Legislative Update: May 21, 2018

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.

No comments :