At the start of the New Year, 200 new laws will take effect in Illinois. 

Click below to look through the following compiled list of the new laws in Illinois starting January 1st. 

State Representative Steve Andersson recently visited the Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center in St. Charles, to learn more about their services and take a tour of the facility.

Rep. Andersson met with lead physician and founder, Dr. Giambordino, and several key contributors to have a meaningful discussion on the health and the larger scope of the healthcare field.

The Representative enjoyed hearing more about this unique part of the healthcare industry, and gaining more perspective on the future of healthcare in Illinois—and nationwide. “Hearing from medical professionals and physicians who are in the healthcare field was an exceptional opportunity. I gained greater insight on the complex field of healthcare not only in our community here, but also on a larger scale,” said Andersson.

The Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center has over 25 years of experience providing surgical care to area residents. The center offers same day surgery across a wide variety of specialties. They pride themselves on their expertise of their respected surgeons who utilize advanced technology to provide personalized care. Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center is extremely patient-focused and holds a hassle free environment to further put patients at ease throughout their visits. They strive to provide the highest quality care that is sometimes lost in larger hospital settings.

The surgical center specializes in short stay surgeries, and short-stay care. Because of their specific focus of medicine, they are able to increase the level of individual attention on each patient. They offer patients convenience, comfort, and cost effect alternatives to hospitals.
State Representative Steve Andersson was back in the classroom this week to meet with students studying government at Batavia High School. He spent time speaking to two different classes about the nature of the legislature in Springfield, and the role of a State Representative.

Visiting schools and talking with students has always been important to Rep. Andersson, to help provide students with added insight into state government—especially while they are studying it in school.

“Today we were able to discuss meaningful aspects of serving as a state lawmaker, and it was encouraging to hear their thoughts and questions, but most importantly to help create an open dialogue, so they know their Representative is available to them,” said Andersson.

The conversation focused on producing good government—starting from the election process, and continuing to bipartisanship in the legislature. The students were eager to ask questions about all aspects of governing, and the Representative was impressed with their engagement.

Representative Andersson prefers to keep the dialogue going with students, and looks forward to some of them participating in the General Assembly’s Page for the Day program during spring session in Springfield.

Rep. Andersson is pictured with co-owners
Rich Hoster and Phil Cowen.
State Representative Steve Andersson recently toured Smith and Richardson Manufacturing Inc. in Geneva, to recognize Manufacturing Month in the State of Illinois. Representative Andersson took advantage of the opportunity to learn more about manufacturing from a key business within his legislative district: Smith and Richardson is a manufacturer of precision machined, stamped and slide formed parts for the electrical, hydraulics, aerospace, automotive, instrumentation and medical industries. Throughout the day Rep. Andersson met with the co-owners of the business, Rich Hoster and Phil Cowen, received a tour of the site, and witnessed their production in process.

Manufacturing month is important for Illinois, as the state is the fifth largest in manufacturing which accounts for 92 percent of Illinois’ total exports. October has been celebrated as manufacturing month throughout Illinois to showcase the nearly 13,000 manufacturing firms throughout the state—and to recognize the contributions the manufacturing industry has brought to Illinois. This also includes Manufacturing Day, celebrated nationwide on the first Friday of October, which recognizes the impact modern manufacturing has had on our country.

Representative Andersson was grateful for the opportunity to experience a key component of manufacturing closer to home. “This month highlights the importance of manufacturing throughout Illinois, but today I had the chance to recognize the role of manufacturing at the local level right here in the community. To be able to visit the site, and learn more about their production was extremely rewarding,” said Andersson.

“Manufacturing is such a large part of our state’s economy. To see the extent of manufacturing happening right here in Geneva, and the vital role its production plays to countless industries in the larger business community is amazing.”
The Representative was accompanied on the tour with students from Geneva and Glenbard East High Schools, and also met several employees of Smith and Richardson Manufacturing on his tour, some of which gave special presentations on their roles in production.

State Representative Steve Andersson concluded his third annual summer reading program with a celebratory party to honor the students in his district who participated. The program drew students from 23 different schools in Rep. Andersson’s 65th District, who all read at least ten books over their summer vacation. 

Rep. Andersson’s summer reading program has continued to grow every year, and this year’s program, “Super Readers Wanted,” drew the largest number of participants yet.

The Representative enjoyed meeting all the Super Readers at the party, and hearing about their favorite books. Amongst the participants, a total of 440 books were read throughout the summer. The most popular book was The Diary of a Whimpy Kid.
Rep. Andersson was able to read a book to all Super Readers at the party, discuss various super heroes, and the potential super powers desired by this group of readers. Special certificates were also awarded to those who completed the reading program. Don Bothwell, a magician and balloon sculptor, was on hand at the event to provide entertainment, especially impressive balloon designs that were enjoyed by all!

The reading program has been largely successful over the years, and is something the Representative looks forward to sponsoring again in the future!

