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Today, Representative Steve Andersson asked for a moment of silence on the floor of the House of Representatives to acknowledge and remember those affected by the November 13th terror attacks in Paris.  In total, 130 people were killed during the attack, and over 350 who were injured, and this was a moment to not only remember those people, but also honor them.  For Andersson, the devastation in Paris hit very close to home, as his wife grew up in the city.

“To me and to the world, the Paris attack was different for what it represents. Other great world cities may represent many things; business, finance, or trade, but Paris is the heart of culture.  The center of all of those things that represent what civilization strives to be:  art, theater, architecture, cuisine, fashion, literature—it is the literal incarnation of creativity.  To attack Paris is to attack that which is best in our world, best at what we can aspire to.”

While the world has been in a state of shock in the aftermath of the recent attack, Andersson noted that we must remember and mourn those we lost, but also remember that we will prevail. In an effort to honor the victims, Andersson took the time to learn a little about each one of them.  He discussed one in particular, and you can see more of his remarks about Paris in the video below. 

Representative Steve Andersson spent Veterans Day at two different retirement communities in the 65th District to honor and recognize veterans for their service.  Andersson visited the Holmstad in Batavia to participate in their 10th annual Veterans Day program.  There he spoke with all the veterans, and was able to thank them for their service and sacrifices for our country.  He presented each veteran with a certificate of recognition to further honor them and express gratitude for all they did.

“Every year we take this opportunity to pay tribute to those who proudly served our country on behalf of all Americans.  I am forever grateful for your strength and your sacrifice.  As your State Representative, and simply as a fellow American, I thank you for all that you did. I realize my obligation to carry on the American values our veterans work to maintain in their time of service, and also my responsibility to ensure that American heroes are taken care of now and in the future.”
State Representative Steve Andersson hosted an informational seminar on Medicare recently. The free educational event was held at the St. Charles Public Library, and open to the public, in order to provide a great resource to residents on how to navigate the often confusing process of enrolling for Medicare.

Medicare is complex, and Andersson brought in two experts on the matter to explain in detail what the program entails, as well as thoroughly address any questions or concerns.

“Because Medicare and the enrollment process can be daunting, I wanted to bring in accessible in person resources to explain the process and walk through the Medicare coverage plans to alleviate any concerns for new participants and make sure everyone has the best understanding of the various options available.”
Representative Steve Andersson recently hosted a forum on clean energy.  The event brought together constituents in the area, and featured other panelists from various backgrounds who provided insightful information about clean energy, and the Clean Jobs bill:  House Bill 2607.  While the bill already has a great amount of bipartisan support, both Representative Andersson and Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) were on hand to answer any questions and provide further legislative insight on the bill.  The meeting brought together a wide variety of advocates from different sectors in the community, from government to business, to interest groups like the Sierra Club.


Andersson, a current co-sponsor of the legislation, was interested in hosting a clean energy forum in order to further engage with constituents and see where their interests lie.  “The clean jobs bill could provide great opportunities for our state.  It can help create new markets and new business, and this bill would make that possible.  It is a great thing for our area and community to have such a great turn out at this forum, to have so many interested in helping our state achieve this large vision that the clean energy bill could provide us with.”

Representative Steve Andersson recently nominated two organizations in his district to receive a special award from AT&T.  The Geneva History Museum and the Huntley Historical Society won AT&T “Investing in Illinois Awards” for their non-profit work to help people in Illinois.  Each organization received $1,000 from AT&T to help continue preservation efforts in these two communities. The AT&T “Investing in Illinois Awards” provide resources and recognition to organizations and programs that improve lives in their communities and the state. They’re advancing education, economic growth, new technologies and other essential community services.  AT&T Inc. has worked to advance education, strengthen communities and improve lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs.

Yesterday, both the Huntley Historical Society and the Geneva History Museum received their awards, and celebrated their achievement with members of their staff, Representative Andersson, and John Quinn from AT&T. Representative Andersson nominated the Geneva History Museum and the Huntley Historical Society for the recognition from AT&T Illinois.  “Both the Geneva History Museum and the Huntley Historical Society are important assets in our community.  They serve to protect historical landmarks and preserve our community’s rich history while also working to engage our residents.  This generous award from AT&T will help them in their efforts, and I congratulate them on this great achievement.”

