Legislative Update: October 16, 2017

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)

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