State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) joined Governor Bruce Rauner at Ebinger Elementary School in Chicago on Thursday for the signing of landmark legislation that fundamentally changes how Illinois funds public education.

SB 1947, signed into law as Public Act 100-0465, adopts an evidence-based model based on years of study and several recommendations brought forth by a bipartisan, bicameral School Funding Reform Commission. “This new school funding formula secures historic levels of funding for every Illinois school district and prioritizes new education dollars for our State’s most impoverished schools and students,” said Olsen after the bill signing. “Through this new model, all students are treated equally and there are no special deals for any specific school district. One of the best negotiated points of this bill is that Chicago Public Schools’ normal pension costs will be paid in the same manner as all other school districts - outside the school funding formula.”

According to Olsen, the final language included in SB 1947 represents true compromise on the part of Republicans and Democrats from both chambers of the General Assembly. “Through these negotiations, legislative leaders were able to achieve compromise that provides all school districts with what they need; not necessarily with everything they want,” Olsen said. “There are elements of the new formula that I do not like. But there are also elements, like relief from unfunded school mandates and ensuring that no district will see funding cuts, which will benefit the taxpayers in the 81st District.”

With the signing of SB 1947, state aid payments will flow to Illinois’ 852 school districts without further delay. “This bill is a prime example of the positive progress that is possible when lawmakers set personal agendas aside and work together for the betterment of the State,” added Olsen. “I hope this level of bipartisan cooperation can be carried forward as we address other pressing issues in the State of Illinois.”
Legislation that improves voter access to ballot referendum information was signed into law last week by Governor Bruce Rauner. The bill’s Chief Sponsor, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), and Chief Co-Sponsor, State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) both hailed the bill’s signing as a solid step toward improved transparency in the voting process.

According to Olsen, HB 512 was filed in response to legal challenges that occurred last year after it was learned that four successful ballot initiatives did not meet narrow public posting requirements. “In 2016 the results of four successful referenda were challenged because in each instance the official publishing of the question occurred three days prior to the state-required posting period,” said Olsen. “Expanding that window for posting ballot questions allows voters more time to learn about the proposals that will be put before them at the ballot box, and provides taxing bodies with a more flexible timeframe in meeting posting requirements.”

HB 512 amends the election code to provide that public questions must be published not more than 60 days (currently 40 days) and not less than 10 days (currently 30 days) before the election. “Providing greater notice to voters improves the process and the ability for voters to become better informed about ballot initiatives that could impact their tax bills,” said Breen. “Especially as more and more people are taking advantage of early voting, expanding that window for posting information will be very helpful.”

Prior to being sent to the Governor for final action, HB 512 received unanimous support in the House and Senate. The bill is now listed in the Illinois Statutes as Public Act 100-0298.
Bipartisan legislation was signed into law last week which increases the number of hours an elected official must work to become eligible for a pension through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), the bill’s Chief Co-Sponsor, called the new law “a great first step in addressing Illinois’ pressing need for property tax relief and pension reform.”

Previously, local elected officials could become pension-eligible at 600 hours of work per year unless a municipality or unit of local government has specifically approved a measure requiring them to work 1,000 hours per year. HB 3122, now in the statutes as Public Act 100-0274, increases the standard for all local elected officials who wish to qualify for a public pension to a required minimum of 1,000 hours of work per year.

“This is bipartisan legislation that holds our elected officials to a higher standard with regard to their ability to earn a pension through IMRF,” said Olsen. “Honestly, I believe we need to go further, but this new law represents a step in the right direction. It sends a message to taxpayers that we take pension reform seriously. I will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to seek additional pension reforms that will protect taxpayers.”

The provisions of the new law take effect immediately.
Today members of the House of Representatives approved sweeping changes to how Illinois will fund public schools. In response to the 73-34-3 vote on amended SB 1947, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has issued the following statement:

“Much of the discussion surrounding changes to the school funding formula in recent weeks has been tied to peripheral issues. We must not forget that at its core this is sweeping change based on years of study and many recommendations from the School Funding Reform Commission. We are now embracing an evidence-based model that should help every individual student succeed.”

“This proposal secures historic funding levels for all Illinois school districts. No school district will lose money under this plan. The compromise ensures a high quality education for all Illinois students and prioritizes funding for the most impoverished schools and students. Chicago Public Schools’ normal pension costs are to be paid in the same manner as all other school districts—outside the school funding formula.”

“The bill we approved in the House today is truly the result of bipartisan compromise and was the only education funding bill proposed that was able to achieve the supermajority support needed to pass. There are elements of this bill I do not like. But there are other elements, like unfunded mandate relief, that will benefit the taxpayers in the 81st District. As is the case with any successful compromise, no one is walking away 100% pleased, but every lawmaker can point to some provisions in this new school funding bill that helps our districts and our taxpayers.”

“As the provisions of SB 1947 are implemented in school districts across Illinois, we will be able to determine if the new model is having the desired effect on student learning. We always have the ability to amend this portion of the school code to make this new evidence-based model more efficient and effective.”
Citizens of Illinois’ 81st Legislative House District are invited to join State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) and local tax assessment experts on Saturday, September 9 for a free seminar on understanding the property tax assessment process and learning how to appeal property tax assessments. The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss Street in Downers Grove.

