Press Releases

10.15.09

Durbin Introduces Bill to Eliminate Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), joined by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Crime and Drugs Subcommittee Chairman Arlen Specter (D-PA), and seven other Senators, introduced legislation today to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. His bill, the Fair Sentencing Act, would refocus scarce federal resources toward large scale, violent traffickers and increase penalties for the worst drug offenders. According t… Continue Reading


10.15.09

Durbin: Congress Approves More Than $94 Million for Illinois Projects

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Congress has approved $94,396,000 for energy- and water-related projects in Illinois. The bill will now go to President Obama for his signature. The Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill includes funding for the following projects: Army Corps of Engineers: • Carlyle Lake, Carlyle. $4,914,000 in funding for operations and maintenance at Carlyle Lake, the largest man-made lake… Continue Reading


10.14.09

Durbin Meets with DeKalb Mayor to Discuss Economic Development and Local Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with the Mayor of DeKalb, Kris Povlsen to discuss economic development, transportation issues and other local priorities. [Photo from today's meeting courtesy of Senator Durbin's office is attached (from left to right: Mayor Povlsen and Senator Durbin)]… Continue Reading


10.14.09

Bill to Award Muhammad Yunus Congressional Gold Medal Unanimously Passes Senate

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Late yesterday, the United States Senate unanimously approved a bill to award Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus a Congressional Gold Medal. The bill, introduced by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT), recognizes Dr. Yunus as a leading figure in the effort to fight poverty and promote economic and social opportunity. Through his Grameen Bank, Dr. Yunus has pioneered the microcredit movement and helped hundreds of millions of people… Continue Reading


10.14.09

Durbin Expands Bipartisan Screening Committee; Calls for Applications for Two Vacant Federal Judgeships in Central Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today announced the names of two new members to serve on a bipartisan screening committee to assist in selecting Federal District Court Judges for the Central District of Illinois. Durbin has asked small business owner and attorney, J. Victor Malkovich of Champaign and Macon County Assistant State's Attorney, Ruth Waller to serve on the Central Illinois Judicial Screening Panel. There are two federal judgeships in central Illinois that are now,… Continue Reading


10.09.09

Durbin Announces $1.1 Million Grant for Shedd Aquarium

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded a $1,100,000 grant to the Shedd Aquarium Society for a project that will educate visitors about the ocean and encourage better stewardship of the marine environment. Today's funding is part of a national announcement of 11 grants totaling $9,000,000 for the creation of new education projects in aquariums across the… Continue Reading


10.09.09

Durbin Announces More Than $1 Million in DOT Grants for Illinois Scenic Byways

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $1,039,722 in grants to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the National Scenic Byways Program. Under the program, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. There are 126 such designated Byways in… Continue Reading


10.08.09

Durbin: Congress Approves More Than $9 Million for Illinois Agriculture Projects

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that Congress has approved $9,034,000 for Illinois projects with the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The bill will now go to President Obama for his signature. The Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations bill for Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA includes funding for the following Illinois projects and programs: • Biotechnology Research Development Cente… Continue Reading


10.08.09

Durbin, Bean: Lovell Health Center Legislation Nears Full Congressional Approval

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D-IL) today announced that the language necessary to complete the James A Lovell Federal Health Care Center has cleared a major legislative hurdle. Earlier today the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 281-146 the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act giving authority to the Navy and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to jointly operate the new Federal Health Care Center. The … Continue Reading


10.06.09

Durbin: Human Rights Violators Still Finding Safe Haven in America

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired a second hearing today on the U.S. government's efforts to identify, investigate and prosecute suspected human rights abusers found to be living in America. Durbin's first hearing on the subject was in late 2007. "Two years ago, this Subcommittee held the first-ever Congressional hearing on the enforcement of human rights laws in the United States. While progress has been made, there is still much more to be don… Continue Reading


10.05.09

Durbin Announces $13.6 Million in Funding for O'Hare Airport Security

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded a $13,600,000 grant to Chicago O'Hare International Airport for the construction of a new inline baggage handling system designed to enhance efforts to strengthen security at the airport. "Expanding the use of the inline baggage handling technology will strengthen security in Chicago and destinations around the country," said Durbin. "Bring… Continue Reading


10.05.09

Durbin Announces $13.6 Million in Funding for O’Hare Airport Security

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded a $13,600,000 grant to Chicago O'Hare International Airport for the construction of a new inline baggage handling system designed to enhance efforts to strengthen security at the airport. "Expanding the use of the inline baggage handling technology will strengthen security in Chicago and destinations around the country," said Durbin. "Bring… Continue Reading


10.01.09

Durbin, Halvorson: Ottawa School District Wins FEMA Appeal

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] -Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson (D-IL) today announced that Ottawa Elementary School District #141 has won their appeal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s original repair estimate for Ottawa Central Elementary School. FEMA indicated that federal funds could be used to relocate the school pending the approval of a project request submitted by the school. Durbin and Halvorson support the Ottawa School Dis… Continue Reading


09.30.09

Durbin Announces $28 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Energy Efficiency Improvements

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $28,740,800 in funding to three Illinois communities through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help improve energy efficiency, reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions and create green jobs locally. "Creating jobs and securing our environmental future are at the heart of the Recovery Act," said Durbin. "This funding will make a significant… Continue Reading


09.29.09

Durbin: $1.8 Million in COPS Funding for Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Illinois law enforcement agencies will receive a total of $1,865,151 in funding from the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Today's funding - part of a nationwide announcement of $27 million in COPS grants - will be used for school safety and to locate, arrest, and prosecute child sexual predators and exploiters. "At a time when tight budgets have forced ma… Continue Reading


09.29.09

Durbin Announces Nearly $1.5 Million in Recovery Act Funding to Implement Electronic Health Records

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $1,496,671 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Illinois health networks to implement electronic health records. The HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $27.8 million in Recovery Act funding to health centers nationwide for implementation of electronic health records and other health informat… Continue Reading


09.25.09

Durbin Announces Four Illinoisans for USDA Positions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Obama Administration has chosen four members for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Illinois State Committee: Darell Sarff of Chandlerville; Jill Appell of Altona; Gerardo (Jerry) Jimenez of Cobden; and Joyce Matthews of Nokomis. In February, Durbin recommended all four people for appointments to the committee positions within the Department of Agriculture (USDA). "These four new members of the FSA S… Continue Reading


09.24.09

Durbin Introduces Legislation to Make College Textbooks More Affordable

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced legislation designed to help students manage costs by making textbooks available to students, professors and the public for free on an easily-accessible website. This bill, known as the Open College Textbook Act, would create a competitive grant program for institutions of higher education, professors and organizations to create textbooks that can be made available online and licensed under terms that grant t… Continue Reading


09.24.09

Durbin: Senate Approves $1.2 Million for Illinois Projects

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that the United States Senate has approved $1.2 million for Illinois projects. The Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations Bill for the U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Forest Service and Environmental Protection Agency includes funding for the following Illinois projects: Environmental Protection Agency, State and Tribal Assistance Grants • Decatur Water Infrastructure Improvements, City of Decatur. $250… Continue Reading


09.24.09

Durbin Announces Congressional Passage of Bill to Name Lipinski Federal Building

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that a bill to name the Federal building located at 844 North Rush Street in Chicago, Illinois, as the "William O. Lipinski Federal Building" has passed the United States Senate. The building serves as the headquarters of the United States Railroad Retirement Board. The legislation passed the House earlier this month and will now go to the President for his signature. "I worked with Congressman Bill Lipi… Continue Reading

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