Legislative Update: February 12, 2018

Annual Budget Address Scheduled for Wednesday, February 14
The 2018 legislative session is now firmly underway, and on Wednesday, February 14, the Fiscal Year 2019 budget process will officially begin with Governor Bruce Rauner’s annual budget address. The address serves as a blueprint from which budget discussions for the next fiscal year (July 1, 2018- June 30, 2019) should begin. The Illinois Constitution requires that expenditures not exceed available revenues. I look forward to hearing the Governor’s recommendations and will support efforts to move ahead promptly with an agreed revenue estimate that will help guide our budget discussions.

The budget address will be streamed live. You can tune in to the Governor’s noon speech by going to www.ilga.gov and clicking on the House audio/video link.

Rep. Olsen Chosen to Serve on National Bipartisan Democracy Reform Task Force
In 2018, millennials will be the largest generation in America, but 67% of them are fearful of America’s future because of our current governmental system. I am honored to have been selected to serve alongside eleven other young state legislators from across the nation who will serve on a National Bipartisan Democracy Reform Task Force. The young lawmakers on the task force were chosen from the general assemblies from all 50 states, not only because we are millennials, but because of the interest we have taken in addressing issues that are important to this age group, such as fair legislative maps, government accountability, and access to voting. As a group, we will reach across state and party lines to find innovative solutions to government reform and we will share our findings with lawmakers across the United States. It is a privilege to have been selected for this service.

The task force is part of Millennial Action Project’s (MAP) national effort to support young elected officials as they work to break through partisan gridlock and reestablish political cooperation on issues that millennials care about. Its policy goals of redistricting reform, access to voting and government accountability are important themes which help guide my own legislative agenda in the Illinois House. I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion with other young lawmakers from across the nation to develop solutions that will make government work more effectively for all people. In addition to myself, task force members include: 

  • State Rep. Shevrin Jones (D-FL)

  • State Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-AR)

  • State Rep. Stephanie Clayton (R-KS)
  • State Senator Frank LaRose (R-OH)
  • State Rep. Amanda Stuck (D-WI)
  • State Senator Art Linares (R-CT)
  • State Rep. Caroline Simmons (D-CT)
  • State Senator Stanley Chang (D-HI)
  • State Rep. Chaz Beasley (D-NC)
  • State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D-WI)
  • State Rep. Michael Caldwell (R-GA)
Additional information about this and other initiatives by the Millennial Action Project is available at: www.millennialaction.org.

School Counselors Week Celebrated Across Illinois
Last week I visited my alma matter Downers Grove South (DGS) High School and presented the school’s counselors with a copy of Governor Bruce Rauner’s proclamation designating February 5-9 as School Counselors Week in Illinois. I’m a 2007 graduate of DGS, and my personal experiences with the school counselors at Downers Grove South were very positive, especially with my counselor Mrs. Blei. I was always encouraged to set high goals for myself and to dream big. School counselors make an impact on students every day and it was my pleasure to present the Governor’s proclamation to the counselors at DGS and to Assistant Principal for Student Support Services Vince Walsh-Rock, who also serves as the President of the Illinois School Counselors Association. The text of the proclamation is posted on the DGS web site, and can be found here.

Olsen Attends State of the Village Address in Woodridge
On Thursday I had the privilege of attending Village of Woodridge Mayor Gina Cunningham’s annual State of the Village address. In addition to outlining the successes in the village over the last year, Mayor Cunningham recognized 11-year-old Ryan Gustis for his work to help the homeless through his “Backpack Project.” His project encourages people to pack supplies, like blankets, hand warmers, chap-stick and snacks, in backpacks that can be donated to homeless people. What an impressive and generous young man! I'm proud to represent this outstanding community with my colleague State Rep. John Connor. I’m shown in this picture with Mayor Cunningham, State Senator Connor and Ryan Gustis.

Olsen Joins Lt. Governor and Local Dignitaries for Recognition Event at Argonne Laboratory
I recently had an opportunity to join Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Congressman Bill Foster, members of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and representatives of SolSmart at an event honoring several communities for their commitment to encouraging the growth of solar energy by local residents and businesses. Officials from SolSmart presented plaques to representatives of several communities, and Lt. Governor Sanguinetti presented a proclamation from the Governor, congratulating the communities on their commitment to solar energy.

