Legislative Update: June 26, 2017

This report comes to you from Springfield, where lawmakers have been in special session for the last six straight days. Despite the fact that several budget bills have been filed, in the House we have not yet taken action on any budget-related bills. Rather than considering legislation that would end the impasse and put a budget in place before the start of Fiscal Year 2018 on July 1, we are taking votes on resolutions and minor bills, yet nothing that actually addresses the budget impasse. We are also sitting through extended Committee of the Whole meetings on topics of Speaker Madigan’s choice. Frustration by rank and file members continues to grow, yet the Speaker is not allowing any substantive budget bills to be brought to the floor for a vote. With just four days remaining in Fiscal Year 2017, we need to be taking action on a budget right away. Bipartisanship is the key, and I have had many conversations with lawmakers from the other side of the aisle who are eager to compromise and get this job done. The picture above was taken yesterday, at the start of our fifth day of special session, and includes Republicans and Democrats who are committed to ending the impasse. The four legislative leaders have met, and I hope their dialogue will help move us toward a solution in the coming days.

As you may recall, the Senate approved several budget bills toward the end of May and sent them over to the House for our consideration. Those bills have not been brought to the floor for a vote. Two weeks ago, House Republican leaders and the Governor put an alternative plan on the table that balances the budget and provides important economic reforms. Portions of that plan have been discussed, but it too has not been allowed to advance through the legislative process. House Democrats have not yet put forward any plan to balance the budget and provide important reforms. It is my hope that Speaker Madigan and his majority will give the House an opportunity to debate and vote on existing and any new bills to achieve a comprehensive budget with reforms.

Free Senior Fair Set for Thursday
My inaugural Senior Fair will be held this week on Thursday June 29th in the Lincoln Center Gymnasium at 935 Maple Avenue in Downers Grove. The fair will take place between 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon, and is free and open to the public. 

The event brings together state and local resources for seniors in one convenient location, and in addition to visiting dozens of booths, seniors will also be able to receive blood pressure screenings and immunizations. My staff will also be available to assist constituents with state government concerns. Refreshments will be provided and attendees will have the chance to win door prizes. For more information about this and other upcoming events, please call my office at (630) 737-0504.

Downers Grove EDC Holds Annual Luncheon
Earlier this month, I was pleased to attend the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation’s annual luncheon, where local business leaders celebrated successes and discussed further opportunities for collaboration with one another and government leaders. In this photo I am pictured with Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully, Deputy Governor Leslie Munger, and State Representative Patti Bellock.

Governor Begins Signing Bills from 2017 Legislative Session
Legislation approved by the General Assembly between January and May of this year is now beginning to be signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. Earlier this month a bipartisan transparency bill I co-sponsored was signed into law. HB 3044, now known as Public Act 100-0002, requires the Illinois Department of Labor to publish on its web site by August 15 of every year the prevailing wage schedule for each county in Illinois. The new law also authorizes the Department to publish rates more frequently than once per year. Additional bills, including three for which I serve as the Chief House Sponsor, will be signed into law in the coming weeks.

Olsen Attends Downers Grove Rotary GroveFest in Between Special Session
One of my favorite annual events in Downers Grove is Rotary GroveFest. This year the event took place on a weekend while the House was in Special Session, but I was able to drive back home on Friday and Saturday night after session so I could enjoy the festivities with neighbors and friends. It was also a great opportunity to hear from 81st district residents on many topics, including nearly unanimous urging to pass a compromise state budget in the coming week. On Friday evening I took this picture with Downers Grove Commissioner Nicole Walus and DuPage County Board Member Brian Krajewski. As usual, the festival did not disappoint, and this year’s record crowds were a testament to the excellent work of the Downers Grove Rotary Club’s event volunteers and coordinators.

Jason Zyck Joins District 81 Team as Summer Intern
During his summer break from college at the University of Indiana, my summer intern Jason Zyck is learning about the inner workings of a state legislative office while helping with a variety of office projects and outreach events. With the increased number of summer days I am spending in Springfield this year, Jason has become a valuable member of the District 81 team. On June 3 Jason helped with my annual Children’s Health & Safety Expo, and on June 8 he attended a ribbon cutting for the Riding Store in Woodridge. Last week he attended the Bruce Lake fishing Derby and Pancake Breakfast on my behalf. If you see Jason out and about at an event for the 81st District, be sure to say hello!

Olsen Attends Dedication for New Library Mural
Earlier this month I joined artist John McDavvit, Downers Grove Library trustees and foundation members, and other community leaders to dedicate the new mural in the Kids Room. It is a beautiful addition to our library, and was made possible thanks to the generosity of the DG Library Foundation!

Full Calendar of Events Planned for 81st District
In addition to my Senior Fair this Thursday, please mark your calendar for the other free outreach events that I will be hosting this summer and fall:

  • Document Shredding Event: Saturday, July 15, 9:00 AM until 12:00 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
  • Understanding & Appealing your Property Tax Bill: Saturday, September 9, 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon, Downers Grove 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

No comments :