Legislative Update: October 1, 2018

Eighty Three Bills Vetoed from 2018 Session
The 529 new laws signed in spring and summer 2018 are now part of the Illinois Compiled Statutes. A total of 612 bills passed both houses this year; almost 90 percent of them were signed, but 83 bills were vetoed by Governor Bruce Rauner. Fifty-three of the vetoes were “total vetoes,” which means that the veto must be overridden with three-fifths majorities in both houses in order to become law; and 30 of the vetoes were “amendatory vetoes,” in which Governor Rauner suggested additional, amendatory, or supplementary language to change a bill. In cases of amendatory vetoes, both houses of the General Assembly can accept the Governor’s language by simple majority. The General Assembly will consider Rauner’s vetoes in the November 2018 Veto Session, which gets underway in Springfield on Tuesday, November 13. 

LIHEAP to Accept Applications for Heat Assistance on October 1

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity's Office of Community Assistance is now accepting applications and scheduling appointments for this year’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Customers must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance including: 
  • Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day income period beginning with the date of the application. 
  • A copy of their current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly). 
  • A copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information. 
  • Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members. 
  • Proof that their household received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD); or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services. 
Click here for additional information.

Rep. Olsen Named “Friend of Agriculture”
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. It was an honor recently to be recognized for this commitment, when I received the “Friend of Agriculture” award from the DuPage County Farm Bureau. Created in 1913, the DuPage County Farm Bureau is one of the oldest bureaus of its kind in the United States. This valuable local organization currently includes approximately 15,000 members. I am pictured here with DuPage County Farm Bureau members Sam Lilly and Bill Pauling. 

ISAC Helps Students Navigate College Applications & Financial Aid
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 also unveiled 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.

Rep. Olsen Joins Local Officials in Ribbon Cutting for Bicentennial of Illinois Law Exhibit at COD
It was an honor to be 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. 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. I am shown in this photo with 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. 

Olsen Joins Rotarians for Celebration of GroveFest’s Success
On September 20 I joined local elected officials and members of the Rotary Club of Downers Grove for a celebration of the success of this year’s GroveFest, our annual community festival held in downtown Downers Grove during the last weekend in June. We met at Alter Brewing Company, where the Rotary Club distributed financial support to many local not-for-profit organizations. I am shown in this photo with Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully and Village Commissioner Marge Earl, along with members of the Rotary Club. 

Rep. Olsen Celebrates Westmont Business Community at Chamber Open House
I had a great time on Wednesday, September 19 when I visited with residents and business owners at the Westmont Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau Fall Open House. The event was held at the Westmont Park District Fitness & Racquetball Club. I am shown in this photo with Westmont Chamber Executive Director Larry Forssberg, Westmont Village Trustee Harold Barry, and members of the Westmont Chamber. 

Governor Abolishes 53 Inactive Boards, Commissions; Prohibits Nepotism in State Hiring
Governor Bruce Rauner has issued executive orders eliminating 53 boards and commissions that serve no public purpose and have been inactive for years, some for as long as two full decades.

Over the years, the State of Illinois has created more than 600 authorities, boards, bureaus, commissions, committees, councils, task forces and other similar entities. Many of them have completed their work and no longer operate, yet they still appear in State publications, public-facing websites, and Legislative Research Unit reports as if they were still doing the people’s work.

The executive orders, EO 18-10 and EO 18-11, are a follow-up on EO 18-5 that Rauner issued earlier this year abolishing 19 other moribund entities. Collectively, the orders eliminate 72 redundant or inactive boards and commissions so that executive branch operations are more transparent and efficient. The governor has also issued EO 18-12, eliminating nepotism in state hiring. The move brings Illinois in line with more than half U.S. states including Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky and Michigan. The order prohibits executive agency heads from the practice of nepotism in the appointment, promotion or recommendation of a relative to any agency or department under their control.

Olsen Talks about Work of Millennial Legislators
As one of the younger members of the Illinois General Assembly, I feel I have a responsibility to bring a voice of young adults to our policy discussions in Springfield. I recently had an opportunity to talk with a diverse group of Illinoisans about my work with the Millennial Action Project (MAP) and my service on MAP’s Democracy Reform Task Force. This task force includes 12 young lawmakers from both political parties from across the country. Together, our goal is to advance legislation on redistricting (fair maps), government accountability and access to voting. The group was born from MAP’s initiative to rebuild trust in government in order to encourage civic engagement, particularly amongst younger generations. 

