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Legislation that simplifies and expedites consolidation procedures for certain layers of government was signed into law recently by Governor Bruce Rauner.

State Representative Davis S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) served as the Chief House Sponsor of SB 2543, which allows mosquito abatement district boards, by a majority vote, to consolidate the abatement district into a municipality, township or county with agreement by the entity that would assume the mosquito abatement responsibilities.

“Consolidation initiatives that save taxpayers money is a legislative priority of mine, and this new law removes red tape and makes it easier for consolidation to occur,” said Olsen. “With more than 7,000 individual units of government in our state, we must look at ways to consolidate taxing districts so taxpayers can achieve the tax relief they desperately need. This new law is a definite step in the right direction.”

Under the previous law, mosquito abatement districts could only be dissolved through a lengthy process of petition, hearing and referendum. There was no procedure for an abatement board to make a consolidation decision. “SB 2543 has a long list of bipartisan co-sponsors who all agree that we must eliminate bureaucratic barriers that impede consolidation. We will continue to seek opportunities to simplify the consolidation process when taxpayer savings can result.”

SB 2543 is now listed in the Illinois State Statutes as Public Act 100-0793.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), a vocal supporter of the Illinois businesses that drive the state’s economy, proved through his voting record in 2018 that it is possible to be both pro-business and pro-environment.

The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) recently published its 2018 legislative scorecard and has honored Olsen with a perfect voting record award for 2018. “Over the last year lawmakers had several opportunities to vote in favor of bills that were supportive of our environment without having a negative impact on Illinois businesses,” said Olsen. “I was proud to support the bills on the IEC’s scorecard and consider it an honor to be recognized by them for my support of their initiatives.”

IEC Executive Director Jen Walling praised Olsen for his support of the IEC’s 2018 scorecard items, saying, “Representative Olsen voted 100% of the time with the environmental community on several pieces of key legislation this year,” said Walling. “The IEC is honored by Representative Olsen’s dedication to Illinois’ environment and we look forward to working together in the future.”

The 2018 Environmental Scorecard included nine legislative measures. A few of the priorities from the Scorecard include:
  • SB2298: Industrial Hemp Act: Brings new opportunities to farmers as well as benefits to soil by opening new initiatives for sustainable agriculture 
  • SB2773: Renewable Energy Financing: Enhances the property-assessed clean energy (PACE) program by allowing Illinois to help communities access fund for clean energy projects 
  • HB4790: Use of Compost: Increases the use of compost in transportation projects and helps create a market for compost use in Illinois 
“The IEC is the eyes, ears and voice of the state's environmental community, and there is no more important work we can do than to protect the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the quality of the environment for our future generations,” said Olsen. “It has been a pleasure working with them on public policy that accomplishes these goals.”

The IEC releases its scorecard in August of each year. Click here to view the full scorecard and the list of scored bills.
A new level of consistency with regard to residency requirements for elected officials in Illinois is now enshrined in law, thanks to legislation sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) that was signed into law on Friday.

HB 2222, which received unanimous support in the House and Senate earlier this year, puts in place a one-year residency requirement for library trustees and disqualifies from service any candidate convicted of a felony or who is delinquent in taxes or fees owed to the library district.

“The need for this legislation was brought to my attention by Lisle Library District Trustee Tom Hummel, who pointed out a loophole in election law as it relates to residency requirements and personal conduct for library district trustees,” said Olsen. “This new law strengthens the qualifications for becoming a library trustee by adding a residency requirement similar to most other public offices, and language which prohibits convicted felons or those who don’t pay their taxes from serving.”

The provisions of HB 2222 take effect beginning with candidates in the 2019 consolidated election.
Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) that addresses Illinois’ teacher shortage while removing barriers that can make it difficult for service members and their spouses to teach in Illinois schools.

SB 2658, which lengthens to three years (currently two years) the period of time during which a provisional educator endorsement for a service member or spouse is valid, was one of several bills signed on “Kids Day” at the Illinois State Fair on Saturday. A total of seven bills that address the teacher shortage and early childhood education issues received public signings on Kids Day.

