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The start of a New Year often means a fresh start. For Illinois, the start of 2017 welcomes new laws that become effective. While state legislators considered thousands of bills during this year’s legislative session, the New Year reflects the couple hundred of laws that take effect January 1st. These laws include a variety of topics that impact the lives of Illinois residents with new changes, requirements and regulations.

Starting January 1st, 191 new laws take effect. To see what is changing for Illinois, and to view laws that may be of interest to you, click below.



State legislators will return to Springfield in January to convene the 100th General Assembly.
Rep. Andersson is pictured with
1st Place Winner Bill Clanton,
2nd Place Winner Fred Kimmel, and
3rd Place Winner Jim Weirman 
State Representative Steve Andersson recently hosted a Senior Spelling Bee finale at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin.

This fall, Rep. Andersson held senior spelling bee competitions at four senior communities throughout the 65th District. The top 3 winners from each of the four residences, representing The Carillon in St. Charles, The Holmstad in Batavia, Sun City Del Webb in Huntley, and Edgewater Del Webb in South Elgin, were invited to participate in the final competition.

Rep. Andersson was excited to see the large turnout of guests ready to cheer on the eager competitors.

“I have enjoyed hosting these events throughout my district to bring so many in our community together in a common interest,” said Andersson. “I am always impressed with their spelling, and how many rounds of words we go through for each competition. Tonight was no exception, and to see the excitement and comradery among the contestants in all the residences was inspiring.”

The lists compiled for the bee included beginner, intermediate, and advanced words. The final word spelled correctly by the winner, Bill Clanton from Sun City, was loquacious. The top three finishers from the finale were given gift certificates and a special prize from Rep. Andersson for their efforts.

Andersson is looking forward to hosting another round of spelling bees next year. Special Thanks to Advocate Sherman Hospital for their support in holding this fun senior event!

Veto session in the General Assembly came to a close Thursday, prompting legislators to leave the Capitol without discussing the ever present budget crisis.

While the leaders continue to meet, rank and file members of the House voiced their frustrations about the lack of urgency surrounding the state’s budget.  The end of the regular session brought a stopgap budget agreement, a temporary bridge to fund social services and education through the end of the year.  However, with the end of the year just 30 days away, there is no clear resolution in sight. 

Representative Andersson was one of many legislators frustrated with the lack of discussion and process surrounding the development of a comprehensive budget agreement.   “The stopgap agreement was a temporary agreement,” said Andersson. “There are 30 days left and we must act to find a solution to keep our state functioning and provide for the people of Illinois.   Leaving Springfield tonight knowing how much more should be done for our taxpayers is frustrating.”

Andersson has continually voiced his support for negotiation and compromise and today before leaving Springfield, he again called for action.  “I remain hopeful that we can find common ground and come together to make a comprehensive sustainable solution, and one our residents deserve.”

With many difficult decisions to be made, the Leaders will continue to meet through the week with the hope that a solution can be agreed upon before the close of the year.
Yesterday, the Illinois House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 2814, a measure that ensures nuclear power plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities remain running, promotes the state’s future energy sustainability, and protects competitive electric rates for Illinois consumers.

Representative Andersson voted in favor of the measure and voiced his support for the bill, calling it the right choice for the future of Illinois.

“This legislation is about choosing a more sustainable option, and is a step in making Illinois a power in green energy,” said Andersson. “By providing stability and securing the expansion of solar and wind power, this is the best choice to move our state toward improved efficiency through clean energy, while also reducing our carbon footprint.”

Not only does the bill provide for a sustainable future for the state through increased energy efficiency, it also preserves thousands of jobs for Illinois residents. Senate Bill 2814 will expand energy efficiency programs which will drive down energy costs for rate payers while also creating incentives for the expansion of other forms of clean energy.

The bill passed the House with 63 voting in favor of the legislation, and moves on to the Senate for further verification.

State Representative Steve Andersson recently held a 65th District Dialogue meeting with a small group of constituents. Any interested resident of Andersson’s 65th Legislative District are able to attend these gatherings that meet quarterly throughout the year.

The recent dialogue centered on energy policy, legislative reforms, and the state budget. Rep. Andersson was able to discuss current realities Illinois is facing and listen to residents express the affects these have on our community and residents. “Our conversations are in depth and meaningful,” said Andersson. “It is these small group discussions that really help get to the root of our resident’s concerns and help me gauge views on important issues.”

The 65th District Dialogue encourages meaningful discussion on any range of topics in State Government. If you are interested in attending a future meeting, contact Rep. Andersson’s District Office at (630) 457-5460.
Walgreens has launched its annual “Get a Shot Give a Shot” program. For every immunization administered at Walgreens, Healthcare Clinic or Duane Reade, Walgreens has pledged to donate the value of a lifesaving vaccine to children who need them the most. Since the program began in 2013, this campaign has helped provide more than 15 million polio and measles vaccines.

This flu season, Walgreens hopes to heighten awareness about the importance of being protected from the influenza virus, and do whatever it can to help address this important public health issue.

State Representative Steve Andersson is raising awareness about the importance of public health. He recently visited a Walgreens on State Street in Geneva to receive his flu shot and encourage others to stay healthy this season. “With winter around the corner, and colder temperatures coming, it is important to do whatever you can to help stay healthy throughout the season,” said Andersson. “Getting a flu shot is one way to help ensure you remain healthy this year, and doing so at Walgreens is an added bonus that helps those in need around the world.”

