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Downers Grove, IL…State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is pleased to announce his first annual Senior Fair. The event will be on Thursday June 29th in the Lincoln Center Gymnasium at 935 Maple Avenue in Downers Grove. The fair will run from 10:00a.m. until 12:00 noon and is free and open to the public.

“I encourage senior citizens to come to the fair and learn about the businesses, state and local agencies, and non-for-profits that work to improve their lives,” said Rep. Olsen. “Seniors who attend will be impressed with number of helpful vendors and the services they offer.”

This event will bring together state and local resources for seniors in one convenient location. At the fair seniors will also be able to receive blood pressure screenings and immunizations. In addition, staff from Rep. Olsen’s district office will be available to assist constituents with any state government concerns.

What: Senior Fair
When: Thursday June 29th, 10:00am-12:00pm
Where: Lincoln Center Gymnasium, 935 Maple Avenue, Downers Grove

Refreshments will be provided and attendees will have the chance to win door prizes. For more information on the event, call Rep. Olsen’s office at (630) 737-0504.
Lawmakers Called Back to Springfield for Summer Session
After leaving Springfield on May 31 without sending a budget to the Governor for his review, legislators will return to Springfield this week on Wednesday, June 21 to continue working toward a compromise budget. The decision to call lawmakers back to the Capitol was announced last week by Governor Bruce Rauner, who utilized powers granted to him through the Illinois Constitution regarding special sessions of the General Assembly. I am pleased that we will finally be getting back to work on this crucial issue for our State.

Our schools, colleges and universities, social service providers, businesses and all our residents need the certainty that only a comprehensive balanced budget can provide. We cannot repeat the same mistakes of the past and rely only upon tax increases on working families to solve the budget mess. Our State must change the way we do business.

I know that many rank-and-file legislators on both the Republican and Democratic sides remain willing to put aside partisan differences and work toward a balanced budget with reforms. I am pleased that House and Senate Republican leaders and rank-and-file members continue to introduce legislation to achieve a balanced budget with reforms. Yet Speaker Madigan has not allowed us one opportunity to vote on a comprehensive budget since I began my tenure in the House last year.

I remain ready to do the difficult work necessary to make a balanced budget a reality prior to the start of the new state fiscal year on July 1. Let’s get back to the table and get this done.

Rep. Olsen Interviewed by Comcast Newsmakers
During the final days of the spring legislative session in Springfield, I sat down with Paul Lisnek of Comcast Newsmakers to discuss my first legislative session, and the bills I was able to pass as a freshman lawmaker.

Click here to watch the interview.


Olsen Presents Downers Grove South Educator with Surprise Proclamation
Before she directed her final concert at Downers Grove South High School a few weeks ago, I had the honor of presenting Laura Coster with a proclamation celebrating her 33 years of service to District 99 as a fine arts teacher. Earlier this year Mrs. Coster was awarded the 2017 Mary Hoffman Award of Excellence from the Illinois Music Education Association. She was one of only three educators statewide to receive the award for 2017. Congratulations and best wishes on your retirement!

Rep. Olsen to Participate in 2017 Edgar Fellows Program for Emerging Leaders
I recently learned that I am one of 40 emerging Illinois leaders who have been chosen to participate in the 2017 class of Edgar Fellows. The group includes elected and appointed public officials from across the state, and each of us was nominated by a peer or mentor. Together, we will participate in an intense, five-day executive leadership training program in August 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 will serve as instructors at the training academy.

The program focuses 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. At the Institute, we will learn about leadership skills, strategies and expectations in a state facing major challenges. Participants will also have opportunities to continue their education through social networking and other forms of high-tech communication and participate in sessions designed to brief them on crucial policy issues.

Olsen Speaks at Swearing-In Ceremony for Woodridge Officials
Last month I had the opportunity to speak at the swearing-in ceremony for the newly-elected and reelected officials of the Village of Woodridge, Woodridge Park District, and Woodridge Library. These are dedicated public servants who work hard to make the Woodridge area a great place to live, work and raise a family. I look forward to working with them on issues that affect our shared constituencies.

