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State Representative Steve Andersson has launched his third annual summer reading program. This year’s theme calls for all the Super Readers in PK-5th grade to participate and read at least ten books of their choice this summer.

For the third year, Andersson has again held this program to continue to motivate students in his 65th legislative district to keep reading during the summer. “Students who read continue to learn, even when they are out of school, which can help prevent any learning loss typically experienced in the summer months,” said Andersson. 

Andersson hopes even more students will participate this year, as the program has continually grown each year it is offered. “The summer reading program is a fun way to encourage students to read, and do so at their own pace,” said the Representative. Students who submit their completed reading forms by August 18th are invited to a special party in the fall, where Rep. Andersson looks forward to meeting all the super readers in the area, celebrating their hard work, and discussing their favorite books!

The program brochure can be found here, which includes additional information and instructions. Should you have any questions, contact Rep. Andersson’s district office at (630) 457-5460.
State Representative Steve Andersson recently hosted a page for the day in Springfield. The Page for the Day program allows students to visit the House of Representatives and help serve their Representative on the House floor during legislative session in Springfield.

Andersson’s Page, Elyssa Jamaludin, is part of The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program. Elyssa is from Malaysia but currently living in Rep. Andersson’s district while attending Geneva High School. Each scholarship recipient of the YES program is required to complete several enrichment activities in cultural diversity, government and community service. Elyssa visited the Springfield capitol and served as a Page to learn more about state government and the General Assembly in Illinois.

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program is a public diplomacy effort to help foster meaningful opportunities for youth exchange. It was launched after 9/11 as an initiative of the Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau of the U.S. Department of State to display a commitment to building bridges between citizens of the U.S. and countries around the world, especially those with large Muslim populations.

Since its start in 2003, the program has involved 10,000 participants. It is a fully funded program by the U.S. Department of State, and has available scholarships for secondary school students ages 15-17. You can find out more about this program here.
State Representative Steve Andersson passed legislation this week that will make guidelines on farmer’s markets uniform throughout the State of Illinois.

The legislation addresses vendor complaints regarding the reasonableness of local health departments’ fees and sanitation provisions for state-wide farmers markets. HB2820 calls for the Department of Public Health to work with the Farmers’ Market Task Force to adequately address these issues.

The bill will help remedy any challenges facing market vendors, and seeks to implement safe, fair, and consistent regulations for the entire state. It would be the role of the Department of Public Health to develop and implement uniform regulations to be used throughout Illinois.

Rep. Andersson has found that there are various rules for vendors depending on the location of the farmers market, and these widely differ throughout Illinois. “Farmer’s markets are a great addition to communities throughout the state. This legislation will help solve the challenges that face the vendors, to help keep these markets successful and vibrant for both vendors and residents in the state.”

The bill will help prevent any further problems from arising by creating uniform regulation, and ensures more regularity so that every vendor has the same opportunity no matter where in the state they are located.

House Bill 2820 passed in the House with wide support from lawmakers and will move forward to the Senate.
Protecting the identity of our residents, and ensuring personal security is extremely important for the overall well-being of Illinoisans and longevity of our state. Identity theft has been on the rise for years and remains a top complaint received by the Illinois Attorney General each year.

In fact, throughout 2016, the Office of the Illinois Attorney General received 2,387 complaints received relating to fraud and 2,391 related to identity theft.

There have also been several complaints within the 45th District received by the Geneva Police Department. This year the Department announced a new online scam and warned residents of computer tampering and online fraud schemes from residents. Police urge residents to be aware of any suspicious online behavior, and want to remind residents to not open unknown emails, attachments or click on pop-up messages.

If you have questions or concerns about a potential scam, contact the Geneva Police Department at (630) 232-4736 and ask for Officer Chuck Parisi in Crime Prevention.

There are simply measures you can take to proactively protect you and your family and prevent fraud or identity theft from hurting you or your family:
The Illinois I-Cash program seeks to reunite Illinois residents with their unclaimed property. This program is an initiative of the Illinois Treasurer’s Office, who is the custodian of any unclaimed property in the state. Unclaimed property can be anything from lost bank accounts, insurance policy proceeds, or forgotten safe deposit boxes—all of which is surrendered to the state if it cannot be returned to its owners after five years.

