A balanced budget that passed with wide, bipartisan support is on its way to Governor Bruce Rauner. Following Wednesday’s Senate passage on a 56-2 vote and its 97-18 passage in the Illinois House on Thursday, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) issued the following statement:


“Today I supported a full year budget package that is balanced, includes no new taxes, and which was crafted through true and honest bipartisanship. While I would have preferred more input from rank and file members during the process and wish there was more done to cut State spending and reduce our tax burden, the budgeteers who crafted this budget are to be commended for engaging in a process based upon cooperation and respectful compromise.”

“This budget shows, for the first time in many years, some spending restraint. It includes $1.2 billion less in spending than would have occurred in a status quo budget, while fully funding the new K-12 education funding formula. It also offers important new pension reform measures, like voluntary pension benefit buyouts and capping end-of-career salary bumps that lead to pension spiking.”

“This balanced budget, while not perfect, is an example of the positive results that can be achieved when politics and partisanship are set aside. Much hard work remains, and I hope the good will we saw here today can serve as a starting point for future collaborative efforts to improve Illinois’ economy, grow jobs, and ultimately place our state on solid financial footing.”
Click here to view a summary of 34 new laws that will take effect on June 1, 2018.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) stood with Illinois’ middle class taxpayers on Tuesday by opposing HR 1025, which expresses support for the implementation of a progressive or graduated income tax system in Illinois.

“My priority is fighting for the middle class and standing up for the people of the 81st District whom I was elected to represent,” said Olsen. “The middle class cannot afford another massive tax increase like this progressive tax would impose on them.”

The resolution floated by House Democrats did not include proposed tax rates. The resolution sponsor suggested that the General Assembly should be trusted to set necessary rates. “This resolution takes us in the wrong direction,” added Olsen. “It seeks to raise taxes without any consideration of fundamental reforms to state government that will encourage people and businesses to stay here, and new businesses to choose Illinois.”
In an effort to provide easy access to state government for the citizens of the 81st District, the office of State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is hosting mobile office hours on May 30 at the Downers Grove Library, 1050 Curtiss Street, in Downers Grove.

A member of Olsen’s staff will have a table set up at the center from 1:00 PM until 2:30 PM. The public is invited to stop by to discuss legislative issues and to learn about the services offered through the Olsen legislative office.

“I wish I could attend these office hours in person because I enjoy talking one-on-one with the people I represent,” said Olsen. “I will be in Springfield all day on May 30, so my legislative assistant will be staffing the event on my behalf.”

No appointment is needed. Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on Olsen’s web site at www.repolsen.com.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is seeking to add a new layer of transparency regarding administrative costs for public school districts. This week Olsen’s colleagues voted 113-0 in support of his effort.

“School district taxes are the largest portion of every Illinoisan’s tax bill,” said Olsen. “Taxpayers deserve access to the most accurate information possible on how their money is being spent, and that includes the administrative costs. My SB 3236 requires ‘school report cards’ to contain the most current data collected relative to a school district’s administrative costs.”

According to Olsen, current law requires ISBE to prepare by October 31 of each year a school district report card for each of the state’s public school districts. Current data must include student and workforce demographics, financial and curriculum information and other data such as average class size, a breakdown of students’ racial and ethnic backgrounds, percentage of low-income, special education and limited English proficiency students, operating expenditures, per-pupil state pension contributions and various other data.

SB 3236 received unanimous support in the Senate in March. It now moves to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk for his signature.
In response to widespread flooding in the collar counties in recent years, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) received unanimous House support Monday on legislation that would create a commission to seek out ways to mitigate flooding and address storm water management issues.

“Communities in DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties have been especially hard-hit over the last several years by devastating floods,” said Olsen. “This commission will study and develop an integrated floodplain management coalition of the affected communities so they can jointly leverage community resources, and collaborate on flood preparedness, protection, response, recovery, future flood damage reduction, and necessary floodplain management education to mitigate future flooding events. They would also seek methods to help prevent future property damage and threats to public health.”

According to Olsen, if signed into law by the Governor, the Flood Control Commission created through SB 3134 would be chaired by the Illinois Director of Natural Resources or a designee. Membership would include:
  • Five members appointed by each of four legislative leaders of the General Assembly 
  • One member appointed by each of the chairmen of the DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry County Boards, and the County Executive of Will County upon the advice of the counties’ stormwater management planning committees 
  • One member appointed by each of the chairmen of the DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry County Boards and the County Executive of Will County upon the advice of a municipality in each of the counties 
  • The Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) or designee 
  • The Governor or designee 
The commission’s final report would be submitted to the General Assembly by the end of 2019.
Happy Memorial Day!
With just a few days remaining before the scheduled end of legislative session, budget negotiations continue with the hope of passing a balanced budget by the end of May. Both houses of the General Assembly adjourned over the weekend, but negotiations continued on Saturday, Sunday and Monday as a bipartisan group of negotiators continued to work towards an agreement on a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2019.

Rank and file members were able to return to their home districts for Memorial Day weekend, and before I head back to Springfield I will be participating in the annual parade and service hosted by American Legion Post 80 at Fishel Park in downtown Downers Grove. I hope you will take some time today to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. 

Members of the House of Representatives are back in session today at 3:00 PM. While there are still a few bills to consider which received extensions beyond the May 25 deadline for passage of most House and Senate Bills, our priority now turns to the budget. While a simple majority is required for budget approval through May 31, if we do not fulfill this obligation, the approval threshold jumps to a three-fifths majority. I’m told by our caucus’ budgeteers that negotiations continue to be productive. I look forward to viewing the budget bills when they are filed this week.

Rep. David S. Olsen Sends Nine Bills to Governor Rauner
I am pleased to report that so far this year I sent nine bills to Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature. These bills, which will soon be signed into law, include: 

HB 2222: Provides consistency with regard to residency requirements for elected officials in Illinois.

HB 4805: Reduces costs to specific Illinois businesses, and protects consumers who use money transmitting services like Western Union and PayPal by bringing the Surety Bond requirement for money transmitters more in line with the actual costs associated with risk.

