Legislative Update: July 10, 2017

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.

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