Legislative Update: August 21, 2017

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

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