COGFA Report Shows Slight Uptick in Total Illinois Tax Revenue
The monthly report by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) showed State general funds tax receipts up $143 million in May 2017. The increase in May 2017 tax revenues was entirely attributed to increased revenues from the personal income tax paid by almost all Illinois employees, with personal income tax receipts up $179 million over comparable figures reported in May 2016. Corporate income tax receipts continued to plunge during the 31-day reporting period, with this revenue stream down $72 million. The decline largely reflected the fact that many businesses are being reorganized as pass-through entities which are taxed at personal income tax rates.

The relatively good numbers posted for State coffers in May do not wipe up the effects of the revenue shortfall posted for most of the months that were notched earlier in FY17 (ends June 30, 2017). For the first 11 months of FY17 as a whole, Illinois general funds tax receipts fell $604 million from the first 11 months of FY16. As in the single month of May 2017, this eleven-month decline was entirely attributable to the decline in corporate income tax receipts. Corporate income tax collections were down $909 million during the almost year-long period. The FY17 revenue shortfall is only a part of the budget crisis surrounding Illinois’ backlog of more than $14 billion in unpaid bills.

Downers Grove Public Works Department Holds Successful Open House
The Public Works Department at the Village of Downers Grove held their annual open house June 8, and as always, it was an informative event. Attendees had the opportunity to discuss traffic management, snow removal, stormwater and runoff, and the many other important functions performed by the department. Special thanks to director Nan Newlon and the entire Public Works team for making themselves available for this excellent community event.

Federal Judge Rules Illinois Not in Compliance with Full Funding of Medicaid Payments
The argument, presented in federal court to District Judge Joan Lefkow, is that health care providers are suffering irreparable harm for being forced to wait for payment of Medicaid health care treatments that are billed to the State of Illinois. Illinois currently owes more than $14 billion in unpaid bills. More than $1 billion of these bills are moneys owed to Medicaid care providers. Since July 1, 2015, Illinois has not operated under a budgetary plan to control State spending. During this period, tax monies coming in have been allocated to various beneficiaries under a maze of court orders, consent decrees, and continuing appropriations. Billions of dollars are being spent on “autopilot.” The Comptroller of Illinois has stated that if Judge Lefkow were to order immediate payment of all of the moneys due and owed to Medicaid care providers, Illinois’ general-funds cash flow will no longer to be sufficient to cover all of the court-mandated payments that Illinois must make, let alone payments to secondary stakeholders such as State universities and providers of community social services.

In a preliminary response to the arguments, Judge Lefkow has ruled that Illinois is “not in compliance” with previous court mandates that these moneys be paid. As a pathway toward compliance, she has asked the State to negotiate the subject of priority payments with representatives of health care providers who possess standing under this lawsuit. Should these negotiations not prove fruitful, further court orders may be issued.

Full Summer/Fall Calendar of Events Coming Together in 81st District
We had a great turnout earlier this month for my 2017 Children’s Health & Safety Fair. Hundreds attended the annual event. Mark your calendars for these summer and fall outreach events that will be held in and around the 81st District. All events are free:
  • Senior Fair: Thursday, June 29, 10:00 AM until noon, Lincoln Center, 935 Maple Ave, Downers Grove 
  • Document Shredding Event: Saturday, July 15, 9:00 AM until noon. Sharing Connections, 5111 Chase Ave, Downers Grove
  • Jobs Fair: Wednesday, August 9, 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM, CORE Fitness Center, 6028 W 127th St, Lemont
  • Veterans Resource Fair: Saturday, November 4, 9:00 AM until noon, American Legion Post 80, 4000 Saratoga Ave, Downers Grove
  • Understanding & Appealing your Property Tax Bill: Date and time TBD
State Representative David S. Olsen has released his 2017 End of Session Report, which highlights accomplishments and challenges of the session that ended on May 31, 2017. While lawmakers will be returning to Springfield to continue working toward a compromise budget, this report reflects legislative activity from mid-January when the legislators took office for the 100th General Assembly through May 31. Click here to access the comprehensive report.
During the final days of the spring legislative session in Springfield, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) sat down with Paul Lisnek of Comcast Newsmakers to discuss his impressions of his first legislative session, and the bills he was able to pass as a freshman lawmaker.

