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Former members of the Guard and Reserve who do not have any periods of active duty other than their initial active duty for training and annual training are now eligible to receive “Veteran” on their driver’s licenses. "This bill ensures that every man and woman who has served this state and nation is recognized,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries. "Our veterans have given so much for us, and I am glad Illinois is taking this step to expand designations."

Last year, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2173 to allow National Guard members and reservists to obtain the veteran identifier on their Illinois driver's license.

In order to receive that designation, veterans of the Guard and Reserve are required to present a copy of their certificate of release or discharge from initial active duty, certified and stamped by the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA), to the Secretary of State.

Prior to receiving this stamp they must provide documentation of satisfactorily completing the time for which they were contracted to attend monthly drills and annual training. Presentation of one of the following documents will be accepted as proof of service:

1. Army or Air National Guard NGB 22 Report of Separation and Record of Service

2. Army Reserve DARP FM 249-2E Chronological Statement of
Retirement Points.

3. Navy Reserve NRPC 1070-124 Annual Retirement Point Record

4. Air Force Reserve AF 526 Point Summary Sheet

5. USMC Reserve NAVMC 798 Reserve Retirement Credit Report

6. Coast Guard CG 4175 Coast Guard Reserve Annual or Terminal
Statement of Retirement Points.

Veterans are encouraged to contact or visit a local IDVA office for assistance obtaining any of the above documents. To find the closest Veteran Service Officer (VSO) go to www.illinois.gov/veterans or call 800-437-9824.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is seeking input on the state's rest areas.

To enhance traveler safety and comfort, IDOT maintains a system of 30 rest areas and 11 welcome centers on highways throughout the state, which serve more than 36 million visitors annually. IDOT wants to make sure these service centers are kept clean, safe, and updated with travel-related amenities to enhance the travel experience for Illinois residents and visitors.

Illinois' rest areas and welcome centers are open 24 hours a day and feature restroom facilities, picnic areas, lighted walkways, maps, security cameras, parking for recreational vehicles, and commercial trucks, among other services.

Help shape the future planning of rest areas by completing IDOT's Illinois Rest Area Survey.

For a paper copy of the survey please call 402-399-1405.
Every year in October we acknowledge Domestic Violence Month in Illinois. The following statistics illustrate the severity of the issue:
  • Domestic violence affects one in three women and one in five men
  • Domestic violence takes lives: innocents and bystanders
  • Domestic violence has been found in the background of perpetrators in an estimated 56 percent of mass killings
  • Domestic violence costs the local DuPage economy alone an estimated $18 million in lost productivity
  • Domestic violence ruins lives and creates traumatic after-effects that can last a lifetime, such as mental and physical illness, drug abuse and early mortality
Family Shelter Service was founded in 1976 and has a mission to “transform lives by offering help and hope to those affected by domestic violence.” They are hosting a “Free to Fly” 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run on Sunday, October 29 at 9:00 AM at Midwestern University, 555 31st Street in Downers Grove. Proceeds will support Family Shelter Service and assist with their mission of helping victims of domestic abuse in DuPage County. Go to www.familyshelterservice.org to register.
Residents from the 81st Legislative House District are invited to attend a mobile office hours event this week on Wednesday, October 18 at the Lisle Public Library, 777 Front Street in Lisle.

A member of State Representative David S. Olsen’s (R-Downers Grove) staff will have a table set up at the library from 2:00 – 3:30 PM, and will be able to assist constituents with issues involving state agencies. A variety of informational brochures will also be available.

“The 81st District includes portions of many different municipalities, and I recognize the importance of providing my constituents with easy access to my office,” said Olsen. “To that end, I try to hold a mobile office hours once each month outside of Downers Grove.”

