State Representative David Olsen (R-Downers Grove) will join House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) on Saturday, November 4 to host a free Veterans Expo and Blood Drive for our nation’s heroes that live in our communities.

The event will take place from 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM at the American Legion Post 80, 40000 Saratoga Avenue in Downers Grove. Thirty state and local groups will gather from across the state to inform the veteran attendees of important resources and services available to them.

Blood donations will be taken from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM. If interested in donating blood, veterans or their loved ones are encouraged to call LifeSource at (877) 543-3768 to schedule an appointment.

Veterans can take advantage of important services such as flu shots, pneumonia shots, blood pressure screenings, counseling and TDAP, passport application, student assistance and job opportunities.

"Our veterans often face unique challenges when they return from active duty, and this expo brings together 30 agencies that can provide assistance and address their specific needs," said Olsen. "I’m honored join House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Senator John Curran in hosting this important event that could make a real difference in the lives of veterans.”

“These brave men and women have fought for and continue to protect our freedom, which is why it is critical that we take care of them now that they are back home,” Durkin said. “This event makes it easy for our veterans to get the services they need and information they’ve been looking for at one location.”

“The State offers a great deal of services to help care for our veterans’ physical, mental, and financial health, as well as foster their personal growth—all of which the Veterans Expo offers all side by side,” said Curran. “When veterans return to Illinois, we want to honor, respect and care for them the way they deserve—as a military hero should be. I encourage all veterans to take advantage of the opportunities at the Expo as well as the long-term benefits of many of our featured programs.”

A full list of passport requirements can be found at ilhousegop.org. For more information about this free event, please contact Representative Olsen’s office at (630) 737-0504, Leader Durkin’s office at (630) 325-2028, or Senator Curran’s office at (630) 796-2623.
Your input and opinions are very important to me and help me represent you in Springfield. If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to participate in a short survey that is currently available on my legislative web site. Today marks the final day I will be gathering input through this survey. Click here to get started on this quick survey!
Lawmakers Override Several Vetoes during First Week of 2017 Veto Session
Lawmakers spent time in Springfield last week reconsidering bills that received a partial or full veto by the Governor this year. In all, 11 bills were successfully overridden last week, while three failed to garner the 71 required votes. Additional bills will be reconsidered during the second week of veto session November 7-9.

One highlight of last week’s bill action was the veto override of an equal pay bill that originally cleared the House in the Spring in a 91-24 vote. At its core, HB 2462 prohibits employers from asking employees about their salaries at previous positions. It received a total veto by the Governor, but his veto was overridden on Wednesday in an 80-33 vote. I was proud to support the override. As you may recall, when this bill was originally considered in April, I was vocal with my support of closing the gender wage gap. You can hear my comments made at that time by clicking here.

In addition to HB 2462, veto action was taken in the House on the other following bills:
  • HB 302: Unclaimed life insurance (override successful)
  • HB 688: Firefighter/police pension transfer service credit (override successful)
  • HB 732: Residential roofing repairs (override successful)
  • HB 1797: International Port Authority Debt (override successful)
  • HB 2622: Creates a state-sponsored workers’ compensation insurance company (override failed)
  • HB 2778: Fire protection district to annex under ETS (override successful)
  • HB 2977: Must teach cursive writing in schools (override successful)
  • HB 3143: Adds teen treatment providers to the Prompt Payment Act (override successful)
  • HB 3216: Requirements on third-party contracting by the State (override failed)
  • HB 3298: Reimbursement of the substitute teacher licensure fee (override successful)
  • HB 3419: Prohibits expatriate entities from doing business with the State (override successful)
  • HB 3649: State agency financial reports to the Comptroller (override successful)
  • SB 1905: Prohibits local right to work zones/creates Collective Bargaining Freedom Act (Override failed)
Olsen to Partner with Leader Durkin and Senator Curran on Veterans Expo and Blood Drive
Our veterans often face unique challenges when they return from active duty, so I am proud to once again be partnering with a few of my legislative colleagues for a free veterans expo and blood drive on Saturday, November 4. The event will bring together 30 agencies that can provide assistance and address their specific needs. This year’s expo will take place from 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM at the American Legion Post 80, 4000 Saratoga Avenue in Downers Grove. 