Today Representative Andersson served as “Principal for the Day” at Fox Meadow Elementary School in South Elgin.  His day started before the students arrived, when he met with a group of teachers and listened to their concerns about classroom sizes, special education, and testing.  After the students arrived, Representative Andersson was in charge of saying the Pledge of Allegiance and reading the announcements over the school intercom.  With the guidance of Fox Meadow’s principal, Sjoukje Brown, he then toured the school, and was able to spend time in every classroom to discuss with students the work he does as a State Representative.  Andersson received some especially entertaining answers from the students as to which laws they would like passed in the General Assembly.  Andersson led a discussion on government to an assembly of fourth graders, where he was able to explain in further detail the legislative process. Andersson finished his day as Principal with a visit to the kindergarten, where he was the guest reader for story time!  He read the newest book from the ‘Pete the Cat’ book series, a personal favorite to the class, and one that he also gifted to the classroom so they can continue to read it again and again.

Representative Andersson was invited to participate in the Principal for the Day program by the Illinois Principals association.  It was an event that Andersson was looking forward to, in order to gain more understanding of one of the schools in the community of District 65. “It was great to see the enthusiasm and energy of each class, and I especially enjoyed the questions from the students.  It is always encouraging to see so much interest in our state government from bright young students in our community.”

Representative Steve Andersson hosted his first advisory council meeting at his district office in Geneva. The meeting served as an introductory session where the Representative described the purpose of the council and his goals in creating it. 

"I want this council to serve as an outlet for residents, where they can voice their concerns about our state and have direct access to me, so I can more adequately address and represent their concerns in Springfield. As much outreach as we do, it is difficult to get feedback regularly, and the advisory council will help me receive regular feedback so I can be more effective at my job."

The first meeting was a success and Andersson received a lot of positive input from the group and as the group had diverse opinions, there was a spirited debate that all enjoyed and participated in. There will be more meetings to come, and the council will touch on various topics such as seniors, veterans, economic expansion, small business, and Swedish-Americans.

For all those who were unable to attend the first meeting, there is still time to join, and share your questions and concerns with the Representative. You can contact the district office at (630) 457-5460 for more information and find out how you can be involved in this great opportunity.

IL State Budget

Unfortunately, there has not been much progress with our state budget negotiations in the General Assembly, and the state continues to operate without a FY16 budget in place.  At this point, we are reaching the third month without a spending plan for the fiscal year.  While the House was back in Springfield last week, an overall spending plan or budget agreement was not discussed.  One bill, Senate Bill 2046, was presented in the House for consideration, and although it moved on for further action on the floor, Governor Rauner has stated his intent to veto any piecemeal budget bills that would overspend anticipated revenues by billions of dollars.  Senate Bill 2046, would do just that, and is a large appropriations bill that designates over $4 billion to various social services in the state.

ALERT: Secretary of State to End Mailed Vehicle Registration Renewal Reminders

Another important update regarding the budget comes from the Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, who recently announced that due to the lack of a state budget, his office will be suspending the mailing out of vehicle registration renewal reminder notices.  Those who want to continue receiving a reminder must sign-up to receive electronic reminder notices.
When making the announcement, White noted that suspending this service will save approximately $450,000 per month, and allows his office to prolong the mailing out of vehicle registration renewal stickers, titles and license plates to vehicle owners. According to White, unless a budget is approved, his postage account will be completely depleted in a few months.

I would encourage all residents to be aware of the date for renewal of their vehicle registrations, but to also sign-up for the email notifications without delay.  The link to sign up is here https://www.ilsos.gov/greenmail.   While those who receive emailed vehicle registration renewal notices will continue to have access to a pin number needed to renew their sticker online, those who do not sign up for the electronic alerts will now have to renew their vehicle stickers in person at a Secretary of State office.  Please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions or concerns.

Upcoming Events:

Advisory Council Meeting
I am hosting the first meeting of my Advisory Council on October 15th in my district office, located at 127 S. First Street, Suite 204, in Geneva.  I wanted to create an Advisory Council to gather constituents and discuss important issues affecting our community.  The Council will be made up of several focus groups:  Seniors, Veterans, Small Business, Economic Expansion, and Swedish-American.  If you are interested in participating in the Advisory Council, please call my legislative aide, Michelle, at (630) 457-5460 to RSVP.  I encourage all interested residents to join, and help inform me of the issues important to you.

The ABC’s of Medicare
Open Enrollment for Medicare begins October 15th and closes on December 7th.  I am hosting a free community education event to help our residents better understand Medicare and answer any questions you may have.  Two Medicare experts will be there to guide us through the Medicare maze, and I encourage all residents to come learn more!  The event will be held on Friday, November 6th at the St. Charles Public Library from 2—4:00PM.  Please contact my district office to RSVP for the event at (630) 457-5460.

