Legislative Update: May 28, 2018

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.

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