Joining Olsen at the informational session will be Downers Grove Township Assessor Greg Boltz, Lisle Township Assessor John Trowbridge and DuPage Township Assessor Jean Kelly. “At a time when many homeowners feel they are being taxed out of their homes, it is important that they understand the assessment process and know what remedies are available to them,” said Olsen. “It’s my pleasure to bring these tax assessment experts together to explain how tax bills are created and outline the process to follow if a taxpayer believes they are being over-assessed.”

After a presentation and facilitated questions, attendees will also have the opportunity to consult individually with their local assessor or their staff about property-specific issues.

Due to space constraints, RSVPs are requested. If you would like to attend the property tax forum, please RSVP by calling Representative Olsen’s office at (630) 737-0504.
Earlier this month State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) partnered with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) for a Jobs Fair that featured nearly 100 employers from the region. Close to 500 individuals attended the event and more than 100 people left the fair with a job offer in hand. Olsen spoke on camera recently about the success of the fair. Click here to watch the video.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has been named 2017 Young Business Professional of the Year by Chamber630 in DuPage County.

Olsen, 28, received the award as part of the Chamber’s annual awards celebration, which was held in Woodridge on August 17. According to Chamber630 CEO and President Laura Crawford, Olsen was recognized as a young business professional who stands out above others. “Consideration is given to community contributions, ethics and commitment to work,” she said. “We’re so proud to award Illinois State Representative David Olsen with the 2017 Young Business Professional Award. He excels in all areas and is so deserving of this award.”

In receiving the award, Olsen said he was proud to be recognized by the Chamber for his efforts as the State Representative for Illinois’ 81st Legislative House District. “It is an honor to be recognized for my service on behalf of the residents and businesses of the 81st District and across our region and State,” said Olsen. “I have been proud to sponsor and pass legislation that helps business owners and I will continue to work toward reducing burdensome regulations that limit our businesses’ ability to thrive in Illinois.”

Chamber630 is one of the largest business organizations in DuPage County and represents more than 700 members from over 50 municipalities with a focus in the Villages of Downers Grove and Woodridge. The Chamber provides marketing opportunities legislative advocacy and workforce development for small, medium and large businesses.
In the wake of growing outrage over acts of violence and hate in Charlottesville, VA, Governor Bruce Rauner this week signed legislation that strengthens penalties for those who commit hate crimes in Illinois.

State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), Chief Co-Sponsor of HB 2390, said the signing of the bill sends a clear message to those who would target others based on their race, color, creed, religion or other perceived classification that their behavior will not be tolerated.

“The nation is still reeling from the acts of domestic terrorism that occurred just two short weeks ago in Virginia,” said Olsen. “As lawmakers, we must do everything in our power to help prevent future instances of hate crimes. This is not a partisan issue; it’s a human issue. I was proud to serve as the leading Republican on this incredibly important piece of bipartisan legislation.”

HB 2390, signed into law on August 22 as Public Act 100-0260, increases the amount of damages for which a defendant can be held liable and also ensures that sentences for multiple convictions for hate crimes will be served consecutively rather than concurrently. The new law also includes an educational provision, so that rather than just being penalized for their crime, defendants will face an educational sentence so they may learn why their actions were wrong.

The bill received unanimous support in both the House and Senate during the spring legislative session.
Governor Rauner has signed a bill co-sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) that strengthens cyberstalking laws in Illinois.

Cyberstalking is the practice of using digital forms of communication to aggressively harass a person, often in a threatening manner. HB 3251 creates the offense of illegal electronic monitoring by stating that a person commits cyberstalking when he/she knowingly and surreptitiously installs without consent electronic monitoring software or spyware on an electronic communication device like a cell phone or tablet as a means of harassment. The bill was signed into law as Public Act 100-0166.

“Those who wish to cause physical and/or emotional harm to others are becoming more and more tech-savvy, so our laws need to reflect these new methods for harassment and intimidation,” said Olsen. “The provisions in this legislation will be especially helpful for victims of domestic violence who are trying to conceal their location from their abuser.”

Those found guilty of this new offense face a Class 4 Felony for a first offense and a Class 3 Felony for subsequent convictions.
School Funding Debate Continues in Springfield
In response to the Senate’s August 13 vote to override Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of SB 01, members of the House of Representatives were called to the Capitol on Wednesday, August 16th. But rather than bring SB 01 to the House floor for any type of vote, leading Democrats engaged in political games and ultimately admitted the bill would not be called. House members left Springfield that day with no agreed path forward for funding Illinois’ 852 school districts for the school year that is just starting. Upon adjournment for the day, I expressed my disappointment with the lack of progress:

“The political posturing that took place in Springfield today was in no one’s best interest, especially the families that are counting on us to do our jobs and fund their kids’ schools. We spent time on political theatre and on fake votes, but the truth is, both SB 01 and the Governor’s amendatory veto changes are both dead. Neither SB 01 nor the amendatory veto have the supermajority support needed to pass in the General Assembly. The ultimate school funding solution will be contained in a different piece of negotiated legislation. The only real solution involves true compromise, and I am encouraged to know that the leaders are returning to the negotiation table. I hope their discussions bring agreement on a school funding plan that is fair and equitable for all K-12 students in Illinois.

