October is “College Changes Everything” (CCE) month in Illinois, and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is taking steps to help make it easier for students to file timely applications for both college admission and financial aid. October 1 is now the federal government’s release date for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the key to securing aid for college, including the federal Pell Grant and the state MAP Grant, plus work-study opportunities, federal student loans, and even grants from the colleges themselves.

There is always a lot of demand for limited state and school based financial aid, so students seeking support for the 2019-20 academic year should file their FAFSAs as soon as possible after October 1, 2018, for the best chance of getting funding. On October 1, the U.S. Department of Education will also unveil the myStudentAid Mobile App, making the application more accessible to students and families whose primary Internet access is through a smartphone.

During CCE Month, ISAC offer hundreds of workshops for students and families across Illinois, including college application workshops, financial aid presentations, and FAFSA completion workshops where applicants have expert guidance through the entire process. Please visit studentportal/isac.org/events to search by ZIP Code for free public events nearby.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) was in attendance September 21, as the College of DuPage (COD) debuted a traveling Bicentennial of Illinois Law Exhibit at the college’s Student Service Center in Glen Ellyn.

The exhibit features prominent lawyers and cases in Illinois history and a historical look back at the judiciary’s first 200 years in Illinois. “As we celebrate the Bicentennial of our great State, it is an honor to have the College of DuPage chosen as the site to debut this important and educational exhibit,” said Olsen, a former board member and Vice Chair of the COD Board of Trustees. “The history of Illinois’ most important and influential cases and lawyers is a rich part of our history, and I am pleased to know that Illinoisans from across the state will be able to enjoy it.”

The exhibit is one of several bicentennial activities sponsored by the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission to commemorate 200 years of the Illinois judicial branch. The traveling exhibit will remain at COD through October 26.

Joining Olsen in the photo are (from left to right): Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission member Kirk Dillard, DuPage States Attorney Bob Berlin, Second District Appellate Justice Joe Birkett, COD General Counsel John Kness, Second District Illinois Supreme Court Justice Bob Thomas, 18th Circuit Judge Jeff MacKay, State Representative/COD Board of Trustees Chair Deanne Mazzochi and COD President Ann Rondeau.

State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has received the “Friend of Agriculture” award from the DuPage County Farm Bureau. Olsen received the award on September 12 at the farm bureau’s annual meeting at St. Andrew’s Golf Club in West Chicago.

“It was an incredible honor to receive this award from leaders in the DuPage County agricultural community,” said Olsen. “Efforts that support agriculture are very important in Illinois, and as a legislator I am committed to helping those in the agriculture industry with their goal of improving food production practices and ensuring a plentiful and safe food supply.”

Legislators receiving this award recognize the far-reaching benefits of Illinois' agricultural products and the important role farmers play in providing quality food, fiber and fuel for the state, nation, and world. Created in 1913, the DuPage County Farm Bureau is one of the oldest bureaus of its kind in the United States. The DuPage County Farm Bureau currently includes approximately 15,000 members.

“Our local Farm Bureau is a leading voice of agriculture and I appreciate their informational and educational efforts throughout the County. “I am especially appreciative of their programs that educate more than 10,000 students in DuPage County about the importance of the agriculture industry.”
Olsen Senior Fair Scheduled for September 20
This week on Thursday, September 20, I am partnering with the Downers Grove Park District’s Active Adult Center for a free Senior Fair. The event will be held from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Park District’s Lincoln Center Gymnasium, 935 Maple Avenue in Downers Grove. Seniors and those who help care for them can visit more than 20 booths staffed by agencies that assist seniors. They can also register for a chance to win a door prize. In addition, helpful guides, literature and other resources from state, county and local government agencies will be distributed. No pre-registration is necessary. For additional information, please contact my office at (630) 737-0504. 