Equifax is an Atlanta based credit-rating agency that collects personal and financial data on 820 million consumers worldwide. A security breach to their systems was discovered on July 29th, exposing sensitive information belonging to 143 million American consumers. This information includes social security numbers, birthdays, addresses, and even driver’s license numbers. The breach is extremely concerning due to the scope and scale—making it the largest and potentially most costly breach to consumers.

For Illinois, It has been determined that 5.4 million Illinois residents have been affected by the breach. This means their information is vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. Credit reporting agencies work differently from other data companies, so even if you have never dealt with Equifax, their servers could still have your data.

Equifax noted that 209,000 credit card numbers were exposed in the breach, including consumers in Canada and the United Kingdom. It is important to stay alert, and monitor your credit card statement. The company has said it will mail notices to those who may have had their credit card numbers exposed.

Information on the breach still continues to unfold, with lawmakers at all levels seeking information and answers from Equifax. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently announced she has opened an investigation into the recent security breach, and has called on Equifax to provide free credit freezes to all Illinois residents.

With questions on the data breach, you can contact Equifax at 866-447-7559, or the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (866) 999-5630.

Equifax has set up a website on the security breach, where you can check to see if you were affected, along with any security updates:


Contact Representative Andersson’s District Office with any additional questions or concerns at (630) 457-5460.

State Representative Steve Andersson had three of his bills recently signed into law.

The first bill, HB799, is now Public Act 100-0473, and provides for advance notice of road detours. It calls for the Department of Transportation and local government agencies to post notice of highway detour locations on their respective websites no later than 10 days before a detour becomes active. This bill will help Illinois residents know before they travel of any detours—so it is clear when and where they will occur. Previously, the state could close any portion of the highway temporarily for road construction, repair, or improvements as long as there was a sufficient detour. This law will now enforce advance notice for any such road deters, allowing residents to easily find information and plan their travel accordingly.

HB2516 is now Public Act 100-0478. It provides a separate award for an adult dependent child of at least $5,000. This bill was an initiative of the Illinois State Bar Association, who found the current law as it relates to adult disabled children to be outdated. Andersson’s bill helps preserve the integrity of the estate for all heirs and beneficiaries, so that the needs of adult disabled children can be adequately covered.

HB2820, is now Public Act 100-0488, and provides uniform regulations for farmers market vendors throughout the state. This bill addressed several challenges facing farmer’s market vendors, as there were different rules and guidelines throughout Illinois. This bill now makes all regulations consistent, transparent, and uniform throughout the state as it pertains to health and safety at local farmer’s markets.

All three measures were signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on September 8th.
State Representative Steve Andersson recently sponsored a healthy families fun fair in conjunction with Advocate Good Sherman Hospital and the Gail Borden Public Library.

The free public event provided area residents with information on health, wellness, and nutrition—as well as resources from state and local government.

The State Treasurer’s office was in attendance to provide assistance with their I-Cash program, which helps Illinois residents claim money. The Illinois’ Treasurers office currently has $2.5 billion in recovered cash belonging to millions of Illinois residents—but at the health fair several residents were able to discover what they had claims to and how to recover it. “Having the treasurer’s office at this event and seeing people have the opportunity to get help on the spot to claim their money was so beneficial, and a resource many didn’t know of prior to the event,” said Rep. Andersson.

Another popular exhibit at the fair was presented by the University of Illinois Extension. They brought monarch butterflies so children could learn and see the stages of becoming a butterfly, while also learning about gardening and healthy eating. Rep. Andersson was a co-sponsor of a bill this year in the House of Representatives that made milkweed the official state wildflower for Illinois. Milkweed is the only food source monarch butterflies feed on during their caterpillar stage of life, which was also demonstrated through the exhibit.

This is the fourth annual health fair that Advocate has hosted, but the first time Representative Andersson has sponsored the event, which welcomed over 150 residents.
ELGIN, IL - Advocate Sherman Hospital and State Representative Steven Andersson’s office will host the 4th annual Healthy Families Fun Fair on Thursday, September 7th, from 5 to 7pm, at the Gail Borden Public Library, 270 North Grove Avenue in Elgin.

The fair will include free educational activities about health and wellness for the whole family, with information provided in both English and Spanish.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about healthy cooking with Jeff Turner, from In the Neighborhood Deli, family group exercises and backpack safety, take short health risk assessments, and meet Advocate Sherman Hospital physicians, dietitians and other health care providers.

“I am excited to be a part of this great event that presents the best opportunity for residents to have access to the necessary resources for health, wellness, safety, and much more,” shares State Representative Steve Andersson. “I am looking forward to meeting residents to also help with any state issues or concerns they may have.”

New this year will be Advocate Children Hospital’s health resource center, the Illinois State Attorney General’s cyber bullying information, and the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office sharing how to claim unclaimed money.

