Olsen’s First Bill Clears House Committee in Unanimous Vote
This week I successfully ushered my first bill, a transparency in government initiative, through a key House Committee. HB 682 directs the Illinois Comptroller to create and maintain an online, searchable database which provides information regarding the receipt of gubernatorial or legislative member initiatives. Specifically, the database would include for each initiative recipient:
  • The name of the recipient and name of the elected official who sponsored it
  • The amount of money tied to the initiative
  • The funding agency and funding source
  • The purpose of the initiative
  • The location where the funds would be used
  • Information about recoverable grants tied to an initiative
This type of project money flows to units of local government, school districts, not-for-profits and other non-governmental entities for worthwhile infrastructure and other improvements, but today taxpayers are unable to see a clear path from a budget line item to an end user for these grants. HB 682 would remedy that. Of course, the provisions of the bill are contingent upon an approved budget being in place. My goal is to have the mechanism in place, so when we have a budget and a capital bill we can immediately move forward with a more transparent process.

AFSCME Members Vote to Authorize Strike
Illinois’ largest public employee union represents approximately 38,000 public workers in Illinois state government. This week 81% of the membership took a vote to authorize a strike. While Governor Bruce Rauner has reached contract agreement with 20 of Illinois’ other public unions, the impasse with AFSCME has stretched for close to two years. The old AFSCME contract expired in July of 2015.

The union’s leadership pointed to a possible partial freeze in State pay rates, and cuts in employer-financed health care benefits, as reasons for the strike vote. The Governor’s office responded that AFSCME workers currently enjoy many benefits that private-sector workers do not enjoy, such as a 37.5-hour work week, platinum health insurance benefits, and a ban on merit pay. The AFSCME vote does not make a strike inevitable, but authorizes the union’s powerful bargaining committee to call a labor action in the near future. The strike, if it occurs, would be the first ever statewide public-sector labor action against the State of Illinois.

Mobile Office Hours Set for February 27 in Lisle
Stop by and see me on Monday, as I host mobile office hours at the Lisle Public Library, 777 Front Street, from 6:00-7:30 PM. I enjoy these outreach events because they provide me with an excellent opportunity to connect with the people I represent in Springfield. No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 81st Legislative House District. 

Olsen Hosts Page for a Day in Springfield
The Page for a Day Program is available through all State Representative and Senate offices in Illinois. Students who participate in this program get an up-close view of the legislative process in Springfield from the floor of the House or Senate. Today I hosted Luke Lato, a Junior from New Trier High School, who was in town for a job shadowing assignment and to serve as a House Page. Luke is also my cousin. We are shown in this picture with State Representatives Mike McAuliffe (R-Chicago), John D’Amico (D-Chicago) and Laura Fine (D-Waukegan, who represents the District where Luke lives). Prior to the start of today’s session, I showed Luke around the Capitol and we attended some House committee meetings. After session adjourned, we visited the old Capitol building.

If you have an interest in government and would like to participate in the Page for a Day Program, please let my Springfield office know. My Springfield office can be reached at (217) 782-6578.

Olsen Talks Ethics with Students at Chamber630 Attainable Futures Program
On Tuesday I had the pleasure of talking with approximately 40 students from Community High School District 99 who were participating in the Chamber630’s Attainable Futures program. This cooperative program was created for students to explore career opportunities and enhance the skills necessary to enter the job market. The overall goal of the program is to introduce the business community to students and vice versa. Students work on communications skills, interviewing, etiquette, community involvement and explore career options. 

My portion of the program focused on ethics and the importance of choosing right over wrong. We also discussed how important it is to show empathy toward others and to be civil, even when disagreeing. I was very impressed with this group of high school students and believe they will do well as they enter college and/or the workforce.

Legislators Tour New Tower at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital
Last weekend, Representative Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) and I had the opportunity to tour the brand new 96-room West Tower at Downers Grove's Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. The new tower features all private rooms and will allow the doctors and nurses to deliver even more exceptional patient care. We are very fortunate in this area to have such easy access to exceptional healthcare.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) will be holding mobile office hours next week on Monday, February 27, from 6:00-7:30 PM at the Lisle Public Library, 777 Front Street.