Olsen Joins DuPage Area Lawmakers to Help Loaves & Fishes with Collection of Personal Care Items
This month I am partnering with several of my DuPage County Republican colleagues to assist Loaves & Fishes with the collection of personal care items. Loaves & Fishes is a not-for-profit food pantry that feeds up to 800 DuPage County families per week. At Loaves & Fishes, families in need can visit the pantry and shop for free in a grocery store-like setting. Unfortunately, the pantry is experiencing a shortage of personal care items to supplement the food staples families need. Items in short supply right now include: 
  • diapers and wipes 
  • laundry detergent 
  • toilet paper 
  • shampoo 
  • toothpaste 
  • household cleaning products 
My legislative office at 633 Rogers Street, Suite 108 in Downers Grove is one of nine legislative offices in DuPage County that are serving as drop-off locations for Loaves & Fishes donations. While my general office hours are 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday, my staff and I are often out of the office tending to legislative business and attending local events, so please call prior to stopping by. Click here to view a full list of drop-off locations for this collection event. 

Olsen Sits for Interview to Discuss First Term in General Assembly
I recently sat down for a radio interview, where I discussed how my high school and college involvements led me toward public service life, my first term in the Illinois House of Representatives, and how bipartisanship has been the key to my success in getting bills passed. We also discussed my legislative and personal goals for the future. Click here to listen to the full interview. 

September is Preparedness Month in Illinois
In the case of a public emergency in this area, are you prepared? Would you know how to reach your family and how to remain safe? During closing ceremonies of the 2018 Illinois Emergency Management Agency Training Summit in Springfield, Governor Rauner proclaimed September as Preparedness Month in Illinois. Illinois designation aligns with National Preparedness Month. 

The theme for this year’s National Preparedness Month campaign is "Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How."  The state is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the month-long campaign that encourages Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. Having a plan that includes where to go and how to communicate during disasters, as well as an emergency supply kit, could save the lives of your family, friends, neighbors and employees.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) offers disaster preparedness information on the Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov), a one-stop resource for detailed information about what to do before, during and after disasters. During large-scale disasters, IEMA uses the Ready Illinois website, Facebook and Twitter pages to provide critical information about the incident, including shelter locations, road closures, safety information, photos and more. For more information about emergency and disaster preparedness, visit ready.illinois.gov.

9/11 Remembrance Ceremony Recognizes 17th Anniversary of Terrorist Attack
On September 11, I joined first responders and public officials in Lisle for a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at the Fire District. As we paid tribute to those who tragically lost their lives and the thousands of people who emerged as heroes in the days and weeks that followed the attacks, I was reminded of how that horrible day brought the country together; how people put their differences aside and embraced each other. 

Healthy Revenue Numbers Posted in August
The new numbers reflect taxes paid into our State through key State revenue pipelines in August 2018. The figures were posted recently by the Committee on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the nonpartisan budget watchdog arm of the Illinois General Assembly. Measured on a year-over-year basis, August 2018 personal income tax revenues were up $127 million, sales tax revenues were up $54 million, and corporate income tax revenues rose $35 million.

The Illinois private sector makes goods and services that are sold all over the world. After studying current Illinois exports, CGFA summarized the picture in this month’s revenue report. Illinois residents may be surprised to learn that facilities within our State sell almost $6 billion worth of goods and services every month to buyers outside our American borders. The U.S. dollar is an expensive currency for many of our international customers, and so many of these Illinois exports are not commodities: they are specialty goods and services produced by highly trained Illinois workers who are working as team members for an enterprise that enjoys a global high or dominant market share.

Illinois Launches College and Career Planning Tool
For the first time, Illinois high school students will have access to data that shows how much they might earn if they graduate from colleges and universities located in the state. 

ILCollege2Career.com, unveiled at Governor Bruce Rauner’s quarterly Children’s Cabinet meeting this month, links employment and higher education data so users can compare the relative earnings value of college degrees. The data is broken down by schools and area of study, so that students can compare the earnings potential of business degrees, for example, from different public and private institutions in the state.

The idea is to help students and parents make college decisions based on an evaluation of real-time successes of a school’s graduates, in addition to other factors such as cost, average debt levels, and likelihood to graduate on-time. The tool will also show the benefits of investing in higher education, as it demonstrates how connected our thriving higher education system is to the workforce development of our state.

