Rep. Olsen Passes First Bill as Illinois Lawmaker

In passing his first bill in the Illinois House of Representatives, State Representative David S. Olsen did not shy away from one of the state’s most pressing issues- the need for property tax relief through local pension reform.

HB 291, which passed unanimously in the House on Wednesday, increases the requirements for a local elected official to become eligible for a public pension. The bill seeks to increase the number of hours an elected official must work to become eligible for a pension through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) from 600 to 1,000 hours. Currently these individuals can become pension-eligible at 600 hours unless a municipality or unit of local government has specifically approved a measure requiring them to work 1,000 hours per year. “This bill represents a good first step toward easing pressures on taxpayers who fund pensions at the local level,” said Olsen. “We expect a high standard of job performance from our elected officials, and while I believe we must go further, the new requirement is a good starting point to increase standards for local elected official pensions.”

Within days of the bill’s filing in mid-January, Olsen assembled a large number of co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. “The need for property tax relief and pension reform is not a Republican or a Democratic issue,” Olsen said. “There is not a legislator among us who does not hear almost daily from a constituent who is desperate for reforms that lead to tax relief.”

HB 291 received unanimous approval before the House Personnel & Pensions Committee earlier this month and now moves to the Senate for consideration. To hear Olsen speak in detail about the bill during a recent radio interview, click here.

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