Rep. Olsen Helps Present Awards to Chamber630 “Five with Drive”
As a past winner of the Chamber630 Young Professional of the Year, I was proud to help present this year's "Five with Drive" awards to five outstanding young professionals in our area on September 12. I am shown in this photo with the award presenters and this year’s winners: Matthew Herbeck of Kramer & Herbeck LLC, Adam Hooczko of Alter Brewing Company, Reese Krajniak of the Krajniak Group at Focus Financial, Alysha Sbarbaro of FASTSIGNS and Alan Stern of McGrath Lexus. Congratulations to all the winners!

O’Hare International Airport Ranked as “Most Connected” Airport in Western Hemisphere
Results from the Megahub Index, compiled by flight information database monitor OAG, were released last week. The Index ranks the flight information posted by each airport and counts the number of steps necessary to get from each airport to destinations throughout the world. The results strongly favor “hub-and-spoke” airports that serve as hubs for a wide variety of flights to many destinations.

In terms of international flights, O’Hare scored #2 worldwide (second only to London’s Heathrow) and #1 in the Western Hemisphere in the September 2018 Megahub flight-information ranking index. The index is used by many as a summary guide to gauge the attractiveness of a location, such as Illinois, as a focus for investment and personnel placement. The 2018 Megahub Index scored O’Hare ahead of other major United States airports. In addition to international flight honors, the U.S. sub-ranking scored O’Hare first in U.S. connectivity, with the second, third, and fourth places going to Atlanta, Charlotte, and Dallas.

Rep. Olsen Visits Local Environmental Non-Profit
On September 18 I had an opportunity to visit SCARCE (School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education), an amazing local not-for-profit which helps protect our environment in many important ways. SCARCE is an environmental education and resource center for schools that provides educational programs, books and supplies to schools and non-profits. Thank you to Executive Director Kay McKeen, the staff, and the volunteers for showing me around. You can learn more about this valuable organization at www.scarce.org

Olsen Honors New Eagle Scouts
I always look forward to attending Eagle Scout Courts of Honor for local scouts who have achieved scouting’s highest rank. I recently attended the Court of Honor for Noah Maguigad, who became the 90th Eagle Scout from local Troop 95. His ceremony was held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Downers Grove and I am shown in this picture with some of Noah’s Benet Academy classmates. Over the weekend I also attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for John Drinkwater and Joshua Woods of Troop 181. Congratulations to these outstanding young men! 

Illinois Awarded $29 Million to Fight Opioid Crisis
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is receiving nearly $29 million in new federal funding to help the state fight the opioid crisis.

The federal grant was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It brings to $61 million the total that the federal government has awarded to the state to fund important programs and initiatives meant to improve and expand access to treatment and recovery services for opioid use.

These funds will support the expansion of treatment and recovery interventions across the state, including medication-assisted treatment services for individuals with opioid use disorders who are incarcerated in county jails and hospital resources to link patients experiencing opioid overdoses with treatment programs in their communities. Housing for people in recovery from opioid use disorder and support services for patients at federally qualified health care centers also will receive grant funding. The award will strengthen and enhance the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program, the state’s tracking system that helps to prevent the misuse of prescription opioids.

This grant also will expand opioid overdose protocols training for first responders and widen availability of the overdose reversal medication naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan. In state fiscal year 2018 alone, IDHS supported the purchase of more than 18,000 naloxone kits for first responders and bystanders. This award will help IDHS purchase additional naloxone kits.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently awarded the Illinois Department of Public Health almost $3.7 million as part of a Cooperative Agreement for Emergency Response: Public Health Crisis Response grant to combat the opioid epidemic.

The funding will enhance the state’s capacity to rapidly respond to the opioid overdose crisis through improved data collection and prevention efforts. The grant will allow Illinois to increase its capacity to identify and report timely, comprehensive syndromic surveillance data on fatal and nonfatal opioid overdoses.

If you or someone you know is experiencing opioid use disorder, call the state’s Helpline for Opioids and other Substances at 1-833-2FINDHELP or visit HelplineIL.org.

Olsen Helps Kick Off Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Naperville
It was my pleasure to join friends and neighbors to help kick off the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Naperville. The Alzheimer’s Association does excellent work supporting research and public policy to address this disease that impacts so many people and families. The Naperville walk was one of more than 600 similar events held nationwide each year to raise funds. Here in DuPage County, 2,136 walkers on 243 teams met on the morning of September 16 at North Central College for their three mile walk. While fundraising for 2018 is open through the rest of the calendar year, Naperville is well on its way to meeting its $510,000 fundraising goal. As of this writing, the Naperville event has raised more than $400,000!

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