Experts from across the state will be available to inform the veteran attendees and their loved ones of important resources and services available to them. Just a few of the important services that will be available at the expo include flu shots, pneumonia shots, blood pressure screenings, counseling and TDAP, passport application, student assistance and job opportunities. A full list of passport requirements can be found at ilhousegop.org.

Blood donations will be taken at the event from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM. If interested in donating blood, veterans or their loved ones are encouraged to call LifeSource at (877) 543-3768 to schedule an appointment. For more information about this free event, please call my office at (630) 737-0504.

Rep. Olsen Joins Local Dignitaries for Rexnord Expansion Groundbreaking
It was my pleasure earlier this month to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for Rexnord Industries, which is building a new manufacturing facility and aerospace headquarters in Downers Grove. The new 248,000 square foot facility will be located near its existing home in the Ellsworth Business Park. Construction is expected to be complete in 2019, and once the new building is finished the old building will be redeveloped into parking for the company’s 310 employees. Thank you for choosing Downers Grove for your expansion!

“Spooktacular Saturday” in Downers Grove Draws Large Crowd
The weather was perfect for this year’s "Spooktacular Saturday," held last weekend in Downers Grove. The annual event included the Helping Girls Navigate Adolescence (HGNA) pancake breakfast, the Downers Grove Historical Society Living Cemetery, and the Halloween window painting sponsored by the Rotary Club of Downers Grove. The celebration continued this past weekend with the Downers Grove Lions Club costume parade and trick-or-treating at downtown businesses.

I had a great time at the HGNA pancake breakfast and was proud to serve as a sponsor for the event. HGNA grew out of parent workshops on girl bullying and adolescent development in 2004 and 2005. It is a non-profit organization devoted to providing children and their parents the tools needed to navigate adolescence with confidence, resilience and kindness. HGNA is a leading provider of educational and skill-building programs, events and resources offered in collaboration with our schools and communities.

Rep. Olsen Serves as “Principal for a Day” at Herrick Middle School
This morning I had an opportunity to step into the shoes of a school principal and experience a day in the life of a top school administrator at Herrick Middle School. The “Principal for a Day” program is offered through the Illinois Principals Association, and the experience provided me with a unique glimpse into the lives that principals live in their schools every day. 

The “Principal for a Day” program, in place since 2004, is a statewide initiative to provide state and federal elected officials with an opportunity to observe, interact, and serve as an administrator in schools within their legislative districts. I had some great conversations with staff members and enjoyed talking with students about government and the importance of being an involved citizen. Thank you to Principal Mr. Matt Neustadt, the students and staff of Herrick Middle School for a wonderful experience!

Local Fire District President Recognized at Transform Illinois Conference
The 3rd annual Transform Illinois conference, held last week at the Oak Brook Com Ed Commercial Center, celebrated innovation in local government - including recognizing Brent Frank, Board President of the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District! Thanks to ComEd for hosting this important gathering of local leaders, and congratulations to Brent Frank for his valuable service to the Woodridge area!

Olsen Attends Dedication Ceremony
Earlier this month I joined Northern Seminary President Dr. William Shiell for a wonderful service dedicating their new location in Lisle, where they will continue their long tradition of educating the next generation of church leaders. Northern Seminary was founded in 1913 and relocated to Lisle from their previous location in Lombard.

Plans Unveiled for Illinois Innovation Network
Plans were recently unveiled for an Illinois Innovation Network (IIN) to help ignite the state’s economy through a $1.2 billion network of research universities, businesses, and public sector partners focused on the development of solutions in computing and big data, advanced materials, food and agriculture, and biosciences and health. The network will help ensure a knowledge-based, 21st century economy in Illinois where discovery and innovation are the focal points. The plan is to nurture the inventors and entrepreneurs of tomorrow by allowing them to hone their talents in Illinois. The network will be led by the University of Illinois System, with universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield and satellite campuses in Peoria and Rockford. The University of Chicago and Northwestern University will be inaugural partners.