“The four legislative leaders met on Friday to discuss a possible compromise that will allow state aid to flow to schools without further delay. They plan to meet again on Tuesday, and I am hopeful their efforts will find the needed compromise to resolve the school funding issue.”

Representative David S. Olsen Joins Governor for Signing of Government Consolidation Bill
It’s no secret that a great number of Illinoisans are fleeing the state due to the crushing tax burden. In fact, I hear almost daily from constituents who are desperate for property tax relief. On Monday, August 14, I was proud to stand with Governor Bruce Rauner, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in DuPage County as the Governor signed into law a bill that makes it easier for units of government to consolidate or dissolve. By simplifying the process through which consolidation can occur, unnecessary or duplicative layers of government can be eliminated and the burden on taxpayers can be reduced.

Illinois currently has more than 7,000 individual units of government, which is about 1,000 more units than any other state in the nation. SB03 helps reduce the number of units of government and thus save taxpayers money in three key ways:
  • Expands a successful DuPage County consolidation model statewide
  • Allows for the dissolution of coterminous townships
  • Provides townships with a process for consolidation
Many of the provisions included in SB03 were recommendations included in final report of the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force of 2015, which sought to remove obstacles to consolidation and provide clear and modernized standards for consolidation. There remain further steps to take to help taxpayers, and I look forward to continued bipartisan collaboration on this issue. The provisions of SB 03 will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Still Time to Participate in Olsen Legislative Survey
Responses to my 2017 legislative survey are beginning to arrive at my office, and I am enjoying reading about the issues that are important to my constituents. There is still time to share your input and opinions with me by participating in my short survey. A paper version of the survey should have arrived in 81st District mailboxes as part of my End of Session report, but a digital version is also available on my web site. Click here to get started!

Rep. Olsen Stands in Support of House Resolution Condemning Terrorism in Charlottesville
In response to the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA that left one person dead and several others injured, members of the House of Representatives stood together on August 16 to unanimously approve a House Resolution condemning violence and hate. HR 569 repudiates and condemns white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and any other group that espouses hate and seeks to undermine the ideals of Illinois and the nation. The resolution also condemns the acts of violence in Charlottesville as domestic terrorism. 

During the floor discussion of the resolution, I spoke about how we need to stand together against violence, hate and intolerance, and how we should use the horrific events in Charlottesville as an example of why we must build bridges to defeat evil in our country. Click here to watch my floor comments.

Last Monday, I stood arm-in-arm with hundreds of people from all walks of life at a Naperville vigil to remember the victims of the acts of domestic terrorism in Charlottesville. We were united by our commitment to inclusiveness and tolerance, and as a bulwark against hate, bigotry, and racism.

Path of Total Solar Eclipse to Cross Southern Illinois
In the rare phenomenon, the new moon will completely cover the daylight sun. Parts of 14 states will see the sun disappear briefly, but Southern Illinois University astronomers predict that the sun will be hidden longer (2 minutes and 41.6 seconds) over southern Illinois than in any other state. The nationwide championship spot to see the eclipse (weather permitting) will be a location just south of Carbondale, Illinois. The Illinois eclipse will take place between 1:18 p.m. and 1:24 p.m., depending on the viewer’s location. This will be the first solar eclipse visible in the 48 contiguous United States since 1979.

Governor Signs Bill Co-Sponsored by Olsen that Removes Statute of Limitations for Prosecution of Felony Sex Crimes Against Children
Legislation I co-sponsored that removes the statute of limitations for prosecution of felony sex crimes against minors was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on August 11. When a child is exploited through an act of sexual assault or abuse, there should not be any limitations that would hinder the prosecution of the perpetrator. Law enforcement must have every tool at their disposal, and lifting the statute of limitations for these heinous crimes removes a hurdle that has allowed some offenders to escape prosecution.

SB 189, signed into law as Public Act 100-0080, provides that when the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, a prosecution for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or criminal sexual abuse may be commenced at any time. Under previous laws, many cases held a 10-year or 20-year statute of limitation for prosecution. The provisions of the new law take effect immediately.

Olsen Attends Lions Club New Teachers Luncheon
Each year the Downers Grove Lions Club hosts a luncheon welcoming new teachers to local School Districts 58 and 99 and to the area’s private schools. Last Tuesday it was my pleasure to meet and talk with these energized professionals. I wish them all the very best as they begin the 2017-2018 school year!

