Legislative Update: January 22, 2018

House Returns to Session on January 30
On Friday we learned that the first scheduled session days on the 2018 calendar (January 23 and 24) were cancelled. While I was looking forward to beginning our 2018 work in Springfield, I will spend this week finishing local projects and meeting with constituents. The first day of the 2018 session year will now be Tuesday, January 30. On Wednesday the 31st, Governor Bruce Rauner will present his annual State of the State address before a joint session of the House and Senate. This speech is streamed live on the state’s web site. If you would like to tune in to the Governor’s noon address on January 31, visit www.ilga.gov, and click on the link for Audio/Video.

Olsen to Co-Sponsor Environmental Town Hall Meeting on January 25
On Thursday, January 25 I am partnering with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove) and a host of environmental experts for an Environmental Town Hall Meeting.

The forum will take place from 6:30 – 8:00 PM at the Homer Township Building, 16057 S. Cedar Road in Lockport. Senator Curran, Leader Durkin and I will be joined at the event by experts from the Illinois Environmental Council, the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the Citizens Utility Board and the Illinois Solar Energy Association. RSVPs are recommended, so if you’d like to attend, please register at www.ilenviro.org/homertownhall.

IL Department of Veterans Affairs to Honor 200 Veterans During “Honor 200” Event
Do you know a veteran who has served honorably and whose contributions have gone above and beyond the call of duty? The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) and the Illinois Bicentennial Committee are partnering on an “Honor 200” event which will publicly recognize the work of 200 courageous veterans who live in Illinois. The veterans will be honored at a major celebration of statehood that will be held at the United Center in Chicago on December 3, 2018.

Nominations are now being accepted. If you would like to submit a nomination, please use this link to access the documents. All nominations must be submitted by July 31, 2018. Completed nomination packets should be mailed to:

Illinois Depart of Veterans’ Affairs
George Dunne County Building
69 West Washington, Suite 1620
Chicago, IL 60602-3013

State-Sponsored School Library Grants Approved for Six School Districts Located within the Olsen House District
I was pleased to learn recently that $22,075 in state-sponsored school library grant money will soon be flowing to six school districts located in the 81st District. The School District Library Grant Program is designed to help provide more library books and materials for students attending public schools in Illinois. The state legislature has authorized up to a $.75 per pupil expenditure for qualifying schools. The grant award is based on funds appropriated by the General Assembly and the official enrollment as of the previous September 30th of a school district. Specifically, the following grants will be processed by the Secretary of State’s Office this week and then forwarded to the Comptroller’s office for payment:
  • Darien School District #61: $1,062.75
  • Downers Gove Community High School District #99: $3,646.50
  • Hinsdale Township High School District #86: $3,204.75
  • Lisle Community Unit School District #202: $1,046.25
  • Naperville CUSD #203: $12,093.75
  • Lemont Township High School District #210: $1,020.75
Downers Grove Village Manager Honored for Exemplary Work
Congratulations to Downers Grove Village Manager David Fieldman for receiving the Governmental Leader of the Year Award last week from the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference. Manager Fieldman is one of the many effective leaders in our area who are willing to go above and beyond to ensure local government is responsive to resident needs. I was proud to be in attendance as he received this much-deserved award for the great work he has done in Downers Grove and to advance best practices throughout the region.

Rep. Olsen Tours Nationally-Known Science and Engineering Research Center
On January 18, I joined Governor Bruce Rauner, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove) for a tour of Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont. Argonne is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center where world-class researchers work alongside experts from industry, academia and other government laboratories to address vital national challenges in clean energy, environment, technology and national security. It also is a major employer in the region. Thank you to Laboratory Director Paul Kearns and his amazing staff for showing us some of the groundbreaking science that is being done right here in DuPage County.

One Blood Donation Can Save up to Three Lives!
January is National Blood Donation Month, and the recent cold weather has added an additional strain to an already-low blood supply. Each unit of blood that is donated can save up to three lives, and while approximately 60 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, fewer than five percent of the eligible public actually donates. Click here to find the location of an upcoming blood drive year you. To be eligible to donate blood in Illinois, donors must:
  • Be 17 years of age or older (16 year-olds may donate with parental consent)
  • Be in good health on the day of the donation
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Be free of cold and flu symptoms
  • Present a photo ID with a birth date
  • Not have a history of Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C at any age
Rep. Olsen Attends State of County and Village Addresses
In mid-January I was pleased to attend DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin’s annual State of the County address in Woodridge. His remarks focused on the good work being done at the County level and how beneficial partnerships with legislative leaders and the business community continue to make DuPage County a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. I’m shown in this photo with Chairman Cronin and neighboring State Representative Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale). I am proud to work with these two on our shared efforts to make government more efficient and effective in DuPage County.