Olsen Joins Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts for Local Events and Ceremonies
Last weekend I had the honor of congratulating Dylan Flowers on achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. I also shared a few words with Dylan and the assembled Scouts, family, and friends on the importance of continuing to serve in our community. He is an impressive young man who will undoubtedly be a great leader as an adult.
I also recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of Cub Scouts in Bolingbrook about how laws are made and the three branches of government. I always enjoy hearing what is on the minds of these future leaders, and appreciated their questions and enthusiasm!

Illinois Completes $6 Billion Bond Sale to Pay Down Backlog of Unpaid Bills
The State sold $4.5 billion in general obligation bonds last week to pay down a portion of Illinois' roughly $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills. Proceeds from last Wednesday's bond sale, together with the proceeds from the $1.5 billion Series 2017ABC general obligation bonds that were sold competitively the prior week, will be used to help cut the State's backlog approximately in half by June 2018.

The State received orders from more than 100 institutional investors. The State locked in a combined cost of borrowing of 3.5 percent on the State's $6 billion in general obligation bonds issued to reduce the State's backlog. This is a significant reduction in the carrying cost of the State's backlog obligation, a portion of which has been accruing late payment interest of 9 to 12 percent.

Rep. Olsen Provides Legislative Update to Lisle Chamber
I was glad to join my friends at the Lisle Area Chamber of Commerce recently to give an update on the happenings in Springfield and how current and pending legislation impacts local businesses and residents. Thanks to Executive Director Jill Eidukas and all the members for the invitation!
Former members of the Guard and Reserve who do not have any periods of active duty other than their initial active duty for training and annual training are now eligible to receive “Veteran” on their driver’s licenses. "This bill ensures that every man and woman who has served this state and nation is recognized,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries. "Our veterans have given so much for us, and I am glad Illinois is taking this step to expand designations."

Last year, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2173 to allow National Guard members and reservists to obtain the veteran identifier on their Illinois driver's license.

In order to receive that designation, veterans of the Guard and Reserve are required to present a copy of their certificate of release or discharge from initial active duty, certified and stamped by the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA), to the Secretary of State.

Prior to receiving this stamp they must provide documentation of satisfactorily completing the time for which they were contracted to attend monthly drills and annual training. Presentation of one of the following documents will be accepted as proof of service:

1. Army or Air National Guard NGB 22 Report of Separation and Record of Service

2. Army Reserve DARP FM 249-2E Chronological Statement of
Retirement Points.

3. Navy Reserve NRPC 1070-124 Annual Retirement Point Record

4. Air Force Reserve AF 526 Point Summary Sheet

5. USMC Reserve NAVMC 798 Reserve Retirement Credit Report

6. Coast Guard CG 4175 Coast Guard Reserve Annual or Terminal
Statement of Retirement Points.

Veterans are encouraged to contact or visit a local IDVA office for assistance obtaining any of the above documents. To find the closest Veteran Service Officer (VSO) go to www.illinois.gov/veterans or call 800-437-9824.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is seeking input on the state's rest areas.

To enhance traveler safety and comfort, IDOT maintains a system of 30 rest areas and 11 welcome centers on highways throughout the state, which serve more than 36 million visitors annually. IDOT wants to make sure these service centers are kept clean, safe, and updated with travel-related amenities to enhance the travel experience for Illinois residents and visitors.

Illinois' rest areas and welcome centers are open 24 hours a day and feature restroom facilities, picnic areas, lighted walkways, maps, security cameras, parking for recreational vehicles, and commercial trucks, among other services.

Help shape the future planning of rest areas by completing IDOT's Illinois Rest Area Survey.

