Pro-business legislation sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) that reduces costs to specific Illinois businesses and protects consumers who use money transmitting services was signed into law on Friday.

HB 4805 reduces costs for money transmitting services like Western Union and PayPal, by bringing surety bond requirements more in line with the actual costs associated with risk. “Whereas currently the minimum bond requirement for those who use money transmitting services is $100,000, this new law reduces that bond amount to the greater of $50,000 or 1% of all Illinois-based money transmission activity,” said Olsen. “The result will be cost savings for existing businesses and lower costs for new companies who would like to do business in Illinois. Every penny adds up, and this is a good small step we can take to help Illinoisans keep more of their money in their own pockets.”

HB 4805 received unanimous support in the House in April and nearly-unanimous support in the Senate in May. It is now listed in the Illinois State Statues as Public Act 100-0640, and the provisions of the new law take effect immediately.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) joined lawmakers and other elected officials from across DuPage County on Tuesday to welcome Illinois’ newest State Representative in the General Assembly.

New State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst), surrounded by family, friends and colleagues, took her oath of office outside of Elmhurst College’s Hammerschmidt Chapel, near her childhood home and just blocks away from where she now lives with her husband and children. Elmhurst College Trustee and 4th Ward Alderman Kevin York welcomed guests, and the Honorable Judge Liam Brennan of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court administered the oath of office. Mazzochi was introduced by State Senator Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) offered congratulatory remarks.

“Deanne will be a valuable addition to the House Republican Caucus and the General Assembly,” said Olsen. “The people of the 47th House District have enjoyed excellent representation over the last 20 years from Patti Bellock, and that long tradition of strong women serving the district will continue through Representative Mazzochi.”

Before becoming the State Representative for the 81st District, Olsen served with Mazzochi on the College of DuPage (COD) Board of Trustees. “It was an honor to work with Deanne to bring positive change to the College of DuPage, and I am looking forward to working with her again as we strive to bring similar change to our great state.”

Mazzochi works as a private practice patent attorney and is a founding partner of Rakoczy Molino Mazzochi Siwik LLP. She earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Chemistry with a Biology minor from Boston University, and her Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
This morning Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 5123, which will allow the DuPage County Clerk to absorb the functions of the county’s election commission. State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) was a Chief Co-Sponsor and vocal proponent of the bill, which is estimated to save DuPage County taxpayers up to $300,000 on tax bills.

“This is an area where consolidation makes perfect sense,” said Olsen. “It’s a model used successfully across the state. In DuPage County, the signing of this new law will lead to a more efficient level of service at a lower cost to taxpayers.”

According to Olsen, residents of DuPage County passed an advisory referendum in March stating they wanted their county election commission merged into the county clerk’s office. In addition to the estimated $300,000 in savings, the consolidation should improve efficiency and streamline election reporting. Today’s bill action will enable that consolidation to move forward, and will also allow a similar action in Peoria County, the only other county in Illinois where a separate county election commission presently exists.

Upon signing the bill at the DuPage County Government Center in Wheaton, Governor Rauner said, “This is another step in the right direction for Illinois. We need to continue to root out duplicative layers of government that serve only to burden taxpayers and hinder businesses. I’m pleased to sign this bill and congratulate the leaders, voters and taxpayers of DuPage County.”

DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin welcomed the Governor’s action, calling it the culmination of a worthwhile process. “DuPage County has spent several years to approve this consolidation effort,” said Cronin, a former state legislator. “With the support of voters and help from our DuPage legislators, we have advanced another good government reform that will save taxpayers money. Together with Governor Rauner, we are setting the standard of a responsible, effective government, one that adapts and innovates the delivery of its services and works on behalf of the people it serves.”