Stop by a Walgreens Pharmacy near you to receive your flu shot, and find out more about the “Get a Shot Give a Shot” program.
State Representative Steve Andersson celebrated Manufacturing Month in Illinois with a tour at a local manufacturing business, MAASS Manufacturers of Quality Well Products. The Illinois Manufacturing Association designated October as Manufacturing Month, to give manufacturers the opportunity to open their doors to what manufacturing really is. By working together in a coordinated effort, Illinois manufacturers could meet with supporters to address challenges, connect with future generations, and work towards the continued prosperity for the entire industry.

A strong supporter of Illinois’ business, Andersson was eager to learn more about local production and help support Manufacturing Month in the community.

“I not only want to say I support manufacturing, but show support for local manufacturing,” said Andersson. “Manufacturing is a critical part of our economy. We have to take care of it, promote it, and continue to support it in Illinois. At this crucial time in our state, we must fight for small business and manufacturing to stay here and help them thrive.”

On today’s tour, Andersson learned about specific challenges manufacturers like MAASS face, and how the Illinois climate has made things more challenging for business, including what Illinois legislators can do to help.

State Representative Steve Andersson recently visited Lincoln Elementary School in St. Charles. The Representative was given a tour of the school facility, met with faculty, and was able to sit in on several classes from Kindergarten to 5th Grade.

Andersson, who had recently served as a Principal for the Day at another St. Charles elementary school, always enjoys the opportunity to meet with young students, hear about their interests, and see firsthand how our students are taught. “It was extremely rewarding to be able to witness the education students are receiving and see the hard work educators put in to make sure each student is learning and growing,” said Andersson. “I enjoy these learning experiences where I get to listen to our educators and students to further understand education in our community.”

The Representative began the day early by greeting students as they arrived to school from the buses. During his visit, he led the Pledge of Allegiance, brainstormed Halloween words with the Kindergartners, read a special book to the 3rd grade, and even helped a group of 5th grade students in their science class complete their circuit project.

Representative Andersson looks forward to visiting Lincoln Elementary again in the future!

Representative Steve Andersson recently served as the Principal for the Day at a local elementary school in his 65th District. Patricia Gonzalez Martinez, the Principal of Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles, welcomed Rep. Andersson to serve as the school principal. After getting a tour of the school and meeting the teachers and staff, Andersson started his day by greeting the students upon their morning arrival. 

After the first bell, Rep. Andersson gave a school wide welcome over the intercom and helped a special group of third graders recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Before venturing out to the classrooms, a few of the school’s ambassadors and student council members helped Rep. Andersson understand school policies, student expectations, and their unique roles as leaders in the school. Rep. Andersson was interested to learn their responsibilities, and hear the important work they do on a daily basis to help make the school the best learning environment.

Rep. Andersson met with the entire third grade to discuss state government, the process of choosing legislators, and the structure of the General Assembly. He answered many questions about his role as state rep, including how many bills were introduced in his term. Andersson discussed and defined terms for the students like debate, majority, veto and other concepts like term limits. The third graders were extremely interested in the role of government and the state and federal leaders, and even wanted to know if third graders could run for president.

“I enjoy visiting our area schools to engage with students, and I am always impressed with their eagerness to learn and their questions about state government and current events,” said Andersson. “I always love participating in the Principal for the Day program to meet and talk with our bright young students, as well as the hard working educators.”

When meeting with a joint assembly of the second grade, Andersson discussed the importance of legislators solving problems in the community, and the need to listen to problems, wants and needs of residents in the district in order to properly act for change.

For the kindergarten and first grades, Rep. Andersson read Halloween themed books, and answered their questions about serving his first day as the principal of their school.

Celebrating their 60th Anniversary this year, Anderson Elementary was excited to host State Representative Steve Andersson as their Principal for the Day!
Today, State Representative Steve Andersson celebrated the first official Gold Star Family Day at the State Capitol. Andersson spoke at a special ceremony in the Springfield Capitol Rotunda to honor veterans and their entire families.

Recognizing Gold Star Family Day in Illinois became a possibility because of legislation Rep. Andersson sponsored in the 99th General Assembly. Andersson’s Gold Star Family Day, House Bill 4389/Public Act 99-0803, was signed into law by Governor Rauner on August 15th, 2016.

At the ceremony, Andersson spoke about the importance of this day for Illinois and thanked the families of the fallen servicemen and women for all that they have given.

“Today is all about the families,” said Andersson. “We stood in the Capitol Rotunda to recognize and thank all of our fallen servicemen and women and especially today, their families. On this special day we remember all of the contributions, commitments, and sacrifices made by Gold Star Families. I was honored to be a part of the ceremony for our state’s first official Gold Star Family Day.”

State Representative Steve Andersson recently held his second annual summer reading party to celebrate the students who completed his 2016 summer reading program, Ahoy Matey. The pirate themed program culminated with this celebration, to honor the students’ achievements.

All PK-5th graders residing in Rep. Andersson’s 65th District were invited to read 10 books of their choice throughout their summer vacation, and send their reading lists back to the Representative. All who finished their reading and submitted their completed reading lists were invited to the pizza party with their families. The students were excited to speak with Rep. Andersson about their favorite books, and even helped read “The Pirate That Said Please,” with the Representative.