For a paper copy of the survey please call 402-399-1405.
Every year in October we acknowledge Domestic Violence Month in Illinois. The following statistics illustrate the severity of the issue:
  • Domestic violence affects one in three women and one in five men
  • Domestic violence takes lives: innocents and bystanders
  • Domestic violence has been found in the background of perpetrators in an estimated 56 percent of mass killings
  • Domestic violence costs the local DuPage economy alone an estimated $18 million in lost productivity
  • Domestic violence ruins lives and creates traumatic after-effects that can last a lifetime, such as mental and physical illness, drug abuse and early mortality
Family Shelter Service was founded in 1976 and has a mission to “transform lives by offering help and hope to those affected by domestic violence.” They are hosting a “Free to Fly” 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run on Sunday, October 29 at 9:00 AM at Midwestern University, 555 31st Street in Downers Grove. Proceeds will support Family Shelter Service and assist with their mission of helping victims of domestic abuse in DuPage County. Go to www.familyshelterservice.org to register.
Residents from the 81st Legislative House District are invited to attend a mobile office hours event this week on Wednesday, October 18 at the Lisle Public Library, 777 Front Street in Lisle.

A member of State Representative David S. Olsen’s (R-Downers Grove) staff will have a table set up at the library from 2:00 – 3:30 PM, and will be able to assist constituents with issues involving state agencies. A variety of informational brochures will also be available.

“The 81st District includes portions of many different municipalities, and I recognize the importance of providing my constituents with easy access to my office,” said Olsen. “To that end, I try to hold a mobile office hours once each month outside of Downers Grove.”

No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 81st Legislative House District.
Record-Breaking Rains Cause Flooding and Other Damage
Heavy rains accompanied by high winds moved through northeastern Illinois on Saturday and areas of the 81st District were among the hardest-hit. Downers Grove received more than 8 inches of rain during a 24-hour period and other communities also saw very significant amounts. The official measuring station at O’Hare Airport recorded 4.19 inches of rain, and Midway Airport recorded more than 5 inches.

Flooding and downed trees blocked many streets in the District and caused additional damage to homes and other structures. I took this photo of a fallen tree that completely blocked Dunham Road in Downers Grove. In the wake of the storm, local public works employees have been working hard to ensure roadways are passable. If you sustained flood or other damage in your home or business, it is important that you document the damage with photographs and contact your insurance carrier if you have not done so already.

Lawmakers Prepare for Upcoming Fall Veto Session
After spending the last few months in our home districts, lawmakers will return to Springfield from October 24-27 and November 7-9 to take action on pieces of legislation that received either an amendatory (partial) or full veto during this year’s spring legislative session. During the veto session, legislators can agree with a full or partial veto, or we can override it. Not all bills that receive a gubernatorial veto are brought back for reconsideration. A full list of bills that may be brought back for reconsideration appears at the end of the newsletter. 

There are also some pieces of new legislation that may be considered during the six-day fall veto session. If you have an opinion about a bill that received a veto this year, please share your comments with me so I can keep your opinion in mind if the bill is brought to the floor of the House for reconsideration.

Olsen Visits Local Senior Fair
On Friday morning I stopped by a senior fair hosted by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove). The event was held at the CORE Fitness & Aquatic Complex in Lemont and featured more than 50 vendors. Seniors were able to get flu shots, blood pressure screenings and enjoy refreshments. I’m shown in this photo with Senator Curran and two Illinois State Police troopers who were staffing the fair.

State Report: Budget Out of Balance by $1.7 Billion
According to a fiscal policy report released Thursday by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), the state’s fiscal year 2018 budget is out of balance by $1.7 billion. The Illinois Economic and Fiscal Policy Report provides a five-year economic outlook based on the budget along with state and national growth forecasts. The report is available for public view at https://www.illinois.gov/gov/budget/Pages/PolicyReports.aspx. In the report, GOMB Director Scott Harry asserts that with stronger economic growth accompanied by spending controls, Illinois could achieve budget surpluses and reduce its bill backlog to an estimated $500 million by the end of fiscal year 2023.

