State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) is hosting a townhall event for local residents on October 25th. All 65th District residents are invited to attend. It will be held from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at the Geneva Park District’s Sunset Community Center: 710 Western Avenue.

The townhall is an opportunity for constituents to ask questions about the Representative’s positions on legislation, local issues, the future of Illinois—and more. Andersson has served as State Representative of the 65th District for two terms. With the close of the 100th General Assembly, the Representative is leaving the House of Representatives. This event will give his constituents a final opportunity to have a meaningful discussion with their State Representative.

“Often when an employee leaves a job, an exit interview is conducted by the employer to determine what was right and wrong with the job. In this case my employer is the people of the 65th District. So this is their chance to ask me the hard questions,” said Rep. Andersson. “No question is off limits, the only thing I will require is civility.”

Representatives Andersson encourages all local residents to come join the discussion; to listen, learn, and share their input. With questions about the event, contact Rep. Andersson’s District Office at (630) 457-5460.

State Representative Steve Andersson recently celebrated the close of his fourth annual summer reading program. Rep. Andersson has hosted a summer reading program every year to help encourage students to read and learn throughout the summer months. This year’s program, DREAM BIG, READ! drew another impressive turnout.

PK - 5th graders were invited to read 10 books over the summer. Readers sent in their reading lists and were then were invited, along with their families, to a special celebration.

This summer’s program drew over 50 participants from Rep. Andersson’s 65th District. The Representative welcomed his summer readers and their families to a celebratory pizza party to recognize their accomplishments.

“It's always a fun event,” said Rep. Andersson. “Some of these kids have been with me for 4 years, and it has been so fun to watch them grow!”

The party also featured a magic show from Don "Wand" Bothwell. Rep. Andersson read the book, "Happy Dreamer" and presented each reader with a certificate of congratulations, as well as a goody gift bag.

It was a great night and everyone had a wonderful time!

State Representatives Steve Andersson and Anna Moeller recently held a roundtable discussion on mental health.

The roundtable was part of a discussion series started by the Kennedy Forum, which encourages community conversation on topics in mental and behavioral health. The Forum was founded in 2013 and is focused on advancing the current ideas, policies, and programming to improve the lives of individuals living with mental illness and addiction, and promote behavioral health for all. Hosting discussions is one initiative the Forum encourages to engage the mental health community and move forward toward meaningful solutions.

Andersson and Moeller centered their discussion on mental health, to talk about what more can be done to decrease the stigma around mental health and better provide for those dealing with mental health issues.

The event brought out a crowd of area service providers, educators, students and residents.

Representative Andersson has been a strong supporter of mental health both in the local community and legislatively in Springfield.

“While addressing mental health has improved over the years, there are still major gaps and deficiencies where we can advance,” said Rep. Andersson. “Everyone is somehow connected to mental health—through a personal experience or someone they know. If we talk about it and continue to make strides to limit the stigma around it, it will help.”

To learn more about the Kennedy Forum and their resources click here.

State Representatives Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) and Anna Moeller (D-Elgin) are hosting a discussion on mental health at the Gail Borden Library in Elgin.

The roundtable event will be on September 18th from 10:00-11:00 am. It is free and open to the public.

The Representatives’ event is part of the On The Table Discussion series, which has been held around the State by various lawmakers interested in addressing mental health issues. The discussions are meant to foster conversation about mental health and addiction, to help lessen the stigma that surrounds it.

Representative Andersson has been a strong proponent of mental health, and feels this discussion group is a great way to make progress in mental health awareness.

“There is an unfair stigma surrounding mental health, and because of that, it often isn’t talked about,” said Andersson. “To make progress in the area of mental health, we first must break the stigma, so we can move forward to finding solutions. I hope this discussion series helps break that barrier, so we can help those that need it in our community—and in Illinois.”

Representatives Andersson and Moeller encourage anyone in their Districts to come join the discussion, to listen, learn, and share their input on mental health.

With questions about the event, contact Rep. Andersson’s District Office at (630) 457-5460.