ILCollege2Career.com is the product of collaboration between the Governor’s Office, Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

The launch of the web site follows a number of recent education achievements in the state including:
  • $25 million allocated for higher education in Fiscal Year 2019 and merit-based scholarship program AIM HIGH to encourage Illinois’ best and brightest high school grads to stay in Illinois for college 
  • A law that requires the ISAC to develop a three-year pilot program to better educate students on loan amounts, repayment and interest; 
  • A new law that creates a task force to study how student college or career interest data can be collected and shared between high schools and colleges so higher education institutions will be able to enhance their programs and services to support the specific needs of their incoming student body; 
  • Revisions to the Monetary Award Program (MAP) to prioritize access for existing grant recipients, and; 
  • Strengthened degree-advising services that make it easier for students to transfer credits between Illinois schools. 
Treasurer Launches Money Match Program
In Illinois, the State Treasurer is tasked with safeguarding unclaimed property, such as unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards. Illinois holds more than $2 billion in unclaimed property. The State Treasurer is legally required to get the property to the rightful owners no matter how long it takes for them to come forward.

The Treasurer’s Office wants to make sure you know about a new program, Money Match, that was recently launched to return unclaimed property to Illinois residents more quickly and efficiently. This program was made possible by legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly last year. The Treasurer’s Office is now authorized to work with the Illinois Department of Revenue to match the names of unclaimed property owners with recent tax return records.

Using this proactive matching process, the Treasurer’s Office will automatically return lost money to qualifying Illinois taxpayers without the need to file a claim or gather paperwork. The property must be $2,000 or less in cash with only one owner. If a recent mailing address is identified and confirmed, the person will receive a letter announcing the amount and source of the money and notifying the recipient to look for a check in the mail.

Money Match’s goal is to return more money, more quickly to Illinois taxpayers. Residents will start to receive notification letters as soon as this month. The program expects to return $12 million statewide in the coming weeks. This new matching program comes on the heels of a record-breaking year for ICash of 116,000 successful claims returning more than $180 million in unclaimed property to individuals, businesses and non-profits in Illinois.

Individuals can still search the state treasurer’s database for their name or the name of their business or non-profit at www.illinoistreasurer.gov/ICASH.

Olsen Celebrates DarienFest
Every September I look forward to attending DarienFest, and this year was no exception. While the weather did not cooperate fully, we were able to enjoy some sunshine. This event takes place annually at Darien Community Park. I am shown in this photo with a variety of people from the Darien community.

Opioid Prescriptions Declining in Illinois
The legal dispensing of opioid pain management medications, including OxyContin, declined in 2017. The data was seen as evidence that steps are being taken to reduce opioid abuse in Illinois. In many cases of opioid abuse and addiction, a patient is introduced to opioids through the legitimate use of prescription painkillers. Physicians who provide treatment to persons with one-time pain management needs, such as post-operative patients, are being taught to prescribe lower doses of opioids in smaller quantities. Programs approved by the Illinois General Assembly are being used to improve anti-opioid continuing education efforts for all medical caregivers, including physicians and pharmacists.

This recently-released Illinois opioid data came from the statewide Prescription Monitoring Program, a database monitor operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). The database monitor has been recommended to medical care providers since the 1970s, but in 2017 the General Assembly changed the law to mandate prescribing physicians to enroll in the Program. Work done by the Illinois General Assembly, with the consultative input of the Illinois State Medical Society, now ensures that Illinois professional regulators and law enforcement have high-quality, universal data to use to fight against opioid drug abuse and addiction.

Local Moose Lodge Hosts International Supreme Governor
Moose International Supreme Governor Harry Johnston visited Downers Grove Moose Lodge No. 1535 recently to celebrate the Downers Grove chapter being named top lodge in Illinois. I was glad to join in the festivities with Mayor Martin Tully and Commissioners Marge Earl & Nicole Walus. 