“I enjoy these outreach events because they provide me with an excellent opportunity to connect with the people I represent in Springfield,” said Olsen. “I look forward to talking one-on-one with constituents so I can learn about the issues that are important to them.”

Olsen will personally be staffing the event. No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 81st Legislative House District.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has successfully ushered his first bill, a transparency in government initiative, through a key House Committee.

HB 682 directs the Illinois Comptroller to create and maintain an online, searchable database which provides information regarding the receipt of gubernatorial or legislative member initiatives.

Specifically, the database would include for each initiative recipient:
  • The name of the recipient and name of the elected official who sponsored it
  • The amount of money tied to the initiative
  • The funding agency and funding source
  • The purpose of the initiative
  • The location where the funds would be used
  • Information about recoverable grants tied to an initiative
“Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent,” said Olsen. “This project money flows to units of local government, school districts, not-for-profits and other non-governmental entities for worthwhile infrastructure and other improvements, but taxpayers deserve to be able to see a clear path from a budget line item to an end user for these grants.”

While presenting the bill to the House Government Transparency Committee, Olsen said he recognized the provisions of the bill are contingent upon an approved budget being in place. “My goal is to have the mechanism in place, so when we have a budget and a capital bill we can immediately move forward with a more transparent process.”

The committee vote on HB 682 was unanimous, and Olsen said a minor amendment will be suggested before the bill reaches the House floor for final consideration. If approved by the House and Senate and signed into law by the Governor, HB 682 would take effect on July 1, 2017.
This morning State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) met with approximately 40 students from Community High School District 99 who were participating in the Chamber630’s Attainable Futures program. Each year the Chamber partners with District 99 to bring high school sophomores and juniors together with local business leaders for a seminar focused on career exploration and the enhancement of skills necessary to successfully enter the job market.

“Specifically, I spoke to the students about ethics and the importance of choosing right over wrong. We also discussed how important it is to show empathy toward others and to be civil, even when disagreeing. I was very impressed with this group of high school students and believe they will do well as they enter college and/or the workforce.”
Governor Rauner Presents Budget Address
Each year in February the Governor is required to present to a joint session of the General Assembly a budget address which is traditionally used as the starting point of budget negotiations for the upcoming budget year. With Illinois well into its second year without an agreed budget, Governor Rauner began his speech on Wednesday with a quote from President Abraham Lincoln: “The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion… We must think anew and act anew.”

During the 40-minute address, the Governor spoke about the bipartisan work being done in the Senate to create a balanced budget built on compromise, and said he was pleased that for the first time, legislators from both parties are standing together to say that Illinois must have structural change to grow the economy and create good jobs. He also said the ultimate budget proposal must be “a good deal for taxpayers and job creators – a grand bargain that fully balances the budget once and for all, and really moves the needle when it comes to job creation.”

Senators from both sides of the aisle are continuing with their negotiations, but whatever proposal is brought forward for formal consideration must be approved by the Senate, the House, and the Governor. I appreciate the spirit of compromise being shown in the Senate, and I look forward to reviewing their final budget package when it is filed as legislation.

You can read a copy of the speech here, and you can view the accompanying documents included in the “Budget Book” here.

Olsen Supports Local Scouting Event
Last weekend I was glad to support Boy Scout Venture Crew 57 at their annual pasta supper and model railroad open house. Based out of St. Paul’s Church in Downers Grove, this group brings together scouts with an interest in model railroading. Each year it is great to see the new and creative additions and changes the boys bring to their model railroad. 

