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Members of the House of Representatives left Springfield on Wednesday with no agreed path forward for funding Illinois’ 852 school districts for the 2017-2018 school year. Upon adjournment for the day, State Representative David S. Olsen issued the following statement:

“The political posturing that took place in Springfield today was in no one’s best interest, especially the families that are counting on us to do our jobs and fund their kids’ schools. We spent time on political theatre and on fake votes, but the truth is, both SB 1 and the Governor’s amendatory veto changes are both dead. Neither SB 1 nor the amendatory veto have the supermajority support needed to pass in the General Assembly. The ultimate school funding solution will be contained in a different piece of negotiated legislation.”

“The four legislative leaders are meeting on Friday to discuss a possible compromise that will allow state aid to flow to schools without further delay. The only real solution involves true compromise, and I am encouraged to know that the leaders are returning to the negotiation table. I hope their discussions bring agreement on a school funding plan that is fair and equitable for all K-12 students in Illinois.”
Legislation that removes the statute of limitations for prosecution of felony sex crimes against minors has been signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. Bill Co-Sponsor David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) hailed the signing of the bill as “a significant victory in the fight for child victims’ rights.”

“When a child is exploited through an act of sexual assault or abuse, there should not be any limitations that would hinder the prosecution of the perpetrator,” said Olsen. “Law enforcement must have every tool at their disposal, and lifting the statute of limitations for these heinous crimes removes a hurdle that has allowed some offenders to escape prosecution.”

SB 189, signed into law as Public Act 100-0080, provides that when the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, a prosecution for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or criminal sexual abuse may be commenced at any time. Under previous laws, many cases held a 10-year or 20-year statute of limitation for prosecution.

“Sexual predators should not be able to benefit from a loophole in the law, and I applaud the Illinois Attorney General for bringing the idea for this legislation to the General Assembly,” Olsen said. “The law represents a significant improvement to our criminal justice system.”

The provisions of the new law take effect immediately.
When State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) arrived in Springfield last year as the voice for the 81st District in DuPage and Will Counties, he said one of his top priorities was to usher through legislation that would save taxpayers money. Last week Governor Bruce Rauner signed an Olsen-authored bill into law that will do just that.

HB 2427, signed into law as PA 100-0056, is a recycling bill that will save townships- and taxpayers who fund township services, money. The bill amends the Township Code to allow for the recycling of brush, wood chips and leaves within unincorporated areas of a township. Whereas current law provides for the collection, transport and disposal of the materials gathered through land maintenance, there was no provision for recycling or delivery.

“Township highway departments regularly take down dead or diseased trees, or collect fallen branches, and that wood is processed into small chips,” said Olsen. “Many people like to use those woodchips as a landscaping or mulching material, but unfortunately, laws did not provide for the recycling of the material to businesses and residents for their use.”

According to Olsen, the amendment to the Township Code allows those serving at the township level to use their discretion when determining how to best dispose of tree waste. “In Downers Grove Township, the highway department was spending a significant percentage of its annual budget to dispose of wood chips and other similar waste material,” Olsen said. “Through this new law, which takes effect immediately, they will now be able to deliver the wood chips directly to facilities or residences for a much lower cost than what they were spending on disposal.”

Upon hearing of the bill’s signing, Downers Grove Township Highway Commissioner Lawrence “Andy” Anderson applauded Olsen and the General Assembly for approving the cost-saving measure. "I want to thank Representative Olsen, the General Assembly and the Governor for passing this legislation,” he said. “By working together we achieved a positive outcome that will save money for our township taxpayers and taxpayers across the state."

The signing of HB 2427 represents the first bill sponsored by Olsen that has become law in Illinois. Click here to listen to a radio interview about the signing of this legislation.
As more and more Illinoisans are fleeing the state due to the crushing tax burden, today State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) joined Governor Bruce Rauner, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in DuPage County as he signed into law a bill that makes it easier for units of government to consolidate or dissolve.

“What we are doing today will allow us to more effectively serve the people we represent,” said Olsen. “It is a great first step, and I look forward to continuing this bipartisan effort to make government more responsive and cost-effective for the citizens we represent.”

Illinois currently has more than 7,000 individual units of government, which is about 1,000 more units than any other state in the nation. SB03 helps reduce the number of units of government in three key ways:
  • Expands a successful DuPage County consolidation model statewide
  • Allows for the dissolution of coterminous townships
  • Provides townships with a process for consolidation
“There is not a day that goes by when I do not hear from a constituent who is desperate for property tax relief,” said Olsen, a co-sponsor of SB03. “By simplifying the process through which consolidation can occur, unnecessary or duplicative layers of government can be eliminated and the burden on taxpayers can be reduced.”

