Legislative Update: April 16, 2018

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  • HB 5170: Updates various terms within the Illinois School Code and repeals an outdated provision that prohibits a regional superintendent from working in another profession.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.

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