Representative Steve Andersson was recently named to the Behavioral Health Prison Diversion Commission. The appointment is effective immediately, and Andersson will join with other legislators on the Commission to gather information and identify areas in the criminal justice system that are able to handle persons with behavioral health disorders like mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual disabilities. The Commission will work towards producing a comprehensive report for the General Assembly by February of 2016. The Commission’s report will detail a plan of action plan to improve the state’s efforts for persons with behavioral health disorders, and areas of the state to expand the use of effective pre-booking and post-booking options, in addition to a performance monitoring process.

Andersson is looking forward to working on this new commission, “I appreciate Leader Durkin appointing me to this Commission and am ready to get to work, and help contribute to more effective and productive solutions for persons with behavioral health disorders in Illinois.”

The Commission was created by HJR 53, and will dissolve after a full report is given to the General Assembly in February 2016.
Representative Steve Andersson is conducting a food drive to collect non-perishable items for the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Since September is Hunger Action Month, Representative Andersson wanted to help out, and encourage others to contribute to the cause as well.

“Last month I was able to visit the Food Bank, and see first-hand the effort and resources being utilized to fight hunger in our communities. Their operation provided over 57 million meals last year to those in need. I am eager to continue contributing to that number and help in any way I can to fight hunger not only through September but throughout the year.”

Andersson is collecting items at his district office, 127 S. First Street in Geneva, and will drop off donations at the Food Bank as needed. To find out more about the Northern Illinois Food Bank and how you can further contribute, visit their website at www.solvehungertoday.com.

Representative Steve Andersson recently held an Identity Theft Seminar at the Huntley Public Library. The event was targeted towards senior citizens, who are often victim to consumer fraud scams and identity theft.

The event had a great turnout, and Andersson welcomed the group and invited them to reach out to him with any questions or concerns about theft and fraud. “The best thing we can do is to be proactive. I want to work to help educate and inform you, and put you in the best position to not be a victim of fraud and identity theft. With the help from the Attorney General’s office and our local police forces, we have the tools and knowledge to arm you with the best information to prevent scams and fraud from hurting you and your loved ones.”

Andersson’s event featured an expert from the Attorney General’s office, Skip Gonsoulin, who spoke in detail about how seniors can proactively protect themselves from fraud and scams, and also discussed the resources available should they fall victim to consumer fraud or identity theft. He noted that the number one scam across the country involves sweepstakes and lotteries. Other top consumer fraud issues involve car sales and auto repair shops. Should you ever have a question or need any assistance, it is important to know you can always reach out to the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-964-3013.

Officer Tim Heagney from the Huntley Police Department spoke about local scams happening in the community, to let our residents know of current fraud attempts happening in our neighborhoods. The most frequent complaint has been from people receiving phone calls from people claiming to be the IRS.

The event was extremely informative, and provided great information about how to best protect yourself. The overall advice stressed at the seminar was to protect your information: you are the first line of defense, so be extremely careful when giving away information unique to you.

If you were unable to attend Representative Andersson’s seminar, there is another opportunity to learn more about identity theft and fraud at another upcoming event with Representative Keith Wheeler next week: September 28th, 2015. To RSVP for this event, please call (630) 345-3464, and visit www.repkeithwheeler.com for more information!

Yesterday, Representative Steve Andersson held his summer reading party to celebrate all the students who successfully completed his summer reading program.

The students met Representative Andersson at Wise Guys Pizzeria in South Elgin to discuss their favorite books they read, and celebrate their accomplishments over pizza and cupcakes. Each student received a certificate from Representative Andersson, while Tricky the Magician provided the entertainment for the evening, and made sure to make a balloon animal for every student!

The students read a variety of books, and Andersson was pleased to see all the different interests of the students represented in their reading lists. “We had a great turn out, and it was amazing to see how excited the students were to participate in the program. Reading, and especially reading during the summer months, is so important to education and I hope to continue doing this program every year.”

Today, State Representative Steve Andersson met with a midwifery group made up of residents in the 65th district and outlying communities. The group met to discuss possible legislation that would help them increase access to home births in Illinois, and work to make certified professional midwifes an official licensure. The group sought him out to explain their pursuit of legislation to help their cause.

The midwifery group recognized the need to balance both consumer needs and medical requirements. Above all, they believe that mothers should have options in terms of birth, and that mothers deserve the right to decide where they give birth whether it is at a hospital or at home.

Andersson is open to their ideas, and wanted to gain as much knowledge as he could from the group before further pursing action. He said, “there is convincing data as well as driving principals that make this an interesting topic for legislation. I look forward to exploring this further.”
Representative Steve Andersson will be hosting an Identity Theft Seminar next week at the Huntley Public Library. The event is geared toward senior citizens, as these are the most at risk for identity theft, exploitation and fraud due to their ability to access retirement accounts and pensions. However, any interested residents are welcome to attend. 