“It is fitting that the Governor would highlight SB 2658 as we celebrate Illinois children at the State Fair,” said Olsen. “This bill helps ensure we have quality teachers in our classrooms. It also works to make certain that when our service members and their spouses return to civilian life and the workforce, meaningful employment is within reach.”

According to Olsen, the previous law allowed a service member or spouse of a service member to obtain a Professional Educator License with Stipulations, and a provisional educator endorsement in a specific content area, if he or she holds a valid teaching certificate or license in good standing in another state, meets certain Illinois requirements for educators, and has not engaged in any misconduct that would prohibit an individual from obtaining a license pursuant to Illinois law. This new law extends the time this endorsement is valid to three years in Illinois.

“Our children deserve to receive an excellent education, and I was proud to sponsor or vote in favor of several initiatives that support that goal,” added Olsen.

SB 2658 was approved by the Senate in April and by the House in May. The provisions of the new law take effect in September of this year.
Governor Signs Four More Olsen Bills into Law 
We are at the point of the year when the Governor is signing the many bills that were approved in the House and Senate during the spring session. In recent days, Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law the following bills I sponsored: 
  • HB 4867 adds a new layer of transparency to the caseloads of guardians of adults with disabilities, by requiring potential guardians to disclose to the court the number of adults with disabilities over which the potential guardian is currently appointed. The new provision would also apply to those who wish to be appointed as guardian of the estate of an adult with disabilities. 
  • HB 4805 reduces costs for money transmitting services like Western Union and PayPal, by bringing surety bond requirements more in line with the actual costs associated with risk. The result will be cost savings for existing businesses and lower costs for new companies who would like to do business in Illinois. 
  • SB 2826 clarifies the Illinois Human Rights Act by stating that "order of protection status" includes status as a person protected under any order of protection existing in Illinois law. When the Illinois Human Rights Act was enacted, there was only one type of order of protection. Since that time, three new types of orders of protection have been created, including No Contact Order, Civil No Contact Order, and Protective Orders under the Code Criminal Procedure. SB 2826 closes any possible loopholes to ensure that proper protections are in place. 
  • SB 3134 creates a state commission to study methods to mitigate flooding and storm water management issues in the Fox River Watershed. 
Great Turnout for Annual Jobs Fair

Thank you to everyone who came out for the Jobs Fair that I hosted with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) on July 25. This is always a very successful event and the feedback we receive is extremely positive. This year we had 110 employers gathered under one roof, and all of them were hiring. Hundreds of people showed up with resumes in hand for this massive hiring event. 

Our annual jobs fair allows job seekers the opportunity to take advantage of all potential vacancies and speak to recruiters directly about their qualifications and job requirements. Many individuals were interviewed on-site or were able to schedule interviews with the hopes of securing new employment. I am shown in this photo with officers from Senator Curran, Leader Durkin and Illinois State Police officers.

Deanne Mazzochi Sworn In as New Representative for 47th House District
On July 24, it was my pleasure to join lawmakers and other elected officials from across DuPage County as we welcomed Illinois’ newest State Representative in the General Assembly, Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst). She was appointed to the seat recently vacated by Patti Bellock, who served the people of the 47th District with distinction for nearly 20 years before being named Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services in early July. Before becoming the State Representative for the 81st District, I served with Mazzochi on the College of DuPage (COD) Board of Trustees. It was an honor to work with her to bring positive change to COD, and I am looking forward to working with her again as we strive to bring similar change to our great state. 

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Community Outreach Events
Thank you to everyone who came out to my August 4 Coffee & Conversation event in Woodridge. Many people stopped by to share feedback with me and their local elected officials, which included Senator John F. Curran, Woodridge Mayor Gina Cunningham and members of the Woodridge Village Board. Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming events in the 81st District: 
  • Thursday, August 23: Environmental Town Hall, 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM, Indian Prairie Library, 401 Plainfield Road, Darien (please RSVP at www.ilenviro.org/darien) 
  • Thursday, September 20: Joint Senior Fair with Downers Grove Park District, 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM Lincoln Center Gymnasium, 935 Maple Ave, Downers Grove 
Illinois State Police Accepting Applications for Troopers
The Illinois State Police (ISP) Merit Board is currently accepting applications for state troopers. Applications are being accepted for Cadet Class 129, tentatively scheduled to start in April of 2019. In order to be considered for Cadet Class 129, the Merit Board must receive a completed application and required documentation by August 15, 2018. Cadets who graduate from the ISP academy are assigned to patrol, but can later be transferred to positions in areas like crime scene investigation, SWAT, becoming a pilot, K-9 officer, investigator, motorcycle officer or safety education officer. Applicants may apply online at: https://www.illinoistrooper.com.