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.




The provisions of SB 03 will take effect on January 1, 2018.
Olsen End of Session Report Lands in 81st District Mailboxes
Late last week residents of the 81st District began receiving copies of my 2017 End of Session Report in their mailboxes. The comprehensive report highlights achievements and challenges of the regular legislative session and the special sessions in June and July. The report should continue to be distributed this week for those who live in the district and have not yet received it.

A legislative survey is included in the report, and I am hoping all residents will take a moment to fill it out. The opinions and priorities you will share through the survey will help me represent the 81st District in Springfield. Click here to access a digital version of the survey. Survey responses will be collected through the end of October.

Senate Overrides Amendatory Veto to School Funding Bill; House to Convene on Wednesday
On Sunday, August 13, the Illinois Senate voted 38-19 to override Governor Rauner’s Amendatory Veto of SB 01, the controversial education funding reform bill. The Illinois House of Representatives will convene on Wednesday, August 16, for possible action on SB 01 and related legislation.

House and Senate Republicans continue to oppose the Democrats’ last-minute changes to SB 01, which skewed the formula unfairly toward Chicago Public Schools (CPS) by including a pension payment for CPS in the education funding formula. Negotiations have been ongoing, and I am hopeful that continued negotiations will reach a compromise that is fair and equitable to all Illinois schools and taxpayers. Ensuring our schools have the funding they need must be the legislature’s most important priority in the coming days, and we must reach a fair compromise.

Governor Signs Rep. Olsen’s First Bill into Law
When I arrived in Springfield last year as the voice for the 81st District in DuPage and Will Counties, I said a top priority would be to usher through legislation that would save taxpayers money. On Friday in Springfield, a bill I authored was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner that will do just that.

HB 2427, signed into law as Public Act 100-0056, is a recycling bill that will save townships- and taxpayers who fund township services, money. The bill amends the Township Code to allow for the recycling of brush, wood chips and leaves within unincorporated areas of a township. Whereas current law provides for the collection, transport and disposal of the materials gathered through land maintenance, there was no provision for recycling or delivery. Township highway departments regularly take down dead or diseased trees, or collect fallen branches, and that wood is processed into small chips. Many people like to use those woodchips as a landscaping or mulching material, but unfortunately, laws did not provide for the recycling of the material to businesses and residents for their use.

The amendment to the Township Code allows those serving at the township level to use their discretion when determining how to best dispose of tree waste. In Downers Grove Township, the highway department was spending a significant percentage of its annual budget to dispose of wood chips and other similar waste material. Through this new law, which takes effect immediately, they will now be able to deliver the wood chips directly to facilities or residences for a much lower cost than what they were spending on disposal.

Upon hearing of the bill’s signing, Downers Grove Township Highway Commissioner Lawrence “Andy” Anderson applauded the General Assembly for approving the cost-saving measure. "I want to thank Representative Olsen, the General Assembly and the Governor for passing this legislation,” Anderson said. “By working together we achieved a positive outcome that will save money for our township taxpayers and taxpayers across the state."

HB 2427 represents my first bill to be signed into law in the General Assembly. After the signing I gave a radio interview where I spoke about the merits of the legislation. Click here to listen to the interview.

Olsen Offers Mobile Office Hours Today in Darien
The 81st District includes portions of seven different municipalities, so I am very aware that my Downers Grove District Office is not near the homes of many of my constituents. By holding office hours in other communities, the people I represent in Springfield can come to a convenient location and share their concerns and ideas. Residents of the 81st Legislative House District are invited to stop by a mobile office hours event scheduled for today, Monday, August 14 at the Indian Prairie Public Library, 401 Plainfield Road, in Darien. A member of my staff will have a table set up at the library from 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon. No appointment is needed. Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on my web site at www.repolsen.com.

Procurement Reform Bill Co-Sponsored by State Rep. David S. Olsen Signed into Law
On Wednesday I joined Governor Bruce Rauner on the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois for the signing of legislation that will streamline and reform regulations that govern how Illinois buys billions of dollars in goods and services each year. SB 08, now known as P.A. 100-0043, addresses the state’s procurement system and includes multiple provisions that will quicken the process and reduce costs. Today, in some cases it takes 9-12 months for a request for proposals (RFP) to be completed. Through SB 08 that timeline will be shortened significantly, which will allow for a more competitive process and ultimately lower costs when state agencies and institutions purchase goods and services. I am proud to have co-sponsored this pivotal piece of legislation and am pleased that I could join the Governor for the bill signing at my alma mater. The University of Illinois and our other colleges and universities will benefit greatly from the cost-saving measures included in this bill.

