A new layer of youth protection is now in place due to legislation recently signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. State Representative David S. Olsen (R- Downers Grove), the leading Republican on the bill, called the new law “an important step toward ensuring children’s safety.”

HB 786 is bipartisan legislation strengthening prohibitions on child sex offenders from volunteering for park district programs. The new law requires all park districts to have volunteers complete an application prior to beginning work as a volunteer, and also requires that the application include a question concerning whether the applicant has been found to be a child sex offender.

“While most park districts already take steps to ensure their volunteers meet these guidelines, this new law requires it,” said Olsen. “We need to be vigilant and close any loophole that would allow these predators to have access to children.”

HB 786, now known as Public Act 100-0472, received unanimous support throughout the legislative process, and its provisions take effect immediately.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) joined Governor Bruce Rauner at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove today for the signing of legislation that will ease burdensome regulations and grant greater authority to registered and licensed nurses in Illinois.

HB 313, now in the Illinois statutes as Public Act 100-0513, allows Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) who have completed 250 hours of continuing education and have logged at least 4,000 hours of clinical experience with a physician or at a hospital to qualify for “full practice authority.” The most notable change to occur under the new law is the ability for APRNs to prescribe certain controlled medications to patients.

Olsen, who was a strong supporter of the legislation as it moved through the House of Representatives, said the new law removes over-burdensome regulations that have caused some highly trained nurses to seek employment in other states. “This new law makes Illinois the 26th state to offer its most highly-skilled nurses greater authority as they tend to patients’ needs,” said Olsen. “It increases regulatory efficiency, improves licensing processing times, and most importantly it helps us retain the best and brightest nurses here in Illinois. In rural areas especially, this new law should improve access to quality healthcare.”

HB 313 was widely supported by the healthcare community and nursing associations, and received unanimous House and Senate support during the legislative review process.
Legislation co-sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) that will provide the public with easier access to information about heroin and prescription opioid abuse was recently signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner.

HB 3161, now in the State statutes as Public Act 100-0494, requires the Illinois Department of Human Services to create and maintain a web site to educate the public on the dangers associated with heroin and prescription opioid use. At a minimum, the site is required to include:
  • Information on the warning signs of heroin and prescription opioid addiction; 
  • Helpful hints for parents on how to discuss the dangers of heroin and prescription opioid addiction with their children; 
  • Information on available treatment options and services; 
  • A listing of the toll-free number established by the Department to provide information and referral services for persons with questions concerning substance abuse and treatment; and 
  • Links to flyers and resources for download. 
“This new web site will be a valuable tool as we fight a raging epidemic in the suburbs and across Illinois,” said Olsen. “Too many parents and families have been devastated by the tragic effects of these popular drugs, and by educating the public about this public health threat we can do a better job of saving lives and preventing future drug-related deaths. It was an honor to help champion this legislation.”
Olsen Joins Bipartisan Lawmakers from Eight States in Effort to End Gerrymandering of Political Maps
Take a look at these two maps and see the vast difference in how legislative maps are drawn in Iowa as compared to the State of Illinois. In Iowa, a small group of nonpartisan mapmakers sequester themselves in a room, and no politician may weigh in, provide suggestions, or get a preview of the map before it is released. The mapmakers are not allowed to consider previous election results, voter registrations or addresses of sitting elected officials when drawing maps. They simply adhere to nonpartisan demographic metrics.

In Illinois, on the other hand, maps drawn by politicians can silence voters and weaken our system of democracy. Though our map process, majority party politicians are able to draw district boundaries that protect their majority status. Not only do they draw maps so they can choose who they represent, they also draw districts that pit incumbents from minority parties against each other, thus strengthening majority party power.

I recently joined a bipartisan coalition of 65 lawmakers from eight states who are taking the case against gerrymandered political maps to the U.S. Supreme Court. A total of 26 Republicans and 39 Democrats from Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Maryland are joining forces for the suit. Twelve Illinois Senators and five Illinois State Representatives are part of the coalition.