According to the Illinois State Treasurer, Michael Frerichs, thousands of items are surrendered each year. Consequently, Frerichs recommends checking the I-Cash database every six months. There is no cost to checking your information in the I-Cash system, and it is important to ensure you don’t have any unclaimed property under your name.

In the last fiscal year the Treasurer’s Office returned a record setting $155 million in forgotten cash and stock, the largest sum in the program’s 55 year history.

State Rep. Steve Andersson’s District Office has worked diligently to track down constituents who have unclaimed assets through the I-Cash system. “My office has helped several residents claim money and assets that they didn’t realize they even had,” said Andersson. “This is a good program that helps put money back in the hands of its rightful owners.”

While some may be weary of using the online database due to the recent surge in identity fraud and online scams, residents can rest assured this is secure system and an official program in the state of Illinois created to help Illinois residents.

Rep. Andersson encourages all area residents to search the I-Cash database for unclaimed property. Should you have any questions about the I-Cash system, or if you need help navigating the online database, contact Rep. Andersson’s district office at (630) 457-5460.
Landmarks Illinois is a membership based non-profit organization that works to persevere authentic and historic buildings and structures throughout the state. Through its advocacy, the organization provides free guidance, practical and financial resources, and access to strategic partnerships to accomplish its preservation goals.

This week, the organization held a special event in Springfield to reveal their annual list of the Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. Since 1995 the organization has released an annual list to call attention to threatened historic sites in Illinois.

State Representative Steve Andersson spoke at the event on behalf of the Historic Preservation Caucus of the 100th General Assembly. Like the work of Landmarks Illinois, Andersson, along with the Caucus’ bipartisan group of legislators, advocates for and supports efforts of historic preservation throughout the state. The Representative spoke to Landmark Illinois’ organization’s history of preserving significant and meaningful places in Illinois—preserving 256 landmarks over its 45 year advocacy.

At a challenging time for the State, maintaining and investing in real estate and infrastructure is difficult, especially when funding is limited and there is no state budget. Consequently, this year’s list includes several city, county and state owned structures.

One building on their list includes the James R. Thompson Center. While the General Assembly is currently considering the sale of this building—through HB500—Illinois Landmarks is advocating for the preservation of this building. While the organization supports the sale of the building, it opposes the destruction of the structure due to the building’s architectural importance in Illinois’ history.

Landmark Illinois’ list hopes to preserve the state’s character and heritage in a special way. You can find the full list of the Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois here.

Representative Steve Andersson was recently named Legislator of the Year by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD). This award was given to three state legislators this year to recognize their work in the Illinois General Assembly on behalf of parks throughout the state. 

Andersson was honored at the 2017 IAPD/IDPR Soaring to New Heights Conference Awards. The Representative was further recognized for his participation in IAPD legislative awareness events, and for his efforts to help advance park and recreational opportunities in Illinois. Andersson continually advocates for local control while opposing unfunded mandates—which are consistently important to the legislative platform of the IAPD.

The IAPD reviews countless pieces of legislation every year to weigh the potential impact bills can have on park districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation, and special recreation agencies throughout Illinois. This year, the IAPD will track roughly 350 bills that can affect member agencies with their passage in the General Assembly.

Rep. Andersson filed several pieces of legislation in the 100th General Assembly that are instrumental to the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) Legislative Platform:

House Bill 776 ensures that the terms of park commissioners remain staggered in instances where the sizes of park boards are reduced from 7 to 5 members.

House Bill 766 removes from production executable programs or source codes used to store and access electronic data processing records from the Freedom of Information Act, so that a person using these programs and source codes cannot access privileged and confidential documents

House Bill 3626 provides any person seeking to address public officials in an open meeting shall be allowed to do so at least once per meeting, voiding any rule limiting a person to speaking no more than once in a given number of days.

These bills are just a few of the top priorities of the IAPD, and are supported by the organization as they continue through the legislative process in Springfield.