Are you looking for a job or a new career? State Representative Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) and State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove) invite you to participate in their FREE Jobs Fair on August 9, 2017 in Lemont.

The Jobs Fair will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at CORE Fitness Center, 16028 W 127th St, Lemont. If you are looking to take a job with the State, at 9:00 a.m. you might want to attend the “How to Navigate through the State Employment Process” workshop. At 9:30 a.m. a workshop will be held that will help you have a “stand out” resume. At 10:30 a.m. there will be a workshop focused on networking your way to a new job. The final workshop of the day will be held at 11:30 a.m. and will discuss successful interviewing. All of the workshops are free of charge.

“The rate of unemployment in Illinois continues to lag behind the nation. Our Jobs Fair is an opportunity to pair people who want to work with jobs that suit their skill sets," said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. "I would encourage all people who are in search of employment to bring their updated resumes, and be prepared for on the spot interviews at the jobs fair."

"We need to put more Illinoisans back to work,” said State Representative David S. Olsen. "This jobs fair brings more than 100 area employers together in one room so that those seeking good jobs can maximize the efficiency of their job search."

“Improving job growth and lowering our unemployment rate continue to rank among Illinois’ most urgent priorities—and the best place to start is right here,” said Curran. “With my colleagues Leader Durkin and Representative Olsen, I think we are hosting a great event with a wide variety of job opportunities to appeal to workers of all experience levels and skillsets. I encourage all our job-seekers to attend because the companies are coming prepared to hire.”

Participating employers include: 1-800-Got-Junk, AAR Corporation, ABF Freight, Acres Group, Advocate Health, Aerotek, Aflac, All 1 Staffing, Apex3 & Premier Security, Argonne National Laboratory, Aryzta, Bates Water Solutions, Bill Jacobs, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Burke Beverage Inc., Car Outlet, Central Management Services, Cheese Merchants of America, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Chicago Zoological Society, Childcare Careers, Cintas, Combined Insurance, Comcast, Cook County Sheriffs Merit Board, Crown Services Inc, CSS Services, Dempsey Staffing Firm Inc., DO & CO Chicago Catering, Express Employment Professionals, Farmers Insurance, FedEx, First Staff Services, IT Expert System, Four Seasons Heating & Cooling, Fresh Express Inc., G4S Secure Solutions Inc., Gilman Healthcare Center, Gonnella Frozen Products, Grainger, Harrahs Joliet Casino, Helping Hand Center, Home & Hearth Caregivers, Home Life Healthcare, IKEA Bolingbrook, Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Department of Revenue, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, Illinois State Police, Illinois Tollway, Interim Healthcare, Interpark LLC, IT Expert System, Labor Temps, Larlin Home Care, Legal Shield, LTS Chicago Enterprises Inc., Mariano’s, McCaster-Carr Supply Co., Methodist Youth Services, MicroTrain Technologies, Mutual of Omaha, New York Life, Northern Illinois Academy, Old Dominion Freight Line, Operating Engineers Local 150, PACE, Patten CAT, Penn Global Marketing, Peoplelink, Pipefitters Local Union 597, Presence Health, Protech Security Group, Ray Graham Assoc., Remprex, Rich Products Corp., Robert Olson & Associates, Ron’s Staffing Services, Schillings, Sears Holding Corp., Secur America LLC, Sentinel Technologies, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Sharp It Group Consulting, Southwest American Job Center, Staffinders, Staffmark, State Farm Insurance, Sunrise Southwest LLC, Symbol Training Institute, SWD, Inc., The Salem Group, Trinity Services, Turano Bakery Co., UPS, U.S. Foods, United States Postal Service, Village of Woodridge, Walgreens, Weather Tech, World Financial Group, West Liberty Foods, West Suburban Nursing & Rehab, Westway Coach Lemont, Western & Southern Life, World Financial Life

For more information, call Representative Olsen's office at 630-737-0504 or visit his websites at www.repolsen.com.
Legislators to Return to Springfield for School Funding Battle
Illinois lawmakers will return to the Capitol this week on Wednesday for a special session dedicated to addressing the upcoming year’s state funding for schools. Governor Bruce Rauner called the special session Monday afternoon, after Senate Democrats missed a noon deadline to send their approved school funding bill, SB 01, to the Governor for final action.