No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 81st Legislative House District.
Record-Breaking Rains Cause Flooding and Other Damage
Heavy rains accompanied by high winds moved through northeastern Illinois on Saturday and areas of the 81st District were among the hardest-hit. Downers Grove received more than 8 inches of rain during a 24-hour period and other communities also saw very significant amounts. The official measuring station at O’Hare Airport recorded 4.19 inches of rain, and Midway Airport recorded more than 5 inches.

Flooding and downed trees blocked many streets in the District and caused additional damage to homes and other structures. I took this photo of a fallen tree that completely blocked Dunham Road in Downers Grove. In the wake of the storm, local public works employees have been working hard to ensure roadways are passable. If you sustained flood or other damage in your home or business, it is important that you document the damage with photographs and contact your insurance carrier if you have not done so already.

Lawmakers Prepare for Upcoming Fall Veto Session
After spending the last few months in our home districts, lawmakers will return to Springfield from October 24-27 and November 7-9 to take action on pieces of legislation that received either an amendatory (partial) or full veto during this year’s spring legislative session. During the veto session, legislators can agree with a full or partial veto, or we can override it. Not all bills that receive a gubernatorial veto are brought back for reconsideration. A full list of bills that may be brought back for reconsideration appears at the end of the newsletter. 

There are also some pieces of new legislation that may be considered during the six-day fall veto session. If you have an opinion about a bill that received a veto this year, please share your comments with me so I can keep your opinion in mind if the bill is brought to the floor of the House for reconsideration.

Olsen Visits Local Senior Fair
On Friday morning I stopped by a senior fair hosted by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove). The event was held at the CORE Fitness & Aquatic Complex in Lemont and featured more than 50 vendors. Seniors were able to get flu shots, blood pressure screenings and enjoy refreshments. I’m shown in this photo with Senator Curran and two Illinois State Police troopers who were staffing the fair.

State Report: Budget Out of Balance by $1.7 Billion
According to a fiscal policy report released Thursday by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), the state’s fiscal year 2018 budget is out of balance by $1.7 billion. The Illinois Economic and Fiscal Policy Report provides a five-year economic outlook based on the budget along with state and national growth forecasts. The report is available for public view at https://www.illinois.gov/gov/budget/Pages/PolicyReports.aspx. In the report, GOMB Director Scott Harry asserts that with stronger economic growth accompanied by spending controls, Illinois could achieve budget surpluses and reduce its bill backlog to an estimated $500 million by the end of fiscal year 2023.

ICC Approves $80 Million ComEd Refund to Customers
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) recently approved ComEd’s request to provide its customers with an approximately $80 million refund as a result of ComEd’s efforts to implement the new Energy Efficiency funding mechanism established by the Future Energy Jobs Act. As a result, a typical ComEd residential customer will see a credit of close to $14 on their October monthly bill. ComEd had requested the refund as part of the transition made possible through the Act, which was signed into law last year.

Cook County Board Repeals Sweetened Beverage Tax
The highly controversial tax added one cent per ounce to the retail cost of many popular beverages. The “soda pop tax,” disliked by many residents of the Chicago and suburban Cook County area, added an additional burden to the purchasers of most packaged sweetened drinks. After a public outcry, the Cook County Board repealed the beverage tax on Wednesday, October 11. As a result of the board’s vote, the sweetened beverage tax will end on December 1, 2017.

Rep. Olsen Reflects on Lessons Learned Through Edgar Fellows Program
Earlier this year I had an opportunity to participate in the Edgar Fellows leadership program. As part of the 2017 Class, I joined 39 other young, emerging leaders from across Illinois for a multi-day executive leadership training program hosted by former Governor Jim Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA). In addition to Edgar, an impressive list of practitioners, researchers and scholars from the public arena served as instructors at the training academy. The program focused on developing leadership and governing capacity in Illinois while emphasizing the need to address major policy issues without permitting partisan, ethnic and regional rivalries to trump statesmanship.

Click here to view a video that summarizes my Edgar Fellows experience.

