Archive for March, 2012

Help for Borrowers with Private and Federal Loans: CFPB Student Loan Complaint System Up and Running

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

This month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched its new student loan complaint system, which means borrowers with private student loans finally have a place to turn for help! If you have questions or complaints about a lender, servicer, or debt collector - for a private or federal student loan - you can go online or call the toll-free hotline (855-411-CFPB).

Click here to submit a complaint online or call (855) 411-CFPB

This Week is Sunshine Week

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

It may be serendipitous that this is also the first full warm week of the year, but this week is also government sunshine week. It celebrates making government more transparent and accountable. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” once said US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, referring to the practice of making information widely available to the public. Today many organizations champion the cause, with technology making it easier than ever to keep up to date on government affairs. Indiana’s state legislature in a last minute push last year approved strengthening the existing Indiana Public Access and Open Door laws.

S.B. 92 allows judges to levy a $100 penalty against public officials for a first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses of Indiana Public Access laws. It requires local government agencies to send e-mail notifications of their meetings or post the information to their website. Well organized local governments have been doing this for some time now. It’s about time we expect the same of all local governments.

The law also sets clear and strict policies on when members of government boards and councils can “attend” a meeting via Internet or phone, a practice that until now has been largely unregulated. Violations of Indiana Public Access law also occur if public officials vote by secret ballot in a public meeting, take action that is forbidden in a closed session, or refuse to release public records, with minor exemptions for educational institutions.

I look forward to bringing sunlight to the Ohio Statehouse!

March is Irish-American Heritage Month

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

President Obama reaffirmed today that March is Irish-American Heritage Month. This year St. Patrick’s Day lands on a Saturday, so be sure to come out and celebrate at the parade on March 17th!

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The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
March 01, 2012

Presidential Proclamation — Irish-American Heritage Month, 2012

IRISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, 2012

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

For centuries, America and Ireland have built a proud and enduring partnership cemented by mutual values and a common history. Generations of Irish have crossed the Atlantic in pursuit of prosperity, and today nearly 40 million of their proud descendants continue to make their indelible mark on the United States of America. Their stories, as varied as our Nation’s people, humble us and inspire our children to reach for the opportunities dreamed about by our forebears.

Over hundreds of years, Irish men, women, and children left the homes of their ancestors, watching the coasts of Donegal and the cliffs of Dingle fade behind them. Boarding overcrowded ships and navigating dangerous seas, these resilient travelers looked to the horizon with hope in their hearts. Many left any valuables, land, or stability they had behind, but they came instead with the true treasures of their homeland — song and literature, humor and tradition, faith and family. And when they landed on our shores, they shared their gifts generously, adding immeasurable value to towns, cities, and communities throughout our Nation.

Today, we draw on the indomitable spirit of those Irish Americans whose strength helped build countless miles of canals and railroads; whose brogues echoed in mills, police stations, and fire halls across our country; and whose blood spilled to defend a Nation and a way of life they helped define. Defying famine, poverty, and discrimination, these sons and daughters of Erin demonstrated extraordinary strength and unshakable faith as they gave their all to help build an America worthy of the journey they and so many others have taken. During Irish-American Heritage Month, we recall their legacy of hard work and perseverance, and we carry forward that singular dedication to forging a more prosperous future for all Americans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2012 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by celebrating the contributions of Irish Americans to our Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

BARACK OBAMA