Other organizations participating will be Centro de Informacion, Elgin Fresh Market, Food for Greater Elgin, Gail Borden Public Library, Greater Elgin Family Care Center, Kane County Health Department, and the University of Illinois Kane County Master Gardeners.

For questions, feel free to contact Rep. Andersson's district office at (630) 457-5460.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the State of Illinois has helped aid relief efforts to help those in need in the Texas areas suffering from flood damage.

Governor Bruce Rauner has mobilized the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to coordinate Illinois’ disaster-response infrastructure with those of Louisiana and Texas. The Illinois Red Cross has also contributed resources to give support to the areas affected; sending volunteers into the disaster zone to help get shelters set up and deliver necessary supplies and resources.

This is the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2004. The effects have been devastating, causing extensive damage to the Houston area’s infrastructure, much of which requires immediate maintenance and repair. ComEd has deployed an electrical repair team from Illinois of about 50 trucks to assist recovery efforts—and get power back to the city. Countless other businesses and non-profit organizations from Illinois have also stepped up to help relief, and you can find more ways you can help such efforts here.

The Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, and County Judge Ed Emmett, have established a relief fund to collect donations for those affected by the storm. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund will collect donations for victims affected by the recent floods, and is housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501©3 public charity. You can find more information on it here.

The Illinois House of Representative approved a historic school funding reform bill, which will more adequately fund school districts state-wide. 

The legislation, SB1947, utilizes the Evidence Based Model as the funding formula to distribute funds to all 852 school districts in the state.  Under this model, funding is given to the neediest school districts first—those that are the furthest away from their adequacy target.  No school district loses any money under this model, and it prioritizes funding for the state’s most impoverished schools and students.

The minimum funding level remains at $350 million per year, yet it will eventually be split to include $300 million for the tier funding system and $50 million to fund a property tax relief pool, which will help lessen the property tax burden at the local level for high-taxes, low-wealth school districts.  The adequacy target for each school helps determine funding, and assesses the social and educational needs of each student.

SB1947 is different from previously discussed school funding legislation—SB1—in that it removes the Chicago Public School’s pension costs from the school funding formula and instead appropriates this through the pension code.

State Representative Steve Andersson supported the legislation.  “Coming to a bipartisan agreement is never easy,” said Andersson. “This agreement was a true compromise and is a win for everybody, especially for the future of our children in Illinois who will have better educational opportunities under this plan.”

There is also significant mandate and property tax relief included in SB1947, which gives more local control to school boards to decide the requirements for physical education, driver’s education, and property tax referendums.  A private school scholarship tax credit is also included, that is donor based and designates $100 million for a scholarship program with a 75% tax credit for all donors. 

The bill passed the House with bipartisan support, and 73 members voting in favor of the measure. 
Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed into law SB1783 that extends the River Edge Tax Credit.

This historic tax credit gives a 25 percent rebate of state taxes to developers who renovate historic structures. The communities of Aurora, Peoria, Rockford, Elgin and East St. Louis are eligible for the program.

The bill had large bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. State Representative Steve Andersson serves as co-chair of the historic preservation caucus, and was a co-sponsor of the initiative.

“This credit is important as it makes historic preservation possible, much of which is costly especially in terms of redevelopment,” said Andersson. “Preserving the historic aspects of Illinois is integral to our community’s history and the larger history of our state, and this is a great step to making this continue to be possible.”

Not only does the program serve to preserve history, but has also worked to spur economic development in the state through the designated communities.

The program initially began in 2011, but the current bill that was signed will continue the program through 2021.
When our state was on the brink of a financial cliff of such enormity that we would not recover for decades, I came to the same conclusion as many of my colleagues, that the cost of inaction outweighed the cost of compromise.

I, along with a 14 other Republicans, rose up and joined rank and file Democrats in an effort to end the impasse. Due to the partisan infighting, the clock had run out and time was up despite two and a half years of negotiations, there was no viable deal that could be passed in time to save our state from disaster. We could no longer watch while our state burned without a budget for the longest time of any state in U.S. history.

As a result of the vote, we brought the state back from the fiscal edge and passed a balanced budget - the first in decades, while continuing the fight to build on the many reforms we did achieve. These significant reforms include procurement reform, government consolidation initiatives and criminal justice reform. We lived to fight another day and saved the state from financial collapse.

I am proud of the work I have done during my tenure, such as passing legislation giving voters the right to dissolve local governments; being a staunch advocate from the beginning for the future energy jobs bill; insuring children get screened for social emotional learning issues at an early age, making local government and our courts run more efficiently and for honoring our Gold Star Families with their own day each year. Moving forward, I will continue to fight, and I will continue to lead, with the same Republican values I have held to for 40 years. Values entrenched in the notion of living within our means, honoring our commitments, building strong businesses, ensuring equality for all, valuing human life, and delivering a sustainable government. In addition, I will also fight for those who have the least voice: the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, those afflicted with substance abuse and other issues.