“Each year this program seems to get bigger and it is great to see these young students so excited to read and celebrate their accomplishments,” said Andersson. “I hope to see the program continue to expand, and I look forward to next year’s program.”

After his recognition of the students’ achievements, Andersson addressed the importance of summer reading, and how he hopes this program will continue to motivate students to read and learn throughout the summer months. Studies have shown that reading in the summer months has positive effects on children’s learning, and helps prevent any learning loss during the summer break. Andersson’s successful program is just one way to help urge area students to read throughout the summer in a fun way.

State Representative Steve Andersson was recently awarded the Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Independent Business in Illinois (NFIB). Serving as the voice of small business, the NFIB has over 11,000 small business members in Illinois, all of whom count on state legislators to make for a healthy small business environment.

The designation of Guardian of Small Business was given to Illinois legislators based on key small business votes taken in the 99th General Assembly. Every two years state legislators are given a score based on their votes related to small business matters. In order to earn the Guardian distinction, a legislator must score 80 percent or better on the NFIB voting record.

Andersson, a strong supporter of small business, serves on the Small Business Empowerment and Workforce Development Committee in the House. “I am honored to receive the Guardian of Small Business Award,” said Andersson, who scored a 100% on the NFIB voting standard. “I am looking forward to continuing to protect and promote the well-being of the small business community in the 65th District and throughout Illinois.”
Representative Steve Andersson recently held his first Senior Spelling Bee competition at The Homestad Senior Living Community in Batavia last week, followed by Edgewater Del Webb in Elgin, and Sun City Del Webb in Huntley on September 13th.

Andersson is hosting spelling bees at five senior residence communities throughout the 65th District, with 2 more taking place this week and next. The first, second and third Bees each had impressive turnouts, and all competitors were eager to compete for the spelling bee title at their residence. The top 3 competitors from each of the Bees will then be invited to a final competition to crown the top senior speller in District 65! Residents enjoyed the fun, the comradery, the goodies, and the prizes for the top 3 spellers! A good time was had by all!

September has been named Healthy Aging Month by the Illinois Department on Aging to recognize the importance of healthy living and healthy aging. Holding these events is one way Rep. Andersson hopes to encourage social and engaging activity amongst area seniors, while also promoting health and overall wellness. “The first spelling bees have had great turn outs, with excellent participation. Helping encourage social engagement and connect the various senior communities in one competition together is something I believe can help foster a greater sense of community, accomplishment and fun in a challenging but social manner.”

The 2 remaining Bees will be held at the The Carillon at Cambridge Lakes in Pingree Grove on September 14th, and Carriage Oaks in St. Charles on September 21st.

The term ‘Gold Star Family’ was first coined after World War I.  Americans would fly a flag in their windows bearing blue stars for every family member serving in the military. The star would be changed to gold for any family members lost in the war.

To this day, Gold Star families are still remembered throughout the country for the sacrifice: losing one of their immediate family members during their time of military service.

While Gold Star families are not a formal organization, several organizations emerged over the last decade representing Gold Star family members. Having an official day to honor the families who gave the ultimate sacrifice is extremely important in giving unified support for the entire family that has given so much to protect and serve our country.

Today, House Bill 4389 was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner, establishing Gold Star Family Day in Illinois. This day will serve as a remembrance and recognition of the entire family of servicemen who died serving their country. It is an extension of Gold Star Mother’s Day and will be observed in Illinois the day after Gold Star Mother’s Day, which is the last Sunday of September each year.

Representative Steve Andersson was proud to have his bill officially signed into law by Governor Rauner, giving military families the honor and recognition they truly deserve here in Illinois and across the country.

“Losing an immediate family member in wartime is extremely difficult,” said Andersson. “This designation serves to honor the ultimate sacrifice the entire family makes for the country. No one has given more than the Gold Star families who have lost their loved ones.”

Several other states have a designated day to observe Gold Star Family Day, and this law ensures the day will also be recognized in the State of Illinois.
Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) and Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) are hosting a free document shredding event.

The event is on Saturday, August 13, from 9 a.m to noon at the Sun City Del Webb Fountain View Center in Huntley, 12940 Del Webb Blvd.

Sen. McConnaughay is pleased to open up this event to the community, as it presents benefits from both a safety and environmental standpoint.

“Shredding not only adds a barrier of security for your personal documents, making them unrecoverable, but the company then recycles the shreds to be used again — preventing further waste in our landfills,” she said. 

The members  encourage all area residents to attend and bring up to two bags of important documents that need to be properly shredded and destroyed.

“Over time, we collect many paper documents with sensitive and important information,” said Andersson.  “Properly destroying these documents is extremely crucial to protect you and your family from fraud or identity theft. This event is an easy and free way to ensure your information is kept private.”

If you have any questions about the upcoming event, please contact Rep. Andersson Office at (630) 457-5460 or Sen. McConnaughay’s office at (847) 214-8245. 


Representative Andersson recently discovered that four residents had unclaimed cash available to them in the State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division. Andersson’s staff worked to track down and contact the residents about their money. Each of these four constituents had over $10,000 in ICash monies, the total amounting close to $50,000.

ICash is a program that allows the Illinois State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division to connect Illinois residents with their unclaimed property. In the last 2 years, the Illinois Treasurer's office has returned over $2,750,000 in unclaimed property to the rightful owners.

