State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has joined Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and other House Republicans in filing a resolution in support of adopting a revenue estimate in order to begin legitimate budget discussions for Fiscal Year 2019.

“It is our constitutional duty to taxpayers across Illinois to spend within our means – something we have not done in decades here at the Capitol,” Durkin said. “The rejection of certifying a revenue estimate in Springfield is not acceptable and is legislative malpractice. We owe it to Illinois taxpayers to take this first step in finally balancing the state’s checkbook and putting Illinois on the right track towards fiscal stability.”

House Joint Resolution 124 adopts a revenue estimate of $37.672 billion for fiscal year 2019, based on the estimate provided by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA).

“As lawmakers we routinely rely on COGFA’s data,” said Olsen. “COGFA is a well-respected non-partisan organization that provides the General Assembly with financial information to assist with decision-making. I have no doubt their revenue estimate of $37.67 billion is based on thorough research. I encourage the House and Senate to adopt the COGFA revenue estimate immediately so we can begin earnest work toward a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2019.”

According to Olsen, a revenue estimate is required by state law:

The House and Senate by joint resolution shall adopt or modify such estimates as may be appropriate. The joint resolution shall constitute the General Assembly’s estimate, under paragraph B of Section 2 of Article VIII of the Constitution, of funds estimated to be available during the next fiscal year (25 ILCS 155/4(a))

It is also required by Subsection (b) of Section 2 of Article VIII of the Constitution of Illinois:

Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.
Olsen Passes Six Bills Prior to House Bill Deadline
Our deadline for approval of House Bills was Friday, April 27. During this year’s spring session I was successful in passing six House Bills that have now moved to the Senate for consideration. Members of the House are in their home districts this week, and when we return to the Springfield on Tuesday, May 8, we will turn our attention to Senate Bills that successfully advanced out of that chamber. I will be serving as Chief House Sponsor of several Senate Bills. Budget discussions will also begin to take center stage as we approach our May 31 adjournment date. And as a reminder, I’m still collecting applications from college students and rising high school seniors to serve as a paid summer intern in my District Office.

Rep. Olsen Passes Good Samaritan Legislation to Save Dogs and Cats Locked in Cars During Extreme Weather
On Thursday I passed legislation in the Illinois House that would provide immunity to Good Samaritans who enter a vehicle in an effort to rescue a dog or cat that is in imminent danger of death or injury due to extreme weather. Click here to view my floor comments as I presented the bill. 

HB 4191 seeks to amend the Humane Care of Animals Act by providing legal immunity to Good Samaritans only after several preemptive measures are taken to save the animal without damaging a vehicle. Before making a forcible entry to rescue a pet, Good Samaritans must:

  • Determine the vehicle is locked and no other reasonable method for the dog or cat to exit exists 
  • Has a good faith belief that forcible entry is necessary because the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm or death if not immediately removed from the vehicle 
  • Has made a good faith effort to contact a 9-1-1 system operator, law enforcement or the fire department prior to entering the vehicle 
  • Has made a good faith effort to place a notice on the vehicle’s windshield with the person’s contact information, the reason entry was made, the location of the dog or cat and the fact that authorities have been notified 
  • Remain with the animal in a safe location until law enforcement, emergency responders, or animal control arrive 
  • Use the least amount of force necessary to gain entry to the vehicle 
It is currently illegal to confine an animal in a motor vehicle in a manner that places the animal in life-threatening situations, yet unfortunately every year we hear about cases when pets die as a result of being locked in vehicles during extreme temperatures. This proposal would provide private citizens with immunity from criminal liability, criminal trespass, and from civil liability when they are acting as a Good Samaritan.

The following states have “Good Samaritan-hot car” laws that provide civil immunity, criminal immunity, or both to private citizens who break into a vehicle to rescue an animal: California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Similar bills are pending in Alabama, Arizona and Oregon.

Pro-Business Bill Sponsored by Olsen Creates Regulatory Sandbox for Entrepreneurs
Last week I was also pleased to pass pro-business legislation to give financial technology (fintech) businesses in Illinois the ability to experiment with innovative financial products and services. HB 5139 creates a regulatory sandbox where both established and startup fintech businesses can offer their products and services to the Illinois market on a limited scale. Current Illinois law does not allow testing of fintech innovations until all regulatory requirements, including fees and licenses, are obtained. 

Current regulations do not keep up with today’s demands in the fast-paced world of financial technology. Creating an avenue for previously unregulated activity to be brought into the regulated space is crucial to bringing new innovations to market in Illinois. This legislation gives existing and emerging fintech businesses the ability to test their products free from regulatory burdens and fees, while still ensuring consumer protections are in place. Ultimately, this legislation will allow for better interaction and understanding between our state’s regulator and finteh companies.

A regulatory sandbox was recently enacted in Arizona and the concept has also experienced worldwide success in the United Kingdom, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Australia. This legislation will be extremely helpful in attracting new small business, making Illinois more competitive on the national and international stage. The idea for the legislation was brought to my attention by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

“I thank and congratulate Representative Olsen on achieving this important bipartisan result,” said Bryan A. Schneider, IDFPR Secretary. “This legislation will help make Illinois an international leader for safe and innovative financial services. My team and I look forward to working with the members of the Illinois Senate in advancing this bill.”

HB 5139 was approved on a 93-4 vote and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Free Recycling/Document Shredding Event Set for May 5
On Saturday, May 5, I will partner with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and State Senator John F. Curran for a free recycling and paper shredding event. Between the hours of 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon, people will have an opportunity to drop off up to two grocery size bags of document to be shredded and deliver electronics and other items for recycling. Televisions and computer monitors will not be accepted. The event will be held at Burr Ridge Middle School, 15W451 91st Street in Burr Ridge. Click here to view a full list of items that will be accepted, and please note that due to the size of the shred truck we will have to adhere to a strict two-bag per vehicle limit for document shredding. For additional information, please call my office at (630) 737-0504.

Olsen Bill that Improves Transparency for Guardian Caseloads Sails through Illinois House
Last week I was successful in passing legislation that adds a new layer of transparency about the caseloads of guardians of adults with disabilities. HB 4867 would require a potential guardian of an adult with disabilities to disclose to the court the number of adults with disabilities over which the guardian is currently appointed. The new provision would also apply to those who wish to be appointed as guardian of the estate of an adult with disabilities. If an individual is appointed guardian over more than five adults with disabilities, the court would be required to notify the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission within one week. The Guardianship and Advocacy Commission would then maintain a list of all notifications it receives for reference by other agencies, units of government, and the public. The need for the bill was brought to my attention by the Illinois Department on Aging.