HB 4867: Adds a new layer about transparency to the caseloads of guardians of adults with disabilities by requiring potential guardians to disclose to the court the number of adults with disabilities over which the potential guardian is currently appointed. 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.

HB 5031: Removes a duplicative reporting requirement between state agencies and human service providers

SB 2543: Simplifies the process for dissolution of a mosquito abatement district

SB 2587: Adds dentists to the list of "health care professionals" that can perform over-the-phone “tele-health” services in Illinois

SB 2658: Lengthens to three years (currently two years) the period of time during which a provisional educator endorsement for a service member or spouse is valid

SB 2721: Streamlines the process of regulatory oversight and aligns the licensing process of financial technical (fintech) companies by entering Illinois into a newly-created interstate compact with Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Washington

SB 2826: Strengthens the Illinois Human Rights Act by clarifying that "order of protection status" includes status as a person protected under any order of protection existing in Illinois law

I am hopeful that I’ll pass more bills this week.

Legislation Co-Sponsored by Olsen that Removes Firearms from Individuals who Pose an Immediate Threat Receives Broad Bipartisan Support in House
Lawmakers can no longer stand on the sidelines as instances of mass gun violence continue to occur in our schools and other open spaces. We have a duty to do whatever we can to protect or children and other citizens from senseless gun violence. By a strong bipartisan vote of 80-32-1 on Wednesday, May 23, the House took great strides toward improving public safety by approving a method by which family members or law enforcement can seek an emergency firearms restraining order to remove firearms from individuals posing an immediate threat to themselves and/or others. The tightly-worded legislation, which I was proud to co-sponsor, strikes a critical balance between Second Amendment rights and improved safety in our schools and other spaces. I applaud the bipartisanship that was shown as this bill was negotiated and believe the end result could become a national model for sensible gun reform as it relates to mental health. 

Through HB 2354, family members or law enforcement who petition for an emergency order must show that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of causing harm to themselves or others. If probable cause is established through a court hearing, the judge will enter an order that will allow the Illinois State Police (ISP) to suspend or revoke the Firearms Owner Identification card of the respondent and, if necessary, issuing a search warrant to remove any firearms from the person’s residence.

The respondent must be given a full hearing within 14 days, where it must be proven by strict clear and convincing evidence that the person is dangerous. If so, the emergency order is extended to a six-month order, which may be renewed on continued proof of danger. But if the allegations are not proven at the full hearing, the record of the case is expunged, so as not to do any harm to an innocent respondent. Strict penalties for perjury would also apply to those who would falsely swear out a petition for a firearms restraining order.

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

DuPage County High School Students Visit State Capitol
This time of year the Capitol is buzzing with students from across the state on school trips. Last week it was nice to see students from Willowbrook High School and Addison Trail High School, as classes visited the State Capitol in Springfield. I was able to step off the floor and talk with these bright students, and was impressed by their excitement and questions about the legislative process. 

Olsen Takes “Give Them Distance” Pledge
Illinois transportation, safety and government leaders were at the state Capitol on May 23 to honor the life of Tollway roadway maintenance worker David Schwarz, who was tragically struck and killed while working on the Tollway in 2017 by a driver who failed to follow the Move Over Law. At an informational booth at the Capitol, Tollway officials were calling on Illinois drivers to take the “Give Them Distance” Pledge. The pledge was launched as part of a statewide effort to emphasize the importance of the Illinois Move Over Law, which requires drivers to slow down and change lanes safely when approaching any vehicle stopped on the side of the road with its lights flashing. 

Rep. Olsen Urges Senate to Reconsider Regulatory Sandbox Bill
As you may recall, earlier this spring I successfully passed HB 5139, which would help Illinois grow as a global business hub and center of tech innovation by allowing financial technology (fintech) businesses in Illinois the ability to experiment with innovative financial products and services. The bill 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.

Unfortunately, this bill, which passed with nearly-unanimous support in the House, has stumbled in the Senate. I recently spoke on the House floor and encouraged the Senate to reconsider their stance on HB 5139. Click here to view my floor comments.

Children’s Health & Safety Fair Set for this Saturday, June 2
Don’t miss the Traveling World of Reptiles Show, Touch a Truck exhibits, interactive safety demonstrations and more at this year’s Children’s Health & Safety Expo held this Saturday, June 2. The fair will take place from 9:00 AM until 12:00 Noon at Lakeview Junior High School, 701 Plainfield Road in Downers Grove. Admission is free and there will be free giveaways at the event. 

Demonstrations at this year’s expo include: the Darien Police K-9 Unit (9:30 AM) and the Traveling World of Reptiles Show (10:00 AM), and Cierra School of Dance (11:30 AM). Also, the LIFESTAR Chicago medical helicopter will be at the school between 9:30 AM and 10:30 AM. Thirty “Touch-a-Trucks” will also be at the Safety Expo, and kids will be able to see, touch and get behind the wheel of their favorite vehicle. Local professionals will be available to answer questions about the equipment and the work they do. For more information, please contact my office at (630) 737-0504.

In addition to this Saturday’s Fair, please mark your calendars for these other upcoming events that will be sponsored by my office:
  • June 16: Understanding your Property Tax Bill: 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM, Woodridge Public Library, 3 Plaza Drive, Woodridge 
  • July 25: Jobs Fair: 9:00 AM until 12:00 Noon, CORE Fitness Center, 16028 127th Street, Lemont 
  • September 22: Joint Senior Fair with Downers Grove Park District: 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM Lincoln Center Gymnasium, 935 Maple Ave, Downers Grove 
  • November (Date TBA): Veterans Resource Fair: Details coming soon 
Please visit my website at www.repolsen.com often for additional information about these and other upcoming events.

Olsen Joins Downers Grove South Community in Honoring Retiring Music Teacher
What an honor it was recently to join students, faculty and families from Downers Grove South High School to celebrate Mr. Craig Roselieb’s stellar career spanning 33 years as an instructor of music education and to wish him well in his upcoming retirement. As a DGS alumnus, I have fond memories of my time in the DGS band program under Mr. Roselieb’s direction. 