Coming into the new General Assembly in January, there was widespread consensus that the existing school funding formula needed to be fundamentally changed. A bipartisan Education Funding Task Force studied the issue during the spring legislative session and ultimately determined that an evidence-based formula would be more equitable and fair for Illinois schools. 

SB 01 was approved in May, but Senate Democrats used a procedural move to keep the bill from advancing to the Governor’s desk. The Governor has been vocal with his plan to issue an amendatory veto to the bill to remove what he considers to be a large bailout for Chicago Public Schools (CPS). If SB 01 becomes law, a large portion of funds would be channeled directly to CPS rather than through the new formula. As written, an additional $778 million would be invested in K-12 education for the 2017-2018 school year. CPS would receive $495 million of those new funds. That represents 64% of all new education money even though CPS houses only 19% of the State’s students. If the evidence-based model is the agreed choice for equity in school funding, why would the formula be skewed right out of the gates so it favors CPS?

House and Senate Republicans introduced a better proposal this year that would have ensured that every school district in Illinois was treated equally under the new formula. HB 4069, also filed in the Senate as SB 1124, included no special deals for CPS. This chart shows how that plan compares to SB 01. Unfortunately, both Republican bills were not allowed to advance to the floor for a vote.

John Curran of Downers Grove Chosen to Fill Remainder of Radogno Senate Term
On Saturday, the 41st District Appointment Committee selected John Curran of Downers Grove to fill the remainder of former State Senator Christine Radogno’s term in the Illinois General Assembly. Curran is a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney and has served on the DuPage County Board since 2008. He previously also served as a Trustee for the Village of Woodridge. John has an exceptional record of public service, and I am confident that we will be able to work collaboratively to effectively serve and represent our shared constituents. Details of the swearing in ceremony for John Curran have not yet been announced.

Olsen Delivers Local Concerns about PARCC Testing to Illinois State Board of Education
Last week I sent a letter to Dr. Tony Smith, State Superintendent of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) sharing concerns and feedback I received from 81st District school administrators, educators and parents about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam. ISBE is in the process of developing a request for proposals for an assessment tool to be used when the PARCC contract expires in 2019.

Some parents have opted out of having their children take the current PARCC exam. Parents have opted out for many reasons including concerns about the design of the assessment tool, limited or no educational value or relevance for students and teachers, or student privacy and data mining concerns. My letter offered ISBE a summary of the comments received from meetings with constituents in the past few weeks. In seeking a new assessment tool, I urged ISBE to ensure that it is relevant for students, useful for teachers and educators, and that it provides opportunities for reduction of testing and cost savings. You can read the letter here.

Olsen Selected for Service on Community Care Program Services Task Force
Last week I learned that I will be one of two House Republicans who will participate on a new task force that will review community care program services for Illinois seniors and help develop strategies to reduce program costs while not diminishing the quality of care seniors receive. The task force, which will be chaired by the State’s Director of Aging or a designee from that office, will be charged with the following:
  • Review the current services provided to seniors in the program
  • Review potential savings associated with alternative services to seniors
  • Review effective care models for the growing senior population in Illinois 
  • Review current federal Medicaid matching funds for services provided and ways to maximize federal support for the current services
  • Make recommendations to contain costs and better tailor services to Community Care Program participants’ specific needs
  • Review different services available to help keep seniors out of nursing homes
  • Review best practices used in other states for maintaining seniors in home and community-based settings including providing services to non-Medicaid eligible seniors
As a group we will meet at least four times and hold public hearings as is deemed necessary. Our task force findings and recommendations will be presented to the Governor and General Assembly before the end of January, 2018.