HB 5123 is now listed in the Illinois State Statutes as Public Act 100-0628.
Free Jobs Fair Scheduled for Wednesday, July 25
If you are looking for work or interested in a career or job change, update your resume and join me this week at the annual jobs fair I host with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and State Senator John F. Curran. The fair will be held on Wednesday, July 25 from 9:00 a.m. until noon at CORE Fitness Center, 16028 W. 127th Street, Lemont. If you are looking to take a job with the State, at 9:00 a.m. you might want to attend the “Effective Search Strategies for State Employment” workshop. At 10:00 and 11:00 workshops will be held focusing on interviewing techniques. All workshops are free of charge. 

Past job fairs have been very successful, so I would encourage anyone looking for employment opportunities to bring several resumes to this event. Follow-up data from the last few job fairs indicate several individuals were offered jobs on-the-spot while many others were scheduled for formal job interviews as a result of their attendance at the job fair.

Other upcoming events include:
  • Saturday, August 4: Coffee & Conversation, 8:00 AM until 9:30 AM, Cedarhurst Senior Living, 3333 75th Street, Woodridge (I will be joined by State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove), Woodridge Mayor Gina Cunningham and members of the Woodridge Village Board) 
  • Thursday, August 23: Environmental Town Hall (Topics include stormwater & flooding, recycling & composting, and transportation), 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM, Indian Prairie Library, 401 Plainfield Road, Darien 
  • Thursday, September 20: 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 
Olsen Joins Local Leaders for Dedication of New Emergency Dispatch Center
On July 10, I joined a large group of local leaders for the formal dedication of the new DuPage County consolidated emergency dispatch center (DU-COMM) in Wheaton. DU-COMM provides public safety communications- most notably dispatching 911 calls- for 44 police, fire, and ES agencies in DuPage County. This new facility will allow them to provide more effective service throughout the county. 

Rep. Tom Demmer to Serve as Deputy House Minority Leader
With the recent departure of State Representative Patti Bellock, who served our caucus as Deputy House Republican Leader, I was happy to learn last week that my colleague Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) has been elevated to that position. Deputy Leader is the #2 spot in the House Republican Caucus, just under our House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). Demmer is serving in his third two-year term in the Illinois House, where he has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful legislators in the House of Representatives.

Outside of Springfield, Demmer is the Director of Innovation & Strategy at KSB Hospital in Dixon. Prior to his election to the General Assembly, he served on the Lee County Board. He graduated from the University of Dayton, after having served as a White House intern in the Office of the Vice President of the United States in 2006. Demmer is a 2016 Henry W. Toll Fellow with the Council of State Governments. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home Preservation Foundation. He is a co-founder of the Future Caucus of millennial legislators in Illinois and has balanced a work-load of serving on 14 committees in the Illinois House this year.

Jeff Keicher Sworn In as New State Rep. for the 70th House District
Joined by community leaders, family and friends, Sycamore businessman Jeff Keicher took the oath of office at Dayton Farms last Tuesday to become the new State Representative for Illinois’ 70th District, encompassing portions of Boone, DeKalb, and Kane Counties. Keicher replaces former Representative Bob Pritchard, who resigned July 1 to accept an appointment to the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University.

Representative Keicher is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with over 20 years of professional experience in the insurance industry. In 2006, he opened his own State Farm Insurance Agency in Sycamore.

Governor Rauner Signs Firearms Order of Protection and Mandatory Waiting Period Bills into Law
Last week Governor Bruce Rauner signed two bills into law that could help prevent people who are a threat to themselves or others from possessing or purchasing guns. Both bills received wide, bipartisan support in the House and Senate. I supported both bills. 

HB 2354 enacts “red flag” legislation giving courts authority to use emergency civil restraining orders to temporarily remove access to firearms for individuals who have been proven before a judge to be a danger to themselves or others. The bill includes strong Second Amendment protections, due process for those whose guns would be taken away, and strict evidentiary requirements for the issuance of a firearms restraining order.

SB 3256 extends the current 72-hour waiting period for handguns delivery to all guns purchased in Illinois.