The Treasurer’s office has found that 1 in 4 residents who search for property end up finding something, and that the average payout is around $2,000. To find out if you have unclaimed property, and learn how to claim it click here.

You can also contact Representative Andersson’s District Office at (630) 457-5460 for questions about ICash or if you need any help claiming property.
This week, Secretary of State Jesse White announced that his office has reinstated the mailing of vehicle registration reminder notices to Illinois drivers. The stopgap budget that was recently passed and signed into law by Governor Rauner allots the necessary mailing funds to the Secretary of State’s office so the reminders can again be sent out. Due to the budget impasse, mailed reminders were halted in an effort to save the state money. Now, to offset the costs of the mailings, White is drafting legislation allowing his office to offer advertising space on the mailings.

White called these reminders an essential tool for the public, to ensure their vehicles are in good standing and that the licenses get renewed on time. Without mailed reminders, White felt it placed an unfair burden on Illinois drivers.

In the absence of mailed renewal reminders, Illinois residents were encouraged to sign up for emailed notifications. During this time more than 2.3 million people registered for emailed reminders. It is still encouraged for the public to sign-up for email notifications to further reduce mailing costs. You can sign up for emailed notifications here.
House Bill 4371, which allows water authorities to be dissolved by referendum should voters determine them to be unnecessary, was recently signed into law by Governor Rauner. Rep. Andersson sponsored this voter empowerment initiative to give residents the opportunity to dissolve local water authorities should they choose.

“It is important to eliminate unnecessary aspects of government, and give the voters the power to do so,” said Andersson. “I have found some of the existing water authorities to be inactive, and there is no reason to have them. Yet, before this bill became law there was no way to legally dissolve them. This puts the decision in voters’ hands, and allows residents to make the right call for their community.”

The dissolution of a water authority would be by referendum, and any money available after said dissolution would be given to the townships and counties in the area.

House Bill 4371 became effective after it was signed into law on July 29th, 2016.
A spend first mentality and the unwillingness to compromise from the Democrat majority in the House made presenting and passing a balanced budget agreement extremely difficult this legislative session. Yet, the renewed emphasis by Governor Rauner and House Republicans to advocate for the taxpayers, urging a bipartisan compromise for a responsibly funded budget—one the taxpayers deserve—ultimately succeeded when House Republicans defeated the Democrat supermajority’s $40 billion spending plan: a $7 billion underfunded budget that would have raised personal income tax levels over 55% to pay for the shortcomings.

The end of regular session in May brought the passage of this unbalanced budget, one that was largely vetoed by the Governor, setting the state up for a year of very public funding crises in every area from lottery winners to state universities. Stopgap budget plans for higher education and human services provided temporary funding, but were by no means solutions to the ever present fiscal problem.

At the close of the fiscal year, a stopgap budget agreement was secured which brought necessary funding for education, human services, and many of the state’s biggest needs. Senate Bill 2047 was passed and signed by Governor Rauner on June 30th, authorizing money to flow on July 1st, the first day of the new fiscal year.
As the fiscal year came to a close, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 2047, a bi-partisan education funding bill and stop-gap budget agreement.

Senate Bill 2047 provides $75 million in funding for early childhood education, and a statewide equity grant for the poorest school districts.  In doing so, the bill prioritizes education funding and represents a historic investment in education by funding schools at 100% foundation level for the first time in seven years. 

Specifically, the stopgap funding plan provides $1 billion to higher education, in addition to the already allocated $600 million for FY16, and also includes $151 million for MAP grants.  The bi-partisan compromise also provides $742 million in critically-needed funding for human service providers.  The plan also made state infrastructure a priority by funding $3.4 billion to the pay-as-you-go road program, which will ensure more than 800 active transportation projects continue keeping 25,000 workers on the job.

In response, State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) released the following statement:

“Today’s agreement was a huge step in moving past an 18 month budget impasse.  While this is not a full budget, it appropriates funds for our state’s biggest needs—and most importantly, it moves our State forward beyond the impasse.  This stopgap is vital for Illinois to continue to operate and gives our taxpayers certainty that the state’s services can continue.  This agreement has made funding education a priority.  Schools will open on time and have essential resources for the entire school year. It guarantees critical state operations and services continue- providing for those in our state that need it the most. 


“While we must do far better moving forward, today was a significant improvement where we stood accountable for our taxpayers and found genuine compromise.  Ultimately bi-partisan negotiations prevailed and we ended the fiscal year with an agreement, which is the next step in moving toward a balanced full year budget.”  


Representative Steve Andersson composed a legislative newsletter that highlights the important aspects of the 2016 legislative session in the General Assembly. 

Click here to view Rep. Andersson’s newsletter, and learn more about what was accomplished this year.
Today a group of state lawmakers urged Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino to step aside from his duties due to the state board of elections and a federal investigation of his campaign spending and reporting practices. The investigations date back to his time in the Illinois House of Representatives, and as a result over the last few months dozens of lawmakers formally asked Auditor General Mautino several times to provide answers to the questions raised in the State Election Board investigations but have yet to receive any answers.

It was recently disclosed that federal authorities are now looking into his campaign spending and reporting practices—news that prompted legislators to ask for the Auditor General to step aside from his job as he defends himself against potential criminal charges.