Township Leaders Visit Springfield for Lobby Day
On April 25 I was glad to spend time with Downers Grove Township Supervisor Mark S. Thoman, who was visiting Springfield for the day. We had a positive discussion about issues important to our area and how we can more effectively serve our shared constituents. 

Legislators Address Teacher Shortage in Illinois
Our children’s education remains a top priority, which is why the growing teacher and substitute teacher shortage in Illinois has been especially troubling. To combat the shortage, this year I am supporting several pieces of legislation that address the issue.

The Illinois State Board of Education said the 2017-18 school year began with about 2,000 unfilled teaching positions across the state. In addition, Regional Offices of Education report increasingly difficulty finding substitute teachers. Legislative measures have been filed to address some of these challenges. Bills I have supported this year include:
  • HB5627: Recognizes and removes hurdles for out-of-state licensed educators to teach in Illinois, eases requirements for the timing of completion of professional development, eases restrictions for retired educators who wish to substitute teach, and provides for a short-term substitute teachers license for individuals with an associate’s degree or who have at least 60 hours of credit toward a degree at an accredited institution of higher education. I am a proud co-sponsor of this common-sense legislation. 
  • HB 4167: Establishes a Short-Term Substitute Teaching License. This special provision requires applicants to have an associate’s degree and allows them to substitute teach in a classroom for a no more than five consecutive days. This provision would allow more qualified individuals to enter the substitute teaching pool. 
  • HB4280: Establishes the growing future language-educator program. It would allow high schools to hire high school graduates who are proficient in a language other than English and are pursuing an educator license, to mentor and teach English language learners. I am a co-sponsor of this bill. 
  • HB4409: Addresses the shortage of school psychologists by removing the requirements that those who already hold a valid Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential must also take state-mandated tests. 
  • HB5153: Streamlines the hiring process for educators at the Illinois School for the Deaf and Illinois School for the Visually Impaired. 
  • HB5005: Assures salaries of teachers employed by the Department of Juvenile Justice are comparable with teachers in area school districts. It also recognizes state teaching licenses without further testing. 
Rep. Olsen Posts Online Petition for Fair Maps
People often ask me if there is one thing they could do as citizens to make a real difference in helping turn Illinois around. I tell them that educating themselves about the fair maps issue and helping initiate that constitutional change would be tremendously helpful. A fair maps process would eliminate today’s practice where partisan politicians draw maps and essentially choose the constituents they want to represent. Gerrymandered maps protect majority party incumbents and all but guarantee continued control. 

I have posted an online petition for those who oppose gerrymandered legislative maps and support a fair maps process, and would encourage all residents to sign it.

Summer Internship Offered in 81st District
This summer I am offering one local college student or rising high school senior an opportunity to do a paid internship in my Downers Grove office. As an intern for the 81st Legislative House District, this individual will learn about the inner workings of a legislative office while assisting my District Office Director and me with important projects. The intern will also accompany me to community events and gain a solid understanding of how legislators reach out to their constituents and gain their input on matters that affect the lives of Illinoisans. 

Interested individuals should send the following to my Downers Grove office at 633 Rogers Street, Suite 108, Downers Grove, IL 60515:
  • Letter of interest 
  • Two names plus contact information for references 
  • A resume (optional) 
Applications will be accepted through Friday, May 11 at 4:00 PM. The 81st District is located predominantly in DuPage County with a small portion stretching into Will County. The District includes portions of Bolingbrook, Darien, Downers Grove, Lisle, Naperville, Westmont and Woodridge. For more information about the Olsen summer internship, please contact my Downers Grove office at (630) 737-0504.

Olsen Congratulates New Eagle Scout at Court of Honor
On April 22 I was pleased to join Bolingbrook Mayor Roger C. Claar and the entire Bolingbrook Village Board at the Levy Center to congratulate Joe Callahan on earning his Eagle Scout rank. Congratulations Joe! I am pictured above with (L to R) DuPage Township Supervisor William Mayer, Trustee Robert Jaskiewicz, Trustee Maria Zarate, Trustee & Deputy Mayor Michael Lawler, Trustee Ricardo Morales, Joe Callahan, Mayor Roger C. Claar, David S. Olsen, Trustee Deresa Hoogland, Trustee Sheldon Watts.

House of Representatives Welcomes British Consul General to Springfield
Earlier this month we welcomed John Saville, the British Consul General to the General Assembly. I enjoyed hearing him speak about his role of maintaining and developing relations between the UK and the United States. Through his office in Chicago, the Consul General deals with a wide range of political, commercial, security and economic issues of interest. Through that office, assistance is provided to British nationals living or visiting Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. 

Olsen Champions Legislation to Expand Lombard School’s Ability to Transport Students
Last week the House unanimously approved HB 2040, which expands Lombard’s Soaring Eagle Academy’s ability to transport students in grades K-12 to off-site educational activities. Soaring Eagle Academy is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)-approved therapeutic day school that caters to the unique educational needs of autistic children. Current law limits its ability to transport students off-site to only those in 9th through 12th grade. This therapeutic day school serves students from 40 different municipalities in northern Illinois through a curriculum that was developed through guidelines set by ISBE. The school is a not-for-profit institution that addresses the physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs of autistic students.
Today in Springfield, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) passed pro-business legislation to give fintech businesses in Illinois the ability to experiment with innovative financial products and services. Olsen’s legislation creates a regulatory sandbox where both established and startup fintech businesses can offer their products and services to the Illinois market on a limited scale. Current Illinois law does not allow testing of fintech innovations until all regulatory requirements, including fees and licenses, are obtained.

“In the fast-paced world of financial technology, current regulations do not keep up with today’s demands,” said Olsen. “Creating an avenue for previously unregulated activity to be brought into the regulated space is crucial to bringing new innovations to market in Illinois. With my legislation, we give existing and emerging fintech businesses the ability to test their products free from regulatory burdens and fees, while still ensuring consumer protections are in place. Ultimately, this legislation will allow for better interaction and understanding between our state’s regulator and fintech companies.”