ICC Approves $80 Million ComEd Refund to Customers
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) recently approved ComEd’s request to provide its customers with an approximately $80 million refund as a result of ComEd’s efforts to implement the new Energy Efficiency funding mechanism established by the Future Energy Jobs Act. As a result, a typical ComEd residential customer will see a credit of close to $14 on their October monthly bill. ComEd had requested the refund as part of the transition made possible through the Act, which was signed into law last year.

Cook County Board Repeals Sweetened Beverage Tax
The highly controversial tax added one cent per ounce to the retail cost of many popular beverages. The “soda pop tax,” disliked by many residents of the Chicago and suburban Cook County area, added an additional burden to the purchasers of most packaged sweetened drinks. After a public outcry, the Cook County Board repealed the beverage tax on Wednesday, October 11. As a result of the board’s vote, the sweetened beverage tax will end on December 1, 2017.

Rep. Olsen Reflects on Lessons Learned Through Edgar Fellows Program
Earlier this year I had an opportunity to participate in the Edgar Fellows leadership program. As part of the 2017 Class, I joined 39 other young, emerging leaders from across Illinois for a multi-day executive leadership training program hosted by former Governor Jim Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA). In addition to Edgar, an impressive list of practitioners, researchers and scholars from the public arena served as instructors at the training academy. The program focused on developing leadership and governing capacity in Illinois while emphasizing the need to address major policy issues without permitting partisan, ethnic and regional rivalries to trump statesmanship.

Click here to view a video that summarizes my Edgar Fellows experience.

Opioid Task Force Holding Hearings Across Illinois
The Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, created in September, has begun to hold a series of regional hearings on the opioid crisis in Illinois. The Task Force is co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The task force is seeking ideas on how to reduce the death toll from opioid overdoses in Illinois, a number that has reached 1,900 per year. The General Assembly and the State agency that regulates pharmacies have already taken a series of steps to increase the availability of the overdose antagonist Naloxone, which can be administered in a wide variety of circumstances to patients suffering from a crisis.

Rep. Olsen Honors High School Students Selected for All-American Marching Band
Last week it was my privilege to congratulate Downers Grove South High School band members Jake Burrows and Danny King on their recent selection to the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. The two musicians were chosen from a large group of talented high school senior band students, and will become part of a 125-member marching band that will perform during the halftime of the All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX this winter. Congratulations to them both and to the DGS band program which has seen 6 students selected for this prestigious band in 6 years!

Rep. Olsen Talks with Kids About Hate Crime Legislation and Ending Intolerance
Earlier this month I had an opportunity to speak to some high school students in Tinley Park about this year’s passage of HB 2390, a bill that strengthens penalties for those who commit hate crimes in Illinois. I also talked about how we can all work together to stop intolerance and crimes based on their race, color, creed, religion or other perceived classification. Thank you to teacher Nicole Walus, who lives in Downers Grove and serves as a Village Commissioner, for inviting me to speak to this wonderful group of students.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Every year in October we acknowledge Domestic Violence Month in Illinois. The following statistics illustrate the severity of the issue:
  • Domestic violence affects one in three women and one in five men
  • Domestic violence takes lives: innocents and bystanders
  • Domestic violence has been found in the background of perpetrators in an estimated 56 percent of mass killings
  • Domestic violence costs the local DuPage economy alone an estimated $18 million in lost productivity
  • Domestic violence ruins lives and creates traumatic after-effects that can last a lifetime, such as mental and physical illness, drug abuse and early mortality
Family Shelter Service was founded in 1976 and has a mission to “transform lives by offering help and hope to those affected by domestic violence”. They are hosting a “Free to Fly” 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run on Sunday, October 29 at 9:00 AM at Midwestern University, 555 31st Street in Downers Grove. Proceeds will support Family Shelter Service and assist with their mission of helping victims of domestic abuse in DuPage County. Go to www.familyshelterservice.org to register.