State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) was among the group of legislators who today urged Mautino to voluntarily take a leave of absence while numerous investigations continue to dissect his expenditures.

“As the investigations only seem to be escalating, I agree with my colleagues that Auditor General Mautino should take a leave of absence until the federal and state investigations are concluded,” said Andersson. “There is no way he can effectively serve Illinois at this time. Our state and our residents deserve better. As a legislator, I support transparent government—and having so much uncertainty and clout surrounding our state’s financial watchdog is simply unacceptable. ”

Having received no answers from the Auditor General after many questions from lawmakers on the matter, today’s request for Mautino to step aside is the latest effort to protect the integrity of the office of Auditor General. The General Assembly and Illinois taxpayers await Auditor General Frank Mautino’s response to this request.
This week in the House, Representative Steve Andersson spoke in favor of a mental health bill, and called for more awareness on the issue of mental illness.

Andersson voiced his support for Senate Bill 565, which would require age-appropriate developmental and social and emotional screenings to be included as part of a standard health examination. He further discussed the importance of mental health, and the opportunity this bill would have to promote the early diagnosis of mental illness.

Andersson urged legislators to not only support the legislation, but to also recognize mental illness and the growing impact it has. He noted that as many as one in five children under that age of 18 has or will have a serious mental illness. Yet, despite that staggering number, the average delay between onset and diagnosis of a mental illness is ten years. Andersson supports SB 565 as he believes the earlier mental illness can be identified and diagnosed the better chance that child will be given.

“Mental illness is real. Too much time is wasted after the onset of mental illness and before assistance or treatment is given,” said Andersson. “This bill provides for early intervention, and gives parents a shot at helping their children—so they can know the signs, catch mental health early on and get the treatment they need as soon as possible.”

Andersson supports efforts to bring more awareness to mental illness, and advocates for the support of mental health initiatives like SB 565.

The bill is currently in its third reading in the House. More of Rep. Andersson’s remarks on the legislation can be seen in the video below.

 

Tonight, House Democrats passed a budget bill over $7 billion underfunded. The 500 plus page spending bill was presented last minute, giving House Republicans only hours to review the bill prior to voting.

Senate Bill 2048 appropriates roughly $14 billion that with court order, continuing appropriations, and consent decrees would push state spending over $40 billion.

In addition to overspending, the measure would push income taxes to over 5.5 percent for a 47 percent tax hike. Representative Andersson (R-Geneva) stood with his House Republican colleagues to express disappointment and anger at the broken process that resulted in the $40 billion spending bill—that which 63 voting in favor moves on for further confirmation.

“This spending bill will nearly double our state’s current unpaid bills, and is money our state simply does not have,” said Andersson. “Above all, there was no dialogue involved in this process and we were given no time to review the bill before voting. Debate was cut off and required procedures were denied. Tonight’s debate was nothing short of illegal and any momentum gained from the working groups and the progress being made among the rank and file was all but ruined.”

With the budget impasse nearing its year-long mark, compromise has yet to be achieved. Andersson still remains hopeful that a reasonable solution can be still be met.
Representative Andersson has launched his second annual summer reading program, Ahoy Matey, for all students in K-5th grades in the 65th District. Participating students must read 10 books of their choosing, and return their completed reading lists to Rep. Andersson’s district office by August 21st to be invited to a special recognition party in the fall.

Last year’s program had over 60 children participate, and Andersson hopes to continue the momentum of reading success. Last September, Rep. Andersson hosted the children and their families at a pizza party where each child received a special certificate of recognition and he is looking forward to doing the same this fall.

“I am excited to hold my second summer reading program to promote continued learning during the summer,” said Andersson. “It is so important to keep kids excited about reading in the months off school, and I hope this program will do just that. Ahoy Matey encourages reading in a fun way, to really engage the students and drive their love of reading.”

For more information on the program or to request a reading program brochure, contact Rep. Andersson’s District Office at (630) 456-5460.
Representative Steve Andersson passed House Resolution 824, which commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Illinois Brass Band, a 30 member British style brass band. The group has been extremely successful over its tenure, and is a six time national champion of the North American Brass Band Association.

Over the years, The Illinois Brass Band has presented dozens of concerts indoors and out, and has also produced six recordings to date. Supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, The Illinois Brass Band is a 501(c)(3) recognized organization.

Representative Steve Andersson and The State of Illinois commemorate Saturday, June 11, 2016, as Illinois Brass Band Day — celebrating their 25th Anniversary hitting all the right notes since 1991!

State Representative Steve Andersson passed Senate Bill 2593 in the House today. This bill amends the Property Tax Code and was originally filed in the Senate by Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles).

Andersson was the Chief sponsor of this legislation in the House. The bill provides for property tax appeal petitions to be filed electronically, and allows the decision by the Property Tax Appeal board to also be delivered electronically to the applicant.

Andersson presented the bill in the House on the grounds that it would promote a more efficient process, and allow residents to more easily file their appeals. “This bill provides for a faster process, and cuts down on the paper waste,” said Andersson. “Previously, the only way to file a petition was by mail. This bill will allow petitions to be sent by mail or electronically. It is an added option for residents, so they can choose to file by paper or electronically—and allows residents better access to the property tax appeal system.”