Our brief, which urges the Court to invalidate the practice of political gerrymandering, was filed this month in Washington, D.C. in connection with Gill v Whitford, a redistricting case that challenges the legitimacy of political gerrymandering, and could have a profound effect on the nation’s electoral and political process in the future. The case will be argued before the Supreme Court on October 3, 2017. In Gill v. Whitford, Wisconsin state officials are appealing a lower court ruling that the state’s redistricting plan went to such extremes in its political gerrymandering that it violated protections given to voters by the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The Illinois map is obviously a prime example of extreme gerrymandering. We must end this practice, so voters can choose their representatives and not the other way around.

Olsen Attends 9/11 Commemoration Event in Woodridge
On September 11 it was a privilege to attend a 9/11 commemoration service held by the Woodridge Police and the Lisle-Woodridge Fire departments. We must never forget those who lost their lives during the vicious terrorist attack on September 11, 2011, and it was an honor to stand with local members of law enforcement and first responders as we remember the victims of 9/11, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty after the attack.

Rep. Olsen Sets Mobile Office Hours for Thursday, September 28 in Woodridge
Next week I will continue with my mobile office hours tour with a September 28 event in Woodridge. My staff and I will have a table set up from 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM at the Woodridge Public Library, 3 Plaza Drive, in Woodridge. These outreach events provide me with an excellent opportunity to connect with the people I represent in Springfield. By talking with constituents and learning about the state issues that are important to them, I am able to bring their priorities to Springfield by serving as their voice. No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 81st Legislative House District. Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on my web site at www.repolsen.com.

Rep. Olsen’s Property Tax Event in Downers Grove Draws Large Crowd
On Saturday, September 9, nearly 100 taxpayers from the 81st Legislative House District attended a free property tax forum I hosted in Downers Grove. Those in attendance learned about the property tax assessment process and how to challenge an assessment that is believed to be inaccurate. I was joined at the event by Downers Grove Township Assessor Greg Boltz, Lisle Township Assessor John Trowbridge and DuPage Township Assessor Jean Kelly. Together we spoke to residents about the process that ties the value of a home to the eventual tax bill that arrives in an owner’s mailbox. We also spoke about exemptions and freezes that could lower tax bills in certain circumstances, and outlined the steps required for appealing an assessment. A question and answer session was also a part of the two-hour event.

It was a pleasure to partner with these local experts for this successful forum. The procedure utilized to create assessments and tax bills can be tedious and confusing, and I was pleased to offer a program where people could learn about the process and have their questions answered.

Click here to view the presentation slides that were used during the forum, which includes contact information for all three assessors.

Amazon Urged to Pick Illinois for its New Headquarters
The Seattle-based retailing giant Amazon has announced that it is running out of headquarters space in its current city and would like to open a second headquarters in a centralized U.S. location. The second headquarters could contain as many as 50,000 workers, who would occupy a potential 8 million square feet of office space to be constructed for as much as $5 billion. Amazon has cited good transportation, strong schools, and a tech-oriented workforce as elements in their decision. 

Amazon headquarters operations oversee the firm’s network of warehouses, transfer stations and delivery solutions for the firm’s hundreds of millions of customers worldwide. Chicago, with the nation’s largest workforce skilled in logistics technology, would be highly suited to serve as Amazon’s choice. Competition for the selection is expected to be heavy.

Olsen Welcomes AMS Mechanical Systems to Woodridge
Earlier this month I joined members of Chamber630 for a ribbon cutting ceremony that celebrated a new employer that recently joined the Woodridge community. AMS Mechanical Systems is a full service mechanical contracting firm that serves the chemical, food, process, manufacturing and power industries. Their beautiful new 145,000 square foot building in the Union Point industrial business park near I-355 and I-55 is a very welcome addition to Woodridge and the 81st District. Welcome to Woodridge, AMS!