School District 99 Offers Community Information Meetings for Desired Upgrades
Facility renovations and upgrades are being considered for both North High and South High Schools in Downers Grove. The community is invited to attend informational meetings and tours on the following dates and times:
  • Thursday, October 19: 7:00 – 9:00 PM, Downers Grove South High School, 1436 Norfolk St, Downers Grove
  • Saturday, October 21: 9:30 – 11:00 AM, Downers Grove North High School, 4436 Main St, Downers Grove
  • Saturday, October 28: 9:30 – 11:00 AM, Downers Grove South High School, 1436 Norfolk St, Downers Grove
Olsen Visits YWCA Facility in DuPage County
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago facility in Addison, which serves all of DuPage County. I had a wonderful time talking with the amazing staff about the work they do to empower women in our communities. I appreciate the invitation to visit, and was very impressed with their programs.

Full List of Vetoed Bills
The following bills were vetoed by the Governor and may be brought back for reconsideration during this year’s fall veto session:
  • HB 302: Unclaimed life insurance benefits (Amendatory)
  • HB 348: Changes in publication of a constitutional amendment (Amendatory)
  • HB 688: Firefighter/police pension transfer service credit (Full)
  • HB 732: Residential roofing repairs (Full)
  • HB 1797: Equal Pay (Full)
  • HB 2462: Workers Compensation (Full)
  • HB 2567: Creates Automobile Dealers' License Task Force (Full)
  • HB 2622: Creates a state-sponsored workers’ compensation insurance company (Full)
  • HB 2778: Fire protection district to annex under ETS (Full)
  • HB 2977: Cursive writing mandate (Full)
  • HB 3004: RTA Bonds (Amendatory)
  • HB 3143: Adds teen treatment providers to the Prompt Payment Act (Full)
  • HB 3167: DHS childhood workforce study (Full)
  • HB 3211: SNAP benefits to college students (Amendatory)
  • HB 3216: Place additional requirements on third-party contracting by the State (Full)
  • HB 3298: Reimbursement of the substitute teacher licensure fee (Full)
  • HB 3376: DHS personal assistant hours limitation (Full)
  • HB 3419: Prohibits expatriate entities from doing business with the State (Full)
  • HB 3449: Geolocation (Full)
  • HB 3649: State agency financial reports to the Comptroller (Full)
  • HB 3745: Requires a school board to permit community groups to advertise events and after-school programs (Full)
  • HB 3897: Trampoline regulation (Full)
  • SB 41: Allows municipalities to assign, sell, or transfer their interest in funds received from the State (Full)
  • SB 81: Minimum Wage (Full)
  • SB 315: FOID for purchase of explosives (Full)
  • SB 321: Auditor General shall initiate a performance audit of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (Full)
  • SB 326: Interior Design regulation (Amendatory)
  • SB 419: Amends the Downstate Firefighter Article of the Illinois Pension Code (Full)
  • SB 669: Elect Lake Co. Board Chair (Full)
  • SB 789: Expands the authorized uses of motor fuel tax funds (Full)
  • SB 910: County board redistricting based on minority status (Full)
  • SB 1351: Student loan servicing rights Act: (Full)
  • SB 1353: Personal Needs Allowance increase (Full)
  • SB 1446: Changes to the Procurement Code (Full)
  • SB 1462: Entrepreneur Learner's Permit pilot program (Amendatory)
  • SB 1714: Reporting requirements for consultants retained by retirement system, pension fund, or investment boards (Full)
  • SB 1720: Failure to pay wages a Class 4 felony instead of a misdemeanor (Full)
  • SB 1905: Collective bargaining (Full)
Earlier this year State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) was chosen from a competitive field of candidates to participate in the Edgar Fellows leadership program. Olsen joined 39 other young, emerging leaders from across the Illinois for a multi-day executive leadership training program  hosted by former Governor Jim Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA). In addition to Edgar, an impressive list of practitioners, researchers and scholars from the public arena served as instructors at the training academy.

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.