Senate Bill 2593 passed in the Senate with 112 voting for the measure, and now having passed in both chambers will move forward for final confirmation.
Today a human services appropriations bill was presented and debated in the House. This measure, Senate Bill 2038, provides $700 million in immediately available funds for human service providers across the state.

Human service providers provide a variety of vital services in Illinois, and this bill will provide the necessary funding to help keep them functioning. Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) voted for the bill.

“This is a positive step forward,” said Andersson. “This bill provides essential services for our residents, and is the next necessary step in the budgeting process. While there is much more to accomplish, this funding measure will help prevent agency closures, and keep vital services running and available to those in our state that need them the most. This is not a perfect or permanent solution, but is progress.”

Today the bill passed in the House with 111 voting in favor of it.
Representative Steve Andersson was selected to participate in the 2016 Emerging Leaders Program at the University of Virginia.

The program is an annual event, and a collaborative effort of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration. This summer, 50 legislators from across the nation will come together through this program, and participate in challenging classroom discussions—ones that seek to inspire legislators to meet challenges and responsibilities with confidence, understanding and vigor.

Since its start, over 500 legislators have benefitted from the program and have continued their public service careers, even moving to position of leadership. Rep. Andersson is looking forward to attending the upcoming program. “I am honored to be selected for this great opportunity,” said Andersson. “I hope to gain insight and perspective in meeting and working with fellow state legislators from the 47 others states. I am excited to have been selected and look forward to this summer’s event.”

The program is made possible through grants from Advance America, Comcast, Entertainment Software Association and Walmart, and this year will take place from July 11-14th.
State Representative Steve Andersson recently held an educational seminar on property taxes.

This event was an opportunity for residents to learn more about the property tax assessment and appeal process. Rep. Andersson held the informational event, to provide key resources to taxpayers and to help make the often confusing property tax process more understandable and easier to navigate.

Andersson facilitated a conversation concerning property taxes in the 65th District community, but also discussed how as a whole, property taxes in Illinois are distributed—and why Illinois taxes remain so high.

“It is no secret that Illinois has the highest property taxes. Today was about discussing why our state’s taxes are this way, how property taxes are assessed in our community, and how we can appeal them. I wanted to provide residents with all the resources and tools they need to be in a better position to understand property taxes, and arm them with all the right information.”

The event drew an interested crowd from the 65th District community, and local property tax assessors were present at the seminar to help answer specific tax related questions during the dialogue.

As an advocate for tax payers, Andersson is looking ahead to legislative solutions for property taxes, and recently voted in favor of a property tax freeze through House Bill 696.



Today, the House passed a higher education funding bill, a stop gap emergency solution to keep Illinois universities open and running through the summer.

Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva), and other House Republicans supported Senate Bill 2059, which has accurately appropriated  $600 million for higher education institutions and the Educational Assistance Fund.  This funding is immediately available, and gives more certainty to the future of students and universities in the state.

While this bill is a form of emergency funding, it is one that legislators hope will be a stepping stone to further agreements on budget issues and the overall fiscal budget.

“Today we took a step forward and made progress in funding higher education,” said Andersson.  “The budget impasse has affected far too many in our state, and today we agreed on something, and worked together to find a solution.  The job is not done, there is a lot to still accomplish, but this is a great start moving forward—and most importantly it shows that reason can prevail, and when we work together we can find common ground to solve problems.”

The bill now awaits consideration in the Senate.
Representative Steve Andersson passed House Bill 4371 today in the House.  The bill amends the Water Authorities Act, and creates the option for local water authority districts to be dissolved. This voter empowerment initiative was supported by Transform Illinois, a collaborative organization working to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government services throughout Illinois.

Currently, there is no legal or easy way to dissolve water authorities.  HB 4371 creates the option for water authorities to be dissolved, should residents wish to eliminate them.  Most importantly, this bill puts the power in the hands of the voters, and gives them the opportunity to make decisions that directly impact their community.  Andersson’s bill will enable residents to vote and choose to streamline units of local government that are no longer serving their purpose.  It is notably the first piece of this type of legislation to pass in the House.

Representative Andersson has found that many water authority districts have become in-active:  they do no regulate water, and they exist simply because there is no way to eliminate them.  This bill solves the problem, and presents a feasible option to do it. 

“House Bill 4371 creates a solution for an unnecessary aspect of government to be eliminated if wanted by the residents of a community,” said Andersson.  “This is an added option for residents, one that will empower voters by putting the decision in their hands to choose what is best for their community and the future of their local government.”

Dissolution of a water authority would be done by referendum, and any money available after said dissolution would be given to the townships and counties in the area.


HB 4371 passed out of the House with 115 voting for this measure, and will now continue on to the Senate.

State Representative Steve Andersson advanced House Bill 4552, which amends the Adult Protective Services Act, a bill that will help protect the most vulnerable adults in Illinois. The bill adds the State's Attorney's offices to the list of persons and agencies granted access, upon request, to records concerning reports of abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or self-neglect.

While other agencies have already been allowed access to these records, increasing access to the State’s Attorney’s offices is beneficial to providing the most efficient and effective means of help to adults suffering from abuse, neglect, exploitation and fraud.

“House Bill 4552 will protect adults to aging seniors who have suffered any sort of physical, mental, and financial wrongdoing. It will allow more help to be easily given to them, and gives the State’s Attorney’s offices the access they need to best right wrongs and help those who need it most.”

