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 Café 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.