Olsen Joins Indian Prairie Library Patrons for Pet-Palozza
Indian Prairie Public Library located in Darien is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. I recently stopped by “Pet-Palooza,” a fun-filled event the library hosted for area families. I am shown in this photo at Pet Palooza with members of the Indian Prairie Library board of trustees. 

Governor Signs Bill Expanding Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program
Governor Bruce Rauner has signed SB 3527, a bipartisan bill improving and expanding the River Edge Redevelopment Zone (RERZ) Historic Tax Credit. The successful economic development incentive now will be available to communities statewide.

Upon signing the bill, Governor Rauner said, “This legislation opens up millions of dollars in economic incentives in the form of tax credits for historic preservation projects throughout Illinois. It is imperative that we add jobs and fuel economic development. This bill will help Illinois achieve those goals while also preserving our past and making our state even more beautiful to visit.”

Established in 2012, the RERZ originally was a five-year pilot program allowing a 25 percent state income tax credit for qualifying projects in blighted, historic riverfront areas in Peoria, Rockford, Elgin, East St. Louis and Aurora. SB 3527 expands availability of the historic tax credits to similar projects across the state. It also adds a new Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit with $15 million in credits to be administered by the Historic Preservation Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources each year between January 2019 and December 2023.

Rep. Olsen Supports Local YMCA
The Indian Boundary YMCA in Downers Grove is a wonderful community organization that provides recreational opportunities to area families. I was proud to support their annual golf outing, which helps ensure the YMCA can serve all residents regardless of their ability to pay. I’m shown in the picture at right with Indian Boundary YMCA board members and supporters. 

USACE Seeking Input on DuPage River Report
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Chicago District, has released for public comment the DuPage River, Illinois Feasibility Report and Integrated Environmental Assessment. Public meetings have been scheduled for the purpose of providing the public with information and seeking input from stakeholders on the recommended plan. Meetings will take place at the following locations:
  • DuPage County: Wednesday, August 15, 6:00 PM, DuPage County Administration Building, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton 
  • Will County: Thursday, August 16, 6:00 PM, Village of Plainfield Public Works Building, 14400 Coil Plus Drive, Plainfield 
The study of the DuPage River and its tributaries investigated overbank and backwater flooding in high risk areas to develop alternatives to mitigate flood risks. The study area included 40 communities in DuPage and Will Counties and approximately 900,000 residents. The plan is available online at www.lrc.usace.army.mil (follow the link under “hot Info” at the top of the page). Comments can also be submitted via email through Monday, August 27, at dupageriver@usace.army.mil or mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District, 231 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60604, Attention planning branch (DuPage River).

Olsen Welcomes More New Businesses to DuPage County
The last few weeks have been busy with many ribbon cuttings for new businesses in and around the 81st District! I was able to attend a Chamber630 ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration for Fuzzy Logic Escape Room in Downers Grove. Escape rooms offer families, friends or co-workers an opportunity to put their observation, critical thinking and communication skills to the test as they use clues to solve a puzzle. 

My staff and I also attended recent ribbon cuttings for Gina Sulo Salon, MOD Pizza, Mud and Char Downers Grove and 4 Star Dental in Woodridge. Welcome to these new businesses that will provide great fun, valuable services and delicious food and drink for the people in and around the 81st District!

CGFA Publishes Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Summary
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the nonpartisan budget watchdog arm of the Illinois General Assembly, released its Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Summary on Wednesday, August 1. The Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bill was enacted as HB 109, and the Budget Implementation Act that amends State statutes to align with the appropriations numbers was enacted as HB 3342. Together, the two bills constitute the State’s budget for the current fiscal year.