That said, our politics are changing. Even within the time, I have served in Springfield, the temperament of my party has shifted, and the Republican Party values I grew up with seem to be increasingly absent or changing. At this point, I believe that my advocacy will be stronger outside the chamber than within. There are others who are better suited to the current partisan politics of this chamber. At the end of this term I’ll be stepping aside to afford that opportunity to another individual.

I'd like to thank the incredible outpouring of support from both within the district and across the state for my work to bring an end to the budget impasse. It has been truly humbling. It has been an honor to serve the people of 65th district and the realization of a lifelong dream. Thank you.
State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) recently hosted a successful senior fair at the Baker Community Center in St. Charles.

The event brought over 30 vendors together to provide essential information on services available to local senior citizens in the 65th District community.

Representative Andersson was on hand at the event to help guide seniors to services they can utilize, from state and local government to health and wellness organizations. He was also able to discuss important state issues with attendees, and enjoyed hearing constructive feedback from local constituents on the state budget, and much more. “This event was a huge success,” said Andersson. “Any time I can help bring a necessary service conveniently to residents, while listening and engaging with them in the process is extremely beneficial.”

This is the first year Rep. Andersson has hosted a senior fair in the community, but with the large turnout, the Representative is looking forward to hosting more events like this in the future. If you were unable to attend and are in need assistance or information about available senior services, contact Rep. Andersson’s District Office at (630) 457-5460.

State Representative Steve Andersson will be hosting a senior fair for area residents to learn more about services available to them in the community.

The event will be held on Thursday August 10th, from 10am-noon, at the Baker Community Center in St. Charles, 101 S. 2nd Street.

The event will bring together resources from state, county and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, and health and wellness groups to provide all the necessary information that seniors need to continue living healthy, active lives.

This is the first time Rep. Andersson is hosting this event, but it is one he felt was important to bring to seniors in the area. “Making sure our seniors have all the tools and resources they need to help improve and enhance their lives is important, and bringing all these together in one place is a small step I can make to help,” said Andersson.

The event is free and open to the public, and the Representative encourages seniors in the area to attend to learn more from the various vendors.

For questions about the event, contact Rep. Andersson’s district office at (630) 457-5460.

Identity theft and fraud have been on the rise poising a continual threat to area residents daily.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft continually is ranked the top consumer complaints throughout the United States, and has remained so for over a decade. In fact, the amount of stolen data within the medical field has more than quadrupled. There have been 2.32 million victims of medical identity theft thus far, with over 500,000 cases being reported last year alone. This number represents more data breaches than any other sector, and only continues to rise over time.

With the amount of fraud in the world today, it is extremely important to protect your information, including personal papers or statements with medical or insurance information. There are important steps you can take to ensure your identity is protected. Adam Levin, longtime consumers advocate and identity fraud expert, has touted the three “M’s” of identity theft management: Minimize Risk, Monitor Your Identity, and Manage the Damage.

Here are some helpful tips to do so…
  • Check your bank and credit card statements routinely
  • Properly discard any paper documents with personal information
  • Sign up for free alerts from banks, credit unions, or your credit card company
  • Watch your medical Insurance benefits to make sure they aren’t fraudulently used by others
  • Report any suspicious activity
Attorney General Lisa Madigan created an Identity Theft Hotline for Illinois residents. If you have been the victim of identity theft or believe your personal or financial information may have been compromised, please call the toll free number to report it: 1-866-999-5630.

Shredding paper documents that contain personal information is the best way to ensure identities cannot be stolen or personal information fraudulently used.  Representative Steve Andersson recently hosted a paper shredding event to help area residents discard such papers.  Andersson’s shred event serviced over 260 residents by shredding more than 6,000 pounds of paper.  This was his second annual paper shredding event, and it continues to be a huge success!

With additional questions or concerns on how to best protect your information, feel free to contact Rep. Andersson’s district office at (630) 457-5460.
Without an evidence based school funding reform bill signed into law, schools state-wide will not get funding, putting many in jeopardy of opening on time for the upcoming school year. State Rep. Steve Andersson recently appeared on Chicago Tonight to discuss the bill at hand, SB1. 

Andersson does not support the legislation in its current form, due to the skewed direction of funds favoring one school district over all the rest in Illinois. Under SB1, the state would cover Chicago Public Schools pension costs, which amounts to $215 million this year. In addition there are other costs built into the formula that benefit CPS at the expense of other school districts-like the $250 million block grant they would receive every year.

Andersson encouraged continued bipartisan work towards a fair solution for all Illinois’ schools. The underlying funding formula in the bill did have wide support in the House, and there are good, agreeable aspects of the original legislation. While the bill passed in both chambers of the General Assembly in May, it is unable to move forward due to a procedural quirk, inhibiting any further action. Andersson urged for the bill’s release so that further discussions can move forward. Until it is sent to the Governor for further consideration, nothing more can be done.