According to Olsen, a regulatory sandbox was enacted in Arizona. It has also experienced worldwide success in United Kingdom, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Australia. Olsen believes his legislation will be extremely helpful in attracting new small businesses, making Illinois more competitive on the national and international stage. The idea for the legislation was brought to his attention by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

“I thank and congratulate Representative Olsen on achieving this important, bipartisan result,” said Bryan A. Schneider, IDFPR Secretary. “This legislation will help make Illinois an international leader for safe and innovative financial services. My team and I look forward to working with the members of the Illinois Senate in advancing this bill.”

HB 5139 was approved on a 93-4 vote and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

This week State Representative David S. Olsen passed legislation that provided limited immunity to Good Samaritans who find it necessary to break a car window in order to rescue a dog or cat that is at risk of death due to extreme temperatures. The video above includes his full floor comments.
David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has passed legislation in the Illinois House that would provide immunity to Good Samaritans who enter a vehicle in an effort to rescue a dog or cat that is in imminent danger of death or injury due to extreme weather.

HB 4191 seeks to amend the Humane Care of Animals Act by providing legal immunity to Good Samaritans only after several preemptive measures are taken to save the animal without damaging a vehicle. Before making forcible entry to rescue a pet, Good Samaritans must:
  • Determine the vehicle is locked and no other reasonable method for the dog or cat to exit exists 
  • Has a good faith belief that forcible entry is necessary because the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm or death if not immediately removed from the vehicle 
  • Has made a good faith effort to contact a 9-1-1 system operator, law enforcement or the fire department prior to entering the vehicle 
  • Has made a good faith effort to place a notice on the vehicle’s windshield with the person’s contact information, the reason entry was made, the location of the dog or cat and the fact that authorities have been notified 
  • Remain with the animal in a safe location until law enforcement, emergency responders, or animal control arrive 
  • Use the least amount of force necessary to gain entry to the vehicle 
“It is currently illegal to confine an animal in a motor vehicle in a manner that places the animal in life-threatening situations, yet unfortunately every year we hear about cases when pets die as a result of being locked in vehicles during extreme temperatures,” said Olsen. “This proposal would provide private citizens with immunity from criminal liability, criminal trespass, and from civil liability when they are acting as a Good Samaritan.”

The following states have “Good Samaritan-hot car” laws that provide civil immunity, criminal immunity, or both to private citizens who break into a vehicle to rescue an animal: California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Similar bills are pending in Alabama, Arizona and Oregon.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), State Sen. John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) and State Rep. David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) are hosting a free recycling and paper shredding event for all area residents. 

During the event, which will be held on Saturday, May 5 from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon at Burr Ridge Middle School, 15W451 91st Street in Burr Ridge, people will have an opportunity to drop off up to two bags of documents to be shredded, donate food, clothes and household items, and drop off electronics and other items for recycling.

"With spring weather just around the corner, this event is a great opportunity for community members to clear out unwanted clutter and items that unnecessarily take up space in their homes," Durkin said. "Appropriately disposing these items through recycling not only benefits the environment, but also helps those in need who could use repurposed appliances, electronics, bicycles and much more."

“The event is a free opportunity to either dispose of unwanted items or donate them to help those less fortunate in our district,” said Curran. “Our participating local organizations will be with us collecting electronics, household items, sealed foods, and new and used clothing. Residents can also take advantage of the shredding service we’re offering. It’s an easy and free way to properly destroy your sensitive documents and better protect you and your family from fraud or identity theft.”

"It's a pleasure to partner with Leader Durkin and Senator Curran for this recycling and document shredding event," said Olsen. "With the help of our assisting participants, we are offering residents an opportunity to safely and efficiently dispose of all kinds of household items."

Televisions and computer monitors will not be accepted. Click here to view the full list of items that will be accepted at the event. For additional information, please contact Rep. Olsen’s office at (630) 737-0504.
Legislation sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) that adds a new layer about transparency to the caseloads of guardians of adults with disabilities sailed through the Illinois House today with strong bipartisan support on a 111-1-0 vote.

HB 4867 would require a potential guardian of an adult with disabilities to disclose to the court the number of adults with disabilities over which the guardian is currently appointed. The new provision would also apply to those who wish to be appointed as guardian of the estate of an adult with disabilities. If the court determines that an individual is appointed guardian over more than five adults with disabilities, the court would be required to notify the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission within one week. The Guardianship and Advocacy Commission would then maintain a list of all notifications it receives for reference by other agencies, units of government, and the public.

“We need to ensure that guardians are not taking on so many cases that he or she cannot properly and sufficiently serve his or her wards,” said Olsen, the Chief Sponsor of the bill. “It’s an important layer of transparency that provides for optimal service for a vulnerable part of our population.”

The need for the bill was brought to Olsen’s attention by the Illinois Department on Aging. It received a unanimous vote before the House Judiciary-Civil committee earlier this month.

“I’m pleased to have bipartisan support of this important measure,” Olsen said. “The legislation now moves to the Senate, where I hope to receive similar support.”
Olsen Passes More Bills as House Bill Deadline Approaches
As we approach the April 27 deadline for the passage of House Bills out of our chamber of the General Assembly, I am happy to report that two more of my bills, HB 2222 and HB 5477, received successful House votes last week. Due to a limitation on the number of bills we were permitted to call, I handed HB 5477 off to my colleague Rep. Christine Winger (R-Bloomingdale), who presented the bill on the floor of the House.

This week we will spend most of our time on the floor of the House as we finish considering House Bills filed in 2018. Lawmakers will then return to their home districts for one week. When we return to Springfield on Tuesday, May 8, our attention will turn toward Senate Bills that successfully advanced out of that chamber. Those bills will then have two weeks to pass through our House committee process and one additional week to be brought to the House floor for a vote. Only legislation that has received a successful vote in the House and Senate will move to the Governor’s desk for final action. During this time budget discussions also begin to take center stage.

Rep. Olsen Champions Legislation to Ensure Fair Maps in IL
There is overwhelming bipartisan support in Illinois for fair maps. Ensuring fair maps may very well be the most important thing we can do as lawmakers to restore integrity and true democracy to our election process. This year I am co-sponsoring two measures that seek to take the legislative map-drawing process out of the hands of politicians and ensure a fair and transparent method for creating legislative districts and maps. The graphic is very telling. In Iowa, political influence has no part in creating their map. In Illinois, the opposite is true. Which map looks fairer? 