At a press conference detailing the bill signings, Governor Rauner said, “Everyone agrees that we need to keep firearms out of the hands of those who would use them to commit acts of violence against themselves or others. These two laws are a commonsense approach that gives us tools to limit access to guns and perhaps save lives while we continue to respect Constitutional rights.”

“ON TO 2050” Public Hearing Set for July 25
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Panning (CMAP) is nearing competitions of the “ON TO 2050 comprehensive regional plan. A draft version is now available for public viewing and comment through August 14. A public hearing about the plan is scheduled for Wednesday, July 25, from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM at the MAP headquarters in Chicago, located at 233 South Wacker Drive, 8th Floor. At this public hearing, people will have an opportunity to discuss the proposal with CMAP staff. CMAP will also present for comment the draft 2019-2024 Transportation Improvement Program and air quality conformity analysis of proposed transportation projects. The draft plan is posted at this link, and it also includes an area where the public can submit written comments. 

Olsen Welcomes Cadence Kitchen & Company to Downers Grove
Recently I was able to participate in a ribbon cutting for another new business in the 81st District. Cadence Kitchen & Company, located at 5101 Mochel Drive in Downers Grove, offers great food in a fantastic atmosphere. Best of luck to this new local business, and thank you to Chamber630 for hosting a very enjoyable ribbon cutting event! 

Governor’s Mansion Reopens to Public
The historic Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, major portions of which date back to 1855, has been under complete building renovation since 2016. After two years of work funded entirely by private-sector donations, the Mansion reopened for public tours on Saturday, July 14. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the historic architecture of a building visited by future President Abraham Lincoln, then a leading Springfield lawyer, and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Exhibits in the Executive Mansion will celebrate Illinois art and history.

When the Governor’s Mansion was built in 1855, Illinois had been a state for only thirty-seven years. Construction of the Mansion reflected the boom conditions of the 1850s, marked by rising prices enjoyed by Illinois farmers who were able to ship their crops on the state’s fast-growing network of steam railroads. Gov. Joel Matteson, the Mansion’s first resident, was himself a railroad executive. Now that Illinois is celebrating its Bicentennial, the Governor’s Mansion is itself well more than 150 years old. It is now one of the three oldest continuously occupied governor’s mansions in the United States.

Rep. Olsen Joins Congressman Roskam for Tour of Flavorchem
Earlier this month I visited Flavorchem Corporation to see their manufacturing facility in Downers Grove. After the tour, we had a good conversation with Congressman Roskam and manufacturing business leaders about their concerns and needs. Manufacturing is a critical part of our local and national economy, so I was glad to hear feedback directly from these business leaders about steps we need to take to make our state and region more competitive. 

Tips for Keeping Safe in the Hot Weather
We have already endured a very hot summer, and the traditionally hottest weeks are still to come. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reminding Illinoisans of the many precautions you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from extreme heat. IDPH is also making an effort to educate Illinoisans about the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

IDPH advises everyone to stay in an air conditioned space when daytime temperatures are at their hottest. Whether it is your home or a neighbor’s, a public place like a library, a business or a government office, it is important to be someplace cool if possible. You should wear light clothing which will not absorb as much heat from the sun, and constantly drink water, not just when you are thirsty.

Perhaps most importantly: never leave anyone in a closed vehicle. This includes not only people but also pets. Temperatures rise very quickly in parked cars and exposure to those high temperatures can quickly lead to serious health problems.

If someone is exhibiting the symptoms of heat stroke, call 9-1-1 and get help immediately. These warning signs include a body temperature above 103 degrees, a fast, strong pulse, dizziness, nausea, confusion or fainting. Move the person to a cooler place out of the sun and use cool cloths to help. IDPH advises against giving a person with heat stroke anything to drink.

For more information on hot weather safety, visit www.dph.illinois.gov.

Illinois Continues Year-Long Celebration of Bicentennial
On December 3, 2018, Illinois will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the date when Congress officially admitted Illinois to the Union as the 21st state. Illinois was one of the states planned by President Thomas Jefferson as his proposal for the future of what had been the frontier “Northwest Territory.” By 1818 Jefferson had left office, but his friend and successor President James Monroe led the actual admission of Illinois into the national union of states. 