SB 08 was negotiated through a bipartisan effort and stands as a prime example of the positive results that can be achieved when we all work together. The provisions of SB 08 are effective retroactive to the start of this fiscal year on July 1, 2017.

Olsen Completes Edgar Fellows Leadership Conference
Last week I joined 40 emerging Illinois leaders in Champaign for an in-depth leadership and mentoring program as part of the 2017 class of Edgar Fellows. Several Illinois lawmakers from both parties were part of this year’s class. I’m shown in this photo with the legislative contingency: State Senator Pat McGuire, State Representative Carol Sente, State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, State Representative Avery Bourne and State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst.

Attendees included elected and appointed public officials from across the state, and together we attended workshops and training sessions hosted by former Governor Jim Edgar, experts from the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) and other notable leaders who have had success in their chosen fields of service. 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. It was an honor to be chosen for this well-respected leadership and mentoring program, and I look forward to putting the knowledge I gained into practice as the State Representative for the 81st District.

Governor Rauner Signs Bill to Protect Illinois from Cyber Threats
Last week Governor Rauner signed House Bill 2371, requiring all executive branch State of Illinois employees responsible to the Governor, not including public university employees, to undergo annual cybersecurity training to understand the risks, threats and best practices to defend against cyber threats." The legislation was signed into law as Public Act 100-0040.

Because hackers and cyber criminals continually grow more sophisticated in their attempts to steal sensitive data and infect state computer systems, it is crucial that state employees have knowledge to protect themselves and the state from the impact of cyber-attacks. With this legislation, Illinois becomes the 15th state to adopt mandatory cybersecurity awareness training for state employees.

Olsen Jobs Fair Results in Job Offers for 124 Area Residents
More than 500 job seekers attended a free jobs fair I hosted last week with Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove). The event, held at CORE Fitness in Lemont, was the third annual jobs fair hosted by lawmakers in the area. The turnout exceeded all expectations, and 124 attendees left the event with a job offer in hand. With employment numbers in Illinois still lagging behind neighboring states, I am extremely pleased that we were able to facilitate a process that helped put many residents back to work.

Preliminary data indicates that nearly 1,000 resumes were distributed at the fair, 206 interviews were held on-site and an additional 123 interviews were scheduled for future dates.

Free Community Outreach Events Scheduled in 81st District
During the summer and fall months my staff and I plan several community outreach events in and around the 81st District. All are free to the public. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
  • Understanding & Appealing Your Property Tax Bill: Saturday, September 9, 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon, Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss St, Downers Grove
  • Veterans Resource Fair: Saturday, November 4, 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon, American Legion Post 80, 4000 Saratoga Ave, Downers Grove 
Illinois State Fair Opens
The Illinois State Fair kicked off Thursday with the official ribbon cutting and Twilight Parade. The State Fair features musical entertainment, variety shows, rides and attractions, competitions, and festival food. Admission will be charged for all fairgoers above age 12, and separate tickets will be required for parking spots and for entertainment acts at the Grandstand. The fair is being celebrated through Sunday, August 20.
More than 500 job seekers attended a free jobs fair last week hosted by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) and State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove). The event, held at CORE Fitness in Lemont, was the third annual jobs fair hosted by lawmakers in the area.

“The turnout exceeded all expectations, and many attending left the event with a job offer in hand,” said Olsen. “With employment numbers in Illinois still lagging behind neighboring states, I am extremely pleased that we were able to facilitate a process that helped put many residents back to work.”

Preliminary data indicates that nearly 1,000 resumes were distributed at the fair, 206 interviews were held on-site and an additional 123 interviews were scheduled for future dates. Of the interviews held at the fair, job offers were extended to 124 individuals.

“Events like these are a great way to bring employers and those who want to work together under one roof,” Olsen said. “I am encouraged to know so many people left with great prospects for future employment.”
Residents of the 81st Legislative House District are invited to meet and speak with State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) at a mobile office hours event scheduled for Monday, August 14 at the Indian Prairie Public Library, 401 Plainfield Road, in Darien. The event is part of a series of mobile office hours meant to provide residents of the 81st Legislative House District with easy access to their elected Springfield representative.

“The 81st District includes portions of seven different municipalities, so I am very aware that my Downers Grove District Office is not near the homes of many of my constituents,” said Olsen. “By holding office hours in other communities, the people I represent in Springfield can come to a convenient location and share their concerns and ideas.”

Olsen and his staff will have a table set up at the library from 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon.

“I look forward to having conversations with my constituents as I bring my office to them in their own community,” said Olsen. “In addition to learning about their personal priorities, my staff and I can help explain the services available through my legislative office.”

No appointment is needed. Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on Olsen’s web site at www.repolsen.com.