Renewed Interest in Issue of Texting while Driving
A recent survey of Illinois high school students shows that an alarming 42% of Illinois teens admit to texting while driving. This number is even higher than the 38% nationwide teen average who admits to the same offense. While texting-while-driving is banned in Illinois, many believe that the law is not fully enforced. The Illinois General Assembly enacted legislation, signed by Governor Bruce Rauner in August 2018, to increase penalties for the violation of texting while driving. Under the new law, first-time convictions for texting-while-driving will be classified as moving violations and, like other moving violations, will be placed on the offender’s permanent driving record. Three or more repeat offenses of texting while driving could lead to the suspension of a driver’s license.

Rep. Olsen Supports Grove Foundation Annual Golf Outing
The Grove Foundation recently hosted their annual golf outing at the Downers Grove Golf Club. I was glad to make time to stop by and visit with the golfers and others supporting the event. This organization is a not-for-profit foundation that enriches the lives of community members by identifying, supporting and promoting recreational, educational and community experiences through innovative and collaborative efforts. I am shown in this picture with Cheryl Prescott, Mary French and Mary Ellen Young.
Representative David S. Olsen recently sat down for an interview about his life leading up to service in the General Assembly, and how bipartisanship is at the center of all of his early successes as a lawmaker. Click here to listen to the interview.
Seniors from the 81st Legislative House District are invited to attend a free Senior Fair sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) and the Downers Grove Park District’s Active Adult Center on Thursday, September 20. The fair will take place from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Park District’s Lincoln Center Gymnasium, 935 Maple Avenue in Downers Grove.

Seniors and those who help care for them can visit more than 20 booths staffed by organizations and agencies that assist seniors. They can also register for a chance to win a door prize. In addition, helpful guides, literature and other resources from state, county and local government agencies will be available.

“We are bringing several organizations, businesses and medical professionals together under one roof,” said Olsen. “These professionals focus on improving the lives of senior citizens, so I hope all seniors and their caregivers take advantage of this opportunity to meet and talk with a variety of people who offer services tailored to the needs of seniors.”

The following groups, agencies and State departments will have booths at the event: AARP Driver Safety, Illinois Area on Aging, the Attorney General, Bentron Financial Group, the Illinois Comptroller, Condo, Townhouse, and Homeowner Associations, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), Downers Grove Library, Downers Grove Park District, Downers Grove Township, Downers Grove Village, DuPage County, Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center, Heritage Woods Retirement Community, State of Illinois, Seniors Helping Seniors, Senior Living Experts, Soarella, the State Treasurer and Wellsprings.

No pre-registration is necessary. For additional information, please contact Rep. Olsen’s office at (630) 737-0504.
Eleven Olsen Bills Signed into Law During 2018 Spring Session
The legislative success I achieved this year is a direct result of my commitment to bipartisanship in Springfield. I have worked hard to cultivate respectful and productive relationships with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. During the 2018 Session, I filed a comprehensive legislative agenda that protects taxpayers, enhances government transparency, improves the Illinois business climate, increases protections for vulnerable segments of our population, assists our military families, and enhances public safety. I am pleased to announce that the Governor has now signed all eleven of my bills that reached his desk into law.

These new laws include:
  • HB 2222 (P.A. 100-0746): Provides consistency with regard to residency requirements for elected officials in Illinois, specifically addressing oversight within the Public Library Act. 
  • HB 4805 (P.A. 100-0640): 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 businesses more in line with the actual costs associated with risk. 
  • HB 4867 (P.A. 100-0659): Adds a new layer of 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 is required to notify the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission within one week. 
  • HB 5031 (P.A. 100-0955): Improves the efficiency of state government by removing a duplicative reporting requirement between state agencies and human service providers. 
  • SB2543 (P.A. 100-0793): Promotes government consolidation and taxpayer savings by simplifying the process for dissolution of a mosquito abatement district. 
  • SB 2587 (P.A. 100-0930): Improves public health and saves Illinoisans’ money by adding dentists to the list of health care professionals who can perform over-the-phone “tele-health” services in Illinois. 
  • SB 2658 (P.A. 100-0821): Assists military personnel and their families while addressing the state’s teacher shortage by increasing the period of time during which a provisional educator endorsement is valid to three years for a service member or spouse who is certified in another state. 
  • SB 2721 (P.A. 100-0979): Improves state government efficiency by streamlining the process of regulatory oversight and aligning 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 (P.A. 100-0714): Strengthens and updates the Illinois Human Rights Act and protections for women by clarifying that "order of protection status" includes status as a person protected under any order of protection existing in Illinois law.
  • SB 3134 (P.A. 100-0730): Addresses flooding issues in the suburbs by creating a commission to study flood control practices and conduct a survey in DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. 
  • SB 3236 (P.A. 100-0807): Improves transparency by requiring a school district’s administrative costs be reflected on school report cards.
Olsen Joins Celebration for New Eagle Scout
I recently had the opportunity to join members of the community as Boy Scout Troop 95 celebrated its newest Eagle Scout, Theodore Schneider. The Eagle Court of Honor was held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Downers Grove. It is always an honor for me to recognize these outstanding young leaders. Congratulations Theodore! 