HJRCA 46 would provide for the creation of an independent legislative redistricting commission, which would lead a detailed review process of maps submitted by any Illinoisan who would wish to suggest a map. The commission, appointed equally by the four legislative leaders from the Republican and Democratic caucuses, would provide the public with necessary data and tools with which to create map proposals. A multi-faceted scoring rubric would be used to rank all submissions with higher scores generated by maps that keep municipalities and counties together and which are compact in nature. The three highest-scoring maps would be brought to the House and Senate, where a three-fifths majority vote would be required for passage of one of the three maps. In the event that consensus is not reached, the highest-scoring map would be certified by the Secretary of State and become law.

This legislative solution takes political influence out of the equation and allows citizens and the commission to drive the process. Most importantly, HJRCA 46 takes into account previous fair maps proposals that have been deemed unconstitutional by the courts, and addresses those specific points in a manner that should withstand a court challenge. HJRCA 46 retains and repurposes the current constitutional participants in the mapping process (redistricting commission, General Assembly, Secretary of State) in order to conform with Illinois court decisions about citizen-led map initiatives.
In addition to HJRCA 46, last week I joined all members of the House Republican Caucus in filing HR 995, which expresses support for independent redistricting reform and advocates for a non-partisan map-making process for the upcoming redistricting cycle. Both proposals would apply to redistricting beginning in 2021 for the elections to be held in 2022. 

I recently spoke on the House floor regarding these measures. You can view that video here.

I also have posted an online petition on my web site where citizens can weigh in on this important issue. Click here to sign the petition in favor of fair maps.

Rep. Olsen Passes Bill to Add Residency Requirement for Library Trustees through Passage of HB 2222
Today’s Illinois Library Act contains very few qualifications for library trustees. Residency requirements and disqualification language for those convicted of felonies is common in other local government codes, and this year I filed legislation that provides consistency for those who wish to serve as a library trustee. On April 17, I was pleased to receive unanimous House approval on HB 2222, which puts in place a one-year residency requirement for library trustees and disqualifies from service any candidate convicted of a felony or who is delinquent in taxes or fees owed to the library district. The idea for the legislation was brought to my attention by Lisle Library District Trustee Tom Hummel. State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) will now carry the bill in the Senate. If approved by the Senate and signed into law, the provisions of HB 2222 will apply beginning with candidates in the 2019 consolidated election. 

Last week HB 5477 was also approved. The bill requires animal shelters and animal control facilities to report information regarding dogs and cats received from other states or countries. Currently, Illinois shelters and rescues are not required to report to the Department of Agriculture on the numbers of dogs they are importing or where these dogs originate. The intention of this legislation is to keep better record of dogs and cats in our State’s animal shelters and control facilities with the hopes of preventing the spread of disease and dog bites/attacks.

Summer Internship Offered in 81st District
This summer I am offering one local college student or rising high school senior an opportunity to do a paid internship in my Downers Grove office. As an intern for the 81st Legislative House District, this individual will learn about the inner workings of a legislative office while assisting my District Office Director and me with important projects. The intern will also accompany me to community events and gain a solid understanding of how legislators reach out to their constituents and gain their input on matters that affect the lives of Illinoisans. 

Interested individuals should send the following to my Downers Grove office at 633 Rogers Street, Suite 108, Downers Grove, IL 60515:
  • Letter of interest 
  • Two names plus contact information for references 
  • A resume (optional) 
Applications will be accepted through Friday, May 11 at 4:00 PM. The 81st District is located predominantly in DuPage County with a small portion stretching into Will County. The District includes portions of Bolingbrook, Darien, Downers Grove, Lisle, Naperville, Westmont and Woodridge. For more information about the Olsen summer internship, please contact my Downers Grove office at (630) 737-0504.

Rep. Olsen Named Legislator of the Year by Illinois School Counselor Association
Recently I was proud to be named Legislator of the Year by the Illinois School Counselor Association (ISCA). It is such an honor to receive this award for my support of school counselors in the legislature. My personal experiences with the counseling staff at Downers Grove South (DGS) High School were extremely positive. They helped put me on the path that led me to the General Assembly by always encouraging me to set high goals and to dream big. I accepted the award at the Illinois School Counselor Association’s annual conference in Springfield on Friday, April 13. I’m shown in this photo with Vince Walsh-Rock, President of the Illinois School Counselor Association, who also serves as the Assistant Principal for Student Support Services at DGS. 

Olsen Attends Eagle Court of Honor
I recently had the opportunity to honor Matthew Bair on becoming the newest (and 87th) Eagle Scout from Troop 95. I am pictured with Scoutmaster Andrew Flowers and Matthew at Faith United Methodist Church in Downers Grove. We are very fortunate to have service-oriented youth like Matthew living in our area. They are truly the next generation of leaders! Congratulations Matthew! 

Illinois Ranked Highly in Preparations for Health Care Emergencies
The 2018 National Health Security Preparedness Index, underwritten by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ranked 18 states – including Illinois – as ranking higher than the national average in preparations for threats to health security. The survey measured 140 separate variables to generate an overall threat assessment score. The numbers included not only health measurements obvious to laypersons, such as the numbers of board-certified pediatricians, but also status assessment that many of us mentally classify in a place different from public health – such as the physical status of Illinois roads and bridges. Illinois’ overall high score was partly driven by especially healthy numbers in the coordination and timely response of first responders to emergencies. Examples of this type of response include Illinois emergency-room and airport security responses to the outbreak of Ebola virus in Africa in 2014.

Free Recycling/Document Shredding Event Set for May 5
Please mark your calendars for Saturday, May 5, when I will partner with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and State Senator John F. Curran for a free recycling and paper shredding event. Between the hours of 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon, people will have an opportunity to drop off up to two grocery size bags of document to be shredded and deliver electronics and other items for recycling. Televisions and computer monitors will not be accepted. The event will be held at Burr Ridge Middle School, 15W451 91st Street in Burr Ridge. Click here to view a full list of items that will be accepted, and please note that due to the size of the shred truck we will have to adhere to a strict two-bag per vehicle limit for document shredding. For additional information, please call my office at (630) 737-0504.

Olsen Talks with District 203 Students about Citizenship
I spent a wonderful morning on April 16 with Mr. Sniadecki’s 8th grade U.S. History class at Jefferson Junior High School in Naperville. We discussed the importance of all citizens being involved in their communities and having an understanding of their government. I appreciate the invitation to speak to this engage group of learners. They had some great questions!