Olsen Signs On as Chief Co-Sponsor of Bipartisan Bill to Improve Child Abuse Reporting Requirements
This week I signed on as the lead Republican sponsor of bipartisan legislation that seeks to increase reporting requirements of suspected child abuse in Illinois. HB 3288 would amend the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act by simplifying a confusing patchwork of who is a mandated reporter to a much simpler and easy-to-understand standard applying to all. If any Illinois resident, agency, or organization knows or in good faith suspects a child is being abused or neglected, they must report it. It is important legislation that benefits some of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens – children. When they are victims of abuse and/or neglect, children rely upon adults to be their voice. It needs to be clear in Illinois law that we all have a duty to report suspected cases of abuse and neglect.

Olsen Joins Colleagues in Support of Women’s Hearth Health
Every year in Springfield, lawmakers participate in a “Go Red for Women” Day. We wear red in support of the battle against the number one killer of women - heart disease. I’m shown here with other members of the General Assembly as we gathered to show our support of this important cause before session began on Wednesday. 

Olsen Legislation Begins Approval Process
As bills begin to move through the legislative process in Springfield, this week three bills for which I served as Chief Co-Sponsor were approved by the House and sent to the Senate for consideration.

HB 373 amends the Illinois Local Library Act by requiring library boards of trustees to submit financial documents that relate to their annual levy to the governing board of the local municipality no less than 60 days prior to when the tax levy is certified. This legislation is an initiative of village public libraries, and will improve public disclosure of anticipated library tax levies by moving the disclosure date closer to when a levy must actually be approved.

The two other bills relate to the upcoming 200th anniversary of the State of Illinois and the recognition of key dates in our state’s history. HB 434 designates August 26 of every year as “Illinois Constitution Day” in Illinois. The date commemorates August 26, 1818 as the day Illinois ratified its first State Constitution.

HB 489 designates December 3 of each year as “Illinois Statehood Day”, in recognition of Illinois becoming the 21st state to join the Union on December 3, 1818.

Next week I hope to begin presenting my own bills at the committee level.

Olsen Volunteers as Guest Referee at Harlem Wizards Charity Basketball Game
Last Sunday I enjoyed serving as referee alongside Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully and DuPage County Board Member Brian Krajewski for a charity basketball event supporting the District 58 Education Foundation. The comedy-filled game featured the Harlem Wizard facing off against a home team of District 58 teachers, administrators and students, and the packed crowd raised money that will go directly to support the local District 58 schools.
As bills begin to move through the legislative process in Springfield, this week three bills for which I served as Chief Co-Sponsor were approved and sent over to the Senate for consideration.

HB 373 amends the Illinois Local Library Act by requiring library boards of trustees to submit their financial documents that relate to their annual levy to the governing board of the local municipality no less than 60 days prior to when the tax levy is certified. Today’s law calls for that documentation to be delivered less than 60 days after the expiration of the fiscal year. This legislation is an initiative of village public libraries, and will improve public disclosure of anticipated library tax levies by moving the disclosure date closer to when a levy must actually be approved.

The two other bills relate to the upcoming 200th anniversary of the State of Illinois and the recognition of key dates in our state’s history. HB 434 designates August 26 of every year as “Illinois Constitution Day” in Illinois. The date commemorates August 26, 1818 as the day Illinois ratified its first State Constitution.

HB 489 designates December 3 of each year as “Illinois Statehood Day”, in recognition of Illinois becoming the 21st state to join the Union on December 3, 1818. Every year within 10 days of Statehood Day, the Governor will be directed to issue a proclamation announcing the recognition of Statehood Day.

Next week I will begin presenting my own bills at the committee level.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is the lead Republican on bipartisan legislation that seeks to increase reporting requirements of suspected child abuse in Illinois.

HB 3288 would amend the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act by simplifying a confusing patchwork of who is a mandated reporter to a much simpler and easy-to-understand standard applying to all. If any Illinois resident, agency, or organization knows or in good faith suspects a child is being abused or neglected, they must report it.

“This is important legislation that benefits some of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens – children,” said Olsen. “When they are victims of abuse and/or neglect, children rely upon adults to be their voice. It needs to be clear in Illinois law that we all have a duty to report suspected cases of abuse and neglect.”