Every year Representative Andersson produces a Legislative Newsletter to give a summary of what was accomplished in the 65th District community, and in Springfield.

Click here to access the 2018 newsletter. 

State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) recently filed legislation to establish a security protocol for three-dimensional printers in public places. The bill, HB 5946, will require the State Police to create such a safety protocol for three-dimensional printers in public libraries, public elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, public universities and state agencies.

With plans now publicly available that make 3D printers capable of printing guns, the public access to these printers is a safety and security issue for public places like schools and libraries. Rep. Andersson filed the bill to make sure that safety is a priority, especially due to recent school shootings. 

“It has always been my position that a focus needs to be on controlling access to guns by criminals and the mentally ill. Without security protocols in place, we will have no check on access to weapons by those who, most agree, should not have them.” said Andersson. “I want to make sure that our schools don’t become weapons manufacturers,” said Andersson. “This bill is the result of bipartisan collaboration, and presents a proactive approach to safety. By establishing a clear protocol, we can prevent guns from being produced and used in our schools.”

We should never wake up to a headline that reads “University student shot by gun made on university printer—no security in place.”

The bill calls for the Illinois State Police to develop a state-wide security protocol for these printers by January 1st, 2019. Such a protocol would then be implemented by July 1st, 2019.

HB 5946 was filed earlier this month and could be addressed in the House of Representatives during veto session starting November 13th.
HB4594 was signed into law by Governor Rauner, which updates the State’s system of criminal court fees to make the fee structure for criminal and civil court cases more manageable.

Representative Andersson (R-Geneva) sponsored the bill to make the necessary changes to improve our criminal justice system. HB4594 makes three important changes to the fee structure: it makes all fees consolidated to unified schedules, it realigns fees so that they comply with the Illinois Constitution, and it allows for waivers for low income individuals who are unable to pay such fines.

“It is a complete rewrite of how fees are assessed in all state courts in Illinois,” said Andersson. “In recent years we have built the court system on the backs of litigants in court. It was so out of control that the fees were often far more than the actual fines. This is about true justice and we just made a huge difference in that.”

Andersson has worked on this legislation since he began his tenure in the House. Through his collaboration with retired State Representative Elaine Nektritz, as well as the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Trucking Association, social service agencies, the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois State Police, the legislation has received wide support.

Due to the complex nature of the legislation, a sunset clause was included that will allow the issue to be reassessed in 2020 to ensure the changes made are making the proper impact.
(Springfield, IL) - The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) released its 2018 Environmental Scorecard this week. Representative Steve Andersson has been honored with a perfect voting record. A total of 61 state representatives received an award for their voting record during the 2018 legislative session. 

“Representative Steve Andersson demonstrated a commitment to environmental issues in Springfield this session,” said IEC Executive Director Jen Walling.

The 2018 Environmental Scorecard included numerous legislative measures. Specific priorities from the Scorecard include:

SB2298: Industrial Hemp Act

○ This bill brings new opportunities to farmers as well as benefits to soil by opening new initiatives for sustainable agriculture.

SB2773: Renewable Energy Financing

○ This measure enhances the property-assessed clean energy (PACE) program by allowing Illinois to help communities access fund for clean energy projects.

HB4790: Use of Compost

o This legislation increases the use of compost in transportation projects and helps create a market for compost use in Illinois.

“Representative Steve Andersson voted 100% of the time with the environmental community on nine pieces of key legislation,” added Walling. “The IEC is honored by Representative Andersson’s dedication to Illinois’ environment and we look forward to working together in the future.”

IEC releases its scorecard in August of each year.
Special thanks to ComEd for sponsoring
this year's Shred Event!
State Representative Steve Andersson held a successful paper shredding event over the weekend at the Carillon Community in Pingree Grove.

Rep. Andersson has hosted an annual paper shredding event for his constituents to help prevent residents’ personal information from being stolen and used for fraud or identity theft.

The event drew a crowd of area residents, who dropped off documents to be safely shredded and discarded on site.