To honor the occasion, Governor Rauner convened an Illinois Bicentennial Commission to lead the celebration of Illinois’ 200th birthday. Illinois’ Bicentennial is a year-long celebration that commemorates the rich history and heritage of Illinois, as well as our state’s significant contributions to our country, and to the world. In addition to signature events and legacy projects being led by the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, Illinoisans have had opportunities to participate in a variety of Bicentennial events. Click here for a list of upcoming events. Tickets for the December 3 celebration event are now on sale. Click here for ticket information.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) invites all residents of the 81st Legislative House District to complete his 2018 summer survey. The survey will be mailed to households in the district in the coming weeks as part of an End of Session Report, and it can also be accessed at http://www.ilhousegop.org/olsensurvey2018.

“As the legislative voice for the people of Illinois’ 81st House District, I rely on these survey results to help me adequately represent the issues and priorities of the people I represent,” said Olsen. “I want to have a solid understanding of my constituents’ expectations as we face many tough issues during the upcoming Veto Session and in 2019.”

The survey includes six multiple choice questions and an open response area where additional concerns can be shared. Participants will also be offered an opportunity to subscribe to an E-newsletter that will include updates on legislation and other issues affecting DuPage and Will Counties and the State of Illinois.

“I will read every survey that is returned, so I encourage all residents to take a few minutes to share their opinions,” Olsen said. “I look forward to seeing the results.”

Survey responses will be accepted through October 31.

Residents from the 81st Legislative House District are invited to attend a mobile office hours event this week on Wednesday, July 18 at the Lisle Public Library, 777 Front Street in Lisle.

State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) and his his staff will have a table set up at the library from 11:00 AM until 12:30 PM, and visitors will be able to share their opinions and ideas with their elected official in Springfield. Olsen’s staff will be able to assist constituents with issues involving state agencies. A variety of informational brochures will also be available.

“I recognize the importance of providing my constituents with easy access to my office,” said Olsen. “To that end, I try to hold a mobile office hours once each month outside of Downers Grove. I really enjoy these events, as they bring me face-to-face with the people I represent in an informal setting.”

No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 81st Legislative House District.
Are you looking for a job or a new career? State Representative Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) and State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) invite you to participate in their free jobs fair on July 25 in Lemont.

The jobs fair will be held from 9:00 a.m. until noon at CORE Fitness Center, 16050 W. 127th Street, Lemont. If you are looking to take a job with the State, at 9:00 a.m. you might want to attend the “Effective Search Strategies for State Employment” workshop. At 10:00 and 11:00 workshops will be held focusing on interviewing techniques. All workshops are free of charge.

“Providing resources and accessibility to employers at our annual jobs fair allows job seekers the opportunity to take advantage of all potential vacancies and speak to recruiters directly about their qualifications and job requirements,” Durkin said. “With over 110 employers attending, job seekers will be able to expand their network, get their resumes into the hands of employers and secure interviews or fill out paperwork to strengthen their chances of securing new employment.”

“Our Jobs Fair is an excellent opportunity for job seekers to talk with people in their desired industry, make connections and set up interviews,” said Curran. “All of the participating businesses have job openings and are eager to hire, so I encourage workers of all experience levels and skill sets to attend and bring their updated resumes.”

“I would encourage anyone looking for employment opportunities to bring a lot of resumes to this event,” said Olsen. “Past job fairs have been very successful. We received post-event data these last few years that indicates that several individuals were offered jobs on-the-spot while many others were scheduled for formal job interviews as a result of their attendance at the job fair.”