Opioid Task Force Holding Hearings Across Illinois
The Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, created in September, has begun to hold a series of regional hearings on the opioid crisis in Illinois. The Task Force is co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The task force is seeking ideas on how to reduce the death toll from opioid overdoses in Illinois, a number that has reached 1,900 per year. The General Assembly and the State agency that regulates pharmacies have already taken a series of steps to increase the availability of the overdose antagonist Naloxone, which can be administered in a wide variety of circumstances to patients suffering from a crisis.

Rep. Olsen Honors High School Students Selected for All-American Marching Band
Last week it was my privilege to congratulate Downers Grove South High School band members Jake Burrows and Danny King on their recent selection to the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. The two musicians were chosen from a large group of talented high school senior band students, and will become part of a 125-member marching band that will perform during the halftime of the All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX this winter. Congratulations to them both and to the DGS band program which has seen 6 students selected for this prestigious band in 6 years!

Rep. Olsen Talks with Kids About Hate Crime Legislation and Ending Intolerance
Earlier this month I had an opportunity to speak to some high school students in Tinley Park about this year’s passage of HB 2390, a bill that strengthens penalties for those who commit hate crimes in Illinois. I also talked about how we can all work together to stop intolerance and crimes based on their race, color, creed, religion or other perceived classification. Thank you to teacher Nicole Walus, who lives in Downers Grove and serves as a Village Commissioner, for inviting me to speak to this wonderful group of students.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Every year in October we acknowledge Domestic Violence Month in Illinois. The following statistics illustrate the severity of the issue:
  • Domestic violence affects one in three women and one in five men
  • Domestic violence takes lives: innocents and bystanders
  • Domestic violence has been found in the background of perpetrators in an estimated 56 percent of mass killings
  • Domestic violence costs the local DuPage economy alone an estimated $18 million in lost productivity
  • Domestic violence ruins lives and creates traumatic after-effects that can last a lifetime, such as mental and physical illness, drug abuse and early mortality
Family Shelter Service was founded in 1976 and has a mission to “transform lives by offering help and hope to those affected by domestic violence”. They are hosting a “Free to Fly” 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run on Sunday, October 29 at 9:00 AM at Midwestern University, 555 31st Street in Downers Grove. Proceeds will support Family Shelter Service and assist with their mission of helping victims of domestic abuse in DuPage County. Go to www.familyshelterservice.org to register.

School District 99 Offers Community Information Meetings for Desired Upgrades
Facility renovations and upgrades are being considered for both North High and South High Schools in Downers Grove. The community is invited to attend informational meetings and tours on the following dates and times:
  • Thursday, October 19: 7:00 – 9:00 PM, Downers Grove South High School, 1436 Norfolk St, Downers Grove
  • Saturday, October 21: 9:30 – 11:00 AM, Downers Grove North High School, 4436 Main St, Downers Grove
  • Saturday, October 28: 9:30 – 11:00 AM, Downers Grove South High School, 1436 Norfolk St, Downers Grove
Olsen Visits YWCA Facility in DuPage County
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago facility in Addison, which serves all of DuPage County. I had a wonderful time talking with the amazing staff about the work they do to empower women in our communities. I appreciate the invitation to visit, and was very impressed with their programs.