The seminar will be an educational program, and will feature an identity theft expert from the Illinois Attorney General’s office who will teach senior citizens how to protect their personal information from scammers, and the proper steps to take if your identity has been stolen.

The goal of this event is to educate seniors, and help them best protect themselves from con artists and deceptive business schemes.

“This program will help make sure our seniors, and any member of our community is protected and not taken advantage of,” said Andersson. “Sadly, there are scam-artists out there who are preying on the elderly, and the most vulnerable in our society. It is important to educate ourselves and be proactive against these types of people, and be aware of any scams happening in our community.”

The hour long program is set for Friday September 18th at the Huntley Public Library, 11000 Ruth Road, Huntley, IL and will be begin at 10:00am. The event is free and open to the public, but requires registration with Representative Andersson’s district office. To register for the event, please call (630) 457-5460.
State Representative Steve Andersson hosted a town hall meeting at the Sun City Huntley community. He gave a legislative update to almost 80 residents, and fielded many different questions about current issues facing Illinois. While the discussion centered on the state budget and concerns about the financial situation, Rep. Andersson made sure to answer every question posed from the audience.

Rep. Andersson enjoyed his visit, and the time he was able to spend getting to know constituents in the community, one that was recently named one of the best places to retire in the United States. “Hosting these town hall meetings is a great way to stay in touch with the community and get to know the real concerns my constituents have for their communities and the state as a whole. I hope to continue hosting these throughout the district to meet more residents and help keep them informed on happenings in Springfield.”


Representative Steve Andersson completed a leadership training program at the 21st Annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development. The program, called one of the premier leadership training programs in the nation, gives legislators in the region the opportunity to enhance their skills through a unique educational experience.

Founded in 1995, the institute gathers legislators from across the Midwest region, and Andersson was one of 35 legislators selected to complete the program. “This was an extremely valuable experience that not only stressed leadership skills but also public policy issues. I am eager to expand upon what I learned at the Bowhay Institute with my continued work in the Illinois General Assembly.”

The program is funded through various grants from foundations and corporate sponsors, and is held every year in partnership with the University of Wisconsin’s Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs. Overall, the Bowhay Institute was created to address the shortage of training available for state legislators with the goal of assisting and advancing state government.

Representative Andersson is pictured with State Rep. Evan Goyke from Wisconsin, one of his colleagues at the Institute.

 


Representative Steve Andersson recently visited the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, a non-profit organization that collects donated food from manufacturers, local groceries, corporations, foundations, and individuals. On his visit, Rep. Andersson listened to a panel of leaders from suburban libraries, after school programs, and local food pantries, who explained the effect hunger has on local communities, and the ways that we can help fight hunger.

After the panel, Rep. Andersson took a tour of the food bank facility. He even spent time volunteering at the center to gain a better understanding of all the work behind the operation. Rep. Andersson was grateful for the opportunity, "It is amazing to see how many different organizations and institutions have taken their own initiative to help fight hunger in our communities. They have recognized that hunger is a problem, and have worked together with our Northern Food Bank to help solve it. Being able to see this facility and all the work behind it is inspiring-there are so many individuals coming together to donate food, funds, and time, and are truly committed to end hunger in Illinois."

The Northern Illinois Food Bank provided over 57 million meals last year to those in need. To find out more about how you can contribute, visit their website at www.solvehungertoday.com.


 


Today, Representative Steve Andersson met with local seniors at Highland Oaks, a not-for-profit senior care and retirement community in Elgin. Andersson was able to meet several residents at the facility, and received a tour where he saw first-hand the high-quality health care services and loving homelike atmosphere at the community.


After speaking with residents, Rep. Andersson was given a Partner In Quality award from Leading Age Illinois, one of the largest associations of providers serving Illinois older adults that advocates for quality services.  



Click here view Representative Andersson's Legislative Session Newsletter, and find out more about all that was accomplished this spring in the General Assembly.  Rep. Andersson also welcomes you to take a brief end of session survey by clicking the link below.



Today, Representative Steve Andersson had the honor of being the key note speaker at the Geneva Lions Club meeting. Rep. Andersson had the opportunity to meet the club members and learn more about the work they do in the community. He gave a detailed update on legislation in Springfield, and fielded many questions about the future of our State due to the current budget impasse. 

"It is always a pleasure getting out in the community and starting a dialogue to hear what the main concerns are for our community and our state as a whole. I especially love getting to know organizations like the Lions Club, who have given over 75 years of service to the Geneva community; their commitment has made an impact that makes our home a better place to live."
State Representative Steve Andersson recently toured 25N, a co-working business space in the heart of Geneva’s downtown. 25N provides full concierge services and offers open work spaces, private offices, conferences rooms, and can also host events.