Equifax Data Breach: What You Should Know
Equifax, an Atlanta based credit-rating agency, suffered a security breach on July 29th that exposed sensitive information of millions of Americans. The compromised information included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, birthdays, and addresses. It has been determined that 5.4 million Illinois residents have been affected by the breach. The company has set up a website where you can check if your personal information was affected by the breach: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

Illinois residents should take this breach seriously and consider the following steps to protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft:
  • Consider placing a credit freeze on your credit reports with all 3 consumer reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax;
  • Regularly request your free credit reports, inspect them closely, and promptly dispute any unauthorized accounts;
  • Inspect all financial account statements closely and promptly dispute any unauthorized charges;
  • Consider placing alerts on your financial accounts so your financial institution alerts you when money above a pre-designated amount is withdrawn;
  • Beware of potential phishing emails; don't open any email messages or attachments from unknown senders and do not click on any unknown links. Fraudsters will frequently send coercive and misleading emails threatening account suspension or worse if sensitive information is not provided. Remember, businesses will never ask customers to verify account information via email. If in doubt, contact the business in question directly for verification and to report phishing emails; and
  • Be on the lookout for spoofed email addresses. Spoofed email addresses are those that make minor changes in the domain name, frequently changing the letter O to the number zero, or the lowercase letter l to the number one. Scrutinize all incoming email addresses to ensure that the sender is truly legitimate.
If you have questions about this data breach, please contact Equifax at 866-447-7559, or the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (866) 999-5630.

Olsen Supports Local Event to Raise Funds for Recreation and Education
On Saturday, September 9, I was glad to support the The Grove Foundation's 25th Annual Golf Outing at the Downers Grove Golf Club. The Grove Foundation exists to enrich the lives of community members by identifying, supporting, and promoting recreational, educational, and community experiences through innovative and collaborative efforts.

During the 25-year history of this 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Grove Foundation has raised and given back $210,000 to the community through support of programs promoting recreational and educational experiences. Thank you for making such a positive difference!

Local Business Group Invites Rep. Olsen to Provide Springfield Update
Earlier this month I had an opportunity to speak to a group of local business leaders at a meeting of the Chamber630 L.O.D.G.E. business referral group in Downers Grove. I provided a brief update about issues of interest in Springfield and took questions on a wide variety of state issues with a particular focus on improving the climate for business in Illinois. I appreciated the invitation and was glad to have a chance to answer their questions.
Woodridge area residents living in the 81st Legislative House District are invited to attend a mobile office hours event sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen on Thursday, September 28. The event will be held at the Woodridge Public Library, 3 Plaza Drive, in Woodridge.

Olsen will personally be staffing a table at the library from 10:00-11:30 AM. “These outreach events provide me with an excellent opportunity to connect with the people I represent in Springfield,” said Olsen. “By talking with constituents and learning about the state issues that are important to them, I am able to bring their priorities to Springfield by serving as their voice.”

No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 81st Legislative House District. The 81st District is located in DuPage and Will Counties, and includes portions of Bolingbrook, Darien, Downers Grove, Lisle, Naperville, Westmont and Woodridge. “I look forward to talking one-on-one with people as I bring my office to them in their own community,” said Olsen.

Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on Olsen’s web site at www.repolsen.com.
Equifax, an Atlanta based credit-rating agency, suffered a security breach on July 29th that exposed sensitive information of millions of Americans. Such information included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, birthdays, and addresses. It has been determined that 5.4 million Illinois residents have been affected by the breach.