Olsen Senior Fair Scheduled for September 20
On Thursday, September 20, I am partnering with the Downers Grove Park District for a free Senior Fair. The event will be held from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Park District’s Lincoln Center Gymnasium, 935 Maple Avenue in Downers Grove. Seniors and those who help care for them can visit more than 20 booths staffed by agencies that assist seniors. They can also register for a chance to win a door prize. In addition, helpful guides, literature and other resources from state, county and local government agencies will be distributed. No pre-registration is necessary. For additional information, please contact my office at (630) 737-0504.

Olsen Joins DuPage Area Lawmakers to Help Loaves & Fishes with Collection of Personal Care Items
This month I am partnering with several of my DuPage County Republican colleagues to assist Loaves & Fishes with the collection of personal care items. Loaves & Fishes is a not-for-profit food pantry that feeds up to 800 DuPage County families per week. At Loaves & Fishes, families in need can visit the pantry and shop for free in a grocery store-like setting. Unfortunately, the pantry is experiencing a shortage of personal care items to supplement the food staples families need. Items in short supply right now include: 
  • diapers and wipes 
  • laundry detergent 
  • toilet paper 
  • shampoo 
  • toothpaste 
  • household cleaning products 
My legislative office at 633 Rogers Street, Suite 108 in Downers Grove is one of nine legislative offices in DuPage County that are serving as drop-off loction for Loaves & Fishes donations. While my general office hours are 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday, my staff and I are often out of the office tending to legislative business and attending local events, so please call prior to stopping by. Click here to view a full list of drop-off locations for this collection event.

Grant Money for Downers Grove’s Historic Blodgett House Released for Payment
The Blodgett House in Downers Grove is a historical gem in our community. On Friday I learned that State funds awarded to the Downers Grove Park District for interpretive signs for the Blodgett House that have been delayed since 2009 have been authorized for release by the Governor’s Office of Management & Budget (GOMB). The funds were initially awarded as part of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s (DECO) Illinois Jobs Now! Capital Plan, but only a portion of the funds were ever delivered. 

The Downers Grove Park District was awarded a $15,000 grant in 2009, but the money never arrived. They eventually received $3,750 in 2014, but the balance continued to be delayed. I am pleased to know the remaining $11,250 is now its way to the Park District.

Two Blodgett Houses, one built in 1846 and the other in 1892, are located in Downers Grove’s Wandschneider Park at 831 Maple Avenue. The village’s historical museum is located in the 1892 home. The funds the park district will soon receive will help support interpretive signs so that citizens can continue to appreciate the home for years to come. I hope the final grant supporting the Blodgett House approved in 2009 for interior work will also be released soon.

Rep. Olsen Learns about Infrastructure Challenges through Central Illinois Tour
Providing quality infrastructure is one of the most important responsibilities of government. Earlier this month I joined fellow legislators to gain a better understanding of the infrastructure challenges facing rural communities as we visited bridges, roads, and industrial sites in Menard and Sangamon Counties. State Representatives Margo McDermed (R-Frankfort), Tim Butler (R-Springfield), Marcus Evans Jr. (D-Chicago) and Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (R-Springfield) also participated in the educational event. Thank you to the Transportation for Illinois Coalition for arranging this informative day. 