The space was originally a grocery store and then converted into a bank, but was vacant for over six years before 25N was built. In fact, many artifacts from the previous structures were retained, like the bank vault door, and grocery store cabinets and table tops.

CEO and founder, Mara Hauser, would like to see 25N expand throughout the state, and eventually hopes for further national expansion.

Rep. Andersson was able to see the innovative work spaces available inside 25N, who hosts businesses from 16 different cities. Andersson said, “It is fantastic for the community to have this space. It was transformed from dead space to something that is a great work space and resource for the community.” In addition to providing a comfortable work culture and innovative environment, 25N draws in foot traffic to the downtown community, which has helped increase economic development in the area.

Currently, 25N houses several individuals and small businesses, and seeks to provide a comfortable setting to encourage these businesses to grow. Rep. Andersson finds this business model to be a great addition to the city, and one that is helping small businesses grow and thrive. “As a state, we need to help support businesses like this, and do what we can to help this business grow, which would further help foster the businesses inside this business.”

For more information, please visit their website: 25ncoworking.com, or stop by their office at 25 N. Third Street.

Illinois continues to face an unprecedented fiscal crisis. As of late, there is no clear solution in sight, and the budget impasse continues in the General Assembly.

The state is suffering from a debt burden of over $100 billion, and despite this crisis, a bill was passed last year to give pay raises to state legislators for the current fiscal year. This pay raise not only includes a salary increase but also increases the per diem and mileage reimbursement rates given to legislators. The state cannot afford to give legislators a raise. It is completely wrong as legislators to give ourselves a pay raise when our state’s finances are in turmoil, and there is still no budget in place.

At the same time, we do not have the ability to refuse this pay raise. The last General Assembly created this automatic pay increase when the aforementioned bill passed last year. House Bill 4225, seeks to rectify this problem. This bill amends the Compensation Review Act, and prohibits any financial adjustments that were previously recommended and determined for compensation. I signed onto this bill in full support. While this bill is currently still in the Rules Committee in the House, you can follow the bill’s status here.

I believe that House Bill 4225 is a step in the right direction. I am ready to work together with my fellow legislators to create a balanced budget for our state, and help fix our finances. 
State Representative Steve Andersson spoke today on the House floor during the debate of Senate Bill 2040, legislation that would create a temporary one month budget for the state. As a budget solution has not yet been met, this bill seeks to provide a short term solution.

Representative Andersson described this bill as a hard vote, and one that is tempting but in reality does not solve our state’s biggest problem. He further stated that this legislation is not a step in the right direction, but rather a cruel move that sends the wrong message to the people of Illinois.

Andersson said, “Over promising is cruel. The budget is still $4 billion out of balance, and these short term fixes just delay the problem. We need to prioritize our budget because we cannot have it all, and we need to get back to real negotiations. While my temptation is to vote yes, I must vote no.”

You can hear more of Representative Andersson’s remarks in the below video.

As the state budget is no longer in place beginning July 1, I understand state employees may have questions about how their benefits will be impacted. The following Q&As were designed to help answer any questions you may have.

Employee Benefits
Q.  Will an employee's health, dental or life insurance be affected?
A.  No. Group insurance coverage during a budget situation will not be impacted. If paychecks are delayed, and as long as the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, insurance premiums will be taken accordingly. The missed payroll deductions will be taken once paychecks are issued.

Q. What will happen to an employee's contributions to any flexible spending accounts (i.e., MCAP, DCAP) during the budget situation?
A.
Ø  Employees enrolled in MCAP will not be impacted. ConnectYourCare debit cards will continue to work. If the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, deductions should be taken accordingly. If MCAP deductions are missed, they must be made up when the budget situation is resolved.
Ø  Employees enrolled in DCAP may be impacted as reimbursements are limited to the available account balance contained in their DCAP account. If the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, and once all payroll deductions are deposited into the DCAP account, reimbursements can be made for eligible expenses up to the available account balance.

Q.  What will happen to an employee's Commuter Savings Program benefit?
A.  Employees enrolled in the Commuter Savings Program will continue to receive the benefit under this program. Employees will owe any underpaid amount upon their return to payroll.

Workers' Compensation Program
Q.  Will an employee's Workers' Compensation benefits be affected?
A.  No. In the event of a budget situation, Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Permanent Total Disability (PTD) and survivor death benefit payments under the Workers' Compensation Act will continue through July. Work-related injuries should continue to be reported through the procedures in place today.

Deferred Compensation Program
Q. What will happen to an employee's Deferred Compensation contributions during the budget situation?
A.  As long as the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, payroll deductions for Deferred Compensation should be taken accordingly. Deferred Compensation contributions can only be made through payroll deduction. The employee cannot deposit money directly to his or her fund to catch-up the contributions.