Lawmakers were called into Special Session by Governor Rauner to encourage action and a resolution to school funding, and are scheduled to be in Springfield until Monday.

State Representative Steve Andersson and State Senator Karen McConnaughay are hosting their second annual paper shredding event.

The event will be held on July 29th at the Sun City Del Webb in Huntley, 12980 Del Webb Blvd, (The Fountain View Center) from 9am to noon.

“With identity theft and fraud on the rise, properly destroying personal documents in a safe and secure way is necessary to protecting your identity,” said Andersson.   “One easy way we can help keep our information secure is by discarding it properly. This is a hugely popular event that makes it easy for residents to shred all their papers, and I am looking forward to meeting residents in the process.”

Last year’s event drew over 300 area residents, and the lawmakers believe this year’s crowd will be even bigger.  All area residents are encouraged to attend the free event, and bring up to 2 bags of important documents and papers that need to be properly shredded and destroyed. 

For questions about the event, please contact Rep. Andersson's district office at (630) 457-5460.
Governor Bruce Rauner recently issued a state disaster proclamation for Lake, McHenry, and Kane Counties due to severe flooding. The state has already helped issue the delivery of 350,000 sandbags to area residents and more to an Illinois Department of Transportation yard in northern Illinois for further distribution.

In addition to activating further emergency operation plans, the disaster proclamation makes a wide variety of state resources available to residents such as sandbags, plastic, pumps and trucks.  Services from the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other non-profit organizations are also available, including shelters, and flood clean-up kits.  Please contact your county emergency management agency (EMA) to see if other types of assistance are available in your area.

After the Flood FAQ:
  • If you are still in need of sandbags, first check your local municipality. 
  • Contact your county Emergency Management Agency (EMA) to report damage to your home:
  • If you have flood insurance, contact your insurance company to report your damage. 
  • Even if you don’t have flood insurance, you should still contact your insurance company to ensure all potential assistance has been sought. 
  • Take pictures of the damage and make a list of any possessions damaged or destroyed. 
  • Keep receipts for costs incurred during the flood, such as receipts for hotels, clean-up, replacement and repair. 
  • Click here to read the full details of the state disaster proclamation and for more helpful information. 

For further questions or help call Rep. Andersson’s district office at (630) 457-5460.
The House of Representatives today voted to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of the state budget, which was passed by lawmakers in Springfield earlier this week.

Between the state’s backlog of bills and growing pension debt, Moody’s Investors Service revealed that a credit downgrade would still be possible even with the proposed budget’s tax hike. Yet, without a budget, the credit downgrade to junk status is imminent. It is for this reason that Rep. Andersson (R-Geneva) voted in favor of the override.

“My decision today rests on the difference between ‘might’ and ‘will.’ If we don’t vote to override the Governor’s veto, the state will fail. If we vote to override, we might still be downgraded, but it is the far better option of the two,” said Andersson.

Andersson acknowledged the looming disaster should the budget bill not be agreed upon, stating that too many Illinois residents have suffered for far too long during the near three year impasse.

In his vote today, Andersson said he chose “survival for the State of Illinois, so that we can continue to move forward together and keep negotiations going toward further reform measures.” Rep. Andersson is committed to continue working to improve Illinois, and believes that bipartisanship is the key to more reform to do so.

The budget impasse has ended with the budget bills gaining enough votes to override the Governor’s veto in the House.

The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to seniors and United States military veterans living in long-term care communities, and seeks to fulfill their dreams by giving them an opportunity to fly. 

The ‘Dream Flights’ offered take veterans back to their military days by giving them a ride in the cockpit of a Boeing Stearman, the airplane used to train many military aviators in the thirties and forties. The very mission of the organization is “giving back to those who have given.” While many military heroes today reside in senior communities, the organization and their Dream Flights gives veterans one more chance to rule the sky as proud military aviators.

Recently, the organization came to the DuPage County Airport to give dozens of flights to veterans who reside at the Holmstad Senior Community in Batavia. Each veteran was taken on a 20 minute flight, and after their tours, they were honored at a special ceremony to thank them for their service to their country.

Remarks at the recognition ceremony were given by the Mayor of Batavia, Jeff Schielke, and Certificates of Recognition were given to veterans from State Representative Steve Andersson.

Over the past six years, Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation has given over 2,200 Dream Flights in 37 states. The organization’s work has quickly grown and this year alone they are slated to give nearly a thousand flights.

This is an event that veterans at the Holmstad look forward to every year, and one that Representative Andersson enjoys participating in to help make their day special, in order to fully honor and show appreciation for their all they have sacrificed for their country.

Governor Bruce Rauner recently issued a proclamation calling for lawmakers to return to Springfield this week to continue working on the state budget. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Governor is authorized to call for special session by filing a proclamation with the Secretary of State’s Office.