Olsen Visits New CILA Home in Naperville
Late last week I joined State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) for a tour of a new Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) home in Naperville operated by UCP Seguin. We also had an opportunity to meet and talk with some of the facility’s residents and staff. The home provides care for women with developmental disabilities from DuPage County, and the Naperville home is one of 75 such homes run by UCP Seguin in 29 communities around the Greater Chicago area. Earlier in the month I also had an opportunity to celebrate the opening of a new UCP Seguin center in Villa Park. Thanks to CEO John Voit for inviting us and for all the work UCP Seguin does to support individuals with developmental disabilities.

Rep. Olsen to Host Mobile Office Hours on July 27
My mobile office hours tour continues this month with a Thursday, July 27 event scheduled at the Downers Grove Recreation Center, 4500 Belmont Road, in Downers Grove. My staff will have a table set up at the center from 8:30 until 10:30 AM. The public is invited to stop by to discuss legislative issues and to learn about the services offered through my legislative office. No appointment is needed. Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on my web site at www.repolsen.com.

Olsen Supports Family Shelter Service at Annual Event
I had a wonderful time last week supporting Family Shelter Service at their Young Professionals Trivia Night. I am proud to serve on the Advisory Board for the great organization which supports victims of domestic violence. You can learn more about this incredibly important community organization by visiting their web site at www.familyshelterservice.org

Cooling Stations are Ready to Help Illinois Residents Battle the Summer Heat
As part of Illinois' Keep Cool Illinois campaign, over 120 state facilities are now available as cooling centers. The cooling centers will provide Illinoisans a place to stay cool and comfortable during hot summer days. The following locations offer free cooling centers for Illinoisans:
  • Tollway Oasis locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 
  • Department of Human Services cooling centers are open during normal business hours from 8:30AM - 5:00PM, Monday through Friday.
Click here to find a cooling station near you. For more information about DHS Cooling Centers, please call the Illinois Department of Human Services hotline at (800) 843-6154 during normal business hours.

Olsen Congratulates New Eagle Scouts
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for three new Troop 97 Eagle Scouts - Max Gregor, Daniel O'Connor, and Tony Kollarik. The Eagle Court of Honor took place at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Darien. Congratulations to all three of these fine young men on this wonderful accomplishment!

Amazon Plans Chicago-Area Sort Center With up to 500 Jobs
Crain’s Chicago Business reported last week that Amazon is opening a Chicago-area sort center, its first Illinois hub for smaller packages, where it plans to employ 250 to 500 workers. The newest facility has a launch scheduled for October in southwest suburban Crest Hill. It's the latest flag planted here since 2015 by the e-commerce monolith, whose projected local employment is heading toward around 8,000. The 29-acre site is north of Joliet, less than 2 miles from an Interstate 55 interchange and less than 10 miles from Interstate 80, according to Atlanta-based developer Ridgeline Property Group. The property is also near Amazon fulfillment centers in Joliet and Romeoville, and others opening this year in Aurora and Monee.

Free Summer & Fall Events Continue in 81st District
Thank you to everyone who came out for my Shredding & Sharing event on July 15 in Downers Grove. During the three-hour event, approximately 250 cars flowed through the parking lot of Sharing Connections. In addition to 8,000 pounds of documents delivered for shredding, community members filled ten large bins with new or gently-used home goods, clothing and cleaning products for Sharing Connections, a local non-profit that provides assistance to families in crisis. Many large pieces of kitchen, living room and bedroom furniture were also donated.

Mark your calendars for these additional upcoming events that are free and open to those who live in the 81st District:
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 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
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) sent a letter Friday to Dr. Tony Smith, State Superintendent of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) sharing feedback he received from 81st District school administrators, educators and parents about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam. ISBE is in the process of developing a request for proposals for an assessment tool to be used when the PARCC contract expires in 2019.