The company has set up a website where you can check if your personal information was affected by the breach: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has opened an investigation into the recent security breach, and called on Equifax to provide free credit freezes to all Illinois residents in the wake of the breach. She urges Illinois residents to take the Equifax breach seriously and take steps to protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft:
  • Seriously consider placing a credit freeze on your credit reports with all 3 consumer reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax;
  • Regularly request your free credit reports, inspect them closely, and promptly dispute any unauthorized accounts;
  • Inspect all financial account statements closely and promptly dispute any unauthorized charges;
  • Consider placing alerts on your financial accounts so your financial institution alerts you when money above a pre-designated amount is withdrawn;
  • Beware of potential phishing emails; don't open any email messages or attachments from unknown senders and do not click on any unknown links. Fraudsters will frequently send coercive and misleading emails threatening account suspension or worse if sensitive information is not provided. Remember, businesses will never ask customers to verify account information via email. If in doubt, contact the business in question directly for verification and to report phishing emails; and
  • Be on the lookout for spoofed email addresses. Spoofed email addresses are those that make minor changes in the domain name, frequently changing the letter O to the number zero, or the lowercase letter l to the number one. Scrutinize all incoming email addresses to ensure that the sender is truly legitimate.
With questions on the data breach, you can contact Equifax at 866-447-7559, or the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (866) 999-5630.
On Saturday nearly 100 taxpayers from the 81st Legislative House District attended a free property tax forum in Downers Grove that was sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) Those in attendance learned about the property tax assessment process and how to challenge an assessment that is believed to be inaccurate.

Olsen was joined at the event by Downers Grove Township Assessor Greg Boltz, Lisle Township Assessor John Trowbridge and DuPage Township Assessor Jean Kelly. Together they spoke to residents about the process that ties the value of a home to the eventual tax bill that arrives in an owner’s mailbox. They also spoke about exemptions and freezes that could lower tax bills in certain circumstances, and outlined the steps required for appealing an assessment. A question and answer session was also a part of the two-hour event.

“It was a pleasure to partner with these local experts for this successful forum,” said Olsen. “The procedure utilized to create assessments and tax bills can be tedious and confusing, and I was pleased to offer a program where people could learn about the process and have their questions answered.”

“I was pleased to share relevant information about the assessment and appeal process,” said Boltz. “As assessors, our goal is to treat all property owners fairly. Residents should feel free to reach out to our offices with questions or concerns if they feel their assessment is inaccurate.”

Click here to view the presentation slides that were used during the forum, which includes contact information for all three assessors.

“The assessors did an excellent job of taking highly technical information and explaining it in a way that was easy to understand,” Olsen said. “All those who attended the forum also had an opportunity to speak with their specific assessor about their individual questions. The feedback I received after the event was very positive. It’s definitely an event that I will plan to host again next year.”
The following editorial written by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) was published on September 6 in a local newspaper:

Republican and Democratic legislators from all corners of the state recently came together with Governor Rauner to enact historic legislation that fundamentally changes how Illinois’ 852 public schools are funded. Illinois, long known for having the worst education funding system in the nation, will now distribute state education dollars through a comprehensive evidence-based formula designed to maximize every child’s opportunities for success, regardless of their zip code.

Previous failed attempts to revamp the school funding formula sought to take funding away from our local schools and redirect it toward Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and other school districts. This new legislation does not take one dime away from our local schools. At its core, the new evidence-based model is based on years of study and many recommendations from the bi-partisan School Funding Reform Commission. It secures current funding levels for every Illinois school district and prioritizes new funding for the most impoverished schools and students.

As is the case with any successful compromise, no one is walking away 100% pleased. There are components of this bill I do not like. But there are also important elements that will benefit the taxpayers in the 81st District, including unfunded mandate relief and ensuring CPS normal pension costs are paid outside the school funding formula.

Students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers should know that high-quality education is a top priority of their State government. As the new formula is implemented, we will continue to assess the effectiveness of the new model and amend it as needed to ensure we are best serving the next generation.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has joined a bipartisan coalition of 65 lawmakers from eight states who are taking the case against gerrymandered political maps to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A brief urging the Court to invalidate the practice of political gerrymandering was filed this week in Washington, D.C. The bipartisan group of current and former state legislators made its argument as amici in Gill v Whitford, a redistricting case that challenges the legitimacy of political gerrymandering, and could have a profound effect on the nation’s electoral and political process in the future. The case will be argued before the Supreme Court on October 3, 2017.