Two local governments within the 81st District were recognized- Will County received the Gold designation and the City of Darien received the Bronze designation. I’m shown in this picture celebrating with the representatives of the City of Darien, including Alderwoman Sylvia McIvor. The adoption of solar energy helps both the environment and the economy, so I look forward to having even more local governments across the State recognized with this designation.

Local Businesses Continue to Thrive in 81st District
On February 5, I was pleased to attend the official opening of Mission BBQ in Downers Grove. Many members of Chamber630 were on hand to wish this new business well as they opened their doors for business. 

A few days prior I joined my friends at Chamber630 again as we welcomed Chicago Wrap to their newly-opened location on Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove. These small business owners help drive our local economy and I appreciate their interest in opening businesses in the 81st District.

To learn more about Mission BBQ, visit their web site at www.mission-bbq.com.

To learn more about Chicago Wrap, visit their web site at www.chicagowrap.com.

Electronic Renewal Process Available for Renewal of Disabled Parking Placards
The Secretary of State’s (SOS) Office is now offering an electronic renewal process for all persons renewing their disabled parking placards. In addition to making the renewal process easier, it will also help to combat fraud. Any current placard holder may start the renewal process prior to their medical re-certification. Then, at the time of their medical visit, the medical professional may complete the process by providing the necessary medical information through documents that can be sent to the SOS office for processing. At this time the electronic renewal process is only available for renewals. It is not available to new placard applicants. The website for these renewals is located at: https://www.ilsos.gov/disabilityplacard/.

The new system does not replace the existing paper system. Patients and medical professionals may still avail themselves of the paper process. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact my office at (630) 737-0504.

TypeOneNation Educational Summit Offers Tips for Living a Full Life with Type I Diabetes
Those living with Type I Diabetes are invited to attend a free educational summit on Saturday, February 24 that features inspirational and educational activities led by national and local experts in the field of Diabetes research. Sessions are geared for adults and teens with Type I Diabetes and parents of children with Type I Diabetes. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with one another, visit with vendors and attend educational sessions on issues impacting diabetes daily care and management. Kerri Sparline, creator and author of “Six Until Me” will serve as the keynote speaker at this year’s conference. Those who attend must register by February 21 at www.typeonenationIL2018.evenbrite.com. The event will be held on Saturday, February 24 at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM.

South Korean Consul General Visits Illinois General Assembly
As the Winter Olympic Games got underway last week in PyeongChang, South Korea, members of the Illinois House were visited by Consul General Jong-Kook Lee of the Republic of Korea. The Consul General joined lawmakers on the House floor and addressed the Illinois House, discussing the strong economic and cultural ties between Illinois and Korea. It was an honor to meet him.

Thirteen Chicagoland Athletes Participate in 2018 Winter Olympic Games
The Winter Games are well underway, and 13 athletes who either live or grew up in Chicago and the suburbs are representing Team USA in a variety of sports. They include:
  • Kevin Bicker, 21, of Wauconda: Ski Jumping
  • Michael Glasder, 28, of Cary: Ski Jumping
  • Casey Larson, 19, of Barrington: Ski Jumping
  • Bradie Tennell, 20, of Carpentersville: Figure Skating
  • Alexa Scimeca Knierim, 26, Addison, and her husband Christopher, 30: Pairs Figure Skating
  • Brian Hansen, 27, of Glenview: Speed Skating
  • Lana Gehring, 27, of Glenview: Speed Skating
  • Emery Lehman, 21, of Oak Park: Speed Skating
  • Shani Davis, 35, of Chicago: Speed Skating
  • Aja Evans, 29, of Chicago: Bobsled
  • Kendall Coyne, 25, of Palos Heights: Hockey
  • Hilary Knight, 28, of Lake Forest: Hockey
Skating for Team USA on the Men’s Olympic Hockey team are the following players who have played either for the Chicago Blackhawks or the Chicago Wolves: James Wisniewski and John McCarthy. Hawks or Wolves players who will represent Team Canada include Rene Bourque, Andre Ebbett and Rob Klinkhammer. One former Hawk will play for Team Sweden: Victor Shalberg. Tony Granato, 53, of Downers Grove and Chris Chelios, 56, of Chicago will be coaching the USA Men’s Olympic Hockey Team. Good luck to these Illinois athletes and coaches and to all who will represent Team USA at this year’s Olympic Games in South Korea!

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