Governor Signs Olsen Legislation that Honors Fallen Members of IL National Guard
When a member of our military makes the ultimate sacrifice defending the freedoms we hold dear, they are deserving of the highest level of respect. This year I was proud to serve as the Chief Co-Sponsor of legislation that allows a family member of a fallen member of the Illinois National Guard to receive a State flag in honor of their loved one’s sacrifice. HB 2570, signed into law on August 11 as Public Act 100-0069, provides that when a member of the Illinois National Guard dies while serving in duty or training statuses, the Adjutant General, the Assistant Adjutant General for Army, or the Assistant Adjutant General for Air shall present the next of kin with an Illinois State flag. The legislation was based upon a similar law passed in South Carolina, and received unanimous support in the House and Senate.

Mobile Office Hours Continue to Draw Interest in 81st District
Thank you to everyone who came out to my August mobile office hours in Darien last week. I enjoyed meeting and talking to many constituents who found the Darien location to be convenient. I appreciated the input and suggestions that were shared at the event. Additional mobile office hours are added regularly to my schedule. Visit my web site at www.repolsen.com to find a location near you!

Free Community Outreach Events Continue in 81st District
In addition to my mobile office hours events, I have some exciting outreach events planned for the citizens I represent. Mark your calendars for these upcoming activities:
  • 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
This week State Representative David Olsen (R-Downers Grove) spoke on camera about the signing of two bills that will save Illinois taxpayers money. He admitted that there is still a great deal of work to be done in many key areas, but the signing of SB 3 and SB 8 are good examples of lawmakers and the Governor working together to solve problems for the people of Illinois.

Click here to watch the video.
Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law legislation that allows a family member of a fallen member of the Illinois National Guard to receive a State flag in honor of their loved one’s sacrifice. State Representative David S. Olsen served as the bill’s Chief Co-Sponsor.

“When a member of our military makes the ultimate sacrifice defending the freedoms we hold dear, they are deserving of the highest level of respect,” said Olsen. “By presenting the families of our fallen National Guardsmen and women with a State flag, we are letting families know we appreciate their loved one’s sacrifice and are grateful for their service.”

HB 2570, signed into law as Public Act 100-0069, provides that when a member of the Illinois National Guard dies while serving in duty or training statuses, the Adjutant General, the Assistant Adjutant General for Army, or the Assistant Adjutant General for Air shall present the next of kin with an Illinois State flag.

The legislation was based upon a similar law passed in South Carolina, and received unanimous support in the House and Senate.
In response to the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend, today Springfield lawmakers stood united to condemn the behavior that led to the death of one individual and injuries to several others. HR 569 repudiates and condemns white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and any other group that espouses hate and seeks to undermine the ideals of Illinois and the nation. The resolution also condemns the acts of violence in Charlottesville as domestic terrorism. The resolution received unanimous support and every member of the House of Representatives was added as a co-sponsor of the measure.

State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) spoke during the floor discussion of the resolution about a vigil he attended in Naperville earlier in the week in response to the tragic events. Click here to watch his full floor comments.
Members of the House of Representatives left Springfield on Wednesday with no agreed path forward for funding Illinois’ 852 school districts for the 2017-2018 school year. Upon adjournment for the day, State Representative David S. Olsen issued the following statement:

“The political posturing that took place in Springfield today was in no one’s best interest, especially the families that are counting on us to do our jobs and fund their kids’ schools. We spent time on political theatre and on fake votes, but the truth is, both SB 1 and the Governor’s amendatory veto changes are both dead. Neither SB 1 nor the amendatory veto have the supermajority support needed to pass in the General Assembly. The ultimate school funding solution will be contained in a different piece of negotiated legislation.”

“The four legislative leaders are meeting on Friday to discuss a possible compromise that will allow state aid to flow to schools without further delay. The only real solution involves true compromise, and I am encouraged to know that the leaders are returning to the negotiation table. I hope their discussions bring agreement on a school funding plan that is fair and equitable for all K-12 students in Illinois.”
Legislation that removes the statute of limitations for prosecution of felony sex crimes against minors has been signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. Bill Co-Sponsor David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) hailed the signing of the bill as “a significant victory in the fight for child victims’ rights.”

“When a child is exploited through an act of sexual assault or abuse, there should not be any limitations that would hinder the prosecution of the perpetrator,” said Olsen. “Law enforcement must have every tool at their disposal, and lifting the statute of limitations for these heinous crimes removes a hurdle that has allowed some offenders to escape prosecution.”

SB 189, signed into law as Public Act 100-0080, provides that when the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, a prosecution for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or criminal sexual abuse may be commenced at any time. Under previous laws, many cases held a 10-year or 20-year statute of limitation for prosecution.

“Sexual predators should not be able to benefit from a loophole in the law, and I applaud the Illinois Attorney General for bringing the idea for this legislation to the General Assembly,” Olsen said. “The law represents a significant improvement to our criminal justice system.”

The provisions of the new law take effect immediately.
When State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) arrived in Springfield last year as the voice for the 81st District in DuPage and Will Counties, he said one of his top priorities was to usher through legislation that would save taxpayers money. Last week Governor Bruce Rauner signed an Olsen-authored bill into law that will do just that.

HB 2427, signed into law as PA 100-0056, is a recycling bill that will save townships- and taxpayers who fund township services, money. The bill amends the Township Code to allow for the recycling of brush, wood chips and leaves within unincorporated areas of a township. Whereas current law provides for the collection, transport and disposal of the materials gathered through land maintenance, there was no provision for recycling or delivery.

