Earlier this week I had an opportunity to join other area lawmakers for a Nursing Legislative Forum at Downers Grove’s Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. This annual event brings together legislators and health care professionals so we can brainstorm ways to work collaboratively toward improving access to healthcare and information that can improve overall physical, mental and emotional health. It was a pleasure to talk with these caring individuals and I look forward to working with them in the future.
New Illinois Competitive Council Review of Agency Rules/Regulations Should Find Millions in Savings for Illinoisans by Cutting Through Red Tape
Whenever I talk with business owners and entrepreneurs in Illinois, they complain about Illinois’ unfriendly business practices and the seemingly-insurmountable layers of red tape that hinder the creation, relocation or expansion of business. I’m pleased to announce that this week Governor Rauner launched a comprehensive plan to promote economic growth and job creation by addressing the problem of this burdensome red tape in Illinois. He signed Executive Order 16-13, which will require a detailed review of all agency rules and regulations by a newly-created Illinois Competitiveness Council. The Illinois Competitiveness Council will be comprised of a representative of each of Illinois’ regulatory state agencies. Its goal is to save Illinoisans at least $250 million in direct license fee costs over the next decade, and save Illinois taxpayers and business owners at least 4 million pages in paperwork. It will work to ensure current regulations are up to date and relevant to today’s industries and practices, ensure the language in rules are easy to understand, reduce the amount of unduly burdensome requirements on businesses, social service providers, and citizens through both time and cost, and ensure there is a clear need for existing regulations. In addition, the Illinois Competitiveness Council will look for recommendations to improve Illinois’ licensing environment to promote job growth and job creation.
Kentucky, Indiana, Colorado, and Massachusetts have all successfully reviewed their rules and cut red tape to give their citizens a more competitive advantage over Illinois citizens. Burdensome and unnecessary regulations, policies and licensing requirements disproportionately impact small businesses, particularly minority-owned businesses. In order to have the greatest impact, the Illinois Competitiveness Council is seeking input from the public on which rules and regulations are the biggest hindrance to people and businesses. Anyone can submit feedback to cut the red tape at www.illinois.gov/cut.
Olsen Celebrates New Businesses and Economic Growth with Local Chamber630
Last week It was my pleasure to attend two events that celebrate economic activity in the 81st Legislative House District. On Tuesday, October 11, I joined Chamber630 officials and other business leaders for a ribbon cutting for the new Zoup restaurant in Woodridge. This new addition to the Woodridge business community offers a variety of healthy soups, salads and sandwiches.
The next day I attended the Chamber630 general membership luncheon, where new College of DuPage President Dr. Anne E. Rondeau spoke about the college’s plans for the next 50 years. As a current trustee at COD, I was excited to be in attendance as Dr. Rondeau shared future plans for our State’s largest community college as we refocus the College on its core mission of providing accessible, high-quality education to the residents of the district. I’m shown in the photo above with Chamber630 President and CEO Laura Crawford and College of DuPage President Dr. Ann E. Rondeau.
Industry Hotline Offers Insurance Assistance
The Illinois Insurance Hotline is a free and valuable resource available to help Illinois residents make informed decisions about insurance-related issues. The Hotline is a non-profit industry-sponsored outreach that can answer basic questions, provide educational materials and offer direction for more intricate questions about property, casualty, life or health insurance. Residents can reach the Hotline by phone or email for guidance on a wide range of topics, including company contact numbers, financial ratings, complaint records, state mandates, options following a cancellation or non-renewal, the claim settlement process and more. You can contact the Illinois Insurance Hotline by phone at 1-800-444-3338, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Hotline is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM.
Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs Event Set for October 22
Surveys of prescription drug abusers tell us that a majority of those with opioid addictions started by stealing unused prescription medication from friends and family. The Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) has taken action to educate Illinois physicians and the public on ways to curb this epidemic. Last week, in partnership with ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company, ISMS distributed more than 11,000 kits promoting the importance of disposing of unused medications. The disposal kit contains information for doctors and patient materials highlighting the importance of proper disposal and what should be done with unused medications. The kit is also accessible for free download by anyone at www.isms.org/Take-Back. The ISMS has also teamed up with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to promote its semi-annual Drug Take-Back Day on October 22.
This Take-Back initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
You can help combat the opioid epidemic and keep your family safe by disposing of unused medication properly. On October 22 from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM, there are several locations hear our district where unused prescription drugs may be safely disposed, including:
- Naperville Police Department, 1350 Aurora Avenue
- Westmont Police Department, 500 N. Cass Avenue
- Hinsdale Police Department, 121 Symonds Drive
- Lombard Police Department, 235 E. Wilson Street
- Roselle Police Department, 31 S. Prospect Street
- Villa Park Police Department, 40 S. Ardmore Street
- Elmhurst Police Department, 125 E. First Street
Downers Grove South Musician Selected for “All American Marching Band”
It was an honor earlier this month to recognize a sousaphone player from my former high school, Downers Grove South, who was recently selected as one of only 125 high school musicians nation-wide who will play with the All American Marching Band. Noah Tunney will join other top marching band musicians and a group of elite high school senior football players at the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. Noah will take to the field at half time for an impressive show that has gained wide notoriety over the years. Congratulations to Noah and to the entire music department at Downers Grove South High School!
Olsen Tours Locally-Based International Manufacturing Company
In my role as State Representative, I enjoy visiting local businesses and talking with the business owners and leaders who create jobs for the people who live in this area. Headquartered in Downers Grove, Flexco makes products that enhance the productivity of belt conveyors that are used all over the world. A privately-owned company, Flexco has been in business for more than 100 years, and employs more than 800 people worldwide, including many right here in our district. I enjoyed touring the facility and learning about how this industry leader continues to grow and provide for customers all over the globe.
UIUC is now the Seventh-Largest Public University Campus in the U.S.
The 44,880-student enrollment figure for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reflects the number of students who have accepted enrollment or re-enrollment at UIUC and are taking classes in the 2016 fall term. Growing demand for the university’s historically STEM-oriented curriculum has made the University of Illinois’ flagship campus a highly desirable place of study for students worldwide. In 2016, 7,600 freshmen students enrolled in UIUC for the fall term.
Many professionals associated with the campus and its infrastructure report that UIUC enrollment is at or near physical capacity. The university’s future expansion plans include areas outside core college education, such as online education and graduate schools. For example, the new Champaign-Urbana-based Carle Illinois College of Medicine will train physicians at teaching-hospital locations affiliated with, but separate from, the current campus.
Teal Pumpkin Project Allows Kids with Food Allergies to Enjoy Trick-or-Treating Fun
For households that participate in trick-or-treating activities, I wanted to bring your attention to a very worthwhile initiative called the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Kids with food allergies are often left out of trick-or-treating fun since most candy is off limits to them. The Teal Pumpkin Project helps make sure all children will come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy. It just takes one simple act: offering non-food treats, such as glow sticks or small toys, as an alternative to candy.
If you wish to participate, please print out the sign below and tape it to your door. This will alert families with children who have food allergies that this is a safe trick-or-treating home.