Olsen Joins Community Leaders at Round Table Discussion to Discuss Opioid Crisis
Illinois is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid crisis. In 2016 alone, opioid-related overdoses took the lives of 1,946 Illinoisans. That’s more than one and a half times the number of homicides and nearly two times the number of fatal car accidents. Tragically, those numbers are still rising. The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported opioid deaths in Illinois increased 13 percent from 2016 to 2017. 

Illinois has set a goal of reducing projected opioid-related deaths by one third over the next three years. It was a privilege last week to join House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), medical professionals, police officers, educators, elected officials and community leaders from across DuPage and Will Counties for a round table discussion to help generate ideas to address and solve this epidemic. Following the discussion, I spoke about the importance of our efforts to address opioid deaths in our state. Click here to watch that interview.

Legislators are already addressing the crisis legislatively. Last week Governor Rauner signed SB 2777, which requires medical professionals to take three hours of continuing education on how to safely prescribe opioid medications. The Governor also recently signed the Alternatives to Opioids Act of 2018, adding those who might otherwise seek opioids for pain management to the list of those eligible for medical marijuana. SB 336 puts in place a pilot program that will not compromise patient safety or diminish medical marijuana program standards, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Licensed physicians must certify an individual has a medical condition for which an opioid has been or could be prescribed, and participants must register at a licensed dispensary. The program is limited to individuals 21 and older and dispensations are limited to 2.5 ounces every 14 days and cannot exceed 90 days per physician certification.

Governor Signs Legislation to Help Keep Illinois Students in Illinois
From 1991 to 2014, enrollment at Illinois public universities and community colleges declined by 50,000 students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In an effort to keep more Illinois students in Illinois for college, last week Governor Bruce Rauner signed two pieces of legislation. I was a vocal supporter of both bills.

SB 2927 creates the AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program, a merit-based scholarship for Illinois students who attend college in-state. Twenty five million in state funds from the Fiscal Year 2019 budget are earmarked for the program that will then be matched by universities for a total scholarship pool of at least $50 million in merit-based aid. The funds will be disbursed by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to Illinois’ public universities in proportion to their enrollment of undergraduate, in-state students.

HB 4781 creates a task force to study how students’ college or career interest data can be collected and shared between high schools and higher education institutions. No mechanism is currently in place to easily share information about students’ college or career interests between high schools and higher education systems in Illinois. This data will also allow colleges and universities to enhance their programs and services to support the specific needs of their incoming student cohort through more targeted degree advising and counseling for students. The task force is required to submit the findings of the study to the General Assembly on or before Jan. 30, 2019, and will be dissolved following the submittal.

Olsen Participates in Environmental Town Hall
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Environmental Town Hall meeting I recently attended in Darien with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and State Senator John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove). We had a great turnout. The event was hosted by the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) and featured presentations from SCARCE, Sierra Club Illinois and the Metropolitan Planning Council. Topics discussed included flooding, recycling, composting and transportation. I am shown in this photo with Senator Curran, Leader Durkin and the presenters from the various groups.

University of Illinois Springfield Becomes First Hub of Illinois Innovation Network
During the General Assembly’s spring 2018 session, the legislature built a foundation for job creation in the 21st century. Working within the confines of the Fiscal Year 2019 budget, the State allocated $500 million to the new Illinois Innovation Network. The Network will build hubs throughout the state to connect team members with the Discovery Partners Institute. The Institute will be a new high-tech neighborhood to be built in the Burnham Bend in Chicago’s South Loop. Closely affiliated with the University of Illinois, the Institute will consist of teams that will bring together research and innovation projects from all over Illinois.

State and local officials announced on Tuesday, August 28 that the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network will be part of the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS). Seed money will refit existing office space in Springfield’s downtown, and support for the new hub project from Springfield’s mayor means that the Network may get new, purpose-built space soon for itself. The new hub moves beyond UIS’ existing capacity as an “incubator” for small business to also include ultra-high-speed data links with other incubation locations and future Innovation Network hubs.