“Gerrymandered political maps essentially silence voters and weaken our system of democracy,” said Olsen. “Through gerrymandered maps, majority party politicians are able to draw district boundaries that protect their party majority status. Not only do they draw maps so they can choose who they represent, they also draw districts that pit incumbents from minority parties against each other, thus strengthening majority party power.”

Written by the law firm of Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP of New York, the brief states that political gerrymandering represents a grave threat, and has “sounded the death knell of bipartisanship.” A total of 26 Republicans and 39 Democrats from Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Maryland are joining forces for the suit. Twelve Illinois Senators and five Illinois State Representatives are part of the coalition.

“We are honored to represent this large group of Democratic and Republican legislators who have united to oppose a grave threat to our democratic system of governance, the destructive effects of which they have experienced firsthand,” said Vincent Levy, the counsel of record to the legislators at the Supreme Court. “In joining together, these current and former lawmakers have taken a brave stand to urge the Court to protect American democracy from erosion by unchecked partisanship and tribalism.”

In Gill v. Whitford, Wisconsin state officials are appealing a lower court ruling that the state’s redistricting plan went to such extremes in its political gerrymandering that it violated protections given to voters by the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

“I believe there is no political tool that has corrupted our democracy more than modern-day gerrymandering,” Olsen said. “In our data-driven society, political leaders have taken a scalpel to maps to ensure their political advantage. Fair representation has become a thing of the past as majority party legislators protect themselves from any real accountability to voters.”

Joining Olsen as part of the Illinois contingency in the suit are Illinois Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), State Senators Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), Dan McConchie (R- Hawthorn Woods), Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles), Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst), Sue Rezin (R-Peru), Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), Chapin Rose (R-Champaign), Ira Syverson (R-Rockford), Heather Steans (D-Chicago), Jil Tracy (R-Quincy), and Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria), and State Representatives Scott Drury (D-Highwood), Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago), Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley).

“The Illinois map is a prime example of extreme gerrymandering,” added Olsen. “We must end this practice, so voters can choose their representatives and not the other way around.”
Historic Education Funding Reform Signed into Law
On Thursday, August 31, I was honored to join Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders at a Ebinger Elementary School in Chicago for the signing of landmark bipartisan legislation that fundamentally changes how public education will be funded in Illinois. 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. The new 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. 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, in my opinion, 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.

The final language included in SB 1947 represents true compromise on the part of Republicans and Democrats from both chambers of the General Assembly. Legislative leaders were able to achieve a compromise that provides all school districts with the State support they need; no party left the table with everything they wanted. 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. I hope this level of bipartisan cooperation can be carried forward as we address other pressing issues in the State of Illinois. The top picture was taken immediately after the bill signing, and I’m shown in the other photo with Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis at the event.

Olsen to Host Property Tax Event This Saturday
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. Citizens of Illinois’ 81st District are invited to join Downers Grove Township Assessor Greg Boltz, Lisle Township Assessor John Trowbridge, DuPage Township Assessor Jean Kelly and me this Saturday, September 9 for a free seminar on understanding the property tax assessment process and learning how to appeal your property tax assessment. 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. 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 my office at (630) 737-0504.

Olsen Honors Retiring Fire Chief with State Recognition
On August 31, it was my pleasure to present retiring Downers Grove Fire Chief Jim Jackson with a recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives at his retirement ceremony. Under Jackson’s leadership, the department attained many honors and distinctions. Most notably, the department achieved an ISO 1 status and established nationally recognized education programs. Chief Jackson began his career in Downers Grove in 1987. He rose through the ranks as firefighter, lieutenant, and Deputy Chief before being sworn in as Chief in 2010. I wish him the very best in retirement.