Participating employers include: 1-800-Got-Junk, ABF Freight, Accurate Personnel Services, All Team Illinois, Allegiance Staffing, AMBA, Amazon, Apex 3/Premier Security, Argonne National Laboratory, Axcess Staffing Services, Bates Water Solutions, Bill Jacobs, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operators, Buck Services, Inc., Burke Beverage, Cadence Premier Logistics, Caravel Autism Health Catholic Charities Diocese of Joliet, Cheese Merchants of America, Chemring Energetic Devices, Chicago Zoological Society, Cintras, Clearbrook, ClearStaff, College Nannies & Tutors, Combined Insurance, CoWorx Staffing Services, Crown Services, D&H Distributing, Edward Don & Company, Express Employment Professionals, FedEx Ground, Ferrara Candy Company, First Staff Services, First Student, Fixturedisplays.com, Forestview Rehab & Nursing Center, Four Seasons Heating & Cooling, G4S Secure Solutions Inc., GameStop, GKN Walterscheld, Inc., Harra’s Joliet Casino & Hotel, Home Life Healthcare, Hudson Energy, IH Services Inc., Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, Illinois Department of Revenue, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, Illinois Gaming Board, Illinois State Police, Illinois Tollway Authority, Indiana Wesleyan University, Integrity Trade Services, International Paper, IT Experts System, JK Guardian Security Services, Jewel/Osco, Kay & Associates, Kimco Services, Labor Temps, Lifecare Home Solutions, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, Matson Logistics, Medulla LLC, Methodist Youth Services, Michaels, MicroTrain Technologies, Old Dominion Freight Line, PACE, PeopleLink, Penske Logistics, PHP Agency, Physicians Immediate Care, Pipefitters Local Union 597, Primerica, ProQuest, Prudential, PSI Resources, Q Center, Quest Food Management Services, Ray Graham Association, REM Services, Ride Rite, Robert Olson & Associates, Schillings, Securitas USA Northern Illinois, Sertoma Centre, Inc., Sherwin Williams, Southwest American Job Center, Speedway, LLC, Staffmark, Sunrise Bus, Sunrise Driving School, Symbol Training Institute, The Salem Group, Trinity Services, Inc., United States Postal Services, US Army Recruiting Center, US Foods, Verizon Wireless, Warehouse Services, Warehouse Services, Weather Tech, West Liberty Foods, West Suburban Nursing & Rehab, Western & Southern Life, and WGN-AM Radio.

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.
Olsen Partners with Durkin to Reform Broken Property Tax System
I recently joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) in filing new legislation that will sunset Illinois’ property tax code to force the General Assembly to reform the broken system. I am a Chief-Co-Sponsor of this bill. HB 5924 creates a deadline of July 1, 2019 for the General Assembly to create a new property tax code that is fair and equitable throughout the entire state of Illinois. If the General Assembly fails to address this by the deadline, the current Illinois property tax code would be immediately removed from state law. It is critical that the legislature turns its attention to this very important issue as soon as possible. 

In launching the bill, Durkin said, “It is plain and simple: the property tax system in Illinois is a failure, and it is time to start over. By setting a firm deadline for the General Assembly, it will force the legislature to come together in a bipartisan manner to find a compromise solution that will remedy this crisis and help bring Illinois back.”

A recent report from Attom Data Solutions shows Illinois with the second highest property taxes in the nation. Additionally, a Smart Asset report shows the statewide average effective tax rate in Illinois is 2.32 percent, almost double than the national average.

Take My Survey!
I recently posted my 2018 Legislative Survey to my web site, and I hope to receive wide participation by the residents of the 81st District. This year’s survey includes six multiple choice questions and an area for an open-ended response. Please take a few minutes to share your input. You can click here to get started. 

Olsen Speaks at GED Commencement at College of DuPage 
A few weeks ago it was my pleasure to speak at the High School Equivalency (GED) Commencement at College of DuPage. In my remarks, I spoke about the opportunities each person has to choose our own path - and take a new or different path to transform our lives. This day was truly inspirational, as we saw people of all walks of life who have overcome adversity to reach this important milestone in their own lives. Congratulations to these new graduates, and best wishes for a successful future! 

