Legislative Update: October 15, 2018

Rep. Olsen Provides Legislative Update for Will County Governmental League
On October 11, I shared an update on efforts to save money for taxpayers through effective government consolidation at the Will County Governmental League annual legislative breakfast. I’m proud of the bipartisan work I led this year to ease barriers to consolidation of mosquito abatement districts, and look forward to continuing to find more ways to save money while preserving essential government services. I appreciate the invitation and enjoy working with Will County’s government officials to improve our great state! 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women, and October has been designated annually to help raise awareness of this disease. The State of Illinois has established the Illinois Breast & Cervical Cancer Program to ensure all women have access to screenings. This program, which offers free screenings, is available to eligible women who live in Illinois, do not have insurance, and are ages 35-64 years old. To enroll and schedule an appointment, call the Women’s Health Line at 800-574-0466 or click here

CGFA Releases Healthy State Revenue Numbers for September 2018
The Commission on Budget Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) is the nonpartisan budget-forecasting arm of the Illinois General Assembly. Working with the Department of Revenue and other State revenue collectors, this office monitors the State’s cash flow and determines its balance with the State’s spending patterns and budgeted expenditures. CGFA’s report on state revenues in September 2018 was published earlier this month.

In September 2018, Illinois continued to enjoy healthy revenue numbers, driven by almost 6.1 million non-farm payroll jobs maintained by Illinois employers in FY18. Weekly employee paycheck earnings, on which state income taxes are paid, rose by 2.3% over the course of FY18. September 2018 State personal income tax payments totaled more than $1.8 billion, up $218 million from September 2017. This jump in September personal income tax receipts made up well more than half of the overall $240 million increase in general funds tax receipts and transfers-in during September 2018 as opposed to September 2017.

Corporate and sales tax receipts also increased significantly. Other key revenue sources, led by cigarette taxes, liquor taxes, Lottery revenues, and riverboat receipts taxes, were flat-to-down, and there was a sharp drop in overall Federal aid for the month as compared to the year-earlier period. September 2017 had seen a temporary spike in federal Medicaid reimbursements to Illinois, a cash-flow number that could not be replicated in September 2018.

Local Cub Scouts Meet with Olsen to Learn about State Government
Earlier this month I had a great time meeting with Cub Scout Pack 86 and answering their questions about state government and my role as a legislator. Their enthusiasm and energy was infectious! These bright young men had very good questions and I was impressed with their interest in being involved citizens. 

Hurricane Relief Fundraiser Underway in Downers Grove
The Downers Grove North High School I-WILL (Independent Women in Leadership) Club, in coordination with the National Honor Society, Direct Action, and the District 99 community, are sponsoring a fundraiser and supply drive for the those citizens affected by hurricane Florence (Sept 2018) and hurricane Michael (Oct 2018). Through a generous donation from Downers Grove’s Romexterra Construction and its manager Alex Duta (DGN Class of 2014), the group has secured the use of a 65-foot semi-truck trailer that Romexterra will pay to be driven to South Carolina on October 21, 2018 with supplies donated by our community. This will be the third hurricane for which Romexterra has provided support for those in need (Harvey-Texas 2017, Irma – Florida 2017). Fundraising and supply donations will take place at Downers Grove North High School, located at 4436 Main Street in Downers Grove, the week of October 15th according to the following schedule:
  • Monetary Donations: Monday, October 15 – Thursday, October 18 donations will be accepted by students during the lunch periods. Any community member wishing to donate money may contact the school for more details as to how to donate to this cause. DGN will be working with the local Red Cross for coordination of funds. 
  • Supply Donation Times and Locations:
    • Friday, October 19 (8am – 11am) DGN Auditorium Lobby or Purple Gym Lobby
    • Saturday, October 20 (8am -12pm) DGN Main Street Lot (Northwest Corner) 
    • Sunday, October 21 (11am – 2pm) DGN Main Street Lot (Northwest Corner) 
Supply donations that have been requested include: toiletries, diapers, new underwear/socks, first aid items, cleaning supplies, canned goods, new pillows/blankets, box fans, utility knives, and leather work gloves. On Sunday, there will be music and games to celebrate the generosity of our community before the truck heads to South Carolina.

Olsen Joins DuPage County Medical Society for 100th Anniversary Celebration
On October 10 it was my pleasure to join many friends at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the DuPage County Medical Society. This group is committed to advancing quality health care delivery, improving access to care, promoting education and professional collaboration among physicians, fostering improved physician-patient relationships and enhancing public health. The Medical Society is to be commended for the work they do to advance the medical profession. 

Illinois K-12 High-Speed Internet Connectivity Rises to 96%
It was announced this month that 96% of K-12 school districts in Illinois can access the internet at speeds of 100 kbps per student, a substantial improvement from 71 percent just three years ago. Median bandwidths also have markedly improved, increasing 2.5 times since 2015. High-speed connectivity ensures that students have access to more digital resources, which in turn expands learning opportunities. By making high-speed internet accessible, educators and students gain the benefits of greater interactivity, collaboration, engagement and personal instruction. Illinois’ digital advances were reported by the EducationSuperHighway which tracks progress toward K-12 connectivity across the United States. The Illinois Classroom Connectivity Initiative, launched by the Rauner administration in 2016, is an effort to ensure that all districts receive the support and funding to close this school broadband gap. The Fiscal Year 2019 education budget includes a $17 million Broadband Expansion fund to help cover costs of fiber upgrades for school districts. There is also a provision for free technical assistance.