New State Standards for Financial Literacy Coming to Illinois Schools
New state standards, adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in February 2016, will be put into effect in the 2017-2018 school year by local school districts. The standards are meant to cover fundamental principles of financial literacy such as bookkeeping (balancing a checkbook) and financial planning (saving money on a regular schedule). The revised standards have been added to the social science curriculum and will be taught to all students starting in the elementary grades. Students will learn about debt, investments, and credit scores. Many school districts have already adopted standards of financial literacy that meet the newly adopted standards.

Rep. Olsen Named Young Business Professional of the Year by Chamber630
It was an honor recently to be named 2017 Young Business Professional of the Year by Chamber630 in DuPage County. I received the award as part of the Chamber’s annual awards celebration, which was held in Woodridge on August 17. I have been proud to sponsor and pass legislation that helps business owners and I will continue to work toward creating a regulatory climate that allows businesses 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.

Governor Signs Additional Olsen Bills into Law
This is the time of year when the Governor signs bills approved in the spring legislative session and during any subsequent special sessions into law. Many pieces of legislation that I have sponsored or co-sponsored have been signed and are now part of the State Statutes as Public Acts. Some of the more recent signings of bills I have sponsored or co-sponsored include:
  • HB 3251 (P.A. 100-0166): Strengthens cyberstalking laws in Illinois by creating the offense of illegal electronic monitoring. A person commits this offense if 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. 
  • HB 2390 (P.A. 100-0260): Enhances penalties for those who commit hate crimes (targeting others based on their race, color, creed, religion or other perceived classification). 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.
  • HB 3122 (P.A. 100-0274): Bipartisan legislation that increases the number of hours an elected official must work to become eligible for a pension through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). 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. This legislation 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. 
  • HB 512 (P.A. 100-0298): amends the election code to provide that public referendum 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. Especially as more and more people are taking advantage of early voting, expanding that window for posting information will be very helpful. 
Several other bills I sponsored or co-sponsored have also been signed and I will be writing about them in the coming weeks.

Realtors See Solid Gains in July
The median price of a home sold in Illinois rose 5.8% over the last year. The data was published in the monthly report submitted by Illinois Realtors to their members and to the general public. The statewide median price of an Illinois home sold in July 2017 was $210,000, up from $198,500 in July 2016. At the same time, the Illinois realty report showed a decline in overall housing sales activity. 15,677 homes were sold through licensed realtors in July 2017, down 698 homes (4.3%) from the 16,375 homes sold in July 2016. The data contained in this report is limited to properties that passed through the hands of licensed realtors, and does not include housing data from private sales.

Illinoisans Rally to Support Gulf Coast
The Illinois Red Cross has marshaled its resources to rush support to the Gulf Coast, which has suffered widespread deaths and devastation from Hurricane Harvey and its catastrophic tropical-storm rainfall. The nature of the damage makes infrastructure maintenance and repair especially urgent. ComEd has deployed electrical repair teams to the Houston area. Many other businesses and nonprofit organizations are also stepping in to help.
Local non-profit Watts of Love is bringing thousands of solar-powered lights to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Last week I joined Downers Grove Village Commissioner Nicole Walus and other local residents volunteering to assemble the lights. With power expected to be out for weeks in some areas, these lights will be important to the relief efforts. For more information on how you can help disaster survivors in Texas, please click here

Technology Consulting Firm Announces Plans for Chicago Hiring
West Metro Partners, a Chicago-based consulting firm which specializes in technology solutions, projects that it will hire 500 new employees over the next five years. The majority of new hires are expected to be STEM college graduates with joint-majors or credentials in business and enterprise. West Monroe Partners’ CEO Kevin McCarty states that his employees perform contract deep customer-oriented analytics with their partner clients, and develop plans to increase their customer-relationship productivity. They also develop solutions for welding previously-incompatible information technology systems together when two or more firms are implementing a business combination.

Still Time to Participate in Olsen Legislative Survey
Responses to my 2017 legislative survey continue to arrive at my office, and the input I am receiving is extremely valuable. There is still time to share your 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!