“Residents were grateful to have the opportunity to access such a necessary service, and I was happy to provide them with it in a convenient manner,” said Andersson. “This event is the best opportunity to help people recycle while providing 100 percent peace of mind that their personal documents are securely shredded.”

If you are concerned about identity theft and feel your information has been compromised, the Illinois Attorney General has created an identity theft hotline. You can call the hotline number, or visit the website for more information on identity theft in Illinois here.

The Illinois State Police Merit Board is currently processing applications for Cadet Class 129, tentatively scheduled for April, 2019. In order to be considered for Cadet Class 129, the Merit Board must receive a completed application and required documentation by August 15, 2018. 
You can apply online at: https://www.illinoistrooper.com.   

The Illinois State Police has fostered and served with a reputation for integrity, service and pride since its inception. Their functions include protecting life and property, enforcing both criminal laws and motor vehicle safety laws, responding to emergencies and disasters and providing a myriad of diverse specialized services to both the public and the criminal justice community.

To find out more about the recruitment process, you can access their recruitment video here.

State Representative Steven Andersson (R-Geneva) was recently named a joint-recipient of the 2018 Landmarks Illinois Richard Driehaus Preservation Award for Legislator of the Year, as well as the President’s Choice Award.

Rep. Andersson was recognized along with State Sens. Pamela Altoff and Steve Stadelman, and Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth. All four of these lawmakers have been champions of historic preservation and instrumental in helping to enact preservation legislation in the State of Illinois, most recently the new State Historic Tax Credit overwhelmingly approved by the legislature on May 31st. Governor Bruce Rauner signed the legislation into law on July 27, 2018, expanding the existing River Edge Redevelopment Zone and creating a statewide historic preservation tax credit for Illinois – a major accomplishment for the state and preservation community!

Representative Andersson is a co-chair of the Illinois Historic Preservation Legislative Caucus and has worked hard to advocate for historic preservation in his 65th district, and across Illinois.
Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed SB3527 which will expand the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Historic Tax Credit. The bill extends an existing tax credit that was established in 2012 for historic preservation in the River Edge communities. This was originally a five-year pilot program allowing a 25 percent state income tax credit for qualifying projects in blighted, historic riverfront areas in Peoria, Rockford, Elgin, East St. Louis and Aurora. Due to the success of this program, SB3527 will now allow even more communities across Illinois to experience the same economic development and incentives. 

State Representative Steve Andersson was a co-sponsor of SB3527 in the House of Representatives, and has long supported historic preservation serving as the Co-Chair of the Illinois Historic Preservation Caucus. The legislation was a bipartisan effort that seamlessly passed both Houses in May. The bill will improve Illinois communities while retaining the culture and history of the state.

The bill also creates a new Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit with $15 million in credits to be administered by the Historic Preservation Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources each year between January 2019 and December 2023.

State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) will be hosting an upcoming paper shredding event on August 4th. The event will be held in Pingree Grove at the Carillon Senior Living Community, 1865 Andre Blvd., from 9am-11:00am. It is is free and open to the public. 

The upcoming event is a great opportunity for local residents to destroy sensitive documents to help prevent identity theft and fraud. Shredding documents to ensure personal information and data is destroyed is now more important than ever, with identity theft and fraud continually on the rise. This is one of the reasons Rep. Andersson likes to remind constituents to take the extra step to protect their information.

Residents can bring up to two bags of paper to be discarded. Documents that should be shredded include mail with personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers or account information.

The Representative has hosted a paper shredding event every year and is looking forward to meeting area residents again at this event.

“Residents won’t event have to exit their vehicle when dropping off their paper documents to be shredded. I am hosting this event to make it as easy as possible for residents to safely and securely dispose of documents—and I encourage everyone to take advantage of this great event,” said Rep. Andersson.

With questions, contact Rep. Andersson’s district office at (630) 457-5460.

Food insecurity is a problem for many children when school lets out for the summer.