The Illinois Constitution requires the State to annually enact a balanced budget in which spending does not exceed projected revenues. Fiscal problems have resulted as the State has, in recent year, failed to strictly enforce this mandate. For Fiscal Year 2019, however, CGFA finds that projected State revenues and projected State spending closely match each other, fulfilling the balanced budget mandate. CGFA will closely monitor State revenues on a 30-day basis from now until the end of the fiscal year to review whether the cash flows of money coming in match the projections made when the budget was adopted.

IDES Reports on June Job Creation within Illinois Metro Areas
In June 2018, there was net new job creation in nine metro areas, including the key Chicagoland metropolitan area. Five metro areas lost jobs, with the biggest loss reported in Springfield. However, Chicago’s net new job creation (up 42,300 jobs in June 2018) dwarfed Springfield’s loss of 1,400 jobs. Five industry sectors generated June 2018 job growth in the majority of Illinois metro areas, with growth reported in transportation, warehousing and utilities; education and health services; manufacturing; professional and business services; and leisure and hospitality. Unfortunately, pockets of comparatively high unemployment continued to exist in some of the traditional heavy-industry regions of the state. June 2018 unemployment rates equaled or topped 5.0% in Danville (6.0%), Decatur (5.7%), Rockford (5.2%), Carbondale (5.1%), and Peoria (5.0%).

Annual Worker Pay Gains Rise at Fastest Pace since 2008
The nationwide figures were released by the U.S. Department of Labor, which reports that pay and benefits for all U.S. workers increased 2.8% in the second quarter of 2018. The pay and benefit hikes were driven by a tight labor market, with nationwide jobless numbers posted at 4.0% for June 2018. Illinois’ jobless rate was slightly higher than the national average, with June 2018 unemployment in the Prairie State coming in at 4.3%.
A state commission will soon begin studying methods to mitigate flooding and storm water management issues in the Fox River Watershed thanks to legislation sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) that was signed into law on Friday.

“Communities in the collar counties, especially in DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will, have been affected by floods in recent years, and property owners are looking to the General Assembly for help,” said Olsen. “The commission created through this new law will study and develop an integrated floodplain management coalition of the affected communities so they can jointly leverage community resources to collaborate on flood preparedness, protection, response, recovery, damage reduction, and floodplain management education. They would also seek ways to help prevent future property damage and threats to public health from flooding.”

The Flood Control Commission created through SB 3134, now listed in the Illinois State Statutes as Public Act 100-0730, will be chaired by the Illinois Director of Natural Resources or a designee. Membership will include:
  • Five members appointed by each of four legislative leaders of the General Assembly 
  • One member appointed by each of the chairmen of the DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry County Boards, and the County Executive of Will County upon the advice of the counties’ stormwater management planning committees 
  • One member appointed by each of the chairmen of the DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry County Boards and the County Executive of Will County upon the advice of a municipality in each of the counties 
  • The Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) or designee 
  • The Governor or a designee 
The commission will complete their work and submit a final report to the General Assembly by the end of 2019.
Recently some residents of Woodridge received an extremely offensive white supremacist/anti-Semitic leaflet. Unfortunately, other neighboring Chicago-area communities have experienced similar incidents in recent weeks. In response, Senator Pat McGuire, Senator John F. Curran, Representative John Connor and Representative David S. Olsen, the Illinois General Assembly members representing the Village of Woodridge, issued the following joint statement:

“We join Mayor Gina Cunningham in denouncing the recent distribution of racist and anti-Semitic leaflets in the Village of Woodridge. We reject the hateful messages of intolerance shown within these leaflets. The racism, bigotry and prejudice displayed in these pamphlets have no place in our society and will not be tolerated. We will remain a compassionate, diverse and caring community which supports and respects one another as diverse and unique individuals. The unity and compassion shown by residents in Woodridge and across our districts is what defines our community.”

Currently, the Woodridge Police Department is investigating this incident. Anyone with information that would be helpful to this investigation should contact the Police Department at (630) 960-8998.