In doing so, lawmakers head back to the Capitol and are expected to be there from Wednesday, June 21st and work through June 30th, which is the fiscal deadline. Should an agreement be reached before the deadline, the remaining special session days will be cancelled.

Prior to the Special Session announcement, Representative Steve Andersson hosted a public town hall meeting in his 65th District to get input from area residents on their ideas for possible solutions to the budget crisis. You can also hear more of Andersson’s thoughts on the budget in this video.

“We need to be back in Springfield to get back to work and finish the job,” said Andersson. There is no time to waste; our residents deserve to have a balanced budget with the necessary reforms that will provide for the future of the state, our families, and our children. I am ready to continue to work in compromise to pass a real balanced budget.”

As the budget stalemate has continued, it has had devastating effects on social services, higher education, families, seniors, and students across Illinois. In Springfield, the General Assembly will begin considering legislation that can help pass a balanced budget that includes spending caps, productive reforms, and tax relief to Illinois residents.
State Representative Steve Andersson hosted a successful emergency town hall meeting last night with residents in his 65th district. The event was open to all area residents, and drew a full crowd to the Geneva Park District.

In the first portion of the town hall, Rep. Andersson gave a presentation with current facts and figures relevant to the state budget. 

The Representative’s remarks gave a greater understanding to the magnitude of the budget crisis and how Illinois got to this point. 

With the budget impasse reaching its third year, and the current backlog of unpaid bills topping $14 billion, Andersson called this event an “emergency.” He recognizes the sense of urgency needed to come to a balanced budget agreement, as the lack of a state budget that has left social services, higher education, and many more agencies struggling without funding.

Andersson wanted to host this town hall to explain the budgeting process in the General Assembly, but most importantly to get input on possible solutions from residents. Every person in the room had an opportunity to ask the Representative a question, and he took time to consider every opinion.

“It was incredibly valuable to hear diverse opinions tonight and receive all the thoughtful input from area residents. I have a renewed sense of purpose as we prepare to head back to Springfield in the coming weeks,” said Andersson.

At several points throughout the night, Rep. Andersson stressed the need for compromise as the only way to come to a budget agreement in the House of Representatives, and Andersson remains committed to working with lawmakers in Springfield to do so.

State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) will be hosting an emergency town hall to ask for input from area residents on the state budget.

The Representative’s town hall is an opportunity for dialogue, where Andersson hopes to discuss the end of spring legislative session, but also facilitate productive conversation about the current fiscal crisis and the budget.
The event is free and open to the public, and the Representative encourages all area residents to attend to share their thoughts.  “Illinois is in a state of emergency,” said Representative Andersson.  “I am looking to engage with the community to hear their thoughts, answer questions, and actively work towards finding a solution to our state’s biggest problems.”

Andersson has urged for action in the House of Representatives and asked for compromise between lawmakers to reach an agreement before the close of session in Springfield.  The upcoming town hall is what he calls, “an effort to help move Illinois forward and find a solution that benefits residents and provides for the future of our state.”

For questions about the upcoming event or for more information, please contact Rep. Andersson’s district office at (630) 457-5460.
The House of Representatives adjourned on May 31st, the last day of spring legislative session without a balanced budget in place. The final day of spring session is the state’s budget deadline, which left little room for lawmakers to find an agreement—having heard minimal budget bills in the weeks leading up to the end of session.

Instead, the budget deadline has been extended, and lawmakers will continue to meet through the coming weeks to find an agreement to pay down the massive backlog of bills and help move Illinois forward.

Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) expressed his dismay with the lack of urgency and inaction on the state budget:

“I am frustrated that more time will pass as Illinois residents, service agencies, and higher education institutions continue to suffer as the impasse carries on,” said Andersson. “Our state is left with more uncertainty now than ever. It is my hope that as we continue to meet during the summer we will be productive in our debates, and pass a budget that our taxpayers deserve.”

Throughout legislative session this year in the House of Representatives, Andersson has encouraged bipartisan compromise to provide solutions to some of Illinois biggest challenges—including one to the budget impasse, which today has reached its 703rd day.

The House of Representatives will resume session with the renewed fiscal year deadline of June 30th.

Today we honor the fallen men and women who bravely fought to defend our freedoms. These servicemembers selflessly gave their lives so that we can continue to live freely. We recognize this sacrifice today, and never forget all that was given.

At the end of the Civil War, Americans were left with the weight of how best to memorialize the 625,000 soldiers who perished on both sides of the conflict. Originally known as Decoration Day, this special day became a federal holiday in 1971 and is now recognized on the last Monday in May every year.

Across this country Memorial Day is celebrated in various ways, through parades, ceremonies, family gatherings and memorials, all of which serve to honor those who died in service to the United States of America. In the nation’s capital, a special ceremony is held every year at Arlington National Cemetery, where an American flag is placed at each grave. At the Cemetery, the President or Vice President of the United States typically places a wreath on the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,’ which holds the remains of a World War I fighter.