In addition to joining current and former students at his final concert, it was my privilege to present my former teacher with an official House Resolution in recognition of his service on stage. You can read that honorary resolution here.

How the Supreme Court Decision on Sports Gambling Affects Illinois
Earlier this month the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law which prohibited sports gambling in most U.S. states, including Illinois. The Illinois Criminal Code also currently bans many kinds of sports wagering, with the exception of bets on horse racing.

The Supreme Court’s action has opened the door for the General Assembly to consider amending or modifying Illinois’ ban on sports betting. On one side, opponents argue that sports gambling will lead to problems with corruption. Supporters look at sports gambling as a possible revenue source for the state: money that does not have to be collected through income, sales or property taxes. Some early potential revenue estimates from legalized sports betting in Illinois range anywhere from $300 million to more than $600 million.
This week in Springfield, State Representative David S. Olsen received nearly-unanimous support of a bill that eases the process through which Mosquito Abatement Districts may be dissolved in Illinois. SB 2543 allows mosquito abatement district boards, by a majority vote, to consolidate the abatement district into a municipality, township or county with agreement by the entity that would assume the mosquito abatement responsibilities. “With more than 7,000 individual units of government in our state, Illinois must look at ways to consolidate taxing districts so taxpayers can achieve tax relief,” said Olsen. “This is one small step that could generate some savings on tax bills.”
SPRINGFIELD…..As the deadline approaches for the passage of House and Senate Bills in the General Assembly, today State Representative David S. Olsen sent three additional pieces of legislation to Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature.
  • HB 5031: Removes a duplicative reporting requirement between state agencies and human service providers. It received unanimous House and Senate Support. 
  • SB 2658: Lengthens to three years (currently two years) the period of time during which a provisional educator endorsement for a service member or spouse is valid. It received unanimous support in the Senate and was approved in a 105-1 vote in the House. 
  • SB 2721: Streamlines the process of regulatory oversight and aligns the licensing process of financial technology (fintech) companies by entering Illinois into a newly-created interstate compact with Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. It received unanimous support in the House and Senate. 
“I am extremely proud to have received such wide, bipartisan support on these three bills,” said Olsen. “HB 5031 and SB 2758 amend our state statutes to improve processes, and SB 2721 streamlines licensing regulations for certain businesses in a way that will save them money.”

Governor Rauner is expected to sign all three bills into law in the upcoming weeks.
By a vote of 80-32-1, the House of Representatives today struck a balance between Second Amendment rights and improved public safety by approving a method by which family members or law enforcement can seek an emergency firearms restraining order to remove firearms from individuals posing an immediate threat to themselves and/or others.

“Lawmakers can no longer stand on the sidelines as instances of mass gun violence continue to occur in our schools and other open spaces,” said State Representative David S. Olsen, a co-sponsor of the bill. “We have a duty to do whatever we can to protect or children and other citizens from senseless gun violence, and I believe HB 2354 achieves the proper balance between Second Amendment rights for lawful citizens, and our need to respond to mass gun violence tragedies.”

Through HB 2354, family members or law enforcement who petition for an emergency order must show that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of causing harm to themselves or others. If probable cause is established through a court hearing, the judge will enter an order that will allow the Illinois State Police (ISP) to suspend or revoke the Firearms Owner Identification card of the respondent and, if necessary, issuing a search warrant to remove any firearms from the person’s residence.

The respondent must be given a full hearing within 14 days, where it must be proven by strict clear and convincing evidence that the person is dangerous. If so, the emergency order is extended to a six-month order, which may be renewed on continued proof of danger. But if the allegations are not proven at the full hearing, the record of the case is expunged, so as not to do any harm to an innocent respondent. Strict penalties for perjury would also apply to those who would falsely swear out a petition for a firearms restraining order.

“I applaud the bipartisanship that was shown as this bill was negotiated and believe the end result could become a national model for sensible gun reform as it relates to mental health,” said Olsen. “I was proud to support the bill.”

HB 2354 now moves back to the Senate for reconsideration. If approved, it will be sent to the Governor for final action.
Don’t miss the Traveling World of Reptiles Show, Touch a Truck exhibits, interactive safety demonstrations and more at this year’s FREE Children’s Health & Safety Expo hosted by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) and State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) on Saturday, June 2 from 9:00 AM until 12:00 Noon at:
Lakeview Junior High School
701 Plainfield Rd.
Downers Grove, IL


“This free event is great for both children and parents to learn about the newest tools and methods for safety in their homes as well as public places,” Durkin said. “The interactive children’s activities make it easy for kids to learn the importance of safety in their day to day lives.”

Admission is free. There will also be free giveaways at the event. Demonstrations at this year’s expo include: the Darien Police K-9 Unit (9:30 AM) and the Traveling World of Reptiles Show (10:00 AM), and Cierra School of Dance (11:30 AM). Also, the LIFESTAR Chicago medical helicopter will be at the school between 9:30 AM and 10:30 AM.

Thirty “Touch-a-Trucks” will be at the Safety Expo, and kids are invited to see, touch and get behind the wheel of their favorite vehicle. Local professionals will be available to answer questions about the equipment and the work they do.

“We have an excellent roster of organizations that will be in attendance and available to provide useful resources and safety information for families, as well as fun and interactive activities for the kids,” said Curran. “Parents and their kids really look forward to the Children's Expo, so I'm excited to be a host this year.”

"This annual event draws a large crowd every year,” said Olsen. “Children and their families can visit the informational booths and learn about bicycle, fire and Internet safety, and also enjoy face painting and other family-friendly activities.”

Expo participants include Action Towing, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Air Methods – LIFESTAR, Cierra’s School of Dance, Commonwealth Edison, Darien Police Department, Darien Police K-9, Darien/Woodridge Fire Protection District, Downers Grove Highway Department, First Student, Illinois Association of Health, Physical Recreation/Dance, Juice Plus, Lemont Police Department, PACE, Reclaim 13, Social Security Administration, Sparkles Entertainment, The Arc of Illinois, True Balance Karate, West Suburban Community Pantry, YMCA Metropolitan Chicago, Attorney General, Secretary of State/Police, State Police, IDOT, DuPage County Circuit Court Clerk, Health Department, Highway Department, Homeland Security, Regional Office of Education, Sheriff, State’s Attorney, and the Villages/Cities of Darien, LaGrange, Western Springs, Willowbrook and Woodridge.