“Educators and parents throughout my district continue to provide feedback to me regarding the challenges they face with the current tools used for assessment and school accountability,” Olsen wrote. “Some parents have opted out of having their children take the current PARCC exam. Parents have opted out for many reasons, including concerns about the design of the assessment tool, limited or no educational value or relevance for students and teachers, or student privacy and data mining concerns.”

Olsen’s letter offered ISBE a summary of the comments he has received from meetings with his constituents in the past few weeks. To develop a new assessment tool, he wrote, ISBE should ensure that it is relevant for students, useful for teachers and educators, and that it provides opportunities for reduction of testing and cost savings.

“I hope these community suggestions can be incorporated by ISBE as they continue to develop criteria for a new state assessment tool,” Olsen said. “I am especially appreciative to those from the 81st District who have shared their productive input and concerns with me.”

You can read a copy of the letter here.
Today the 41st District Appointment Committee selected John Curran of Downers Grove as State Senator to fill the remainder of former State Senator Christine Radogno’s term. State Representative David S. Olsen issued the following statement in response to the news:

"John Curran has an exceptional record of public service both as an Assistant State's Attorney and in elected positions on the DuPage County Board and the Woodridge Village Board," said Olsen. "I am confident that John and I will be able to work collaboratively to effectively serve and represent our shared constituents."

Details of the swearing in ceremony are forthcoming.
In an effort to reach as many of his constituents as possible, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is hosting mobile office hours on July 27 at the Downers Grove Recreation Center, 4500 Belmont Road, in Downers Grove.

Olsen and a member of his staff will have a table set up at the center from 8:30 until 10:30 AM. The public is invited to stop by to discuss legislative issues with their State Representative and to learn about the services offered through the Olsen legislative office.

“I enjoy talking one-on-one with the people I represent in Springfield so I can learn about the issues that are important to them,” said Olsen. “I hope to see many residents of the 81st Legislative House District at this or future mobile office hours events throughout the district.”

No appointment is needed. Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on Olsen’s web site at www.repolsen.com.
More than 8,000 pounds of paper documents were shredded on Saturday at a free document shredding event sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove). The three hour “Shredding & Sharing” event was held in cooperation with Sharing Connection, a local not-for-profit that collects new or slightly used items for families in crisis.

Between 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon, approximately 250 cars flowed through the parking lot of Sharing Connections. In addition to the documents delivered for shredding, community members filled ten large bins with new or gently-used home goods, clothing and cleaning products for the non-profit organization. Many large pieces of kitchen, living room and bedroom furniture were also donated. 

“This was the second time we partnered with Sharing Connections, and the response by the community was even better this year,” said Olsen, who greeted motorists and helped unload their Sharing Connections donations and boxes of documents to be shredded. “Sharing Connections is such a worthwhile community organization; they do so much good for families in need. I was pleased to see the level of donations that poured in on Saturday morning.

A third partner in the event, AT&T, underwrote the cost of the shred truck. “We completely 
filled the shred truck this year,” said Olsen. “Everyone has old bank statements, receipts and other sensitive documents that they don’t want to throw in the trash, so I was pleased to work with AT&T to provide this valuable community service,” Olsen said. 

Olsen said he plans to host a document shredding event every summer in the 81st District.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) invites all residents of Illinois’ 81st Legislative House District to participate in “Shredding & Sharing,” which will be held on Saturday, July 15 in Downers Grove. The event is being done in cooperation with Sharing Connections, and will be held on their property at 5111 Chase Avenue, Downers Grove.

From 9:00 AM until noon, residents can drive up and watch volunteers unload up to two bags of paper documents per vehicle. A nearby parking area will be available for those who want to watch their documents as they are fed into the shredding machine. The cost of the truck is being underwritten by AT&T.

“We all have old bank statements, tax documents and other sensitive documents that we need to dispose of safely and securely, so I am pleased to provide this service annually for the citizens I represent,” said Olsen. “I would also encourage everyone to bring an item or two that can be donated to Sharing Connections, a wonderful local organization that provides furniture, clothing and household items to families in crisis.”