The Illinois lawmakers in the House of Representatives also honored Memorial Day in the House Chambers on Thursday May 25th with a recognition ceremony during legislative session. The Gettysburg Address was read to members through a House Resolution, and individual Representatives read the names the names of servicemembers that died in the line of duty in the last twelve months, who are from their districts. It was a meaningful ceremony that began with the Presentation of Colors, and ended with a bagpiper playing on the House floor.

This holiday is a constant reminder of the sacrifices that were made to guarantee our freedoms that we enjoy on a daily basis. Today and every day we remember these heroes. To those who courageously gave their lives, and to those who continue to fight today to protect our freedoms . . . thank you!
State Representative Steve Andersson has launched his third annual summer reading program. This year’s theme calls for all the Super Readers in PK-5th grade to participate and read at least ten books of their choice this summer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These bills are just a few of the top priorities of the IAPD, and are supported by the organization as they continue through the legislative process in Springfield.
State Representative Steve Andersson recently presented House Bill 2591 to the State Government Administration Committee in the House of Representatives. This is an extremely complex piece of legislation that would create the Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act to overhaul the court fee system and ultimately reduce the large number of fees paid by citizens in court.

This bill was brought forward to Rep. Andersson and Rep. Elaine Nekritz who both served on the Statutory Court Fee Task Force. The Task Force’s work over the course of two years helped create the parameters of this legislation.

Current law allows courts to impose various fees and different fee schedules for criminal and traffic assessments. Andersson’s bill would consolidate these into a single Act through HB2591, and change the assessments to different rates. This change would streamline the process, making it easier to navigate and more transparent. Court fees have escalated over the years, and this bill would ensure that the fees could be reduced to more reasonable levels. Lastly, the bill provides for a waiver system for lower income individuals, to reduce the severe and often long term impact these fines can have on those from on the lower end of the socio-economic scale.

Representative Andersson has worked diligently with colleagues, proponents and opponents to the bill in order to find the best way to change current law. “Due to the complex nature of this legislation, I am committed to continuing to work on this legislation to pass a good bill. The changes proposed to the current law would make for a more efficient process, one that is more transparent and works to relieve any undue burdens placed on citizens by hefty court fees,” said Andersson.

Rep. Andersson stressed the difference in this bill between fees and fines. This legislation would affect fees distributed by the courts through the clerical process, something that varies between court systems and is separate from fines required to be paid and specific to offenses committed.

Witnesses were called to testify in Committee on behalf of the bill. A proponent of the bill, explained the impact of court fees, and provided meaningful testimony on just how large the impact is on those who have trouble paying fees. Below is a video from the Committee hearing where you can view more remarks from Representative Andersson on the bill.

House Resolution 43 was recently adopted in the House of Representatives.  This resolution was filed by Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva), to recognize the importance of pork and bacon in the State of Illinois.

About two years ago bacon was declared a Carcinogen by the World Health Organization.  The report by the WHO stated that eating too much processed meat, such as bacon, would lead to a higher risk of cancer.  Rep. Andersson felt that this declaration was unfair, especially to an industry that has contributed much to Illinois, and HR43 was created as a result.

The Pork Industry is instrumental to the state’s economy, contributing $1.8 billion and generating more than $170 million in taxes annually.  Pork Producers have also provided over 10,500 jobs in Illinois through production, suppliers, transportation and processing.   For Rep. Andersson, the importance of this industry and their product, and the value it brings to the state’s economy needed to be recognized.  Andersson, along with 17 other co-sponsors in the House, solidified their support and recognition of the importance of pork and bacon in Illinois.

This resolution was originally filed in October of 2015, but was finally adopted and celebrated in the House of Representatives, where bacon was also served.

In an effort to make state government and the legislative process more accessible to Illinois residents regardless of their national origin or spoken language, below are the links to translate the Illinois General Assembly website, www.ilga.gov, into any one of dozens of different languages.

The Illinois General Assembly website contains legislator profiles, full text of all legislation introduced in the House of Representatives and State Senate, live audio and video feeds of legislative session and committee hearings; and a wide variety of other legislative information and support services.

Please click any of the links below to translate the Illinois General Assembly website into your preferred language:

Spanish Español

Arabic عربي

Hindi हिन्दी

Chinese (Simplified) 中文简体

Chinese (Traditional) 中文繁體

Japanese 日本語

Korean 한국어

Russian Русский

French Français

German Deutsch

Italian Italiano

Polish Polski

Greek Ελληνικά

Swedish Svenska

You can translate the Illinois General Assembly website into as many as 57 different languages using any of the above links.
Today Governor Bruce Rauner gave his annual Budget Address to a special joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives of the 100th General Assembly. The budget remains the biggest challenge to the state of Illinois, with the current impasse reaching almost its second year, and a backlog of unpaid bills climbing to $11.3 billion.