Full List of Vetoed Bills
The following bills were vetoed by the Governor and may be brought back for reconsideration during this year’s fall veto session:
  • HB 302: Unclaimed life insurance benefits (Amendatory)
  • HB 348: Changes in publication of a constitutional amendment (Amendatory)
  • HB 688: Firefighter/police pension transfer service credit (Full)
  • HB 732: Residential roofing repairs (Full)
  • HB 1797: Equal Pay (Full)
  • HB 2462: Workers Compensation (Full)
  • HB 2567: Creates Automobile Dealers' License Task Force (Full)
  • HB 2622: Creates a state-sponsored workers’ compensation insurance company (Full)
  • HB 2778: Fire protection district to annex under ETS (Full)
  • HB 2977: Cursive writing mandate (Full)
  • HB 3004: RTA Bonds (Amendatory)
  • HB 3143: Adds teen treatment providers to the Prompt Payment Act (Full)
  • HB 3167: DHS childhood workforce study (Full)
  • HB 3211: SNAP benefits to college students (Amendatory)
  • HB 3216: Place additional requirements on third-party contracting by the State (Full)
  • HB 3298: Reimbursement of the substitute teacher licensure fee (Full)
  • HB 3376: DHS personal assistant hours limitation (Full)
  • HB 3419: Prohibits expatriate entities from doing business with the State (Full)
  • HB 3449: Geolocation (Full)
  • HB 3649: State agency financial reports to the Comptroller (Full)
  • HB 3745: Requires a school board to permit community groups to advertise events and after-school programs (Full)
  • HB 3897: Trampoline regulation (Full)
  • SB 41: Allows municipalities to assign, sell, or transfer their interest in funds received from the State (Full)
  • SB 81: Minimum Wage (Full)
  • SB 315: FOID for purchase of explosives (Full)
  • SB 321: Auditor General shall initiate a performance audit of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (Full)
  • SB 326: Interior Design regulation (Amendatory)
  • SB 419: Amends the Downstate Firefighter Article of the Illinois Pension Code (Full)
  • SB 669: Elect Lake Co. Board Chair (Full)
  • SB 789: Expands the authorized uses of motor fuel tax funds (Full)
  • SB 910: County board redistricting based on minority status (Full)
  • SB 1351: Student loan servicing rights Act: (Full)
  • SB 1353: Personal Needs Allowance increase (Full)
  • SB 1446: Changes to the Procurement Code (Full)
  • SB 1462: Entrepreneur Learner's Permit pilot program (Amendatory)
  • SB 1714: Reporting requirements for consultants retained by retirement system, pension fund, or investment boards (Full)
  • SB 1720: Failure to pay wages a Class 4 felony instead of a misdemeanor (Full)
  • SB 1905: Collective bargaining (Full)
Earlier this year State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) was chosen from a competitive field of candidates to participate in the Edgar Fellows leadership program. Olsen joined 39 other young, emerging leaders from across the Illinois for a multi-day executive leadership training program  hosted by former Governor Jim Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA). In addition to Edgar, an impressive list of practitioners, researchers and scholars from the public arena served as instructors at the training academy.

The program focused on developing leadership and governing capacity in Illinois while emphasizing the need to forthrightly address major policy issues without permitting partisan, ethnic and regional rivalries to trump statesmanship.

Click here to view a video that summarizes Olsen's Edgar Fellows experience.
Hotline Created to Track Family and Friends in Las Vegas During Mass Shooting
Today we all woke to the horrific news of a mass shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 people dead and hundreds of others wounded. A crowd of 22,000 had gathered outside of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino for a country music concert when the shots were sprayed into the crowd shortly after 10:00 PM Las Vegas time. Families who need to locate missing loved ones who were in Las Vegas last night may call (866) 535-5654 to reach a hotline. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Rep. Olsen Attends Annual Legislative Forum at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital
Last week I joined State Representative Patti Bellock and Senator John Curran for a legislative forum sponsored by the nurses of Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. I enjoy this annual event and was so glad to engage with such an informed group on issues ranging from healthcare to the budget.

I enjoyed talking to the nurses about the passage and recent signing of HB 313 (Public Act 100-0513), which allows Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) who have completed 250 hours of continuing education and have logged at least 4,000 hours of clinical experience with a physician or at a hospital to qualify for “full practice authority.” This new law, which I was proud to support, removes over-burdensome regulations that have caused some highly trained nurses to seek employment in other states. It increases regulatory efficiency, improves licensing processing times, and most importantly it helps retain the best and brightest nurses here in Illinois. In rural areas especially, this new law should improve access to quality healthcare.