For those kids who rely on school for free or reduced-priced meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), summer can be a time of hunger and anxiety. No child should go hungry, and there are programs in communities across Illinois to help ensure that throughout the summer months.

Rise and Shine Illinois is one organization that is dedicated to helping provide those children in need with access to meals during the summer through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The program provides free meals to kids ages 18 and under during the summer. It is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education.

There are a variety of “Meal Sites” available, where children can access free meals. However, despite efforts to bring awareness to the program, it continues to be underutilized. If you or someone you know could utilize the meal service program, visit the organization’s website, summerfeedingillinois.org, to find the closest meal site to you.

Today, a balanced budget plan was adopted by the House of Representatives through HB109. The budget includes $38.520 billion in expected State revenue, while accounting for $38.502 billion in spending.

No tax increases, prioritized spending and pension reform helped contribute to the balanced budget that supports those who rely on the state, providing ample funding to programs that support to the state’s universities, families, seniors, and the underprivileged. A few of the new funding measures in the bill will go to education initiatives. This includes a $350 million increase to the education funding formula compared to last year, which will go to K-12 education across the state. Also included is $50 million in support for Early Childhood Education, and a merit-based scholarship program called AIM HIGH, that is funded by $25 million in state dollars, with a matching $25 million from universities to help retain Illinois students. In addition, a new state income tax credit will be available for those who adopt a child.

State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) voted in favor of the budget bill. “This is a common sense budget,” said Andersson. “This came together through a bipartisan effort, and it is a product of good, honest negotiations. New necessary programs were created to benefit our state, while spending within our means.”

The budget was approved yesterday in the Senate, and today in the House of Representatives on the last day of legislative session.

State Representative Steve Andersson stood in support of the Equal Rights Amendment today in the House of Representatives, when SJRCA 4 was presented for a vote.

Andersson was the chief-co sponsor of the initiative, and has been vocal in his support of it throughout the Constitutional Amendment’s journey through the legislative process.

During today’s debate, Andersson stressed not only the equality the amendment would secure, but also the empowerment it would provide to women. “I want to empower women,” said Andersson, “because the better they are, the better we are as a people.” In his comments on the House floor, Andersson continued, “When we equalize ourselves, we are all better.”

The Representative urged all members in the House to support the Amendment, calling it the most important bill the House of Representatives will consider this year.

With today’s vote, the measure received 72 votes in favor, gaining enough support to make Illinois the 37th state to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment.
State Representative Steve Andersson passed Senate Bill 544 in the House of Representatives today.

The bill makes a change to how court fees are processed for Cook County. Under this measure, the county would not be required to pay circuit court civil case fees in advance, which had otherwise been required. Instead, they would be allowed to pay within 30 days of the fee being incurred.

There are currently many different fees and schedules for civil cases and statutory assessments in criminal and traffic offenses. Rep. Andersson’s initial legislation on the matter, HB4594, unified these fees to into one comprehensive Act. SB544 makes a change within that legislation, to provide larger counties more time to pay fees, and also reduce such fees to improve the process. This bill was initiated by the City of Chicago, as the bill affects Cook County.
State Representative Steve Andersson welcomed the St. Charles North Mock Trial Team to Springfield today.  The Mock Trial team recently claimed the State Champion title, making the team the State Champs for the second year in a row.
Representative Andersson met with the students in Springfield to show them the Capitol, and hear about their journey to the State Title. In explaining to Rep. Andersson their trial experience, the students discussed how much they enjoyed presenting both sides of an argument.  Representative Andersson was impressed with their open-mindedness, an essential skill for success.  “It makes me joyful for the future of the State, to see such passion in these young students,” said Andersson.

House Resolution 1004 was adopted today in the House of Representatives to celebrate the St. Charles North Mock Trial Team, and their great accomplishment this year. 

State Representative Steve Andersson passed two Senate bills in the Judiciary Civil Committee this week.

The first bill is part of his Court Fee Reform initiative, and will help clarify certain aspects of the original bill, HB4594. The purpose of this bill is to provide larger counties more time to pay fees, as required by their processes. The bill was suggested by the City of Chicago, and is supported by Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance.