For more information, contact Leader Durkin’s office at (630) 325-2028, Senator Curran’s office at (630) 796-2623, or Rep. Olsen’s office at (630) 737-0504.
State Representative David S. Olsen has received unanimous House support on legislation that amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to clarify and strengthen the definition of “order of protection status” within the Act.

“The current Human Rights Act was enacted when there was only one type of order of protection in the statutes,” said Olsen. “Since the enactment of the Act, three new types of orders of protection have been created. This legislation simply expands the definition to include a person protected under the Protective Orders Article of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Stalking No Contact Order Act and the Civil No Contact Order Act. It is clean-up language to ensure there are no gaps in the Human Rights Act.”

The Human Rights Act defines unlawful discrimination as discrimination against a person because of his or her race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, order of protection status, disability, military status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or unfavorable discharge from military service. The Act allows the state’s Human Rights Commission to enforce prohibitions on unlawful discrimination in employment, real estate, financial credit, and public accommodations.

SB 2826, which was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), received unanimous votes in the House and Senate and now moves to Governor Bruce Rauner for final action.
Legislation sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) and State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) that provides consistency with regard to residency requirements for elected officials in Illinois has passed in the Illinois Senate and is headed to Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature.

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.

“Surprisingly, 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 HB 2222 extends that language to also apply to those who wish to serve as a library trustee.”

Upon approval of the bill in the Senate, Sen. Curran said, “Residency requirements are an important component in local government, especially as these library districts balance critical services and the expenditure of local tax revenues,” said Curran.

If signed into law by Governor Rauner, the provisions of HB 2222 will apply beginning with candidates in the 2019 consolidated election.
Today in Springfield, Rep. David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) spoke on the House floor and urged Illinois Senators to approve HB 5139. The bill, for which Olsen serves as the Chief House Sponsor, was approved with wide, bipartisan support in the House, but has stalled in the Senate. Click on the image above to watch Olsen's floor comments about a bill he says will "help Illinois grow as a global business hub and center of tech innovation."
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) achieved House approval of legislation that eases the process through which Mosquito Abatement Districts may be dissolved in Illinois with a strong bipartisan vote of 101-1.

SB 2543 allows mosquito abatement district boards, by a majority vote, to consolidate the abatement district into a municipality, township or county with agreement by the entity that would assume the mosquito abatement responsibilities. “With more than 7,000 individual units of government in our state, Illinois must look at ways to consolidate taxing districts so taxpayers can achieve tax relief,” said Olsen. “This is one small step that could generate some savings on tax bills.”

DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, a leading advocate for consolidation, applauded the passage of the bill and said, “Senate Bill 2543 provides a useful tool to local governments to dissolve mosquito abatement districts statewide,” Cronin said. “Under the legislation, a township, county, or municipality, by a majority vote of both governing boards, can absorb the duties of a mosquito abatement district in order to streamline the delivery of services and save taxpayers’ money. I would like to express my thanks to our bi-partisan team of sponsors, Representative David Olsen and Senator Tom Cullerton, who spearheaded this effort.”

Under current law, mosquito abatement districts can only be dissolved through a lengthy process of petition, hearing and referendum. There is no existing procedure for an abatement board to make a consolidation decision. “The provisions of SB 2543 provide a more expedient process for consolidation than what is currently available,” Olsen said. “I have assembled a long list of bipartisan co-sponsors who agree that we must eliminate bureaucratic barriers that impede consolidation.”

With passage of the bill in the Senate and House, SB 2543 now moves to Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature.
In an effort to improve Illinoisans’ access to comprehensive health care, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has passed legislation that expands people’s access to information and recommended treatment about their dental health. The House approval of SB 2587 was unanimous.

SB 2587 amends the Illinois Telehealth Act to add dentists to the list of "health care professionals" that can perform over-the-phone “tele-health” services in Illinois. “Through telehealth services, dentists would be able to evaluate, diagnose, or interpret electronically transmitted patient-specific date so that treatment recommendations can be made,” said Olsen. “In addition to the time-savings that accompany telehealth services, there is a financial benefit.”

According to Olsen, the current Telehealth Act is limited to physicians, physician assistants, optometrists, advanced practice nurses, clinical psychologists licensed in Illinois, and mental health professionals and clinicians authorized by Illinois law to provide mental health services. “Dental health is an important element of overall health and wellness. This is a logical addition to the Telehealth Act.”

SB 2587 received unanimous support in the Senate in April, and it will now be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for final action.
Senate Bills Begin to Move in the House
Last week in Springfield we considered many Senate Bills in various House committees. The deadline by which all Senate Bills must have cleared a substantive House committee was Friday, May 18. I was personally successful in moving seven Senate Bills through the House Committee process. These bills, for which I am serving as the Chief House Sponsor, have now been moved to the floor of the House for full debates and votes. Across the hall in the Senate, two of my House Bills were approved last week. Those bills now go to Governor Bruce Rauner for final action.

This Friday, May 25th we face another deadline – the date by which all Senate Bills must be approved on the House floor. As always, I will continue to provide updates of the progress of my bills and for other legislative issues of interest.