Click here to view a video that summarizes Olsen's Edgar Fellows experience.
Hotline Created to Track Family and Friends in Las Vegas During Mass Shooting
Today we all woke to the horrific news of a mass shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 people dead and hundreds of others wounded. A crowd of 22,000 had gathered outside of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino for a country music concert when the shots were sprayed into the crowd shortly after 10:00 PM Las Vegas time. Families who need to locate missing loved ones who were in Las Vegas last night may call (866) 535-5654 to reach a hotline. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Rep. Olsen Attends Annual Legislative Forum at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital
Last week I joined State Representative Patti Bellock and Senator John Curran for a legislative forum sponsored by the nurses of Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. I enjoy this annual event and was so glad to engage with such an informed group on issues ranging from healthcare to the budget.

I enjoyed talking to the nurses about the passage and recent signing of HB 313 (Public Act 100-0513), which 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.” This new law, which I was proud to support, removes over-burdensome regulations that have caused some highly trained nurses to seek employment in other states. It increases regulatory efficiency, improves licensing processing times, and most importantly it helps retain the best and brightest nurses here in Illinois. In rural areas especially, this new law should improve access to quality healthcare.

Legislation That Helps Fight Heroin and Opioid Abuse in Illinois Signed into Law
Too many Illinois families have been devastated by the tragic effects that result from heroin and prescription opioid abuse. This year I was proud to co-sponsor legislation that will provide the public with easier access to information about this growing epidemic. HB 3161, signed into law recently 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.

This new web site will be a valuable tool as we fight a raging crisis in the suburbs and across Illinois. By educating the public about this health threat we can do a better job of saving lives and preventing future drug-related deaths.

At a minimum, the web 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.
Public health officials counted 1,889 people who died from opioid overdoses in Illinois in 2016.

Governor Signs Controversial Abortion Bill
On Thursday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 40, highly controversial legislation that changes Illinois law to provide taxpayer-funded elective abortions for Medicaid recipients and state employees. Current law dictates that state funds may only be used for abortion procedures in cases where the life of the mother is at risk and in cases of rape or incest. I voted against this bill when it was considered in the House and continue to strongly oppose it. This bill goes against longstanding bipartisan consensus that taxpayers should not fund elective abortions.

Olsen Hosts Successful Mobile Office Hours Event in Woodridge
We had another nice turnout for my latest mobile office hours event last week in Woodridge. Many thanks to the Woodridge Public Library and Director Pam Dube (shown in the photo to the left) for hosting the event. I always enjoy these opportunities to speak with my constituents, and I appreciate the feedback and suggestions I receive. I try to host mobile office hours once each month so constituents I represent have a local opportunity to talk with me about issues that are important to them. Visit my web site at www.repolsen.com to learn about future events around the 81st District, or you can always make an appointment to meet with me at my district office by calling (630) 737-0504.

Chicago Business Community Unites Behind Push for $5 Billion Amazon Headquarters Campus
Amazon.com has stated that they need additional workspace, not available at their current headquarters complex in Seattle, for management-level employees of the global retailing firm. Amazon expects that the overall economic activity to be sparked by their new “second headquarters” could create as many as 50,000 new jobs. Many Chicago leaders believe that the city’s workforce, with its skill set in logistics solutions, makes Chicago the ideal place for Amazon’s new campus. A bipartisan panel of more than 600 Illinois business leaders is working to sell Illinois to the online retailing giant. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has repeatedly expressed his support for this significant job-creating opportunity for our region.

Olsen Presents House Recognition to Friends of the Edwards House
On September 26 it was my pleasure to recognize members of Friends of the Edwards House for receiving the 2017 Landmarks Illinois Richard Driehaus Preservation Project of the Year Award for Advocacy at their landmarking seminar. Thanks to Chair Rich Kulovany and the entire board for all the work they have done to advocate for historic preservation in Downers Grove!

Case From Illinois Could Produce Significant U.S. Supreme Court Decision
The case of “Janus v. AFSCME” reflects the belief of some Illinois public-sector workers, including plaintiff Mark Janus, that their free-speech and free-association rights are violated by being forced to pay union dues as a condition of their employment. Janus’s lawyers will share these arguments with the United States Supreme Court. The nation’s high court agreed on Thursday, September 28 to hear the case. A decision could come before the end of the 2017-18 session of the high court.