Rep. Olsen to Host Annual Jobs Fair
Please mark your calendar for Wednesday, July 25 when I will partner with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) for our annual free jobs fair in Lemont. The fair will be held from 9:00 a.m. until noon at CORE Fitness Center, 16050 W. 127th Street, Lemont. If you are looking to take a job with the State, at 9:00 a.m. you might want to attend the “Effective Search Strategies for State Employment” workshop. At 10:00 and 11:00 workshops will be held focusing on interviewing techniques. All workshops are free of charge. 

Past job fairs have been very successful, so I would encourage anyone looking for employment opportunities to bring several resumes to this event. Follow-up data from the last few job fairs indicate several individuals were offered jobs on-the-spot while many others were scheduled for formal job interviews as a result of their attendance at the job fair.

Other upcoming events include:
  • Wednesday, July 18: Mobile Office Hours, 11:00 AM until 12:30 PM, Lisle Library, 777 Front Street, Lisle 
  • Saturday, August 4: Coffee & Conversation, 8:00 AM until 9:30 AM, Cedarhurst Senior Living, 3333 75th Street, Woodridge (I will be joined by State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove), Woodridge Mayor Gina Cunningham-Picek and members of the village board) 
  • Thursday, September 20: 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 
Rep. Olsen Joins ABATE at Local Meeting
Recently I was pleased to speak at a meeting of the Southern DuPage Chapter of ABATE with several of my colleagues. The event was held at Bono’s Neighborhood Pub in Lisle, and I was joined there by State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville) and State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville). We discussed several issues of concern to motorcyclists, as well as giving an update on the state budget and the recently-concluded legislative session. I am shown in this picture with club members and other local officials. Thanks for the invitation and hospitality! 

Unemployment Rate Continues Falling in All Metro Areas
Unemployment rates decreased over-the-year in May in all of Illinois’ metropolitan areas, according to preliminary data released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data also show nonfarm jobs increased in eleven of the metropolitan areas.

Illinois businesses added jobs in eleven metro areas, with the largest increases in: Kankakee (+3.9 percent, +1,800), the Quad Cities (+1.5 percent, +2,700), and Champaign-Urbana (+1.2 percent, +1,300). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+0.9 percent or +32,500). Illinois businesses lost jobs in three metro areas: Danville (-1.4 percent, -400), Carbondale-Marion (-1.2 percent, -700), and Springfield (-0.7 percent, -800).

The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (9 of 14), Professional and Business Services, (9 of 14), and Manufacturing (8 of 14).

Not seasonally adjusted data compares May 2018 with May 2017. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 3.5 percent in May 2018 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in May 2018 and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

Rep. Olsen Joins Governor at Eyes to the Skies Festival in Lisle
Last week I had a great time at the 38th annual Eyes to the Skies Festival in Lisle. This annual festival benefits charities through the following affiliates: Lisle Park District, Lisle Area Chamber of Commerce, Lisle Kiwanis, Lisle Rotary, Partners for Parks, Lisle Education Foundation, Lisle Lions, and Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau. I am shown in this photo with Lisle Mayor Chris Pecak, Governor Bruce Rauner and State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville). I hope you also have had a chance to enjoy the many area festivals this summer. 

Rep. Patti Bellock Chosen as New Director of DHFS
I was thrilled last week to learn that my friend and mentor Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) has been chosen as the new director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). Bellock, who has served the nearby 47th Leglislative House District in the General Assembly since 1999, announced earlier this year that she would not be seeking reelection to her seat. Rep. Bellock is widely recognized by Republicans and Democrats alike as one of Illinois’ leading advocates for Medicaid, health care and social services, which are the precise areas she will oversee in her new role.

“Illinois is so fortunate to have an advocate for health and human services as dedicated and talented as Patti Bellock,” said Governor Bruce Rauner in announcing the appointment last week. “She has been instrumental in virtually every health advancement our state has made in the last two decades and I am looking forward to her leadership of the state’s ongoing effort to reform our delivery systems and improve our outcomes.”