“Township highway departments regularly take down dead or diseased trees, or collect fallen branches, and that wood is processed into small chips,” said Olsen. “Many people like to use those woodchips as a landscaping or mulching material, but unfortunately, laws did not provide for the recycling of the material to businesses and residents for their use.”

According to Olsen, the amendment to the Township Code allows those serving at the township level to use their discretion when determining how to best dispose of tree waste. “In Downers Grove Township, the highway department was spending a significant percentage of its annual budget to dispose of wood chips and other similar waste material,” Olsen said. “Through this new law, which takes effect immediately, they will now be able to deliver the wood chips directly to facilities or residences for a much lower cost than what they were spending on disposal.”

Upon hearing of the bill’s signing, Downers Grove Township Highway Commissioner Lawrence “Andy” Anderson applauded Olsen and the General Assembly for approving the cost-saving measure. "I want to thank Representative Olsen, the General Assembly and the Governor for passing this legislation,” he said. “By working together we achieved a positive outcome that will save money for our township taxpayers and taxpayers across the state."

The signing of HB 2427 represents the first bill sponsored by Olsen that has become law in Illinois. Click here to listen to a radio interview about the signing of this legislation.
As more and more Illinoisans are fleeing the state due to the crushing tax burden, today State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) joined Governor Bruce Rauner, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in DuPage County as he signed into law a bill that makes it easier for units of government to consolidate or dissolve.

“What we are doing today will allow us to more effectively serve the people we represent,” said Olsen. “It is a great first step, and I look forward to continuing this bipartisan effort to make government more responsive and cost-effective for the citizens we represent.”

Illinois currently has more than 7,000 individual units of government, which is about 1,000 more units than any other state in the nation. SB03 helps reduce the number of units of government in three key ways:
  • Expands a successful DuPage County consolidation model statewide
  • Allows for the dissolution of coterminous townships
  • Provides townships with a process for consolidation
“There is not a day that goes by when I do not hear from a constituent who is desperate for property tax relief,” said Olsen, a co-sponsor of SB03. “By simplifying the process through which consolidation can occur, unnecessary or duplicative layers of government can be eliminated and the burden on taxpayers can be reduced.”

Many of the provisions included in SB03 were recommendations included in final report of the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force of 2015, which sought to remove obstacles to consolidation and provide clear and modernized standards for consolidation.




The provisions of SB 03 will take effect on January 1, 2018.
Olsen End of Session Report Lands in 81st District Mailboxes
Late last week residents of the 81st District began receiving copies of my 2017 End of Session Report in their mailboxes. The comprehensive report highlights achievements and challenges of the regular legislative session and the special sessions in June and July. The report should continue to be distributed this week for those who live in the district and have not yet received it.

A legislative survey is included in the report, and I am hoping all residents will take a moment to fill it out. The opinions and priorities you will share through the survey will help me represent the 81st District in Springfield. Click here to access a digital version of the survey. Survey responses will be collected through the end of October.

Senate Overrides Amendatory Veto to School Funding Bill; House to Convene on Wednesday
On Sunday, August 13, the Illinois Senate voted 38-19 to override Governor Rauner’s Amendatory Veto of SB 01, the controversial education funding reform bill. The Illinois House of Representatives will convene on Wednesday, August 16, for possible action on SB 01 and related legislation.

House and Senate Republicans continue to oppose the Democrats’ last-minute changes to SB 01, which skewed the formula unfairly toward Chicago Public Schools (CPS) by including a pension payment for CPS in the education funding formula. Negotiations have been ongoing, and I am hopeful that continued negotiations will reach a compromise that is fair and equitable to all Illinois schools and taxpayers. Ensuring our schools have the funding they need must be the legislature’s most important priority in the coming days, and we must reach a fair compromise.

Governor Signs Rep. Olsen’s First Bill into Law
When I arrived in Springfield last year as the voice for the 81st District in DuPage and Will Counties, I said a top priority would be to usher through legislation that would save taxpayers money. On Friday in Springfield, a bill I authored was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner that will do just that.

HB 2427, signed into law as Public Act 100-0056, is a recycling bill that will save townships- and taxpayers who fund township services, money. The bill amends the Township Code to allow for the recycling of brush, wood chips and leaves within unincorporated areas of a township. Whereas current law provides for the collection, transport and disposal of the materials gathered through land maintenance, there was no provision for recycling or delivery. Township highway departments regularly take down dead or diseased trees, or collect fallen branches, and that wood is processed into small chips. Many people like to use those woodchips as a landscaping or mulching material, but unfortunately, laws did not provide for the recycling of the material to businesses and residents for their use.

The amendment to the Township Code allows those serving at the township level to use their discretion when determining how to best dispose of tree waste. In Downers Grove Township, the highway department was spending a significant percentage of its annual budget to dispose of wood chips and other similar waste material. Through this new law, which takes effect immediately, they will now be able to deliver the wood chips directly to facilities or residences for a much lower cost than what they were spending on disposal.