Q.  If an individual is currently receiving a distribution from their Deferred Compensation account, will that distribution continue during the budget situation?
A.  Yes. Current distributions and changes to distribution amounts will continue to be processed. To make any changes in distribution, call T. Rowe Price at 1-888-457-5770.

Q.  Will hardship distributions/loans from an employee's Deferred Compensation account be available during the budget situation?
A.  A loan provision is available at any time and allows a participant to have one outstanding loan and borrow a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $50,000 or 50% of their account balance over a five year period. The interest you pay goes back to your account along with the principal amount each month as you repay the loan through Automatic Clearing House (ACH) deductions from your bank. Employees would likely not qualify for a hardship distribution as they will be made whole of any missed payrolls when the budget situation ends.

Q.  How do I borrow from my Deferred Compensation account?
A.  To apply for a loan from your account over the phone, call T. Rowe Price at 1-888-457-5770 to speak to a Representative. There is a $75 processing fee and you will need to supply bank routing and account information for your checking/savings account numbers to set up the automatic ACH deduction. Participants are allowed one outstanding loan at a time. You may repay the full loan balance amount at any time through the same phone number at T. Rowe Price.

State Employee Compensation
Q. What options exist if certain parties take action to temporarily block pay for state employees?
A. State employees will be paid for their work. If certain parties take action to temporarily block pay for state employees, there may be an opportunity for employees to get bridge loans from local financial institutions. Credit Union 1, for example, has already agreed to offer no-interest loans for qualifying members of the credit union should salary payments for state employees be delayed. To be eligible to receive 0% interest loans from Credit Union 1, participants must have been members on or before May 1, 2015. Employees who have become members of Credit Union 1 since May 1, 2015, can apply for a loan, subject to normal criteria, rates and terms.
Today, a group of veterans in the 65th District gathered at the DuPage County Airport, where they were honored for their service. The ceremony and flight was made possible by The Holmstad Covenant Retirement Community, who brought veterans who reside in their community to the airport. The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “give back to those who have given,” helped coordinate the event with the Holmstad. 

The Foundation provides flights on a Boeing Stearman biplane, the same aircraft used to train many military aviators in the 1940’s. The group of veterans were extremely excited to have another opportunity to take a flight on an airplane similar to the ones they flew in during their time of service. However, due to weather constraints they were unable to take flight today. 
 
Representative Steve Andersson was a key note speaker at the event, and was extremely honored to be a part of such a special day. Andersson said, “Today, I am simply a grateful American. As a State Representative, I represent grateful Americans who do not have the honor of speaking to their heroes like I do today. It is my sincere hope that we can always remember the efforts of our veterans and their sacrifices for our freedom and live by them.”

In addition to his remarks, Representative Andersson further honored the veterans with certificates of recognition. The ceremony also included comments from the Mayor of Batavia, Jeff Schielke, and SFC Larry Orsborn. The Batavia and West Chicago Fire Departments also participated in the ceremony.
Yesterday, Representative Steve Andersson invited local residents, students, elected officials, family and friends to his office for an open house. 3rd and 5th Grade students from Williamsburg Elementary School in Geneva created a mural especially for the event featuring all the important land marks of Geneva and Kane County. The banner will continue to hang in Rep. Andersson’s district office where students and their families are welcome to visit and view.

Representative Andersson also gave a legislative update presentation to a standing room only crowd of over 100 citizens, where he discussed what was accomplished thus far in the General Assembly, and what still needs to be done. Representative Andersson was also able to present several certificates of recognition at the event to noteworthy constituents in the district.

The event was a success, and Rep. Andersson was extremely grateful for all those who came out to show their support. “I enjoyed meeting local residents in the district and hearing their concerns about local community issues. I want to thank everyone that came to show their support and listen to all that we have been working on in Springfield.”

Due to the success of this event, Rep. Andersson hopes to host more town hall gatherings to continue to keep the community and residents of the 65th District updated on legislation and action in the General Assembly.
Placing telemarketing calls to wireless phones is - and always has been - illegal in most cases.

Why the confusion about telemarketing to wireless phones?


Consumers report receiving emails saying they'll soon begin receive telemarketing calls on their wireless phones. The confusion seems to stem from discussions in the wireless phone industry about establishing a wireless 411 phone directory, much like your traditional (wired) 411 phone directory. A number of email campaigns seem to suggest that if your wireless telephone number is listed in a wireless 411 directory, it will be available to telemarketers, and you will start to receive sales calls. In addition, some of these email campaigns suggest that there is a separate do-not-call "cell phone registry," which you must call to have your wireless phone number covered by the do-not-call rules. This information is inaccurate.