Legislation That Helps Fight Heroin and Opioid Abuse in Illinois Signed into Law
Too many Illinois families have been devastated by the tragic effects that result from heroin and prescription opioid abuse. This year I was proud to co-sponsor legislation that will provide the public with easier access to information about this growing epidemic. HB 3161, signed into law recently as Public Act 100-0494, requires the Illinois Department of Human Services to create and maintain a web site to educate the public on the dangers associated with heroin and prescription opioid use.

This new web site will be a valuable tool as we fight a raging crisis in the suburbs and across Illinois. By educating the public about this health threat we can do a better job of saving lives and preventing future drug-related deaths.

At a minimum, the web site is required to include:
  • Information on the warning signs of heroin and prescription opioid addiction; 
  • Helpful hints for parents on how to discuss the dangers of heroin and prescription opioid addiction with their children; 
  • Information on available treatment options and services; 
  • A listing of the toll-free number established by the Department to provide information and referral services for persons with questions concerning substance abuse and treatment; and 
  • Links to flyers and resources for download.
Public health officials counted 1,889 people who died from opioid overdoses in Illinois in 2016.

Governor Signs Controversial Abortion Bill
On Thursday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 40, highly controversial legislation that changes Illinois law to provide taxpayer-funded elective abortions for Medicaid recipients and state employees. Current law dictates that state funds may only be used for abortion procedures in cases where the life of the mother is at risk and in cases of rape or incest. I voted against this bill when it was considered in the House and continue to strongly oppose it. This bill goes against longstanding bipartisan consensus that taxpayers should not fund elective abortions.

Olsen Hosts Successful Mobile Office Hours Event in Woodridge
We had another nice turnout for my latest mobile office hours event last week in Woodridge. Many thanks to the Woodridge Public Library and Director Pam Dube (shown in the photo to the left) for hosting the event. I always enjoy these opportunities to speak with my constituents, and I appreciate the feedback and suggestions I receive. I try to host mobile office hours once each month so constituents I represent have a local opportunity to talk with me about issues that are important to them. Visit my web site at www.repolsen.com to learn about future events around the 81st District, or you can always make an appointment to meet with me at my district office by calling (630) 737-0504.

Chicago Business Community Unites Behind Push for $5 Billion Amazon Headquarters Campus
Amazon.com has stated that they need additional workspace, not available at their current headquarters complex in Seattle, for management-level employees of the global retailing firm. Amazon expects that the overall economic activity to be sparked by their new “second headquarters” could create as many as 50,000 new jobs. Many Chicago leaders believe that the city’s workforce, with its skill set in logistics solutions, makes Chicago the ideal place for Amazon’s new campus. A bipartisan panel of more than 600 Illinois business leaders is working to sell Illinois to the online retailing giant. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has repeatedly expressed his support for this significant job-creating opportunity for our region.

Olsen Presents House Recognition to Friends of the Edwards House
On September 26 it was my pleasure to recognize members of Friends of the Edwards House for receiving the 2017 Landmarks Illinois Richard Driehaus Preservation Project of the Year Award for Advocacy at their landmarking seminar. Thanks to Chair Rich Kulovany and the entire board for all the work they have done to advocate for historic preservation in Downers Grove!

Case From Illinois Could Produce Significant U.S. Supreme Court Decision
The case of “Janus v. AFSCME” reflects the belief of some Illinois public-sector workers, including plaintiff Mark Janus, that their free-speech and free-association rights are violated by being forced to pay union dues as a condition of their employment. Janus’s lawyers will share these arguments with the United States Supreme Court. The nation’s high court agreed on Thursday, September 28 to hear the case. A decision could come before the end of the 2017-18 session of the high court.

EDGE Tax Credit Overhaul Signed into Law
Legislation (HB 162) that overhauls the EDGE Tax Credit Program and provides much-needed transparency and taxpayer protections was recently signed into law in Illinois. This bipartisan job creation program incentivizes job creation, growth and competitiveness in the state, and assists with our goal of bringing more high quality and good-paying jobs to the state. The new law extends the program until June 30, 2022.