Sharing Connections will be accepting new cleaning and personal care supplies and new or gently-used silverware, glassware, pots and pans, dishes and clothing for all seasons.

For additional information about this and other summer and fall community outreach events, please call Representative Olsen’s Downers Grove office at (630)737-0504.
The two-year budget impasse is over. On Thursday, the House of Representatives took three quick votes to override three budget-related bills that were vetoed by Governor Rauner earlier in the week. The package of legislation increases taxes by $5 billion by permanently and immediately increasing the individual income tax rate to 4.95% and the corporate rate to 7%.

I voted against the three bills because they will allow for a continuation of the status quo in Springfield. I am deeply disappointed that rather than seeking a broad, bipartisan consensus on a balanced budget with reforms, Speaker Madigan and the majority Democrats chose to walk away from productive negotiations with Republicans which were nearing agreement at the end of June. Despite negotiation teams that were growing closer to agreement on key issues including property tax relief and workers compensation reform that would help struggling taxpayers, grow jobs and boost the Illinois economy, no legislation in these critical areas was brought forward for a vote.

The vast majority of Republicans and Democrats recognized that our State needs the stability of a balanced budget with reforms – which must include significant structural reforms, spending cuts, and revenue. Unfortunately, I do not believe that the package that resulted from Thursday’s override votes achieves that stability. Illinois already has the worst credit rating of any State in the nation, yet Moody’s Investor Service said last week even the approved budget may not prevent a downgrade to junk status. Despite this setback I remain committed to working in a bipartisan fashion towards the much needed reforms that will turn the tide and restore confidence in Illinois, both with investors and more importantly in the communities of the 81st district.

Members of the House may return to Springfield again this summer for further discussion of a potential new school funding formula and key reform issues, but scheduling remains at the discretion of Speaker Madigan. In the meantime, look for me in and around the 81st District, as I will be here in my home district tending to the needs of local constituents.

Capitol Building on Lockdown Prior to Budget Override Votes
For two hours on Thursday afternoon, the Illinois Capitol was on lockdown after a woman threw a powdery substance into the office of Governor Bruce Rauner and at other locations on the second floor of the building. As a precaution, the ventilation system was turned off while the substance was analyzed. The Springfield Fire Department and a Hazardous Materials Unit were called to the scene, and the substance was removed and later determined to be non-threatening. The woman who threw the powdery substance was arrested and eventually released. The Sangamon County State’s Attorney is investigating the incident and will decide if charges will be filed. 

Olsen to Partner with Sharing Connections and AT&T for July 15 “Shredding & Sharing” Event
We all have old bank statements, tax documents and other sensitive documents that we need to dispose of safely and securely. This weekend on Saturday, July 15th I will be hosting my second annual “Shredding & Sharing” event in Downers Grove. The event is being done in cooperation with Sharing Connections, and will be held on their property at 5111 Chase Avenue, Downers Grove. From 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon, residents can drive up and watch volunteers unload up to two bags of paper documents per vehicle. A nearby parking area will also be available for those who want to watch their documents as they are fed into the shredding machine.

Sharing Connections is a wonderful local organization that provides furniture, clothing and household items to families in crisis. During the three-hour event, Sharing Connections employees will be accepting new cleaning and personal care supplies and new or gently-used silverware, glassware, pots and pans, dishes and clothing for all seasons.

The cost of the shred truck is being underwritten by AT&T. For additional information about this and other summer and fall community outreach events, please call Representative Olsen’s Downers Grove office at (630)737-0504.