Click here to watch the interview.
The end of our regular legislative session came and went last Wednesday with no agreement on a balanced budget. We remained on the floor of the House until late in the evening on May 31, hopeful that bipartisanship and reason would prevail. But as the night progressed, similar to the days that led up to May 31, most of the bills brought to us for votes were politically-motivated bills that did nothing to bring us closer to budget agreement or move our state forward. Below is an editorial I wrote immediately after it was learned that we would not be voting on a budget:

When the people of the 81st District elected me as their voice, I headed to Springfield determined to reach across the aisle and find consensus on key issues that would place our State on a trajectory toward growth and opportunities for all. Of course, the most important priority was solving the seemingly endless budget stalemate that has plagued our State for far too long.
I am extremely disappointed that a compromise to achieve a balanced budget with reforms could not be reached prior to the constitutionally-mandated legislative adjournment date of May 31. For the third year in a row, rather than adjourning until the fall veto session, the legislature will be in continuous session as we enter the summer months.
Illinois needs a budget – we need a balanced budget right now! Our schools, colleges and universities, social service providers, businesses and all our residents need the certainty that only a comprehensive balanced budget can provide. We also cannot repeat the same mistakes of the past and rely only upon tax increases on working families to solve the budget mess. Our State must change the way we do business.
Many rank-and-file legislators on both the Republican and Democratic sides were willing – and remain willing – to put aside partisan differences and work toward a balanced budget with reforms. And while I am pleased the Senate Democrats unbalanced budget and large tax increase did not advance in the House, I am frustrated that Speaker Madigan has not allowed us one opportunity to vote on a comprehensive budget since I began my tenure in the House last year.
I remain ready to do the difficult work necessary to make a balanced budget a reality prior to the start of the new state fiscal year on July 1. Let’s get back to the table.
Hundreds of area children and families attended a free Health & Safety Expo that was held on Saturday, June 3 at Lakeview Junior High School in Downers Grove. The event was sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove). Highlights of the three-hour event included the arrival and departure of the LIFESTAR Chicago medical helicopter and a hands-on Traveling World of Reptiles Show.
Children also had an opportunity to see, touch and get behind the wheel of their favorite vehicle at a “Touch a Truck” display of more than 20 fire, police and rescue vehicles and a variety of front and back loading machines.

Booths inside the school gymnasium were staffed with experts from several area agencies that provided information about important topics such as cyber bullying, nutrition, bicycle safety and college saving programs.

Expo participants included Action Towing, Big Brothers Big Sisters, City of Darien, College Illinois, Commonwealth Edison, DLD Dance, Darien/Woodridge Fire Protection District, doTerra, Downers Grove Township Highway Department, DuPage County Circuit Court Clerk, DuPage County Health Department, DuPage County Highway Department, DuPage County Office of Homeland Security, DuPage County Regional Office of Education, DuPage County Sheriff’s Office, DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, Edward Jones, FACES 54, Hruska Insurancecenter, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Illinois Comptroller’s Office, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Illinois Life Span, Illinois Secretary of State Police, Illinois State Police, Illinois Student Assistance Commission, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Treasurer’s Office, Juice Plus, LIFESTAR Chicago, PACE, Reclaim 13, Sparkles Entertainment, Tri-State Fire Protection District, True Balance Karate, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Village of Burr Ridge, Village of LaGrange, Village of Lemont, Village of Western Springs, Village of Willowbrook, and Village of Woodridge.
As the spring legislative session concluded yesterday May 31 on the constitutionally-mandated date, lawmakers left Springfield without sending a budget to Governor Rauner. It is unacceptable, and highlights just how immense the divide is between the political parties in the House and Senate. I came to Springfield committed to bipartisanship; I was determined to reach across the aisle and end the budget stalemate. Today I am extremely disappointed that a compromise could not be reached prior to our May 31 deadline. For the third year in a row, rather than adjourning until the fall veto session, we will be in continuous session as we enter the summer. Prior to May 31, a simple majority vote was needed to approve a budget. When the clock turned to June 1, the threshold for budget approval increased to a three-fifths majority vote. Budget approval just became significantly more difficult.

Unfortunately, Democrats could not come to agreement on a budget to bring to the floor so we did not even have the opportunity to vote on a proposal. We must find a way to close the gap that is preventing a compromise budget from becoming a reality. I remain hopeful that if we all put politics aside, we can craft a true compromise budget that addresses the State’s needs, but also provides a framework that will turn Illinois around and stop the hemorrhaging. All parties need to return to the table for negotiations immediately.