Upon hearing of the bill’s signing, Downers Grove Township Highway Commissioner Lawrence “Andy” Anderson applauded the General Assembly for approving the cost-saving measure. "I want to thank Representative Olsen, the General Assembly and the Governor for passing this legislation,” Anderson said. “By working together we achieved a positive outcome that will save money for our township taxpayers and taxpayers across the state."

HB 2427 represents my first bill to be signed into law in the General Assembly. After the signing I gave a radio interview where I spoke about the merits of the legislation. Click here to listen to the interview.

Olsen Offers Mobile Office Hours Today in Darien
The 81st District includes portions of seven different municipalities, so I am very aware that my Downers Grove District Office is not near the homes of many of my constituents. By holding office hours in other communities, the people I represent in Springfield can come to a convenient location and share their concerns and ideas. Residents of the 81st Legislative House District are invited to stop by a mobile office hours event scheduled for today, Monday, August 14 at the Indian Prairie Public Library, 401 Plainfield Road, in Darien. A member of my staff will have a table set up at the library from 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon. No appointment is needed. Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on my web site at www.repolsen.com.

Procurement Reform Bill Co-Sponsored by State Rep. David S. Olsen Signed into Law
On Wednesday I joined Governor Bruce Rauner on the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois for the signing of legislation that will streamline and reform regulations that govern how Illinois buys billions of dollars in goods and services each year. SB 08, now known as P.A. 100-0043, addresses the state’s procurement system and includes multiple provisions that will quicken the process and reduce costs. Today, in some cases it takes 9-12 months for a request for proposals (RFP) to be completed. Through SB 08 that timeline will be shortened significantly, which will allow for a more competitive process and ultimately lower costs when state agencies and institutions purchase goods and services. I am proud to have co-sponsored this pivotal piece of legislation and am pleased that I could join the Governor for the bill signing at my alma mater. The University of Illinois and our other colleges and universities will benefit greatly from the cost-saving measures included in this bill.

SB 08 was negotiated through a bipartisan effort and stands as a prime example of the positive results that can be achieved when we all work together. The provisions of SB 08 are effective retroactive to the start of this fiscal year on July 1, 2017.

Olsen Completes Edgar Fellows Leadership Conference
Last week I joined 40 emerging Illinois leaders in Champaign for an in-depth leadership and mentoring program as part of the 2017 class of Edgar Fellows. Several Illinois lawmakers from both parties were part of this year’s class. I’m shown in this photo with the legislative contingency: State Senator Pat McGuire, State Representative Carol Sente, State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, State Representative Avery Bourne and State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst.

Attendees included elected and appointed public officials from across the state, and together we attended workshops and training sessions hosted by former Governor Jim Edgar, experts from the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) and other notable leaders who have had success in their chosen fields of service. The program focused on developing leadership and governing capacity in Illinois while emphasizing the need to forthrightly address major policy issues without permitting partisan, ethnic and regional rivalries to trump statesmanship. It was an honor to be chosen for this well-respected leadership and mentoring program, and I look forward to putting the knowledge I gained into practice as the State Representative for the 81st District.

Governor Rauner Signs Bill to Protect Illinois from Cyber Threats
Last week Governor Rauner signed House Bill 2371, requiring all executive branch State of Illinois employees responsible to the Governor, not including public university employees, to undergo annual cybersecurity training to understand the risks, threats and best practices to defend against cyber threats." The legislation was signed into law as Public Act 100-0040.

Because hackers and cyber criminals continually grow more sophisticated in their attempts to steal sensitive data and infect state computer systems, it is crucial that state employees have knowledge to protect themselves and the state from the impact of cyber-attacks. With this legislation, Illinois becomes the 15th state to adopt mandatory cybersecurity awareness training for state employees.

Olsen Jobs Fair Results in Job Offers for 124 Area Residents
More than 500 job seekers attended a free jobs fair I hosted last week with Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove). The event, held at CORE Fitness in Lemont, was the third annual jobs fair hosted by lawmakers in the area. The turnout exceeded all expectations, and 124 attendees left the event with a job offer in hand. With employment numbers in Illinois still lagging behind neighboring states, I am extremely pleased that we were able to facilitate a process that helped put many residents back to work.

Preliminary data indicates that nearly 1,000 resumes were distributed at the fair, 206 interviews were held on-site and an additional 123 interviews were scheduled for future dates.

Free Community Outreach Events Scheduled in 81st District
During the summer and fall months my staff and I plan several community outreach events in and around the 81st District. All are free to the public. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
  • 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 
Illinois State Fair Opens
The Illinois State Fair kicked off Thursday with the official ribbon cutting and Twilight Parade. The State Fair features musical entertainment, variety shows, rides and attractions, competitions, and festival food. Admission will be charged for all fairgoers above age 12, and separate tickets will be required for parking spots and for entertainment acts at the Grandstand. The fair is being celebrated through Sunday, August 20.
More than 500 job seekers attended a free jobs fair last week hosted by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) and State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove). The event, held at CORE Fitness in Lemont, was the third annual jobs fair hosted by lawmakers in the area.