Illinois Top 200 Survey Names Wrigley Field as Illinois’ Top Building
Participants in the Illinois Bicentennial’s Top 200 survey were asked to pick their favorite building in Illinois, and the winning choice was Wrigley Field, the century-old Major League Baseball park that became the home of the Chicago Cubs in 1916. After many generations of mixed results, the storied Friendly Confines became the home of the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. Other Illinois buildings were also supported by survey participants. Coming in second was a building owned by the people of Illinois, Springfield’s Dana-Thomas House, which contains artistic motifs that celebrate Illinois’s ecology and landscapes, and is fitted with more than 100 pieces of Wright-designed furniture, lights, and art glass. The Wilmette Baha’i Temple, Chicago’s Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, and Chicago’s Robie House were honored with selection slots #3 through #5.
In recognition of his advocacy for school counselors across the state, Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has been named Legislator of the Year by the Illinois School Counselor Association (ISCA).

“It’s an honor to receive this award for my support of school counselors,” said Olsen. “My personal experiences with the counseling staff at Downers Grove South (DGS) High School were extremely positive. They helped put me on the path that led me to the General Assembly by always encouraging me to set high goals and to dream big.”

Olsen received the award at the Illinois School Counselor Association’s annual meeting in Springfield on Friday, April 13. Presenting the award was Vince Walsh-Rock, President of the Illinois School Counselor Association, who also serves as the Assistant Principal for Student Support Services at DGS.

“Representative Olsen has been a great support to Illinois school counselors this year,” said Walsh-Rock. “He championed a resolution recognizing National School Counseling Week and co-sponsored a bill protecting the title "school counselor". We are proud to recognize Rep. Olsen as ISCA Legislator of the Year.”
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is co-sponsoring two measures this year that seek to take the legislative map-drawing process out of the hands of politicians and ensure a fair and transparent method for creating legislative districts and maps.

HJRCA 46 would provide for the creation of an independent legislative redistricting commission, which would lead a detailed review process of maps submitted by any Illinoisan who would wish to suggest a map. The commission, appointed equally by the four legislative leaders from the Republican and Democratic caucuses, would provide the public with necessary data and tools with which to create map proposals. A multi-faceted scoring rubric would be used to rank all submissions with higher scores generated by maps that keep municipalities and counties together and which are compact in nature. The three highest-scoring maps would be brought to the House and Senate, where a three-fifths majority vote would be required for passage of one of the three maps. In the event that consensus is not reached, the highest-scoring map would be certified by the Secretary of State and become law.

“There is overwhelming bipartisan support for fair maps in Illinois,” said Olsen. “It could very well be the most important thing we could do as lawmakers to restore integrity and true democracy to our election process. This legislative solution takes political influence out of the equation and allows citizens and the commission to drive the process. Most importantly, HJRCA 46 takes into account previous fair maps proposals that have been deemed unconstitutional by the courts, and addresses those specific points in a manner that should withstand a court challenge.”

According to Olsen, HJRCA 46 retains and repurposes the current constitutional participants in the mapping process (redistricting commission, General Assembly, Secretary of State) in order to conform with Illinois court decisions about citizen-led map initiatives. The amendment also increases the number of Representative districts to 119 from 118.

“We must put an end to gerrymandering, which allows partisan politicians to draw maps that protect themselves and all but guarantee a continuation of majority status,” Olsen said.

In addition to HJRCA 46, Olsen joined all members of the House Republican Caucus on Wednesday in filing HR 995, which expresses support for independent redistricting reform and advocates for a non-partisan map-making process for the upcoming redistricting cycle. Both proposals would apply to redistricting beginning in 2021 for the elections to be held in 2022.

Olsen spoke on the House floor regarding these measures on Thursday. His floor comments can be seen here.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is offering one local college student or rising high school senior an opportunity to do a paid internship in his Downers Grove office this summer.

“As an intern for the 81st Legislative House District, this individual will learn about the inner workings of a legislative office while assisting my District Office Director and me with important projects,” said Olsen. “The intern will accompany me to community events and gain a solid understanding of how legislators reach out to their constituents and gain their input on matters that affect the lives of Illinoisans.”

Interested individuals should send the following to Olsen’s Downers Grove office at 633 Rogers Street, Suite 108, Downers Grove, IL 60515:
  • Letter of interest 
  • Two names plus contact information for references 
  • A resume (optional) 

Applications will be accepted through Friday, May 11 at 4:00 PM.

“This is a unique opportunity for a high school senior or college student to gain a great deal of experience about the legislative process,” said Olsen. “I look forward to reviewing the submissions from this year’s pool of applicants.”

The 81st District is located predominantly in DuPage County with a small portion stretching into Will County. The District includes portions of Bolingbrook, Darien, Downers Grove, Lisle, Naperville, Westmont and Woodridge. For more information about the Olsen summer internship, please contact his Downers Grove office at (630) 737-0504.
State Representative David S. Olsen received unanimous House approval today on legislation that provides consistency with regard to residency requirements for elected officials in Illinois.

HB 2222 puts in place a one-year residency requirement for library trustees and disqualifies from service any candidate convicted of a felony or who is delinquent in taxes or fees owed to the library district.

“Today’s Illinois Library Act contains very few qualifications for library trustees,” said Olsen. “Residency requirements and disqualification language for those convicted of felonies is common in other local government codes, and my bill simply provides consistency for those who wish to serve as a library trustee.”

According to Olsen, the idea for the legislation was brought to him by Lisle Library District Trustee Tom Hummel. “This bill closes a loophole in the state statute and strengthens the language on the residency requirement to run for library trustee,” said Hummel. “It’s great we have a representative like Rep. David Olsen, who pays close attention to detail.”

If approved by the Senate and signed into law, the provisions of HB 2222 will apply beginning with candidates in the 2019 consolidated election. The bill now moves to the Senate, where State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) will sponsor the bill.