According to the bill, reports would be filed with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. HB 3288 is pending assignment to a substantive committee for consideration.
Olsen Files Comprehensive 2017 Legislative Agenda
Today is the filing deadline for bills that will be considered during the spring legislative session. In all, I have filed 16 House Bills as Chief Sponsor. I will also serve as a Chief Co-Sponsor and as a Co-Sponsor of many other bills. The bills for which I will serve as the Chief Sponsor represent a variety of topics, and include:
HB 287: Requires that property tax bills detail a separate line item for each taxing district the dollar amount of taxes due that will be used toward contributions to a public pension fund for that district’s employees. 
HB 288: Addresses voter fraud by providing that any person who knowingly files an application to vote, accepts a ballot, or enters a voting machine on more than one occasion on the same election day where the ballot or machine lists any of the same candidates and issues (except to legally give assistance, to replace a spoiled or rejected ballot, or at the direction of a judge of elections), shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony. 
HB 289: Increases the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption from $5,000 to $7,000 for taxable year 2017 and indexes the exemption amount to the Consumer Price Index.
HB 290: Requires any unit of local government serving a population of 5,000 or more and any school district with an enrollment of 500 or more students to maintain an Internet website and post to that website certain information that affects taxpayers and stakeholders. 
HB 291: Eliminates pensions for future part time elected officials.
HB 292: Requires that over the counter medications that are prescribed by a physician, a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, or any other medical care provider shall be covered under the State's medical assistance program. 
HB 293: Prevents the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) from accepting any new participants beginning January 1, 2018; thus phasing out this pension system.
HB 294: Provides that members of a County Board of Election Commissioners shall serve in an unpaid capacity.
HB 295: Clarifies that for purposes of determining their pensions, teacher’s salary does not include expense reimbursements, expense allowances, or fringe benefits such as car allowances or mileage reimbursements.
HB 296: Improves transparency and accountability during the State budget process by requiring the Commission on Governmental Forecasting and Accountability to publish fiscal statements prior to the creation of a budget.
HB 297: Increases to 60 days (from the current 30 days) the time period during which taxpayers in counties outside of Cook can file a challenge of their property assessment valuation, provided they submit an appraisal.
HB 301: Requires all State agencies that wish to hold a public hearing regarding rulemaking to post on its Internet website certain requisite information to provide the public with notice of the proposed rulemaking. It also provides that if an agency decides not to initiate a public hearing, it shall post the requirements to request a public hearing, along with information on the proposed rulemaking, on its Internet website. 
HB 681: Provides a tax break for seniors by allowing a taxpayer’s household income to be reduced by any amounts paid as Medicare premiums.
HB 682: Improves transparency by requiring the Comptroller to create and maintain a searchable database website that provides information about recipients of gubernatorial and legislator initiatives and grants.
HB 692: Addresses price gauging by car rental companies by limiting any fee, surcharge or fine associated with use of an I-Pass to no more than twice the amount of a toll (toll cost and allowance for administrative time associated with tying proper tolls to proper renters).
HB 2427: Allows Townships to provide for the collection, transport, disposal, and recycling of brush, wood chips, and leaves (currently, only collection, transport, and disposal of brush and leaves) within the unincorporated areas of the township without referendum approval.

Olsen Chosen to Serve on Seven Key House Committees
As bills begin to move through the legislative process, the first step is a thorough vetting before a substantive committee. For the 100th General Assembly I will be serving on seven of these committees. Because of my background in the field of Finance, I will serve on the House Financial Institutions Committee. It is an excellent committee assignment for me, because I will be able to leverage my experiences as an ethics and compliance officer in the commodities trading industry to thoughtfully consider legislation that impacts our state’s financial institutions. 

I will also be serving on the Appropriations - General Services Committee. It is an honor to serve on this committee because it has a direct impact on key areas of state government spending. I look forward to working collaboratively with Representatives from both sides of the aisle as we consider how the State can reach consensus on both necessary spending and cuts in one of the most important parts of the overall budget.