Rep. Olsen Sends Seven Senate Bills to the House Floor for Consideration
In addition to the House Bills approved earlier this session year, I am now hoping to receive full House approval on the seven Senate Bills I recently moved through the House committee process. Those bills include: 
  • SB 2543: Simplifies the process for dissolution of a mosquito abatement district 
  • SB 2587: Adds dentists to the list of "health care professionals" that can perform over-the-phone “tele-health” services in Illinois 
  • SB 2658: Lengthens to three years (currently two years) the period of time during which a provisional educator endorsement for a service member or spouse is valid 
  • SB 2721: Streamlines the process of regulatory oversight and aligns the licensing process of financial technical (fintech) companies by entering Illinois into a newly-created interstate compact with Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Washington 
  • SB 2826: Strengthens the Illinois Human Rights Act by clarifying that "order of protection status" includes status as a person protected under the Protective Orders Article of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, the Stalking No Contact Order Act and the Civil No Contact Order Act 
  • SB 3134: Creates a commission to study flood control practices and conduct a survey in DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties 
  • SB 3236: Requires school report cards to contain the most current data collected relative to a school district’s administrative costs 
Olsen Sends Two Bills to Governor Bruce Rauner for Final Action
Two bills that I successfully ushered through the House earlier this year have now received Senate approval and are on their way to Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature. HB 4805 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. It brings the Surety Bond requirement for money transmitters more in line with the actual costs associated with risk. Whereas today the minimum bond requirement for those who use money transmitting services is $100,000, my legislation reduces that bond amount to the greater of $50,000 or 1% of all Illinois-based money transmission activity. The result will be cost savings for existing businesses and lower costs for new companies who would like to do business in Illinois.

HB 4867 adds a new layer about transparency to the caseloads of guardians of adults with disabilities, by requiring potential guardians to disclose to the court the number of adults with disabilities over which the potential 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.

Both bills were approved by the House in April and by the Senate on May 17. I expect them to be signed by Governor Rauner in the coming weeks.

Rep. David S. Olsen Sponsors Legislation Declaring Domestic Violence a Public Health Priority
Did you know that one in three women in the United States experiences domestic violence at some point in their life? That translates to 1.67 million women in Illinois who experience domestic violence at least once. Statistics provided by the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence showed that in 2017 services were provided to 41,243 adults who were accompanied by approximately 8,000 children. Here in DuPage County, where Family Shelter Service assists families fleeing domestic violence situations, in 2017 they provided services to 1,355 adults and 222 children. Tragically, in DuPage County, five women were murdered through acts of domestic violence in 2017. 

I recently became the Chief House sponsor of SJR 50, which declares domestic violence a public health priority for the State and urges lawmakers to channel adequate resources toward combatting this epidemic. I was honored to have Judie Caribeaux (shown in the photo), Executive Director of Family Shelter Service, in the House gallery as I introduced SJR 50 to my colleagues on May 17. Caribeaux is an extraordinary individual who, along with her dedicated staff, does critical work with DuPage County families affected by domestic violence. Click here to watch my floor comments as I introduced the resolution.

Budget Discussions Continue as May 31 Deadline Approaches
The Constitution dictates that the General Assembly approve a balanced budget by May 31 each year. If a budget is not approved by both chambers by that date, a higher three-fifths majority vote then becomes needed for budget passage. Budget negotiating groups, appointed by the four legislative leaders, continue to meet with hopes of reaching agreement on a budget plan for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2018. In addition to these groups, the four leaders and the Governor have been meeting regularly to find agreement on issues related to the budget. While we are quickly approaching the May 31st adjournment deadline, I believe progress is being made and remain optimistic that there will be an agreement on a full year, truly balanced budget that does not raise taxes on Illinoisans.

Olsen Participates in Foster Youth and Alumni Legislative Shadow Day in Springfield
Last Wednesday it was my honor to host Alexis Campbell of Chicago for a day in Springfield as part of the Third Annual Foster Youth and Alumni Legislative Shadow Day at the Capitol. Alexis was in the gallery to view the legislative session, and attended meetings with me throughout the day. She got an up-close look at what it is like to be a lawmaker in Illinois, and said she really enjoyed her day. Foster Youth and Alumni Legislative Shadow Day is sponsored by the IL Department of Children and Family Services, and I thank the Department for allowing me to be a part of a very special day. 

Record Year Announced for Illinois Tourism
Records from Illinois hotels, motels, and tourist attractions show that nearly 114 million visits were made to Illinois in 2017, up 1.4% from 2016. The visitors spent $39.5 billion, up 3% from 2016, and supported the creation and maintenance of 335,500 jobs. The numbers for 2017 were announced in Springfield on Tuesday, May 15.

Olsen Co-Sponsors Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act
On May 15 I stood with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from the House and Senate, including our Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove), to unveil legislation that would be an important element of our comprehensive effort to make our communities safer. SB 337 as amended represents improvements to the gun dealer licensing bill that was previously passed by the General Assembly and vetoed by the Governor (SB 1657). The new language maintains the priority of requiring gun dealers to follow common-sense safety practices while cracking down on businesses that are enabling or engaging in illegal gun trafficking practices. The amendment also responds to concerns that the original bill required an undue amount of time, money and resources in order for businesses to become and remain compliant, and worries about the strain it would place on the State agency charged with implementing the new changes. As a result, the new language removes much of the bureaucracy and red tape without affecting the desired result. In addition, the new language would apply to all who sell guns, including “big box” stores that were excluded from the original bill. It also includes strict consequences for non-compliance, especially for straw purchasers (those who purchase a gun for an individual who is by law forbidden to purchase a weapon). SB 337 was approved by the Senate on May 16 and I expect it will be considered in the House in the coming days. 

Olsen Attends EDC Luncheon in Downers Grove
I recently had an opportunity to attend the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation’s (DGEDC) legislative luncheon, where several colleagues and I helped celebrate the many community successes over the last year. I’m shown in this photo with State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale), DGEDC President Michael Cassa, DGEDC Chairman John Luka and State Sen. John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove). It was great to hear about the hard work taking place to promote economic growth in Downers Grove! 

ComEd Offers Customer Assistance Programs
Public sector and income-eligible customers have new ways to manage their energy use and save on their electric bills. ComEd has announced it will invest up to $1.4 billion over the next four years to substantially expand and create new energy efficiency programs for all customers, with $42 million annually dedicated to income-eligible customers and at least $35 million per year for public sector customers. Learn more about this and other programs that can help you save energy and money at www.ComEd/WaysToSave.

ComEd customers facing a financial hardship may be eligible for a portion of $10 million available through CARRE grants this year. This program is designed to help:
  • Military families 
  • Veterans and active or disable military personnel 
  • Senior citizens and families who may have experienced a job loss, illness or disability and need help paying their electric bills 
  • Non-profit organizations experiencing hardship 
For more information about this program, visit www.ComEd.com/CARE or call 1-888-806-CARE.