Additionally, I recently attended Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar’s annual State of the Village Address. Mayor Claar spoke about successes during the last year and how the village continues to thrive for both residents and businesses. I was also represented at Lisle Mayor Chris Pecak’s first State of the Village Address last week. We are very fortunate to live in an area with such committed local leaders who work hard to support local businesses and the economy.

Flu Epidemic Reaches Illinois
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that the flu outbreak of the winter of 2017-18 is now affecting patients in all 50 states. In one recent CDC summary, 7,249 positive Illinois lab tests for flu were tabulated during the weeklong reporting period. Public health experts, including the CDC, continue to recommend that all Americans who can safely receive vaccinations get a flu shot. Vaccinations protect some people against some influenza viruses, but do not protect all people against all of the cases of this particular disease. Health care providers advise that it is much better to get a flu shot than to not get one.

Olsen Welcomes CSC Steil Dermatology to Downers Grove
Earlier this month it was my pleasure to join members of Chamber630 at their first ribbon cutting event of the year, as we welcomed a new CSC Steil Dermatology location in downtown Downers Grove. I had a wonderful time talking with the group that assembled for the welcoming festivities. I always enjoy welcoming new businesses to the 81st District and sincerely appreciate the business support provided through Chamber630!

Illinois Loses 88,000 People During Economic Recovery
The U.S. Census’s ongoing study of American population growth and movement patterns indicates that Illinois’ population is shrinking in size. The Land of Lincoln has about 88,000 fewer people than in 2013. Should these trends continue, Illinois will be on track to relinquish at least one and possibly two congressional districts after the 2020 census. Illinois currently has 18 U.S. representatives, down from 26 as recently as 1953. Illinois’ shrinking population is attributed to high taxes, disproportionate non-tax burdens on employment such as workers’ compensation and the cost of medical care, and an increasingly aggressive eagerness by other states to develop a pro-business climate. A study in 2016 by the nonpartisan Paul Simon Institute found that nearly half of the Illinoisans surveyed expressed a desire to leave Illinois. For many other states, including neighboring states such as Iowa and Wisconsin, this percentage is below 10%. 

Chicago Makes the Cut to Top 20 in Amazon’s HQ2 Search
On Thursday, January 18, Amazon released a list of 20 cities and metro areas, including Chicago, that meet the criteria set forth by the company for the location of a second national headquarters. In late 2017, Amazon asked cities in North America to submit plans and proposals to initiate a major expansion. The stated criteria for selecting a location for potential expansion included a city within an urban area with more than one million people and within 45 minutes of an international airport. The presence of mass-transit infrastructure was described as strongly desirable but not essential. The firm stated that it was their intent to create a research, development, and logistics management complex that could support as many as 50,000 jobs. Other major cities on the list included Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City and northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. and the Capital Beltway.

Misericordia Tour Provides Insight into Thoughtful Care for Developmentally Disabled
On January 12, I enjoyed a wonderful visit to Misericordia, one of our state’s premier facilities for the care of those with developmental disabilities. Misericordia in Chicago offers a community of care that maximizes potential for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities, many of whom are also physically challenged. Misericordia also serves the families who want the best for their loved ones, yet cannot provide it at home. Through a spectrum of residential options on its 31-acre Chicago campus and in the community, and with a wide variety of programs, Misericordia currently serves hundreds of children and adults from diverse racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. I am shown in this photo with Sister Rosemary Connelly and with Downers Grove resident Benote Wimp, who helped arrange the visit.

Trustees Approve Fourth Consecutive Tuition Freeze at University of Illinois
The tuition freeze, now in its fourth year, reflects efforts made by the University of Illinois trustees and system to limit cost increases and make it possible for in-state residents to afford to attend the state’s flagship university. As a result of the freeze, Illinois residents accepted for admission at the three universities that form the University of Illinois system will pay $12,036 a year at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), $10,584 at Chicago (UIC), and $9,405 at Springfield (UIS). The tuition freeze continues to provide relief for many in-state students attending the three campuses of the University of Illinois. However, the freeze does not affect other costs of enrollment at UIUC, UIC, and UIS. Costs relating to housing, meals, student fees, and education-related expenses such as textbooks continue to increase.

Join the 'Hustle Up the Hancock' to Help Combat Lung & Respiratory Diseases
This year’s Hustle Up the Hancock takes place on Sunday, February 25, 2018 and is a premiere Chicago winter fitness event. Each year more than 4,000 people climb to the top of the John Hancock Center to raise funds for Respiratory Health Association’s lung disease and clean air education, research and policy change efforts. Some climb for the individual fitness accomplishment. Others dedicate their efforts to honor or remember a loved one. More than 55% of our participants indicated they or someone they know has been touched by asthma, COPD, lung cancer or other lung diseases. To learn more about Hustle Up the Hancock event, Click Here.

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