City BBQ Now Open in Downers Grove
I was able to join Chamber630 recently for a ribbon cutting celebration for City BBQ in Downers Grove. If you haven’t stopped in yet, welcome them to the village while you enjoy some really good food. I’m told all of their meats are smoked on site. I wish City BBQ the very best as they join the Downers Grove business community. 

Rauner Maintains Consumer Choice in Health Insurance through Bill Vetoes
The Governor’s recent total veto of HB 2624 and amendatory veto of SB 1737 defended growing demand among Illinois residents for short-term, limited duration (STLD) health plan coverage. STLD policies are important to a wide variety of Illinois residents who need health care coverage for a non-standard length of time that is shorter than one year. Many Illinoisans who are in the process of developing their careers know that they will live in Illinois for a limited period of time. They are subject to the overall federal law that mandates that uninsured individual Americans buy health coverage, but the standard one-year length of insurance coverage of plans offered in Illinois under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not meet these non-standard needs.

HB 2624 contained onerous provisions intended to wipe out the ability of STLD health insurers to sell their policies to career-minded young Illinois adults. Governor Rauner’s decision to veto this bill will preserve the ability of all Illinoisans – especially young adults – to purchase health insurance that matches their own individual needs and budgets. I voted against HB 2624 and SB 1737 when they were debated on the House floor.

Olsen Joins District 58 Leaders for Dedication of New Learning Space
Last week Lester School officially cut the ribbon on their new classrooms - which are already being fully utilized for the 2018-2019 school year. I was glad to join Principal Carin Novak, administrators, teachers, community members, and the District 58 Board of Education to celebrate this new learning space. 

Illinois Public Universities to Provide $50 Million in Additional MAP Grant Aid
The cost of this program will be split 50/50 between the Illinois state budget and by the universities where the student beneficiaries are enrolled. Like existing MAP grants, the additional money will provide merit-based student funding to which students and their families will apply based upon financial need. Financial need is determined by formula following the submission by students and their families of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) student aid eligibility form. The MAP grant bill was signed on Sunday, August 26, by Governor Rauner.
State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is joining several DuPage Republican lawmakers to assist Loaves & Fishes with the collection of personal care items during the month of September.

Loaves & Fishes is a not-for-profit food pantry that feeds up to 800 DuPage County families per week. At Loaves & Fishes, families in need can visit the pantry and shop for free in a grocery store-like setting. According to Loaves & Fishes President and CEO Mike Havala, the pantry is experiencing a shortage of personal care items to supplement the food staples families need.

“We are very grateful to the DuPage County Representatives and Senators for their collection of personal care items,” said Havala. “Having these essential items offers added dignity to struggling families and individuals.”

Items in short supply right now include diapers and wipes, laundry detergent, toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste and household cleaning products.

“Hundreds of DuPage County families relay on Loaves & Fishes each week to help them put food on their table and to provide other essentials,” said Olsen. “Unfortunately, this time of year the pantry tends to run low on personal care items that are also important to families. It’s a pleasure to partner with several of my House and Senate colleagues to help replenish Loaves & Fishes’ supply of personal care items.”

Those who wish to donate may drop items off at the following legislative offices:
  • State Rep. Peter Breen- 929 S. Main St. Suite 105A, Lombard, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm M-F 
  • State Senator Michael Connelly- 552 S. Washington St., Suite 104, Naperville, 8:00 am to 5:00pm M-F 
  • State Senator John Curran- 7501 South Lemont Road, Suite 315, Woodridge, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm M-F (please call prior to drop off) 
  • State Rep. Jim Durkin- 16W281 83rd St. Burr Ridge, 8:30am to 5:00 pm M-F 
  • State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi- 1 S. Cass Avenue, Suite 205, Westmont, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm M-F 
  • State Senator Jim Oberweis- 959 Oak Street, North Aurora, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm M-Th, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm F 
  • State Rep David Olsen- 633 Rogers Street, Suite 108, Downers Grove, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm M-F (please call prior to drop off) 
  • State Rep. Grant Wehrli- 55 S. Main Street, Suite 383, Naperville, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm M-Th 
  • State Rep. Christine Winger- One Tiffany Pointe, Suite G3, Bloomingdale, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm M-F