Safe Disposal of Household Hazardous Medications Outlined on Illinois EPA Web Site
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) oversees the disposal of chemical wastes throughout Illinois. Household medications are a significant concern. Medications can cause problems for the environment if they are allowed to enter the public wastewater stream rather than being disposed of safely.

The IEPA urges all Illinois residents to turn in unneeded medications rather than disposing of them as garbage or flushing them down a toilet or sink. The IEPA’s hazardous waste disposal website contains a checkoff box for residents to find a safe medication disposal location that is convenient to them.

Olsen Tours Woodridge AMS Mechanical Systems Facility
I recently had an opportunity to tour the new Woodridge facility of AMS Mechanical Systems and I was incredibly impressed. It was fascinating to see this new manufacturing facility in action right here in the 81st District - bringing good jobs to our region! I attended their official ribbon cutting a few weeks ago and was pleased to see this new local facility doing so well.

New Law Co-Sponsored by Rep. Olsen Strengthens Protections for Youth Against Sex Offenders
This year I was the leading Republican on bipartisan legislation that provides a critical new layer of protection for children who participate in activities sponsored by local park districts. HB 786 strengthens prohibitions on child sex offenders from volunteering for park district programs. The new law requires all park districts to have volunteers complete an application prior to beginning service, and also requires that the application include a question concerning whether the applicant has been found to be a child sex offender.

While most park districts already take steps to ensure their volunteers meet these guidelines, this new law requires it. We need to be vigilant and close any loopholes that would allow these predators to have access to children, and the provisions of this bill, now known as Public Act 100-0472, will increase protections for those who participate in park district programs. HB 786 received unanimous support throughout the legislative process, and its provisions take effect immediately.

Olsen Attends Back to School Forum in Tinley Park
Earlier this month I had an opportunity to attend a Back to School Legislative Forum hosted in Tinley Park by educational advocacy group Stand for Children. There we had the opportunity to discuss current trends and issues in education, including online and virtual learning, college and career readiness, and school assessment. Education is so important to our district, so I always appreciate opportunities to share ideas with educators and fellow legislators.

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Veterans Expo & Blood Drive
I am pleased to once again to be hosting a Veterans Expo and Blood Drive on Saturday, November 4 in Downers Grove. This year’s event will be held from 9:30 AM until 12:30 PM at the American Legion Post 80, 4000 Saratoga Avenue in Downers Grove. I will be partnering with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove) for the event, which will feature more than 30 booths staffed by professionals who provide services to veterans of all ages. Whether you are a veteran or are a family member of a veteran, please attend this informational event to learn about services that are available to those who have served in the military.

Have You Taken My Survey Yet?
Your input and opinions are very important to me and help me represent you in Springfield. If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to participate in a short survey that is currently available on my legislative web site. A paper version of the survey was mailed as part of my End of Session report several weeks ago, and I have received hundreds of responses so far. I will collect survey responses through the end of this month. Click here to get started on this quick survey!

Rep. Olsen Meets with West Suburban Fine Arts Administrators
As a product of the local schools in Downers Grove, I recognize the value of fine arts education. I recently met with the West Suburban Fine Arts Administrators group at Downers Grove South High School to learn about how fine arts education enhances educational and extracurricular opportunities for students in this area. It was an exciting and energizing conversation and I appreciate the invitation.

Time to Seek College Financial Aid for 2018-2019
While the current collegiate year has just begun for many students, now is the time to begin thinking about final aid opportunities for 2018-2019. Students can start applying for financial aid now for the next school year. When students apply through www.fafsa.ed.gov, they are considered not only for federal student aid, but also for State MAP grants and for other college-specific grants. Free expert help is available through the ISAC Student Portal. Some grant programs run out quickly, so apply early to ensure optimal opportunities to secure financial aid for college!