education

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made $3 million in federal funding available to two coalitions - including one led by the University of Illinois - to develop new online tools to inform members of the agriculture community about key programs included in the Farm Bill. As the lead for the National Coalition for Producer Education, the University of Illinois will use this funding to reach out t… Continue Reading


05.28.14

Senators Urge Transportation Department to Improve Federal Oversight of Pipelines

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Carl Levin (D-MI) today urged the Department of Transportation to quickly implement the policy recommendations made in the agency's internal audit to improve federal oversight of the nation's pipeline system. Following a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended an audit of how the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) oversees state insp… Continue Reading


05.28.14

Durbin: We Must Step Up Our Game To Protect Student Athletes From Concussion Risks

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In anticipation of the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit being held later this week, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote President Obama today to seek support in promoting a strict "when in doubt, sit it out" concussion policy for young athletes as recommended by… On Thursday, President Obama will be joined by athletes, parents, coaches, members of the military, and medical professionals at the White House to discuss the risk concussions pos… Continue Reading


05.28.14

Durbin, Bustos Announce $756,000 Investment For Mississippi River Ferry Boat Terminal in Moline

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced a $756,350 federal investment that will go to the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District for the construction of a new Channel Cat Passenger Ferryboat Terminal on the Mississippi River in Moline. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Discretionary Passenger Ferry Grant Program. "This federal funding will create jobs and make improvements t… Continue Reading


05.28.14

Durbin Visits Kankakee Community College to Discuss Closing "Skills Gap"

[KANKAKEE, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited Kankakee Community College today to discuss legislation he introduced to help community colleges train workers for high-needs technical jobs, many of which are currently going unfilled due to a lack of qualified employees in the workforce. Durbin toured labs and met with students in Kankakee's solar energy program. He also talked with representatives from a local electric company which has partnered with Kankakee in its job training effort… Continue Reading


05.27.14

Durbin, Kirk, Quinn Announce New Conservation Program To Include Mississippi River and Lake Michigan

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) joined Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today in announcing that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated both the Mississippi River Basin and the Great Lakes as "Critical Conservation Areas" under a new program - the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) - created by the Farm Bill that Congress passed earlier this year. In an April 2014 letter, Durbin and Kirk asked Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, … Continue Reading


05.27.14

Durbin Announces Committee Approval of Legislation to Improve Prosthetic Care for Veterans

[CHICAGO] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member, last week approved legislation including language he authored to improve orthotics and prosthetics care for the nation's servicemembers and veterans. Durbin inserted a section into the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, which the committee approved Thursday, which would enhance research in best practices and offer competitive grant funding t… Continue Reading


05.23.14

Durbin Announces Nearly $1.5 Million For Rural Development Projects in Central Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development division has awarded loans totaling $1,147,000 and grants totaling $345,000 to communities across Central Illinois. The funds will be used to construct miles of water mains in Morgan County, Edgar County, and the village of Bryant, Illinois to serve customers who currently rely on private water wells for their water supply. The project will help alleviate the he… Continue Reading


05.22.14

Durbin, Kirk: Bipartisan Bill Investing In Illinois Infrastructure Priorities Heads to the President's Desk

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) said today said that the Conference Report of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 passed by the U.S. Senate earlier today invests in Illinois priorities and will make Illinois, the Midwest, and the country better prepared for extreme weather events like droughts and floods. The bill - which was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this week - now heads to the President's desk to be signed into… Continue Reading


05.22.14

Durbin Meets With Secretary Shinseki, Calls For Public Report On Illinois VA Facilities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Following a meeting today with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to discuss recent reports that facilities operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs - including Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital - used secret lists to conceal the amount of time veterans waited for healthcare, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called for a complete review of VA medical facilities, in Illinois and across the country. A photo of today's meeting is available here. "Today, I press… Continue Reading