Olsen Offers Full Summer/Fall Schedule of Free Events
Each year my office offers a variety of free community outreach events. Please mark your calendars for upcoming events near you:
  • 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 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 
College Prep Program Scheduled for Saturday, July 15 in Naperville
McDonald’s is sponsoring a Chicago Education Expo this weekend on Saturday, July 15 in Naperville. The event is free, and is geared toward high school students who want to optimize their chances of gaining college acceptance to the school of their choice. Additional activities will be available for younger students. The expo will take place at Yellow Box Community Christian Church, 1635 Emerson Lane, in Naperville from 9:30 AM until 4:30 PM. Those who wish to attend are asked to register at www.northsouth.org.
SPRINGFIELD…..Today in Springfield, members of the House of Representatives overrode the Governor’s veto and passed into law revenue and spending packages that aim to end the over two-year budget impasse. This package of legislation permanently and immediately increases the individual income tax rate to 4.95% and the corporate rate to 7%, among other provisions. In response to this vote, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), who voted against the veto overrides, has issued the following statement:

“I’m disappointed that rather than seeking a broad, bipartisan consensus on a balanced budget with reforms, Speaker Madigan and the majority Democrats chose to walk away from productive negotiations with Republicans which were nearing agreement late last week. Instead, they decided to put forward a large tax increase and spending plan without addressing reforms Illinois desperately needs to make our State more attractive for individuals and businesses alike.”

“The vast majority of Republicans and Democrats have recognized that our State needs the stability of a balanced budget with reforms – which must include significant structural reforms, spending cuts, and revenue. Unfortunately, I do not believe that the package approved today achieves that stability. Illinois already has the worst credit rating of any State in the nation, yet Moody’s Investor Service said yesterday even this plan may not prevent a downgrade to junk status. Despite this setback I remain committed to working in a bipartisan fashion towards the much needed reforms that will turn the tide and restore confidence in Illinois, both with investors and more importantly in the communities of the 81st district.”
House Approves $5 Billion Tax Hike and Budget
After two years and two days without a budget, yesterday in Springfield, members of the House of Representatives approved revenue and spending packages with a goal of ending the budget impasse. SB06 (spending) was approved by a 81-34 vote and SB 09 (revenue) by a 72-45 vote. SB09 would permanently increase the individual income tax rate to 4.95% and the corporate rate to 7%, among other provisions.

I voted against both measures and was disappointed that rushed vote on the two bills were taken. The amended budget package shown in this picture was filed at 2:15 PM yesterday and is 638 pages long, yet a vote occurred just hours later. While our State desperately needs a balanced budget with reforms, these bills were not the result of completed negotiations between Republicans and Democrats. Governor Rauner has already indicated he will veto the bills should they reach his desk, and I am concerned that this action will only continue the budget uncertainty our State has faced for over two years.

Also, SB06 and SB09 were not accompanied by the reforms Illinois desperately needs. The bills simply represented the failed approach of raising taxes without addressing the underlying issues hurting our State. I believe strongly that the provisions of SB06 and SB 09 did not represent the best possible compromise and thus, could not support them. Despite yesterday’s action, I hope that Republicans and Democrats can continue to negotiate and agree upon budgetary reforms crucial to turning around our State.

The Senate is expected to take action on the bills today.

Senator Christine Radogno Resigns Senate Seat and Post as Senate Republican Leader
On Thursday, Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) announced her intention to step down from her seat as the Senator for the 41st District and as the Senate Republican Leader. Upon learning of the announcement, I issued the following statement: “As a resident of the 41st Senate District, I am extremely grateful for Leader Radogno’s selfless service to our district. And as the State Representative for half of Leader Radogno’s district, it has been a privilege to work with her on issues that affect our shared constituency. She has been a tremendous leader and a valuable mentor, and I wish her the very best as she returns to life as a private citizen. Leader Radogno has led the Senate Republican Caucus during a very difficult time in our State’s history. The entire State of Illinois owes Leader Radogno their sincere thanks for her leadership, professionalism and dedication to the work she has done on behalf of the citizens of Illinois.”