HB 4552 passed out of the House last week and now proceeds to the Senate for further action.
State Representative Steve Andersson recently passed a bill in the House of Representatives that will create Gold Star Family Day in Illinois. 

Gold Star Mothers’ Day recognizes mothers whose sons or daughters died while serving their nation in times of war or conflict. While it was custom of military families to put a service flag near their front window, this flag often featured a star for each family member serving their country—living members were given blue stars but gold stars depicted fallen family members who were killed in duty.

Andersson’s bill seeks to extend the honor and recognition given to Gold Star Mothers to the entire family—for they too suffer a great loss. This bill was important to Rep. Andersson to recognize the sacrifice military families make, losing their loved ones that help protect and serve our country. “So many families have lost servicemen—their loved ones and their family members. We need to commemorate military families, and honor the sacrifice, contributions, commitments and sacrifices made by the entire family, and the Gold Star Family Day bill does just that.”

Gold Star Family Day will be observed in Illinois the day after Gold Star Mother’s Day. House Bill 4389 passed unanimously out of the House this week with 114 votes in its favor, and will continue on to the Senate for further confirmation.
State Representative Steve Andersson is hosting a Property Tax Seminar on April 28th at the St. Charles Public Library.  For more details and to RSVP for the event, 
contact the District Office at (630) 457-5460.

Representative Steve Andersson passed a resolution out of committee yesterday honoring the 25th anniversary of The Illinois Brass Band. House Resolution 824 was presented to the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee in the House, where Andersson described the accomplishments of the Band, and their 25 years spent bringing beautiful music to the Chicagoland area.

Since it was founded in 1991, The Illinois Brass Band has presented dozens of concerts indoors and out and showcased exceptional artists including Roger Webster, Michael Mulcahy, and Brett Baker. The Illinois Brass Band has produced six recordings to date. Most notably, the band is a six time national champion of the North American Brass Band Association.

Representative Andersson sought out this resolution to recognize the Illinois Brass Band, a 30 member British style brass band, whose hard work and dedication to music has made a profound impact in our state. The Resolution declares Saturday, June 11, 2016, as Illinois Brass Band Day.

Representative Andersson congratulates The Illinois Brass Band on their success, and their 25th Anniversary. More of Representative Andersson’s remarks on this resolution can be seen in the video below.

 
Today Representative Steve Andersson visited Prairie Knolls Middle School in Elgin, where he spoke to an assembly of 7th grade students, and received a tour of the school.

During his visit, Rep. Andersson was also able to see science projects that were created by other Prairie Knolls students, who were learning about environmental sustainability initiatives.  Andersson, who is on the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Committee in the House, was intrigued by the various projects on display and enjoyed looking at each project and hearing the explanations from the students on their work and findings.

“I loved hearing how collaborative the science projects were,” said Andersson.   “The students worked together in groups, and put in a lot of hard work and research.  To see their dedication and excitement with their findings was inspiring.”

After walking through the gallery of student science projects, Andersson met the group of 275 7th graders to speak with them on government, and explain his role as a State Representative of the 65th District.  The assembly of students was interested to know what the General Assembly has accomplished thus far, and what the biggest upcoming obstacles will be for this legislative session—including what the most debated bills in the House of Representatives were.

“I always like to hear students’ questions to see what areas of government they are most interested in learning more about.  Having an opportunity to give them more insight into Illinois government and the House of Representatives is an honor and one I love having.”
Representative Andersson recently visited several veterans in the 65th District to present them with Certificates of Recognition from the House of Representatives, to honor their military service and time spent serving our country.

His first stop was at the Del Webb Sun City Huntley community, where he met with two veterans to present them their certificates.  The veterans discussed their military experiences, and Rep. Andersson thanked them for their service.

Andersson enjoys meeting with veterans in the 65th District community, and hearing about each of their experiences.  “Our veterans are so important and have given so much for us and our country,” said Andersson.  “It is important to remember and recognize them.”

Rep. Andersson also visited The Holmstad, a retirement community in Batavia, to visit with five more veterans.  There he hand-delivered 5 Certificates of Recognition to veterans of the US Army and US Air Force.  Rep. Andersson felt it was an honor and a pleasure to present each veteran with their certificates, and to spend a little time with each of them to learning more about their military experiences.


If you know of a veteran who has not received a Certificate of Recognition, feel free to contact the District Office at (630) 457-5460.
Today Representative Steve Andersson celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a visit to HC Storm Elementary School in Batavia. 

Rep. Andersson spoke with 4th Grade students who are currently studying Illinois government.  They were eager to hear Rep. Andersson talk about his role as a State Representative, and learn more about the inner workings of the General Assembly and the House of Representatives.  

While Rep. Andersson spoke about representing the 65th District, the students interjected with a wide variety of questions about the election process, the bills he is working on, how a bill becomes a law, and even wanted to know what the security in the state capitol building was like.

The students are focusing their studies on Illinois government and are even planning a trip to Springfield to see the capitol, and will be visiting Rep. Andersson while he is in session. 

“Today’s visit was a great introduction for the students to understand the process of government, and how laws are enacted,” said Andersson.  “I was impressed with the detailed questions they asked, and am excited to have so many bright students here interested in government.  I am looking forward to seeing these students in the Capitol to give them the opportunity to see our State’s government in action.”