The facts


Even if a wireless 411 directory is established, most telemarketing calls to wireless phones would still be illegal. For example, it is unlawful for any person to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with express prior consent) using any automatic telephone dialing system or any artificial or prerecorded voice message to wireless numbers. This law applies regardless of whether the number is listed on the national Do-Not-Call list.

Read more here.

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Democrats in the House of Representatives presented a series of budget bills for appropriations. Although the bills presented were debated for hours on the House floor, the legislation failed to address the existing budget deficits. In what they declared as an effort to move the process along, House Democrats pushed these budget bills forward, despite their severely unbalanced nature. 

Representative Andersson found this process to be just another example of the broken process and partisan politics that has been all too common in Springfield.

“Today, the very essence of a sound budgeting process was ignored. The Constitution requires that we pass a balanced budget. The Democrat leadership admitted that its budget is almost 4 billion dollars short. Illinoisans should not stand for this. This is not right and, quite frankly, it’s a stick in the eye of every Illinoisan who is looking for change. We cannot keep putting off our state’s fiscal problems: the people of Illinois deserve better. We cannot ignore the situation we are in now, we must put in the hard work today to plan for the future.

“The entire budget process, from start to finish, has been frustrating. I spent five years on the Geneva Library Board and we budgeted in a responsible manner. We started with expected revenues and then determined what the District’s priorities are to be for the year. We spent only what we had (or less)-a simple formula for budgeting. Sometimes it made for difficult decisions as there are never as much revenues as one might want. It meant we had to reduce or cut good programs. We did our level best to utilize the funds in the best way possible and cut it where the impact would be felt the least. But make no mistake, there is always pain in budget cutting. Someone’s program gets cut and every program has its advocates. Not so here in Springfield. Here in Springfield, we ignore any discussion of realistic budgeting.”

Despite the disheartening process and unbalanced budget presented in the various bills, the legislation passed in the House today. After receiving a constitutional majority, the bills will move on for further approval in the Senate.
Today Representative Steve Andersson passed Senate Bill 45. This legislation creates the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act, and provides more specific guidelines for the issuance of subpoenas. It amends an existing process for the presentation of out of state subpoenas, and provides attorneys with a more streamlined method, one that would create a faster, more responsive legal process.

This legislation was an initiative of the Illinois State Bar Association, and was initially sponsored in the Senate by Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington). Representative Andersson became the Chief Sponsor of the bill in the House, where the legislation passed unanimously.

“This bill creates an improved mechanism for issuance of subpoenas. Similar measures have already been adopted by 31 other states including the District of Colombia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and it will greatly help our state expedite judicial proceedings and improve our legal system.”
Today, the freshman House Republican members held a press conference in the Capitol to discuss term limits in the General Assembly. While the past few weeks have involved difficult partisan debates, there seemed no better time for a decisive call for term limits in Springfield.

Representative Andersson spoke at this morning’s conference to express the need for term limits in the General Assembly. As a freshman legislator, one of Andersson’s first bills filed concerned term limits. Andersson is the Chief Sponsor of HJRCA 28, which would limit the time a legislator can serve to a maximum of 12 years, or a combination of offices for more than 16 years. In addition, the bill restricts a person to no more than 2 terms within the Office of the Governor and cannot serve more than 3 terms within the same Executive Branch office. However, this bill was sent to the Rules Committee the day after it was filed in March and has been bottled up there ever since.

Andersson believes term limits are necessary to promote the very essence of legislating; to broaden the pool of those who want to serve and limit the power of those on the inside. It is this process that would create better government for Illinois.

“The people want bi-partisan government, not a one party rule. The only way to make this change is through real reform, and the time is now. We are in a gridlock, and finding balance and dialogue on legislation has become increasingly more difficult. We cannot stand to lose effectiveness in our government, and I have great faith that we can make change.”

In addition to Andersson’s legislation, House Republicans have filed two other amendments aimed at imposing term limits in Illinois: HJRCA1 filed by Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove), and HJRCA 10 filed by Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford).

Representative Steve Andersson presented Senate Bill 45 in the Judiciary Civil Committee hearing this morning.   This legislation creates the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act, and provides more specific guidelines for the issuance of subpoenas. This Act has already been adopted by 31 other states, and the District of Colombia.

State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) initiated this legislation in the Senate, and Rep. Andersson is the chief sponsor of this bill in the House. After passing in the Senate, the bill was presented by Andersson in the Judiciary Civil Committee where it passed unanimously, and the bill will now move on for further approval in the House.