“The turnout exceeded all expectations, and many attending left the event with a job offer in hand,” said Olsen. “With employment numbers in Illinois still lagging behind neighboring states, I am extremely pleased that we were able to facilitate a process that helped put many residents back to work.”

Preliminary data indicates that nearly 1,000 resumes were distributed at the fair, 206 interviews were held on-site and an additional 123 interviews were scheduled for future dates. Of the interviews held at the fair, job offers were extended to 124 individuals.

“Events like these are a great way to bring employers and those who want to work together under one roof,” Olsen said. “I am encouraged to know so many people left with great prospects for future employment.”
Residents of the 81st Legislative House District are invited to meet and speak with State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) at a mobile office hours event scheduled for Monday, August 14 at the Indian Prairie Public Library, 401 Plainfield Road, in Darien. The event is part of a series of mobile office hours meant to provide residents of the 81st Legislative House District with easy access to their elected Springfield representative.

“The 81st District includes portions of seven different municipalities, so I am very aware that my Downers Grove District Office is not near the homes of many of my constituents,” said Olsen. “By holding office hours in other communities, the people I represent in Springfield can come to a convenient location and share their concerns and ideas.”

Olsen and his staff will have a table set up at the library from 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon.

“I look forward to having conversations with my constituents as I bring my office to them in their own community,” said Olsen. “In addition to learning about their personal priorities, my staff and I can help explain the services available through my legislative office.”

No appointment is needed. Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on Olsen’s web site at www.repolsen.com.
State Representative David S. Olsen joined Governor Bruce Rauner on the campus of the University of Illinois today for the signing of legislation that will streamline and reform regulations that govern how Illinois buys billions of dollars in goods and services each year.

SB 08, now known as P.A. 100-0043, addresses the state’s procurement system and includes multiple provisions that will quicken the process and reduce costs. “These reforms to the state’s purchasing system will ease burdensome regulations and save our public institutions money,” said Olsen, at the bill signing on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s engineering campus. “I am proud to have co-sponsored this pivotal piece of legislation and am pleased that I could join the Governor for the bill signing at my alma mater. The University of Illinois and our other colleges and universities will benefit greatly from the cost-saving measures included in this bill.”

As approved in the House and Senate, SB 08 streamlines the procurement system to allow for more competitive pricing while still maintaining stringent oversight and transparency in the process. The final version of the bill received unanimous support in the House and Senate. “Today, in some cases it takes 9-12 months for a request for proposals (RFP) to be completed,” said Olsen. “Through SB 08 that timeline will be shortened significantly, which will allow for a more competitive process and ultimately lower costs when state agencies and institutions purchase goods and services. The bill was negotiated through a bipartisan effort and stands as a prime example of the positive results that can be achieved when we all work together.”

The provisions of SB 08 are effective retroactive to the start of this fiscal year on July 1, 2017.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) invites all residents of the 81st Legislative House District to complete his 2017 End of Session Survey. The survey was recently mailed to households in the district as part of an End of Session Report, and it can also be accessed at http://www.ilhousegop.org/olsen_eos17.

“These survey results will be a valuable tool as I represent the issues and priorities of the 81st District in Springfield,” said Olsen. “Difficult votes are coming, and I want to be sure I have a solid understanding of my constituents’ expectations.”

The survey includes six multiple choice questions and an open response area where additional concerns can be shared. Participants will also be offered an opportunity to subscribe to an E-newsletter that will include updates on legislation and other issues affecting DuPage and Will Counties and the State of Illinois.

“I encourage all residents to take a few minutes to complete my survey,” Olsen said. “I will read every one of them, and I look forward to seeing the results.”

Survey responses will be accepted through October 31.
Governor Rauner Issues Amendatory Veto of School Funding Bill
Last week Governor Rauner issued an amendatory veto to SB 01, the bill that would overhaul the state’s school funding formula. The matter now heads to the Illinois General Assembly, where the changes proposed by the Governor through the amendatory veto will be considered by lawmakers.

A bipartisan group of legislators from both the House and Senate is continuing to negotiate to find a solution that fairly and equitably funds schools across the State. Both sides agree the complex school funding formula needs to be revised, but several issues are still unresolved, including a Democratic-proposed payment to the Chicago teachers pension fund. As we near the beginning of a new school year, our schools need the certainty that their state funding will be three to support the education of all kids. I am hopeful that a negotiated, bipartisan solution to provide fair funding to all schools will be found as soon as possible.

Olsen Summer Survey Now Available
Your input and opinions are very important to me and help me represent you in Springfield. Residents of the 81st District are invited to participate in a survey that is now available on my legislative web site. A paper version of the survey should also be arriving in mailboxes soon as part of my End of Session report. I will collect survey responses through the end of October. Click here to get started on this quick survey!

Free Jobs Fair Scheduled for This Week
Are you looking for a job or a new career? This week on August 9 I will be partnering with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and new State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove) for a free jobs fair in nearby 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 in Lemont. If you are looking for employment 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 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. I hope to see a large turnout from people from the 81st District! Visit my web site at www.repolsen.com for a full list of participating employers. For more information about this and other upcoming events, please call my office at 630-737-0504.