Rep. Olsen Welcomes MedExpress Urgent Care to Downers Grove
Recently I was able to attend the ribbon cutting for another exciting new business in Downers Grove. I joined my friends from Chamber630 and Congressman Peter Roskam as we welcomed MedExpress Urgent Care to our community. MedExpress provides convenient and affordable urgent care services and we are glad to have them in our community. Best wishes to the valued caregivers and support staff at MedExpress for many successful years in Downers Grove! 

Department of Homeland Security Approves Illinois Drivers’ Licenses for One More Year of Air Travel
In spite of the fact that Illinois’ drivers’ licenses are out of compliance with various REAL-ID mandates intended to maintain and increase security of U.S. air travel, the federal agency has granted Illinois a further extension of almost one year, until June 1, 2019, to move further towards compliance with these mandates. During this extension period, federal agencies will be allowed to accept currently valid Illinois drivers’ licenses as adequate ID-card identification for admittance to federal buildings, nuclear power plants, and commercial aircraft takeoff and landing space. Illinois drivers’ licenses are printed and issued by the Illinois Secretary of State.

As part of its movement towards REAL-ID compliance, the Secretary of State’s office has already consolidated the way that it produces and prints out the license cards. The cards, which were once printed and handed out on the spot to applicants at local Secretary of State Driver Services offices statewide, are now manufactured in a secure facility and mailed to approved applicants. Illinois is being urged to adopt further components of the REAL-ID Act. These additional mandates impose separate sets of additional verification information that new drivers’ license applicants, and applicants for license renewal will be required to provide.

Representative Olsen Joins in Celebration of DG Township 2018 Senior VIP
Earlier this month it was a privilege to support the Friends of Downers Grove Township Seniors charity as they recognized Dr. Floyd Mizener as the 2018 Senior VIP. This is a great organization that supports the transportation needs of seniors in our township. I’m shown in this first photo with Downers Grove Township Supervisor Mark Thoman, and the second photo shows Dr. Mizener accepting his award. 

Illinois State Fire Marshal Wants You to Have a Fire Free Fall
Fall is officially here and so are cooler temperatures. The Office of the State Fire Marshal is offering a few tips that will help Illinoisans stay safe as temperatures continue to drop.
  • Remove leaves and debris such as sticks, branches and shrubs from the roofs and gutters of homes as they act as fuel to a fire. These items should also be cleared before lighting a bonfire. 
  • It is recommended that all recreational fires, such as bonfires, be contained in a pit, with sidewalls, and do not exceed three feet wide and two feet tall. 
  • If your community allows leaf burning on your property, avoid burning leaves and debris on windy days, as wind can cause a fire to get out of control quickly. 
  • Always follow your local ordinances when burning and disposing of yard waste and remember, embers from burning leaves can spread and start a larger fire. 
  • All fires are recommended to be a minimum of 15 feet from structures and combustible materials and should remain attended at all times. This helps ensure the fire is controlled and prevents it from spreading. 
  • Make sure all Fall and holiday decorations are flame retardant and use a battery light instead of a candle in jack o' lanterns. 
  • Anyone opting to use a space heater to keep warm should be sure it is placed at least three feet away from other objects, such as curtains, and always be sure to unplug it when it's not in use. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) space heaters account, annually, for 43 percent of U.S. home heating fires. 
  • All fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected before use to ensure everything is in proper working order. Utilize a fireplace screen to keep sparks from floating out of a fireplace and always put out a fire before going to bed or leaving the house. 
Additional fire safety tips can be found on the NFPA website or on the Office of the State Fire Marshal website.

Rep. Olsen and Sen. Curran Attend Nurses Legislative Forum
Earlier this month I joined State Senator John F. Curran, hospital leadership and nurses from Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove for their annual Legislative Forum. We discussed healthcare issues, especially work being done in our legislature to address behavioral health, workplace safety and nursing licenses. This was my third annual visit to answer questions from this very engaged audience. Thank you for the invitation! 

ComEd Provides Tips to Avoid Scammers
ComEd has published a list of important tips to help customers protect their personal information and avoid falling victim to scams. Here’s what you need to know:

ComEd representatives never call customers to ask for cash or to request the purchase of a prepaid credit card to make a bill payment. If you receive a phone call from someone who claims to be a utility representative and says your account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment is not made, it is a scam if the individual instructs you to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card and then call him back to make a payment. In these cases, the scammer will ask for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number. This information grants instant access to the card’s funds.

In addition, never give social security or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you send money to another person or entity other than your local utility provider. If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call the local police, then call your local utility (ComEd 1-800-EDISON1). Never call the scammer back. For more tips, visit ComEd.com/Scams.

Olsen Attends Bolingbrook Legislative Breakfast
Earlier this month I had an opportunity to attend a Bolingbrook Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast. Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) and I provided a comprehensive overview of the past legislative session and our expectations for the year to come. A strong business community is the backbone of success for our region, so I’m always glad to hear from my friends at the Bolingbrook Chamber. 

Partners Join to Create Illinois Safe Disposal Pathways
Illinois patients sometimes face headaches in the disposal of unneeded opioid painkillers. These medications, although they are an essential part of medical treatment in situations such as post-operative pain, should not be left to hang around in a medicine cabinet.

Five partners – Walgreens, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Pfizer, Prime Therapeutics, and AmerisourceBergen – have joined with Illinois law enforcement to set up a series of widely distributed “Safe Medication Disposal” kiosks for safe disposal of unneeded prescription medications, including opioids. Eighty-two such kiosks have been set up in Illinois Walgreens drug stores, with additional disposal locations provided at major police headquarters lobbies throughout the state. No questions are asked, and medicines deposited in the kiosks are safely and promptly disposed. Law enforcement, as well as several major firms that play key roles in Illinois health care, are happy to help get these drugs out of settings where they could wind up on the street.

No comments :