On Friday, Illinois Senate Republicans unanimously elected Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) to serve as the new Senate Republican Leader. Brady has been a State Senator since 2002 and previously served as a State Representative from 1993 to 2001. In the photo above, I’m shown with Leader Radogno at our recent joint Children’s Health & Safety Expo.

Olsen Supports Key Transparency Legislation for Taxpayers
Last week I had an opportunity to speak on the House floor in favor of a bill that would increase the amount of information that must be made available to taxpayers when school districts wish to increase their debt limit. With these debt extensions, I have a concern about the transparency to the voters; whether they truly understand what they're voting on. HB 760 improves transparency for voters, not only with regard to the principle, but also for the interest and borrowing costs. You can watch my full floor comments on here.

Inaugural Senior Fair a Huge Success
Thank you to all who came out to my first annual Senior Fair last week on June 29. We had a great turnout. The event featured dozens of booths staffed by state and local agencies that offer resources for seniors and caregivers. Seniors were also able to receive free blood pressure screenings and immunizations. While I was personally unable to attend due to summer session in Springfield, I’m told by my staff that the event was very successful with hundreds of seniors in attendance. It is my intention to host this type of senior fair every year.

Please mark your calendars for these additional community outreach events:
  • 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 
Governor Signs Bill that Strengthens Penalties for Repeat Gun Offenders
At the end of June, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a landmark criminal justice bill. The bill is a result of successful negotiations between the administration, City of Chicago and the General Assembly that will crack down on criminals who are repeat gun offenders, safely reduce the prison population, and create a more rehabilitative criminal justice system.

SB 1722 makes a number of changes to the criminal justice system to improve how we punish and rehabilitate gun offenders, as well as combat gang violence in Illinois. The bill will strengthen sentencing guidelines if they have committed a gun crime before. It also creates a First-Time Weapon Offender Diversion Program to address the underlying reasons why a young adult may have committed the offense. Additionally, the bill will create a Violent Crime Intelligence Task Force within the Illinois State Police. This task force will be dedicated to combatting gun violence and other violent crime in Chicago and around the state. The provisions of SB 1722 take effect in January of 2018.

Have a Safe and Happy Independence Day!
Lastly, I hope everyone has a very safe and happy Independence Day tomorrow. Whether your plans brought you together with family and friends over the weekend or if you will be celebrating tomorrow, please take a moment to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy, and offer a word of thanks to the men and women of our military, past and present, who have defended or are currently defending those freedoms.
After two years and two days without a budget, today in Springfield, members of the House of Representatives approved revenue and spending packages that aim to end the budget impasse. SB06 (spending) was approved by a 81-34 vote and SB 09 (revenue) by a 72-45 vote. SB09 would permanently increase the individual income tax rate to 4.95% and the corporate rate to 7%, among other provisions. In response to the action on the House Floor today, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), who voted against both bills, has issued the following statement:

“I’m disappointed that a rushed vote on these two bills was taken today. Hundreds of pages of amended language were released just hours before the vote, and the bills were not the result of completed negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.”

“Additionally, SB06 and SB09 are not accompanied by the reforms Illinois desperately needs and represent the failed approach of raising taxes without addressing the underlying issues hurting our State. I do not believe these bills represented the best possible compromise and thus, could not support them today. Despite this action, I hope that Republicans and Democrats can continue to negotiate and agree upon reforms crucial to turning around our State.”
As another fiscal year begins, the State of Illinois remains without a budget. Despite ten days in special session, the Illinois House and Senate failed to produce an agreement to move the state out of its fiscal crisis, and both the House and Senate met today to keep negotiations going. Speaker Michael Madigan also announced on the House floor today that lawmakers will return to session tomorrow, Sunday, July 2.

State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) released the following statement this afternoon:

“I am disheartened that negotiations have yet to bring forward a vote on a budget. Time has officially run out, and I’m disappointed that no budget has been voted upon nor agreed by the fiscal deadline. I remain in Springfield, and am committed to working to make this right for the people of Illinois.”