Bellock is retiring from the House of Representatives where she became the first woman to serve as Deputy Minority Leader in 2013. She replaces interim DHFS Director Teresa Hursey who stepped in last month when Felicia Norwood left for the private sector.

Bellock helped to shepherd the recent approval of Better Care Illinois, the state’s landmark 1115 Medicaid waiver approved earlier this year for 10 pilot programs in mental health and substance abuse. She is known for her bipartisan, collaborative style as a member of two other Medicaid-related groups moving legislation forward to approve the Hospital Assessment and the Omnibus Medicaid bill. She has effectively co-led efforts in the General Assembly in recent years to move Illinois toward managed care. Her extensive work on Medicaid reform in Illinois has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal.

Bellock’s distinguished 20-year legislative career had a decided emphasis on health and human services. She was the Minority spokesperson on both the House Human Services Committee and the Human Services – Appropriations Committee. She has also served on committees with three different national organizations working on health care legislation and public policy issues throughout the United States. Her signature achievement in the General Assembly was the landmark Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together (SMART) Act reforms of 2012. She served as Chairperson of the Medicaid Reform, Family & Children Committee from 2009-2011 under Speaker Madigan; the group which started the work on improving Illinois’ Medicaid program that culminated with passage of comprehensive reforms in 2012.

Her appointment is effective July 11, 2018.

Rep. Olsen Attends Groundbreaking Ceremony
I recently participated in the official groundbreaking of Bridge Point Downers Grove, a three-building, 678,858-square-foot industrial/office development. Situated on a previously undeveloped 57-acre site at the intersection of Interstates 88 and 355, Bridge Point Downers Grove is expected to provide a strategically located, high-visibility facility for office, e-commerce and distribution tenants. It is one of the largest developments in DuPage County in many years. More than 30 attendees were on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking, and I am shown in this photo with members of the development team and several Downers Grove officials, including Community Development Director Stan Popvich, Economic Development Corporation Chairman John Luka, Village Manager Dave Fieldman, Mayor Martin Tully and Economic Development Corporation President & CEO Michael Cassa. 

Nation’s Highest Court Issues Decision in Janus vs. AFSCME Case
On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 41-year-old precedent and ruled in favor of an Illinois state employee who said he should not be forced to pay fair share fees to the union that represents his job. In a 5-4 decision, the court sided with Mark Janus, who contended his free speech rights were violated by being forced to pay fair share dues to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Janus works as a child support specialist for the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The job is a union position represented by AFSCME.

The opinion will mean immediate changes for Illinois state workers. Governor Bruce Rauner said the state will stop withholding fair share fees from non-union member paychecks. He also said state workers will be notified of the ruling and “be given an opportunity to modify their union status.” He said the average unionized state employee pays more than $900 a year in fees.

Olsen Attends Ribbon Cutting for New Local Business
In my role as State Representative, I try to attend as many grand openings and ribbon cuttings for new local businesses in the 81st District as my schedule allows. Last week I was proud to welcome Adorn512 Jewelry to their new store in downtown Downers Grove. These ribbon cutting ceremonies, sponsored by Chamber630, are a great way to welcome new job creators to our area. Best wishes to Adorn512 Jewelry for many years of success in our wonderful community! 

Pritchard Named to NIU Board of Trustees
Governor Bruce Rauner has named retiring Illinois State Representative Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley) to the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Board of Trustees. Pritchard is a long-time education advocate and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose work in the General Assembly was focused on elementary, secondary and higher education. 

Pritchard’s appointment took effect on July 1, 2018, the same day he retired from the Illinois House of Representatives where he served the 70th Legislative District for more than 15 years. A recognized leader in education policy, Pritchard was a key contributor to the passage of the state’s new K-12 school funding formula, which increased state levels of school funding and made distributions to school districts more equitable.