Director General of TECO Visits General Assembly
On May 15, Eric Huang, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago (TECO) visited Springfield. In the House of Representatives he spoke about the positive relationship between Taiwan and Illinois, and beneficial trade agreements- especially for agricultural products like Illinois soy beans and corn. TECO in Chicago’s jurisdiction include seven states in the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. 

Lt. Governor Joins Olsen at Annual Metropolitan Family Services DuPage Gala
On Friday, May 11 I joined Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and DuPage County Board Members Tim Elliott and Greg Hart for the Metropolitan Family Services DuPage Gala in Woodridge. There was a large crowd for this annual fundraising event and it was great to see so many friends, neighbors and community leaders supporting this great organization. I’m shown in this photo with Lt. Governor Sanguinetti, College of DuPage Chairman Deanne Mazzochi, and Downers Grove Public Library Board President Jonathan Graber and his wife Jill. Metropolitan Family Services provides a wide variety of programs and services designed to strengthen families and help them realize their full potential. Service areas include: 
  • Education 
  • Economic Stability 
  • Emotional Wellness 
  • Empowerment 
State Orders CPS to Grant Special Education Oversight to State-Named Monitor
The move followed significant special education findings affecting Illinois’ largest school district. The overarching theme of criticism against existing Chicago Public Schools (CPS) special education management was that despite spending $900 million annually for the benefit of 52,000 enumerated students with a broad range of special needs, the troubled school district had failed to meet a series of mandates set down by federal special education law. Many of the 52,000 enumerated student affected by this order are young persons with individualized education programs (IEPs).

Under the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) order published on Wednesday, May 16, Chicago Public Schools are required to grant operational sign-off powers over much of its special education establishment to a monitor appointed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The monitor will oversee the implementation of a list of 40 mandated corrective actions. Students affected by the order include students with learning issues, behavioral disabilities, and physical disabilities. In cases uncovered by investigation, students and their families with diagnosed needs and challenges were unable to get help in a timely manner.

U.S. Supreme Court Sports Betting Decision Affects Illinois
Placing large-scale and electronic bets on sports teams is currently prohibited in Illinois. The Criminal Code ban on Illinois gambling covers many forms of wagering activity, with one sports-related exception that covers bets on horse racing. Until this week, this ban was buttressed by a federal law enacted by Congress in 1992 that froze in place the laws of 46 U.S. states that forbade betting on sporting events. Pushed by the state of New Jersey, the U.S. Supreme Court this week struck down this federal law. The action by the federal high court opens the door for the General Assembly to begin to debate the amendment or modification of Illinois’ ban on sports betting. Potential revenue estimates from the legalization of sports betting in Illinois range from $300 million to more than $600 million. As the General Assembly considers action in response to the Supreme Court ruling, I welcome your feedback on what action should be taken in our State.
Two bills sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) are on their way to Governor Bruce Rauner this week after successfully clearing the Illinois House and Senate with broad, bipartisan support.

HB 4805 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. “This bill brings the Surety Bond requirement for money transmitters more in line with the actual costs associated with risk,” said Olsen. “Whereas today the minimum bond requirement for those who use money transmitting services is $100,000, my legislation reduces that bond amount to the greater of $50,000 or 1% of all Illinois-based money transmission activity. The result will be cost savings for existing businesses and lower costs for new companies who would like to do business in Illinois.”

HB 4867 adds a new layer about transparency to the caseloads of guardians of adults with disabilities, by requiring potential guardians to disclose to the court the number of adults with disabilities over which the potential 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. “This is good transparency legislation that ensures our vulnerable citizens are receiving proper services from their court-appointed guardians,” Olsen said.

Both bills were approved by the House in April and by the Senate on May 17. They are expected to be signed by Governor Rauner in the coming weeks.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is sponsoring legislation in the Illinois House that declares domestic violence a public health priority for the State and urges lawmakers to channel adequate resources toward combating this epidemic.

SJR 50, which has a long list of bipartisan co-sponsors including Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Villa Park) and Rep. Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale), was approved in the Senate on May 10 and arrived in the House the same day. Olsen expects approval of the measure in the coming days.

“Research tells us that one in three women in the United States experiences domestic violence at some point in their life,” said Olsen. “That translates to 1.67 million women in Illinois who experience domestic violence at least once. It’s entirely unacceptable.”

According to Olsen, Illinois’ Coalition Against Domestic Violence funds approximately 50 agencies throughout the state. The Coalition recently reported that services were provided to 41,243 adults who were accompanied by approximately 8,000 children in 2017. In DuPage County, where Family Shelter Service assists families fleeing domestic violence situations, in 2017 they provided services to 1,355 adults and 222 children. County crime statistics indicate five DuPage County women were murdered through acts of domestic violence in 2017.

Judie Caribeaux, Executive Director of Family Shelter Service, applauded Olsen for carrying SJR 50 and said he has been a champion in DuPage County on the issue of domestic violence. 

“Representative Olsen is a committed public servant who wants to ensure our communities are safe and free from violence,” Caribeaux said. “He has a deep understanding that those who experience domestic violence experience a life-long impact to their physical health, mental well-being and an ability to thrive.”

Olsen, who serves on the Family Shelter Service Advisory Council, said the resolution should heighten awareness of an issue that is too often considered taboo. “The statistics reported across the state and right here in DuPage County are startling, and indicate that more must be done to address violence in people’s homes,” said Olsen. “The effects of domestic violence do not end with the abuse itself,” Olsen said. “Studies have shown that children who have been exposed to this type of violence often experience post-traumatic stress disorder and other illnesses. They also are at a greater risk of finding themselves in abusive relationships later in life. This is an issue that is very important to me and it is an honor to carry this resolution in the House.”

Click here to watch Olsen’s floor comments as he introduces the resolution and applauds Caribeaux for the valuable work she does in DuPage County.