In addition to these two committees, I will also serve on the Mass Transit Committee, the Elementary & Secondary Education- Licensing: Administration & Oversight Committee, the Insurance: Property & Casualty Committee, the Government Consolidation & Modernization Committee, and on a special Committee on Aging. I am especially excited about the Mass Transit Committee, since a great number of District 81 residents rely on the mass transit system for daily commuting. I appreciate the opportunity to have a hand in the shaping of public policy that could improve commuters’ experiences.

Chamber360 Gala a Great Success
We have a wonderful business community in and around the 81st District, and I was glad to celebrate our business successes with many local business leaders at the annual Chamber360 Gala at the Lisle/Naperville Hilton last week. I’m shown in this photo with longtime Chamber members Timothy McJoynt and Marc Hausmann.

Illinois Housing Development Authority a Valuable Tool in finding Affordable Housing
For the last 50 years, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has helped countless Illinoisans find affordable apartments and homes. They have also helped make it possible for struggling Illinois residents to make repairs to their homes, refinance their loans and avoid foreclosure. If you need assistance with your current mortgage or with finding an affordable place to live, please don’t hesitate to contact this valuable resource. The IHDA can be reached at (312) 836-5200.

Olsen Attends Lisle State of the Village Address
It was my pleasure last week to attend the Lisle Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, which featured the State of the Village Address by Lisle Mayor Joe Broda. Mayor Broda spoke of the many economic development successes throughout Lisle in the past year. I’m shown in this picture with Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and Mayor Broda.

February is Teen Dating Awareness Month
As February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, I wanted to highlight a local agency that is providing valuable services for those who find themselves trapped in abusive relationships. Sadly, one in three teens on average are victims of dating violence. Family Shelter Service staff reaches out to local high schools, and in 2015-2016 they reached over 4,000 students from 18 area high schools. Additional presentations were made at middles schools. By learning about the importance of only becoming involved in healthy dating relationships and knowing that tools and resources are available when a relationship turns threatening or violent, teens are better able to navigate the uncertain terrain of teen dating.

Family Shelter Service was founded in 1976, and has helped victims of domestic abuse rebuild their lives and break the cycle of abuse, creating a safer community for all. Additional information about the services offered through this wonderful agency can be found at www.familysheltereservice.org.

Mark Your Calendars for Lisle Mobile Office Hours on February 27
Mobile office hours are an important part of the community outreach provided by my office. On Monday, February 27, I will have a table set up at the Lisle Public Library, 777 Front Street, from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. I enjoy these outreach events because they provide me with an excellent opportunity to connect with the people I represent in Springfield. I look forward to talking one-on-one with constituents on the 27th in Lisle. No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 81st Legislative House District.
When lawmakers return to Springfield this week, Representatives will begin the process of vetting the hundreds of bills that have already been filed in the 100th General Assembly. State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), will lend his experience in the field of Finance on the House Financial Institutions Committee.

“This is an excellent committee assignment for me, because I will be able to leverage my experiences as an ethics and compliance officer in the commodities trading industry to thoughtfully consider legislation that impacts our state’s financial institutions,” said Olsen.

Olsen was also tapped to serve on the Appropriations- General Services Committee. “This is a pivotal committee that has a direct impact on key areas of state government spending,” Olsen said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with Representatives from both sides of the aisle as we consider how the State can reach consensus on both necessary spending and cuts in one of the most important parts of the overall budget.”

In addition to the Financial Institutions and Appropriations- General Services Committees, Olsen will also serve on the Mass Transit Committee, the Elementary & Secondary Education- Licensing Committee, and on a special Committee on Aging. “While I look forward to service on all of these committees, the Mass Transit Committee will be especially important for my constituents,” said Olsen. “A great number of District 81 residents rely on the mass transit system for daily commuting, and I appreciate the opportunity to have a hand in the shaping of public policy that could improve commuters’ experiences.”