Click here to watch video of Olsen presenting the bill.
Committee Deadline Passes in Springfield
The House was in session April 9-13 for a hectic week of committee and floor action. It was also a busy week for me, as two of my bills were passed by the full House and six bills were approved in their respective House committees - all on unanimous, bipartisan votes. The bills advanced through committee were: 
  • HB 2222: Provides consistency with regard to residency requirements for elected officials, by putting in place one-year residency requirements for library trustees. 
  • HB 4191: Provides that a person is immune from civil liability for property damage caused from forcible entry into a vehicle to save a dog or cat that is at risk of death due to extreme temperatures. 
  • HB 4867: Requires disclosure and notification when an adult with disabilities is assigned a guardian who is serving as guardian over more than five adults. 
  • HB 5165: Clarifies that the Human Rights Act applies to local governments. 
  • HB 5170: Updates various terms within the Illinois School Code and repeals an outdated provision that prohibits a regional superintendent from working in another profession. 
  • HB 5477: Requires animal shelters and animal control facilities to report information regarding dogs and cats received from other states or countries. 
I’m shown in the photo above with Alex Burke from the Department on Aging as we presented HB 4867 before the House Judiciary-Civil Committee on Tuesday, April 10. All six of these bills, in addition to others that received favorable committee votes in March, now move to the floor of the House for final action.

Pro-Business & Pro-Consumer Bill Marks Rep. Olsen’s First Approved Bill of 2018
On Wednesday, April 11, I received unanimous House support of my first approved bill of 2018. HB 4805 is a bill that reduces costs to specific Illinois businesses and protects consumers who use money transmitting services like Western Union and PayPal. The legislation brings the Surety Bond requirement for money transmitters more in line with the actual costs associated with risk by reducing the bond amount. By reducing the current $100,000 minimum bond requirement to the greater of $50,000 or 1% of all Illinois-based money transmission activity, we will reduce costs to existing businesses and lower costs for new companies that would like to do business in Illinois. Additionally, changing the basis for calculating the Surety Bond Requirement will better protect Illinois consumers who use money transmitter services. 

The request for the change was brought to my attention by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The bill received unanimous committee support by the House Financial Institutions Committee in early March and unanimous support from the full House of Representatives on Wednesday in a 113-0-0 vote. The bill now moves to the Illinois Senate for consideration where it will be sponsored by State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet).

Olsen Bill that Removes Redundant Provisions at DHS Sails through House
On Thursday I received unanimous House approval of HB 5031, which repeals redundant and irrelevant statutory language and requirements in the Department of Human Services (DHS) Act. Under current law, each State human services agency, Human Services, Public Health, Health and Family Services, and Aging is directed to adopt joint rules to establish a cross-agency prequalification process for contracting with human service providers. Recent legislation has rendered this collaborative effort on cross-agency prequalification and master service agreements unnecessary. 

A few years ago the legislature worked with the four human service agencies to develop a new, more efficient process governing the oversight of the selection and monitoring of grant recipients. This new process ensures quality programs and limits fraud, waste, and abuse. It was formalized with the passage of the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act, which is administered by Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) and not the individual agencies. HB 5031 now heads to the Senate where it will be sponsored by Senator Pam Althoff (R-McHenry).

Olsen to Offer Summer Internship
This summer I will once again be offering one rising high school senior or college student an opportunity to do a paid internship in my Downers Grove office. As an intern for the 81st Legislative House District, this individual will learn about the inner workings of a legislative office while assisting my District Office Director and me with important projects. If you know someone who would be interested in gaining this type of experience, please send the following to my Downers Grove office at 633 Rogers Street, Suite 108, Downers Grove, IL 60515: 
  • Letter of interest 
  • Two names plus contact information for references 
  • A resume (optional) 
We will be accepting applicants through Friday, May 11 at 4:00 PM.

Constitutionally-Mandated Revenue Estimate Absent as Budget Discussions Begin
With just six weeks of session remaining in the 2018 session year, the General Assembly has yet to fulfill its constitutional requirement to adopt a revenue estimate. This estimate is of critical importance, as it is supposed to guide budget discussions to ensure a balanced budget, which is also mandated through the Illinois Constitution. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) sent a letter to House Speaker Mike Madigan on February 7, emphasizing the need for the House of Representatives to agree on a revenue estimate immediately.

Speaking to the press on Monday, April 9, Governor Bruce Rauner framed his overall legislative agenda around the State’s need for a balanced, full –year budget for Fiscal Year 2019. The Governor’s call came in the context of widespread rumors in Springfield that some seek a partial budget or a deficit budget.

Illinois’ budget picture has been clouded by the State’s continuing inability to enact permanent reforms to its pension systems. Illinois is legally responsible for $130 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, an expense which must be paid by state taxpayers. The unfunded pension crisis is a key element in the continuing decision by New York’s three major credit-rating agencies to rank Illinois debt at close to “junk bond” level.

Rep. Olsen Joins House Republican Leader Durkin in Opposing Progressive Income Tax Proposals
A 2018 WalletHub study shows that Illinois has the highest effective state and local tax burden in the nation. On April 10, I joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) in filing HR 975, a measure that opposes progressive income tax legislation currently pending in the General Assembly. I am proud to be a Chief Co-Sponsor of the resolution. 

These progressive income tax proposals would raise taxes for most Illinoisans, including the vast majority of people living in the 81st District. Sadly, over the last few decades we have seen that the leadership of this state cannot be trusted to fairly implement a progressive tax system because the state refuses to control spending. By implementing a progressive income tax, we would be driving our higher income earners out of Illinois and saddling middle class families with a huge tax increase, all without any spending controls whatsoever. There are currently two progressive income tax proposals pending in the Senate and one proposal pending in the House.

Durkin, Olsen and Curran to Partner on Free Recycling/Document Shredding Event
On Saturday, May 5 I will partner with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and State Senator John F. Curran for a free recycling and paper shredding event. Between the hours of 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon, people will have an opportunity to drop off up to two bags of document to be shredded and deliver electronics and other items for recycling. Televisions and computer monitors will not be accepted. The event will be held at Burr Ridge Middle School, 15W451 91st Street in Burr Ridge. Click here to view a full list of items that will be accepted, and please note that due to the size of the shred truck we will have to adhere to a strict two-bag per vehicle limit for document shredding. For additional information, please call my office at (630) 737-0504. 

Downers Grove Officials Visit State Capitol
Last Wednesday I was visited in Springfield by several members of the Downers Grove Village Council, who were in town to share information on issues facing municipalities. After discussing issues of importance, I was able to bring them to the floor of the House for an up-close look at where we conduct State business. I’m shown in this picture with State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove), State Representative Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale), Downers Grove Commissioners Marge Earl, William Waldack, Nicole Walus, and Bill White, and Downers Grove Plan Commission Member Richard Kulovany. 