Lawmakers Begin Final Weeks of Spring Session
Last week members of the House began focusing on Senate Bills that were approved during the first half of this year’s legislative session. I am personally serving as the Chief House Sponsor of 11 Senate Bills that represent a variety of improvement initiatives. My 2018 Senate Bills include: 
  • SB 2483: Allows non-home rule municipalities in DuPage County to use up to 25% of the hotel operators’ occupation tax and municipal hotel use taxes collected for economic development or capital infrastructure, with the remainder used to promote tourism within that municipality 
  • SB 2543: Simplifies the process for dissolution of a mosquito abatement district 
  • SB 2587: Adds dentists to the list of "health care professionals" that can perform over-the-phone “tele-health” services in Illinois 
  • SB 2658: Lengthens to three years (currently two years) the period of time during which a provisional educator endorsement for a service member or spouse is valid 
  • SB 2721: Streamlines the process of regulatory oversight and aligns the licensing process of financial technical (fintech) companies by entering Illinois into a newly-created interstate compact with Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Washington 
  • SB 2826: Amends the Illinois Human Rights Act by providing that "order of protection status" includes status as a person protected under the Protective Orders Article of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, the Stalking No Contact Order Act and the Civil No Contact Order Act 
  • SB 2879: Increases transparency within the Department of Human Services by allowing the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to share redacted substantiated investigative reports with victims and guardians; also allows the OIG to share un-redacted investigative reports and raw data with local law enforcement, state’s attorneys and coroners upon written request 
  • SB 2902: Identical to my HB 5031, provides clean-up language for the Department of Human Services Act, by repealing a provision concerning cross-agency master service agreements between State agencies and human service providers because they conflicted with other statutory requirements 
  • SB 3084: Identical to my HB 4805, reduces costs to specific Illinois businesses and protects consumers who use money transmitting services like Western Union and PayPal by bringing the Surety Bond requirement for money transmitters more in line with the actual costs associated with risk 
  • SB 3134: Creates a 32-member commission to study flood control practices and conduct a survey of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties 
  • SB 3236: Requires school report cards to contain the most current data collected relative to a school district’s administrative costs 
Two of these bills, SB 2543 and SB 2587, have already been approved by a House committee and should be brought forward for a final vote this week. I am hopeful that several more of my Senate Bills will also clear a substantive House committee this week and will be brought to the floor for full consideration.

Illinois Remembers Sacrifices Made by Illinois firefighters and First Responders

International Firefighters’ Day, which is observed each year on May 4, is a day to remember firefighters throughout the world. The Illinois Firefighters’ Memorial in Springfield is our State’s place of firefighter remembrance. The annual observance at the Illinois Firefighter’s Memorial is always held on a Tuesday close to International Firefighters’ Day. It was an honor to be joined in Springfield on May 8 by a large group of firefighters from Downers Grove. The group was in town as six members of the department received awards for excellence on the job. We are incredibly fortunate in the 81st District to have such dedicated public servants who protect our safety. These brave men and women are deserving of our highest respect. 

Sister Jean and Loyola Ramblers Visit Springfield
Every day before session begins we hear a prayer and say the Pledge of Allegiance. On May 9 we were honored to have Sister Jean of March Madness fame deliver the prayer. She was at the State Capitol with Loyola Rambler’s Men’s Basketball Coach Porter Moser and several players as the Illinois House recognized Loyola University's historic NCAA Final Four appearance. These men, and one tremendous lady, inspired all of Illinois with their teamwork and spirit. 

Follow-Up to April 5 Education Town Hall: Your Questions Answered
On April 5, I partnered with State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) and representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for an Education Town Hall Meeting. The meeting included an explanation of the assessments used in Illinois public schools. A productive exchange of ideas followed through a question and answer period. Due to time constraints on the event, the town hall ended before responses could be provided for all questions. At the meeting, ISBE committed to responding to questions that were unable to be answered. Last week Senator Curran and I received those responses from ISBE. Click here to view the full list of additional questions and written responses from ISBE.

Olsen Appears on Comcast Newsmakers
I recently had an opportunity to sit down with Ellee Pai Hong from Comcast Newsmakers to discuss common-sense firearms reforms that improve public safety and efforts by some in the General Assembly to move to a graduated income tax system (I opposed a graduated income tax for Illinoisans). Click here to watch the full interview. 

Mark Your Calendar for Summer and Fall Events
My staff and I have a full calendar of free outreach events for the summer and fall. Please make note of the following: 
  • June 2: Children’s Safety Fair: 9:00 AM until 12:00 Noon, Lakeview Junior High School, 701 Plainfield Road, Downers Grove 
  • June 16: Understanding your Property Tax Bill: 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM, Woodridge Public Library, 3 Plaza Drive, Woodridge 
  • July 25: Jobs Fair: 9:00 AM until 12:00 Noon, CORE Fitness Center, 16028 127th Street, Lemont 
  • September 22: Joint Senior Fair with Downers Grove Park District: 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM, Lincoln Center Gymnasium, 935 Maple Ave, Downers Grove 
  • November (Date TBA): Veterans ResourceFair: Details coming soon 
Please visit my website at www.repolsen.com often for additional information about these and other upcoming events.

Timeframe to Put Fair Maps Proposal Before Illinois Voters in November Expires with No Legislative Action Taken

In spite of overwhelming bipartisan support for a fair maps process in Illinois, Illinoisans have once again been denied the opportunity to vote on whether or not the map-making process should be removed from the hands of politicians. The deadline for putting such a measure on the November 6 ballot was Sunday, May 6. Article XIV of the Illinois Constitution requires a minimum six-month window between when a constitutional amendment ballot referendum is approved by three-fifths of both chambers of the General Assembly and the next General Election. Consequently, there will be no “Fair Maps” referendum on the November 6 ballot this year. 

This year I co-sponsored two pieces of fair maps legislation, and I am extremely disappointed that yet another year will pass when voters are denied an opportunity to vote on fair maps for Illinois. When constituents ask me what they can do to help turn the state around, I suggest they educate themselves on how legislative maps are drawn in this state and encourage them to get behind an initiative that removes opportunities for gerrymandering and ensures a fair and transparent map process.

In addition to co-sponsoring HJRCA 46 and HR 995, I have also posted an online petition for those who oppose gerrymandered legislative maps and support a fair maps process. I would encourage all Illinoisans who support fair maps to sign it.