Olsen Sends Three Bills to Governor Rauner during First Legislative Session
While gridlock was constant on major issues in the State, there were opportunities for bipartisanship on individual member initiatives. In fact, I spoke of these in a recent interview. This year I was pleased to pass five bills in the House of Representatives. Three were also approved in the Senate and have now been forwarded to Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature. My 2017 bills that are on the Governor’s desk include:

HB 512: Increases the period of time when public ballot questions must be published to not more than 60 days (currently 30 days) and not less than 10 days before the election when the question will be put before voters.

HB 2427: Saves townships money by allowing for the recycling of brush, wood chips and leaves within unincorporated areas. For example, Downers Grove Twp. currently spends a significant portion of its annual budget on disposal of materials and would be able to save money.

SB 1486: Clarifies language and removes obsolete and duplicative language in the School Code with regard to the State Board of Education.

Automatic Voter Registration Bill Co-Sponsored by Olsen Sent to Governor
Ensuring that every eligible citizen has an opportunity to cast their ballot in elections is crucial to our system of democracy. I was proud this year to sponsor important legislation that has the potential to help increase voter participation. SB 1933 would lead to automatic voter registration when Illinoisans who meet certain requirements visit Secretary of State’s Offices or several other state agencies. The bill also includes a provision for opting out of becoming a registered voter. Also importantly, SB 1933 includes language that protects the sanctity of the voting process and takes important steps to reduce the potential for fraud. The House vote to approve the bill was unanimous.

Consolidation Legislation Co-Sponsored by Olsen Clears House; Moves to Governor’s Desk
With a growing number of Illinoisans being taxed out of their homes, I was proud this year to co-sponsor legislation that makes it easier for units of government to consolidate or dissolve. Illinois currently has more than 7,000 individual units of government. That’s about 1,000 more units than any other state. SB03 accomplishes several objectives including:
  • Allows for the dissolution of coterminous townships
  • Expands a successful DuPage County consolidation model statewide
Many of the provisions included in SB03 were recommendations included in final report of the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force of 2015, which sought to remove obstacles to consolidation and provide clear and modernized standards for consolidation. There is still much more to do save taxpayers money, but this bill was a good first step. The vote off approval for the bill in the House was 75-34-1. This bill will now be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for final action.

Olsen to Host Free Kids Health & Safety Expo this Saturday
Don’t miss this year’s FREE Children’s Health & Safety Expo I am co-hosting this Saturday with Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). The June 3 event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to Noon at Lakeview Junior High School, 701 Plainfield Road in Downers Grove.

Admission is free, and there will be free giveaways at the event. Demonstrations at this year’s expo include: the Traveling World of Reptiles Show and the Darien Police K-9 Unit. Also, the LIFESTAR Chicago medical helicopter will be there from 9:30am - 11:30am. More than 20 “Touch-a-Trucks” will be at the Safety Expo, and kids are invited to see, touch and get behind the wheel of their favorite vehicle. Local professionals will be available to answer questions about the equipment and the work they do.

Expo participants include Action Towing, Big Brothers Big Sisters, City of Darien, College Illinois, Commonwealth Edison, DLD Dance, Darien/Woodridge Fire Protection District, doTerra, Downers Grove Township Highway Department, DuPage County Circuit Court Clerk, DuPage County Health Department, DuPage County Highway Department, DuPage County Office of Homeland Security, DuPage County Regional Office of Education, DuPage County Sheriff’s Office, DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, Edward Jones, FACES 54, Hruska Insurancecenter, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Illinois Comptroller’s Office, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Illinois Life Span, Illinois Secretary of State Police, Illinois State Police, Illinois Student Assistance Commission, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Treasurer’s Office, Juice Plus, LIFESTAR Chicago, PACE, Reclaim 13, Sparkles Entertainment, Tri-State Fire Protection District, True Balance Karate, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Village of Burr Ridge, Village of LaGrange, Village of Lemont, Village of Western Springs, Village of Willowbrook, Village of Woodridge.

For more information, please call my office at (630) 737-0504.