Andersson says, “This bill clarifies the guidelines for the issuance of subpoenas and will simplify the judicial process, creating a more streamlined process. While many other states have already done this, this law will help make the legal process more responsive and expedite the judicial proceedings.”


After gaining a few months of experience in the General Assembly, Representative Steve Andersson is working to start an important initiative in the 65th Legislative District: to gather constituents and discuss important issues pertaining to the community. The advisory council will be made up of several focus groups and will serve not only to engage each other but also inform Representative Andersson of important issues. Meetings will be held monthly in Representative Andersson’s district office. 

“This is a great way to engage with the community, and hear first-hand what the most important issues are in the area. I want to gain insight into their perspective and also seek their advice as to how I can best represent their voice in Springfield. I trust the community of the 65th district, and would like more advice from my fellow neighbors to develop new ideas and also evaluate current policies. I encourage all residents of the 65th District to consider joining this council, so we can together face the problems surrounding our community and the state as a whole.” 

The focus groups will be divided by the following issue areas: Seniors, Veterans, Small Business & Economic Expansion, and because of Representative Andersson’s heritage and the large number of Swedes in his district: the Swedish-American cultural group. All interested constituents can contact the district office to join at (630) 457-5460.
Representative Steve Andersson is sponsoring Catch the Reading Express!, his first summer reading club.  All students in the 65th district from PK-5th grades are welcome to join. 

Andersson asks that each student read 10 books, and complete and return their summer reading flier form. Every student who turns in a reading list will receive an invitation to a special party to be held in early fall to celebrate.

“Reading is fun, and even better when we get rewarded for hard work," says Andersson. "I look forward to seeing all the students in the district at the end of the summer, where we will be able to meet and celebrate your accomplishments!” Have a great summer and don’t forget to READ!!

A copy of the summer reading flier can be found here, and for more information about the program, please contact Rep. Andersson’s district office at (630) 457-5460.
Today, Illinois House Republicans sent a message to House Democrats on a $2.7 billion piecemeal spending plan that selectively targeted specific human services line items for restoration. Weary of the process, Republicans unanimously voted “Present” on all the legislation with the intention of sending a strong message that this broken budget process was unacceptable. Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) released the following statement in reaction to the action.

“Today’s votes on part of the State’s fiscal year 2016 budget was disappointing and should cause all citizens great concern about how we govern. The Democrat leadership decided to piecemeal portions of the budget, ignore the entire budgeting process, and ram through spending without any reasoned review or consideration. This budget bill was not negotiated or discussed, and is a disappointing display of all that is wrong in Springfield.”
Yesterday, State Representative Steve Andersson and State Senator Karen McConnaughay hosted several educators and school administrators for a forum.  The panel discussion centered around the PARCC testing initiative and the Common Core.

State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) was recently selected to receive a fellowship for the 2015 Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development. The Bowhay Institute is a leadership training program exclusively offered to Midwestern legislators. It helps legislators further develop the skills necessary to become effective leaders, skilled decision-makers, and expert policy analysts. The program is offered every summer, where 37 lawmakers gather at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a five day experience focused on leadership training, conflict resolution, and negotiation. The program also includes policy sessions on issues like education, healthcare and economic development.

“This is a great honor and I look forward to learning more about legislative leadership, and how I can improve on my own skills to become a more effective leader for my community and the state,” said Andersson. “As a freshman legislator serving in the 99th General Assembly, I am excited to join fellow legislators from around the region to hear and learn from their experiences.”

This is the 21st Annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development, and nearly 700 legislators have already completed this program.
State Rep. Steve Andersson and State Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) and are hosting a Common Core and PARCC Testing Forum on May 4th at Elgin Community College.

“Education and the future of Illinois’ students is without question one of the most important issues in our state today,” said McConnaughay. “Serving on the Senate Education Committee, I spend a great deal of time immersed in education issues and Rep. Andersson and I think this forum is a good opportunity to get feedback from the parents, students and educators concerning their views on the future of education in Illinois.”

McConnaughay and Andersson will be joined by, St. Charles CUSD 303 Superintendent Dr. Don Schlomann, representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education, school administrators and teachers, students and parents to discuss the Common Core State Standards and assessment testing (PARCC) that are being implemented in Illinois. The panel will also take questions from the audience about Common Core.

“This is a great opportunity to hear from our community on highly debated topics in education. We believe that every Illinois student deserves the right to a first-class education, and I am open to hearing from our community as to how we can best accomplish this,” said Andersson. “I encourage all to attend to help us understand how we as legislators can help make education in Illinois the best it can be.”

This forum is scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Seigle Auditorium in the University and Business Center Building E at Elgin Community College located at 1700 Spartan Drive in Elgin.