Olsen Featured in CBS News Investigative Report on Metra Overtime Spending
As you may know, this year I contacted Metra regarding service disruptions at the Downers Grove Main Street, Belmont and Fairview Avenue train stations, as well as at the Naperville, Lisle and Westmont stations which are also widely used by residents of the 81st District. You can read my February letter to Metra Chairman Norman Carlson here. He responded in a timely fashion with this letter

CBS investigative reporter Brad Edwards recently looked into Metra’s decision to pay its employees $119 million in overtime pay over the last five years. I was interviewed as part of the feature and you can watch the segment here.

Olsen Hosts Page for a Day in Springfield
Last week it was my pleasure to host Rylee Monroe, a 5th grader at St. Scholastica School. She lives in Woodridge and wanted to learn about the political process in Springfield. I enjoy spending time with families from the 81st District when they visit the State Capitol. The Page for a Day program allows children to view the House of Representatives in action from the House Floor. If you are interested in scheduling a visit, please contact my Springfield secretary at (217) 782-6578. 

Pension Debt Continues to Threaten Illinois’ Credit Rating
The burden of unpaid Illinois pensions continues to mount on state and local taxpayers. Illinois’ state-managed pensions should have over $130 billion more funds under investment than they currently have. This shortfall is called the “unfunded pension liability.” These monies are required to pay mandated benefits to local teachers and state employees. Unfunded pensions for local workers, including local police officers and firefighters, add additional billions to this debt.

House Republicans continue to warn about the situation and demand true, long-term pension reforms. These warnings have been joined by Senate Republicans and by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Every Illinois man, woman, and child owes $11,000 in unfunded pension obligations. These burdens will have a seriously detrimental effect on Illinois’ prospects for future economic growth unless reforms are enacted.

Edgar Fellows Reunite in Springfield
On May 9 I spent a nice evening with Governor Jim Edgar and a bipartisan group of past Edgar Fellows in Springfield. In 2017, I joined 39 other young, emerging leaders from across Illinois for a multi-day executive leadership training program hosted by former Governor Jim Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA). In addition to Edgar, an impressive list of practitioners, researchers and scholars from the public arena served as instructors at the training academy. The program focused on developing leadership and governing capacity in Illinois while emphasizing the need to address major policy issues without permitting partisan, ethnic and regional rivalries to trump statesmanship. I’m shown here with State Sen. Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Buffalo Grove), State Rep. Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington), State Rep. Chris Welch D-Westchester), State Rep. Kelly Burke (D-Oak Lawn) and State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield). 

Will County Coroner Tracks Rising Opioid Death Toll in one of Illinois’ most Populated Counties
Will County Coroner Patrick O’Neil reported that 85 people died in 2017 within county boundaries from overdoses of heroin or fentanyl. The reported numbers have increased from 78 deaths in 2016 and 52 persons in 2015. These death counts reflect the coroner’s inquiries undertaken by O’Neil’s office, and may not be complete; in some cases, medical care providers do not signal to a coroner that an inquiry is appropriate. O’Neil’s report was published on Tuesday, May 8.

The Illinois General Assembly has taken a series of steps to fight back against the challenge of opiate overdoses and opiate addiction. Additions to the State’s prescription pharmacy laws have sharply increased barriers to the prescription and purchase of opiate painkillers. Aid programs are supervised by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS), the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). State anti-opiate initiatives include measures to help pharmacists, police officers, firefighter medical responders, and other first responders maintain rapid access to opiate-overdose drugs such as Naloxone.

FOID Renewals Could be Delayed
In 2008, the law as it pertains to Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) Cards was amended to make FOID cards valid for ten years. As a result of that change, more than 50,000 FOID cards will be up for renewal this year between June 1 and August 1. The volume of renewal requests could lead to delays, and the State Police is encouraging those with renewals coming up to turn in their paperwork a full two months early. If you own a FOID card, please take a moment and check the expiration date on your FOID card, and send in your renewal two months ahead of time, allowing the State Police to have adequate time to process the renewal so that it does not expire. As you know, a valid FOID card is required if you want to buy or possess a firearm or ammunition in Illinois. Click here to go to the FOID Card section of the Illinois State Police web site.

“Better Care Illinois” Behavioral Health Initiative Announced
Illinois has received federal approval to launch a sweeping $2 billion behavioral health initiative designed to deliver better outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders. The Better Care Illinois Behavioral Health Initiative is the culmination of a 30-month long Rauner administration effort to involve state health agencies, legislators and behavioral health organizations in a coordinated plan to help people with disorders that require treatment of the whole person. The waiver is not a grant but rather an opportunity to use $2 billion Medicaid dollars differently to increase the efficiency and quality of care for Medicaid populations. The state got the go-ahead to launch the initiative from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which approved the state's application for an 1115 Waiver. The waiver means that beginning July 1, 2018, Illinois can begin investing $2 billion of federal funds in 10 pilots to demonstrate better care alternatives and outcomes.

Better Care Illinois is a win for state taxpayers who over time will see better health outcomes without spending more state dollars. The demonstrations will result in more early help for beneficiaries, so savings can eventually be invested in more cost-effective services. More than 750,000 beneficiaries, 25 percent of Illinois' Medicaid population, have behavioral health conditions, and they account for 52 percent of Medicaid spending. The application process was led by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), the state's Medicaid agency. Thirteen state agencies participated in the development of the approved application. The 10 CMS-approved pilot projects involve a variety of treatment, intervention, case management and home health programs. Summaries of the 10 pilots in the Better Care Illinois Behavioral Health Initiative can be accessed here.

Governor’s Hometown Awards Applications Available
Applications are being accepted for the Governor’s Hometown Awards, the annual recognition program in honor of community leadership programs that maintain the quality of life in the places where the program participants live and work. Past winners include programs that engage in food drives, tutoring, senior welfare awareness, the war against opioids, and exercise and trail maintenance. The Hometown Awards will be celebrated this year in conjunction with the Illinois Bicentennial. This year’s cycle will celebrate community projects that took place in calendar year 2017. Applications are due no later than August 1, 2018.