EDGE Tax Credit Overhaul Signed into Law
Legislation (HB 162) that overhauls the EDGE Tax Credit Program and provides much-needed transparency and taxpayer protections was recently signed into law in Illinois. This bipartisan job creation program incentivizes job creation, growth and competitiveness in the state, and assists with our goal of bringing more high quality and good-paying jobs to the state. The new law extends the program until June 30, 2022.

Safe Disposal of Household Hazardous Medications Outlined on Illinois EPA Web Site
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) oversees the disposal of chemical wastes throughout Illinois. Household medications are a significant concern. Medications can cause problems for the environment if they are allowed to enter the public wastewater stream rather than being disposed of safely.

The IEPA urges all Illinois residents to turn in unneeded medications rather than disposing of them as garbage or flushing them down a toilet or sink. The IEPA’s hazardous waste disposal website contains a checkoff box for residents to find a safe medication disposal location that is convenient to them.

Olsen Tours Woodridge AMS Mechanical Systems Facility
I recently had an opportunity to tour the new Woodridge facility of AMS Mechanical Systems and I was incredibly impressed. It was fascinating to see this new manufacturing facility in action right here in the 81st District - bringing good jobs to our region! I attended their official ribbon cutting a few weeks ago and was pleased to see this new local facility doing so well.

New Law Co-Sponsored by Rep. Olsen Strengthens Protections for Youth Against Sex Offenders
This year I was the leading Republican on bipartisan legislation that provides a critical new layer of protection for children who participate in activities sponsored by local park districts. HB 786 strengthens 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 service, 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. We need to be vigilant and close any loopholes that would allow these predators to have access to children, and the provisions of this bill, now known as Public Act 100-0472, will increase protections for those who participate in park district programs. HB 786 received unanimous support throughout the legislative process, and its provisions take effect immediately.

Olsen Attends Back to School Forum in Tinley Park
Earlier this month I had an opportunity to attend a Back to School Legislative Forum hosted in Tinley Park by educational advocacy group Stand for Children. There we had the opportunity to discuss current trends and issues in education, including online and virtual learning, college and career readiness, and school assessment. Education is so important to our district, so I always appreciate opportunities to share ideas with educators and fellow legislators.

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Veterans Expo & Blood Drive
I am pleased to once again to be hosting a Veterans Expo and Blood Drive on Saturday, November 4 in Downers Grove. This year’s event will be held from 9:30 AM until 12:30 PM at the American Legion Post 80, 4000 Saratoga Avenue in Downers Grove. I will be partnering with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove) for the event, which will feature more than 30 booths staffed by professionals who provide services to veterans of all ages. Whether you are a veteran or are a family member of a veteran, please attend this informational event to learn about services that are available to those who have served in the military.

Have You Taken My Survey Yet?
Your input and opinions are very important to me and help me represent you in Springfield. If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to participate in a short survey that is currently available on my legislative web site. A paper version of the survey was mailed as part of my End of Session report several weeks ago, and I have received hundreds of responses so far. I will collect survey responses through the end of this month. Click here to get started on this quick survey!

Rep. Olsen Meets with West Suburban Fine Arts Administrators
As a product of the local schools in Downers Grove, I recognize the value of fine arts education. I recently met with the West Suburban Fine Arts Administrators group at Downers Grove South High School to learn about how fine arts education enhances educational and extracurricular opportunities for students in this area. It was an exciting and energizing conversation and I appreciate the invitation.

Time to Seek College Financial Aid for 2018-2019
While the current collegiate year has just begun for many students, now is the time to begin thinking about final aid opportunities for 2018-2019. Students can start applying for financial aid now for the next school year. When students apply through www.fafsa.ed.gov, they are considered not only for federal student aid, but also for State MAP grants and for other college-specific grants. Free expert help is available through the ISAC Student Portal. Some grant programs run out quickly, so apply early to ensure optimal opportunities to secure financial aid for college!