Representatives Olsen and Connor Pay Tribute to Woodridge Park District Commissioner
Last week it was my privilege to honor the life of Jim Duffy of Woodridge through a resolution which was approved in the House. Jim was a valued community servant who was elected to the Woodridge Park District Board of Commissioners in 1987. He served his community with distinction for more than 30 years and believed every Woodridge resident should have a park within walking distance of their home. Click here to read the resolution.

Olsen Experiences a Day in the Life of a Firefighter at Fire Ops 101 Event
On Saturday I spent an outstanding day at the Associated Firefighters of Illinois Fire Ops 101 Program, where I experienced firsthand the challenges firefighters face in their day-to-day work. Thank you to Scott Cavenaile and Rob Pekelder from the Downers Grove Professional Firefighters Association for inviting me, and the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois for hosting this excellent program for community leaders. I’m shown in this photo with Scott Cavenaile, Rob Pekelder and Downers Grove Village Manager David Fieldman, who also participated in the Fire Ops 101 class. 

Naperville School District 203 Wins Top Ranking in Best of Best Study
Congratulations to Naperville’s Community Unit School District 203, which was recently ranked #1 on the list of Illinois’ 100 best school districts by Backgroundchecks.org, an online portal that helps users find public records and run background checks. The ranking, which evaluated 9,577 districts, was made from data on students’ math and reading test scores from the Center for Education Policy Analysis, dropout rates and school funding from the National Center for Education Statistics and area poverty rates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Olsen Joins Lawmakers for School District 58 Legislative Meeting 
On April 6 I joined Senator John F. Curran and representatives from Congressman Peter Roskam and Congressman Bill Foster’s offices for a meeting of the District 58 Legislative Committee in Downers Grove. The event was rescheduled after a snowstorm in February caused a cancellation of the annual Legislative Breakfast. Each year the school district brings elected officials together for a discussion about local and state issues of importance, especially those issues that impact K-12 education. We engaged in a great conversation and I appreciated hearing feedback from those who are immersed in the field. 

Area Realtors Visit Springfield for Annual Lobby Day
Last Tuesday, realtors from across Illinois visited Springfield and spoke with lawmakers about their spring legislative session priorities. I had a great conversation with a large group from DuPage County when they stopped by my office in the Stratton Building.

Springfield, IL… State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) today unanimously passed House Bill 5031 to repeal redundant and irrelevant statutory language and requirements in the Department of Human Services Act.

“This bill helps to clarify and streamline Illinois law to reflect other recent statutory changes,” said Rep. Olsen. “Wherever possible we should seek to make state government more efficient and effective in providing services to Illinoisans – and this bill is a small step in that effort.”

Under current law each State human services agency, Human Services, Public Health, Health and Family Services, and Aging is directed to adopt joint rules to establish a cross-agency prequalification process for contracting with human service providers. Recent legislation has rendered this collaborative effort on cross-agency prequalification and master service agreements unnecessary.

A few years ago the legislature worked with the four human service agencies to develop a new, more efficient process governing the oversight of the selection and monitoring of grant recipients. This new process ensures quality programs and limits fraud, waste, and abuse. It was formalized with the passage of the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act, which is administered by Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) and not the individual agencies.

Olsen’s bill removes a remaining provision in the Department of Human Services Act that is unnecessary and contradictory with the passage of the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act.

HB 5031 passed the House on a 110-0-0 vote. It now heads to the Senate where it will be sponsored by Senator Pam Althoff (R-McHenry).
On April 5, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) partnered with State Senator John F. Curran and representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to discuss the assessments used in Illinois public schools. A recording of the event can be found here.
State Representative David S. Olsen’s (R-Downers Grove) first approved bill of 2018 is a pro-business bill that reduces costs to specific Illinois businesses and protects consumers who use money transmitting services like Western Union and PayPal.

HB 4805 brings the Surety Bond requirement for money transmitters more in line with the actual costs associated with risk by reducing the bond amount. “By reducing the current $100,000 minimum bond requirement to the greater of $50,000 or 1% of all Illinois-based money transmission activity, we will reduce costs to existing businesses and lower costs for new companies who would like to do business in Illinois,” said Olsen. “Additionally, changing the basis for calculating the Surety Bond Requirement will better protect Illinois consumers who use money transmitter services.”

According to Olsen, the request for the change was brought to him by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The bill received unanimous committee support by the House Financial Institutions Committee in early March and unanimous support from the full House of Representatives on Wednesday in a 113-0-0 vote.

The bill now moves to the Illinois Senate for consideration.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) today in filing HR 975, a measure that opposes progressive income tax legislation currently pending in the General Assembly. Olsen is a Chief Co-Sponsor of the resolution.

“The General Assembly cannot continue spending money frivolously and expect Illinois taxpayers to pick up the tab with more tax increases like this progressive income tax proposal from the Democrat Party,” said Durkin. “It is our constitutional duty to protect our constituents, and we will remain firm as a caucus on blocking any progressive tax measures.”

Olsen echoed Durkin’s remarks, and added, “These progressive income tax proposals would raise taxes for most Illinoisans, including the vast majority of people living in the 81st District. The people I represent simply cannot afford to pay more taxes.”

According to Olsen, a recent WalletHub study showed that Illinois already has the highest effective state and local tax burden in the nation. “Quite honestly, the leadership of this state cannot be trusted to fairly implement a progressive tax system,” Olsen said. “We have seen over the last few decades that the state will not control spending. By implementing a progressive income tax, we would be driving our higher income earners out of Illinois and saddling middle class families with a huge tax increase, all without any spending controls whatsoever.”

There are currently two progressive income tax proposals pending in the Senate and one proposal pending in the House.
General Assembly Returns to Springfield for Busy Committee Week
Lawmakers return to Springfield today for a very busy week of committee hearings and floor action. Friday, April 13 is the deadline by which all House Bills must receive approval by a substantive committee. I will personally be presenting bills before the Judiciary-Civil, Human Services, Cities & Villages, Elections & Campaign Finance, Agriculture & Conservation, and Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committees this week.