In his Address, the Governor acknowledged the difficult position the state is in, but also noted significant progress that has been made through bipartisan compromise in the Senate. He presented specific parameters needed in a balanced budget plan, and stressed the importance of coming to an agreement that benefits both tax payers and job creators. The Governor also emphasized job creation as the cornerstone for economic growth, something for which the budget must account for.

State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) appreciated the Governor’s optimistic tone in presenting his budget plan, especially Rauner’s emphasis on working together with both sides of the legislature toward a compromise.

“The Governor has presented a budget to us with the necessary reforms to help make Illinois competitive again—and benefit our taxpayers,” said Andersson. “He has given us parameters on what is acceptable to bring necessary change to our state, and this will help guide us as we navigate the difficult decisions ahead. Now it is our job as legislators to pass this budget, end this impasse, and do what’s right for our state.”
Representative Steve Andersson was recently named to the following committees in the House of Representatives for the 100th General Assembly:

· Appropriations-General Services

· Business Incentives for Local Communities

· Industry and Code Enforcement

· Judiciary-Civil

· Mental Health

· Museums, Arts, and Cultural Enhancement

Rep. Andersson was named to these committees by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, and was also named the minority spokesperson for three of his six committees: Business Incentives for Local Communities Committee, Judiciary-Civil Committee, and Museums, Arts, and Cultural Enhancement Committee. Serving as the Republican Floor Leader during debates in the General Assembly, Andersson will extend his reason, diplomacy, and understanding of the law in his special role on these committees.

The Representative will be able to use his professional expertise as an attorney most notably as a member and minority spokesperson of the Judiciary Civil Committee. He has practiced municipal law for over two decades and is looking forward to using his experience in serving on this committee for the second time.

The Judiciary Civil Committee will hold its first hearing of the 100th General Assembly on February 8th, to begin reviewing legislation and the 10 bills that have already been assigned to this committee.
The Conference of Women Legislators (COWL), a not-for-profit organization and a bipartisan coalition of women legislators in the Illinois General Assembly, recently announced their 2017-2018 Scholarship Award Program. Their scholarship program is offered annually, and was created to promote economic independence, community service and leadership development for women who choose to continue their college degrees.

The scholarship award is $2500, and is available for full and part time students. Applicants are required to enroll in an Illinois accredited college or university for a minimum of six credit hours. In addition to academic achievement, the scholarship committee also considers volunteer or paid community service work in determining scholarship recipients. Particular consideration is given to women who have shown leadership through community service opportunities.

The scholarship fund is made available through fundraising by COWL, with the goal of assisting women whose education was interrupted due to family concerns, economic problems, or other obligations. Deserving women wishing to continue their undergraduate degrees are encouraged to apply!

Applications must be postmarked by March 15, 2017. Awardees will be notified of the decisions by April 15, 2017. More information on the scholarship program and application process can be found on the COWL website: www.cowlil.com.
Today the grand opening of the Aurora St. Charles Senior Living was celebrated with a special ceremony and ribbon cutting. The new senior housing center will provide healthy and affordable homes for seniors in the community.

Formerly serving as St. Charles Hospital, many of the historic Art Deco aspects of the building were preserved as it was converted. Some of the original design features that were preserved include the terrazzo and stone floors in common areas, oversized windows in each residence and 9 foot ceilings throughout the building.

The preservation and repurposing of this building was a challenging project that took much collaboration amongst local, state, and federal government entities, not to mention various community partners. The vision and common understanding of the overall project united the many hands in its work, which was successfully completed in a year.

Representative Steve Andersson serves as a chairman on the Historic Preservation Caucus in the General Assembly, and was honored at the event for working with state legislators to pass a law extending the River Edge Historic Tax Credit program. The program provides tax relief to developers in Aurora, Elgin, Peoria, Rockford and East St. Louis who seek to rehabilitate old properties for modern use, and has allowed for millions of dollars in development in downtown Aurora.

This tax credit was integral in making the senior living project a reality. Andersson attended the ceremony as a key note speaker to discuss the importance of historic preservation and express the positive impact this building has in the community. As a strong supporter of historic preservation, Andersson said that “there are so many different ways that we all succeed when a project like this comes to fruition.” He continued to note the positive effects this project had in creating jobs in the community, stimulating business growth, and helping senior residents in the area.

While the project created much positivity, it is also a reminder of the past. “This is an uncertain time,” said Andersson. “With that uncertainty, we are in danger of forgetting our past. We need to remember our history, and a building like this is a great reminder of that.”

Rep. Andersson also presented Aurora Mayor Robert O’Connor with a Certificate of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives, to acknowledge the grand opening of Aurora St. Charles Senior Living, and a job well done.