Mark Your Calendar for These Additional Outreach Events
In addition to this week’s jobs fair, I have other outreach events scheduled in the 81st District. Mark your calendars for these additional upcoming events that are free and open to the public:
  • 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 
DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau Unveils New Branding Campaign
Earlier this month I had an opportunity to attend an exciting reception to celebrate the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau's unveiling of their new brand for promoting visitors and tourism in DuPage County. The new marketing campaign will help bring more tourism dollars to our local hotels, shops, and restaurants. I’m shown in this photo with Willowbrook Mayor Frank Trilla, Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully and DuPage County Board Member Tonia Khouri. 

New Sugar Tax Takes Effect in Cook County
The new tax of one cent per ounce applies to sweetened beverages sold in Cook County only, and applies to both incorporated areas (such as Chicago) and unincorporated areas within the county. The tax will be imposed upon a wide variety of sweetened beverages: canned drinks, bottled drinks, and drinks that are poured from a spout. You can avoid paying the tax by dining or shopping right here in the 81st District as the tax does not apply to DuPage or Will Counties.

Criticism of the new tax includes the argument that the definitions of beverages that are subject, or not subject, to the new tax are unconstitutionally arbitrary. Soda pop, diet soda, ready-to-drink sweetened coffees, ready-to-drink sweetened teas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened fruit juice mixtures will be subjected to the one-cent-per-ounce tax. However, 100% fruit juices, even though naturally sweetened with fructose, will not be taxed. Sweetened beverages in which the primary ingredient is milk will not be taxed. In contrast to fruit juice and chocolate milk, diet soda (which has no sugar in it) will be taxed.

Based on this and other factors, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA), whose members are responsible for collecting the new tax, has initiated legal action in an attempt to pre-empt its enforcement in Cook County. Retailers say they are unconstitutionally prevented from knowing when to charge or not charge the tax. A judicial decision placed the sweetened-beverage tax in effect starting on Wednesday, August 2. The decision is currently being appealed.

Governor Signs Bill to Prohibit Pay Raises for General Assembly Members
HB 643 (now Public Act 100-0025) amends the Compensation Review Act to prohibit what would otherwise have been automatic pay hikes for State government legislative and executive elected officers and appointees, including members of the General Assembly. The new law also freezes the reimbursements that lawmakers can ask to cover the costs of their lodging, meals, and mileage while on State business. I’m proud to have been a co-sponsor of this legislation.

The freeze on taxpayer-funded pay and benefits covers all of Fiscal Year 2018, and will be effective through June 30, 2018. The pay/benefits freeze bill was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner on Wednesday, July 26.

Olsen Tours Local Manufacturing Facility with Congressman Roskam
On August 2nd, I joined Congressman Peter Roskam for a tour of a manufacturing facility here in the heart of the 81st District. Moldtronics is a molding, machining, design and manufacturing company located in Downers Grove. We also had an excellent opportunity to discuss current state issues with some of their staff.

Illinois-Based Firms Post Second-Quarter Gains
Illinois’ economic recovery from the 2008-09 “Great Recession” has been held back for almost a decade by slow demand for revenue-generating goods and services from the private sector. In a roundup of second-quarter financial reports, however, Crain’s Chicago Business reports many of these firms are now reporting healthy sales gains that outstrip inflation. Examples of second-quarter revenue hikes at Illinois’ publicly-traded firms include Caterpillar (+10%), McDonald’s (+7%), Deere (+5%), and Illinois Tool Works (+5%).

Revenue hikes are used by many firms to finance expansion opportunities and capital investment. Not all Illinois firms are showing increases in revenues, with makers of consumer-oriented packaged goods (such as shelf-stable groceries) continuing to be challenged in the current economic environment. For firms following a standard calendar reporting year, the second quarter ended on June 30, 2017.

Olsen Joins Lisle Mayor at National Night Out Event
Last week I joined Lisle Mayor Chris Pecak, police officers, other public safety personnel and community members for a "National Night Out" event at Benedictine University. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August.

Illinois State Fair Will Run for 11 Days Starting August 10
Final preparations are taking place for the 2017 Illinois State Fair, which opens its doors for 11 days beginning this Thursday, August 10. The Illinois State Fair will be the home of musical entertainment, variety shows, rides and attractions, competitions, and festival food. Admission will be charged for all fairgoers above age 12. Separate tickets will be required for parking spots and for entertainment acts at the Grandstand. Central Illinois’ largest fair will be celebrated through Sunday, August 20.

Olsen Attends 2017 GreenBuilt Home Tour
At the end of July I had the opportunity to participate in the 2017 GreenBuilt Home Tour with area architects, contractors, landscapers, and other interested residents. We visited a house right here in the 81st district on Puffer Road in Downers Grove. The tour showcased homes built with the latest environmentally-friendly materials and construction methods, and was sponsored by the Illinois Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. I also had the opportunity to meet with Executive Director Brian Imus.