Representative Steve Andersson introduced a bill yesterday to create a Gold Star Family to honor the families of men and women who gave their lives while serving in the military. House Bill 4389 was presented by Andersson to the Veteran’s Affairs Committee in Springfield. 

Andersson initiated this bill to recognize the families who have lost loved ones in the military, for the loss they suffered has forever changed their lives. This bill would add to an already existing commemorative day in Illinois, Gold Star Mother’s Day.  Andersson filed this bill with the support of his constituent, Angel Collins, who testified on behalf of the bill in the Committee.

Angel’s son, Jonathan, served in the Marine Corp as a Lance Corporal and was killed in combat in Iraq.  Collins believes that suffering the loss of her son not only affected her as a mother, but also all the people and family in his life that loved and cared for him.  Andersson was inspired by Collins, and agreed that it would only be fair to also recognize all of the people and family that gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The Committee voted unanimously in favor of the bill, and were also all added as co-sponsors of the legislation.  The bill will continue to move on through the legislative process.  Below is a video of the bill being introduced in Committee, as well as Angel Collins’ testimony. 


Today, House Democrats again introduced two unfunded appropriations bills, Senate Bill 2990 and House Bill 648, which would authorize over $3 billion in spending— and greatly exceed available state revenues.

While Republicans have proposed several alternatives that are properly funded, and have been prepared to compromise for some time, these efforts have been ignored. Instead, the bills presented today were passed after a contentious and thorough debate.

Representative Andersson found these appropriations bills to be just another example of the unwillingness of Democrat leaders and legislators to compromise. Needs are not being met and there are critical state services that are not yet funded. Andersson recognizes the seriousness of the situation, and is ready to work to find a serious yet realistic solution.

“In order to compromise, to reach a reasonable solution, we need discussions. This proposal was pieced together without dialogue, compromise, or negotiation. Once again it’s an irresponsible effort that not only excluded House Republicans, but is unfunded. These bills allow expenditures to exceed revenues, and it’s unrealistic to think that this proposal would be fair, adequate, and substantial for our state and the people of Illinois. We cannot spend money that we don’t have, we as legislators are better than that, and Illinois families, taxpayers and students deserve better.”

Rep. Andersson went on to express his disappointment in the budgeting process with the excessive over-appropriation that has become common practice.

“It is our job to balance the budget. We cannot pass on this crisis to the Governor and the Comptroller, but together we must make the hard choices. I am an optimist and believe we can solve this this problem, but only if we talk and have discussions to promote the long term predictability and sustainability of our state.”
Today, Senate Bill 2043—an unfunded MAP and higher education funding bill—was presented and debated in the House in an attempt to override the Governor’s recent veto of this bill. While the Senate did manage to override the veto, after spirited debate in the House, the bill failed to garner the necessary votes to do so. As it was after the initial veto of Senate Bill 2043, House Republicans still stand ready to compromise and work toward a realistic solution to fund higher education in Illinois. 

Representative Andersson voted against this measure again today, and is ready to work with his colleagues to properly fund higher education, MAP grants, and state universities with a genuine funding solution that will benefit both students and higher education institutions.

“It is cruel to pretend this bill would fund anything. The reality is that there is no money to fund this bill, which truly makes this bill a false promise. While this bill would appropriate funds, it authorizes money to be spent when our state simply does not have it—and that is unfair; to promise hard working students in Illinois something that does not exist, and let them believe that this bill will help fund their MAP grants. As legislators it is our duty to responsibly fund higher education programs and institutions within our state’s means, and I stand ready to compromise for a feasible solution to this problem.”
Today, Representative Steve Andersson visited the Northern Illinois Food Bank to listen to a panel discussion on “The True Cost of Missing a Meal.”

The panel featured speakers from various nutrition and health backgrounds, and was extremely informative in educating the group on hunger based issues that are affecting the community.

So many families, students, and children face the challenge of hunger every day. Talking about hunger, listening to panelists, and visiting the food bank has been important to Rep. Andersson, to continue to engage with the Food Bank and support their mission to end hunger.

“It is important to listen to these panels, to understand what issues are impacting our communities, and to learn what can be done in order to help fight hunger in our area.”

The Northern Illinois Food Bank is a nonprofit organization that works to solve hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships. Through the Food Bank’s initiatives, the organization has helped provide food to over 71,000 people each week.

Today, the panelists stressed the food bank’s dependence on the generosity and support of individuals, foundations, corporations and manufacturers in order to provide charitable food relief to thousands of families each year. To learn more and to find out how you can help contribute, click here.

Representative Steve Andersson recently hosted his “65th District Dialogue” meeting, where a small group of constituents gathered with the Representative to voice their concerns about local and state issues and ask questions about policy and legislation being pursued in Springfield.

The group had an in depth discussion, and one in which the Representative looks forward to having with constituents in order to truly gauge their thoughts and opinions, and help him determine how to act to best serve the community.

“While I originally wanted to grow this advisory council, I ultimately decided to put a cap on the number of people attending individual meetings so we could have in depth conversations, and really get to the root of the concerns constituents have in our community—and state wide. I always enjoy this opportunity to listen, so I can accurately represent my constituents and the 65th District.”

Representative Andersson hosts his 65th District Dialogue meetings quarterly. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact the District Office for more information at (630) 457-5460.