05.20.14

Durbin Meets With Colonel Kyle Kremer Of Scott Air Force Base

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with Scott Air Force Base's 375th Air Mobility Wing Commander Colonel Kyle Kremer today. During the meeting, Durbin - who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees discretionary spending for our nation's military, including bases - discussed the Scott's long term future, community engagement, and his most recent visit to the base. A photo of today's meeting is available here. "The work done at Scott Air Force Base is criti… Continue Reading


05.20.14

Durbin Announces A More Than $1.5 MIllion Investment In Flood Protection Efforts in Kankakee, Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded a $1,537,500 grant for flood protection efforts in Kankakee, Illinois. "As extreme weather events like flooding continue to occur with greater frequency and severity, it is becoming increasingly important that we invest in mitigation and protection efforts," Durbin said. "This federal funding will support floo… Continue Reading


05.19.14

Durbin Calls For Authorizing Dreamers To Enlist In Armed Forces

[CHICAGO] - As Chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the military and intelligence community, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today chaired a subcommittee hearing in Chicago during which he urged that young immigrants who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) be authorized to enlist in the military. Text of his opening statement is attached. It has been almost a year since the Senate passed comprehensive immigration legisl… Continue Reading


05.15.14

Durbin, Harkin, Murphy, Schatz, Warren, and Carper Call on Education Department To Strengthen Protections For Students At Career Education Programs

[WASHINGTON, D.C.]-U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Tom Carper (D-DE) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (ED) urging them to put in place stronger protections for students in career education programs-particularly those at for-profit colleges-who often take on significant debt and are frequently left with meager job prospects. Video of Durbin's statement is available HERE. The Higher E… Continue Reading


05.15.14

Durbin: WRRDA Conference Report Invests In Illinois Waterways Infrastructure Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that the Conference Report of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 invests in Illinois priorities and will make Illinois, the Midwest, and the country better prepared for extreme weather events like droughts and floods. Text of the Conference Report was released earlier today by members of the bipartisan, bicameral House Senate Conference Committee tasked with working out the differences between the Senate-passed W… Continue Reading


05.15.14

Bipartisan Illinois Congressional Delegation Announces Funding For Metro East Levee Project, Flood Prevention Efforts In Water Resources Reform and Development Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S Representatives Bill Enyart (D-IL), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and John Shimkus (R-IL) announced that the Conference Report of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 - released earlier today - includes provisions to continue and help streamline the Metro East region's effort to repair and recertify the levees that protect residents in southwest Illinois from flooding and storm damage. "Communities alo… Continue Reading


05.15.14

Durbin Honors Former Normal, Illinois Mayor Carol Reitan

WASHINGTON, DC] - In a statement for the Senate record, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today honored Carol Reitan, who served as the Mayor of Normal, Illinois, from 1972 to 1976 and who passed away this week at the age of 83. Reitan was Normal's first and only female mayor, and was viewed as a remarkable leader who had a broad, positive impact on her community. Throughout her career in public service, Reitan's work earned her many awards, including the Normal Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the … Continue Reading


05.15.14

Durbin: Student Loan Debt is Out of Control

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Hardworking students deserve the right at an affordable education and protections that help them pay back their students loans, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today during a press conference with Senate Democratic Leadership. Durbin spoke about his recent visit to Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where he talked with students about the problems they are encountering as they struggle to pay back their loans. 1.7 million Illinoisans currently have outstanding … Continue Reading


05.15.14

Durbin, Kirk, Bustos, David: Bipartisan Bill To Improve Illinois Locks & Dams Included in Water Resources Reform and Development Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) announced that key provisions of their bipartisan and bicameral legislation to help speed up repairs and upgrades to the aging locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers were included in the Conference Report of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. The legislation seeks to improve the nation's water infrastructure through pu… Continue Reading


05.15.14

Durbin: U Of I Willard Airport To Recieve $1.6 Million Federal Grant

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded a $1,641,000 grant to University of Illinois-Willard Airport in Savoy, Illinois for infrastructure improvements and upgrades. The funding will be used to widen the airport's taxiway and to install markings on the runway to prevent incursions. "Willard Airport is a critical transportation link for students, families, and businesses in Central Illinois," said Durbin. "This… Continue Reading

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