Education Town Hall Draws Large Crowd in Downers Grove
On Thursday, April 5, more than 100 people joined Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove), Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Director of Assessment & Accountability Rae Clementz, ISBE Director of Legislative Affairs Sarah Hartwig, and me for a productive town hall meeting that focused on the assessments used in Illinois public schools including PARCC and the SAT. In my conversations with constituents in the 81st District, I find that many residents have questions and concerns about the assessments used in our public school classrooms. I was pleased to partner with Senator Curran and ISBE to provide information and offer residents an opportunity to deliver feedback and have their questions answered. Thanks to all who came out for this informational event. You can view the presentation slides from the event here, and video of the event will soon be available on my web site. I’ll also soon share on my web site written responses from ISBE to questions we were unable to cover at the forum. 

Rep. Olsen Champions Legislation to Strengthen Cyberstalking Law
Stalking has grown beyond physical shadowing to also cover conduct on social media. This year I am proud to be the Chief Co-Sponsor of HB 5829, which expands the definition of these criminal acts and the course of conduct that encompasses them, to cover the sending of unwanted messages via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Stalking and the liability atmosphere created by this conduct are now also encompassing Illinois institutions. HB 5829 would grant standing to churches, workplaces, and schools to initiate citizen complaints intended to conclude in a charge of stalking. The bill would also authorize a court to order that a violator subject to a stalking no contact order must submit to a mental health evaluation or wear an electronic monitoring device as a condition of receiving the no contact order.

Olsen Helps Kick Off Child Abuse Prevention Month
Last Thursday I was honored to attend the Child Abuse Prevention Month blue bow kick-off event at the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. This year’s theme, “Supporting Great Childhoods”, is a call to action to help prevent child abuse and neglect by providing parents and families with support for children to thrive. 

In FY2017, there were 252,568 calls to the Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline resulting in an average of 1,500 investigations per week in Illinois. The impact of abuse on children manifests itself in many ways. Children may experience a range of emotional, psychological and physical problems and trauma as a result of being abused or neglected. Abused and neglected children are more likely to be self-destructive or aggressive, to abuse drugs and/or alcohol or become young offenders.

Please call the 24-hour Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE (800-252-2873) or TTY 1-800-358-5117) if you suspect that a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed by abuse or neglect. If you believe a child is in immediate danger of harm, call 911 first. More information can be found online at the DCFS Child Protection web site.

Olsen and Curran Host Second Coffee & Conversation Event
We had another great turnout last week when Senator John F. Curran and I hosted our second Coffee & Conversation event. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), and Darien Mayor Kathleen Weaver joined us for the event, which was held at the Blueberry Hill Breakfast CafĂ© in Darien. We had good conversations with many constituents about issues of importance in Illinois. 

Taxpayers to Receive Full Benefit of Prepaid Property Taxes
Shortly after the U.S. Congress passed legislation in December eliminating the unlimited property tax deduction on itemized returns in favor of a capped $10,000 deduction for 2018 and beyond, suburban homeowners flooded county treasurers' offices to prepay their 2017 property taxes payable in 2018 to maximize their 2017 federal tax deductions. However, an IRS advisory issued in late December raised question whether homeowners could deduct those payments. Congressman Peter Roskam wrote a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department seeking clarification on the issue. Click here to read Roskam’s letter and click here to read the U.S. Treasury response. I am happy to report that Illinois homeowners who prepaid property taxes at the end of 2017 can definitely deduct that payment from their itemized income tax returns.

Rep. Olsen Visits Community Adult Day Care Center
On Thursday it was my pleasure to visit Community Adult Day Center in Downers Grove. The center is a nonprofit organization that offers families a quality, affordable care option or complimentary support to in-home care or assisted living and may help adults stay in their homes longer. The center, located in the heart of the 81st District, has provided an interactive, safe, and compassionate environment for adults who cannot safely be left alone, with a focus on their mental, physical, and emotional well-being since 1986. Community Adult Day Center operates Mondays through Fridays and serves residents from across our district and beyond. Click here to learn more about this wonderful community organization. 

Hundreds Brave Cold Weather to Participate in 2018 Mustang Trot 5K
Cold weather over the weekend did not stop a large group of runners and walkers from coming out for the 2018 Mustang Trot 5K, sponsored by the Downers Grove South Key Club. Proceeds from the event benefited the LUNGevity Foundation. LUNGevity is the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused non-profit, where dedicated professionals are working to change outcomes for people with lung cancer through research, education and support. I was glad to run in this annual 5K with Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully and Downers Grove Village Commissioner Nicole Walus. 

State Board Finalizes Evidence-Based Funding for Fiscal Year 2018 On Thursday, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) issued vouchers to the Illinois State Comptroller, paving the way for $295 million in tier funding from the new Evidence-Based School Funding Formula to flow to the most under-resourced school districts in Illinois. “Implementing a radically new funding formula required extraordinary effort by ISBE staff and school districts,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “I deeply appreciate Governor Rauner and the General Assembly’s commitment through the passage, cleanup, and distribution of this historic first year of Evidence-Based Funding.” Click here to view the complete model of fiscal year 2018 Evidence-Based Funding calculations. You can learn more about the Evidence-Based Funding formula here.

First Illinois Laws Available for Public Viewing
When Illinois became a state in 1818, its first General Assembly had to enact a law code to govern the new state. The first law code was enacted in the then-state capitol of Kaskaskia in southwestern Illinois. A law code totaling 387 pages was composed in lead type, set up letter by letter by a print shop. The law code had to provide for the needs of a frontier state. For example, a law printed on page 111 orders all county sheriffs to “quell and suppress all affrays, riots, routs and insurrections, and all species of crimes and breaches of the peace.” 

Copies of the 1819 law code continue to exist to this day and can be accessed through the “Laws of Illinois” website operated by Western Illinois University (WIU). The Laws of Illinois website, which provides access to laws and legal texts from throughout Illinois’ history, was recognized this week as an official Illinois Bicentennial Project.

Illinois State Police to Begin Providing Prescription Drug Collection Receptacles The Illinois State Police (ISP) is teaming up with the Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation to help decrease prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse. Five ISP District headquarters across the state will house receptacles for people to drop off their unused and unwanted prescription medications. ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz says the receptacles will be placed at their District headquarters in Des Plaines, Elgin, Joliet, Collinsville, and LaSalle. People will be able to drop over-the-counter and prescription medications into the receptacles, including controlled substances, pet medications, drug samples, vitamins, liquids and creams. For safety reasons, needles, thermometers, IV Bags, bloody waste and hydrogen peroxide cannot be accepted and should not be deposited into the receptacles. The initiative is another step in the state’s effort to reduce opioid-related deaths in Illinois by 33% in three years.