Representative Andersson’s second bill presented in committee, SB2437, changes the Dissolution of Marriage Act. Current law requires that any life insurance policy of either spouse that constitutes marital property be allocated by the court to determine ownership. This bill changes that to insure the intended recipients receive the right benefits. It ensures that policy owners who pass away after a divorce, but before they are able to redesignate their policy, have the proceeds go to their intended beneficiary.

This week SB544 and SB2437 unanimously passed in committee and will move forward in the House for further consideration.
State Representative Steve Andersson recently participated in the Illinois Youth in Care and Alumni Legislative Shadow Day. The program connects current and former youth in care with Illinois General Assembly members to learn about State Government.

This is the third annual Shadow Day organized by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Foster Care Alumni of America, and the Illinois Statewide Youth Advisory Board. With May being National Foster Care Month, this year’s program was especially meaningful. 50 current and former youth in care from across the state were paired with various lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The day provided a great opportunity for youth to learn from lawmakers, see the legislative process, and learn the best way to get their voices heard by lawmakers. This was Representative Andersson’s first time participating in the program, and he enjoyed discussing his role as a Representative with his shadow, Dani Townsend. She was able to sit in the gallery in the House of Representatives to watch legislative session, and visit the House floor.

Today, State Representative Steve Andersson spoke in support of the Equal Rights Amendment at a press conference in the State Capitol.

The press conference was held by Deputy Majority LeaderLou Lang (D-Skokie), the House sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment, and also included several other supporters of the ERA including Sally Pancrazio, former Dean of the College of Education at Illinois State University, and Carrie Boyd from the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Rep. Andersson further expressed his support for Illinois to adopt the ERA, and for it to be a bipartisan initiative. Andersson urged the Governor to support the measure and also encourage House Republicans to vote in favor of what should be a bipartisan issue.

“We know women aren’t being treated equally, and they don’t have the same constitutional protections,” said Andersson. “This is about women, and it is finally to time to stand together to make this change.”

This week in Springfield, supporters of the ERA have rallied in the State Capitol to urge lawmakers to support the Amendment, which if adopted would make Illinois the 37thState out of the 38 needed for ratification.

State Representative Andersson (R-Geneva) has passed a legislative measure in the House of Representatives that will update the State’s system of criminal court fees.

The fee structure for criminal and civil court cases is out of control. This is not just the case for Illinois, but also other states in the Union, and to remedy this, change was requested by the Supreme Court. The Statutory Fees Task Force was created to extensively study Illinois’ statutory court fee system, and their study resulted in the recommendation for change in the form of HB4594.

“This bill reforms criminal assessments and was largely driven by the Supreme Court,” said Andersson. “It is a massive undertaking, but a necessary step to improve our criminal justice system.”

As a member of the Statutory Fees Task Force, Rep. Andersson sponsored the legislation to change the current system. HB4594 makes three important changes to the fee structure: it makes all fees consolidated to unified schedules, it realigns fees so that they comply with the Illinois Constitution, and it allows for waivers for low income individuals who are unable to pay such fines.

Andersson has worked on this legislation since he began his tenure in the House. Through his collaboration with State Representative Elaine Nektritz, as well as the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Trucking Association, social service agencies, and the Illinois State Police, the legislation has received wide support. In addition, the Illinois Supreme Court submitted a formal recommendation for the bill to be adopted today in the House.

Due to the complex nature of the legislation, and the current court fee system, a sunset clause was included that will allow the issue to be reassessed in 2020 to ensure the changes made are making the proper impact.

HB4594 passed today in the House and now moves forward for further consideration.
State Representative Steve Andersson hosted John-Austin Little as his Honorary Page for the Day in the House of Representatives.

John-Austin Little is a 5th grade student in Representative Andersson’s 65th District, and attends Williamsburg Elementary School in Geneva. Rep. Andersson initially met Mr. Little during a visit to the Elementary School earlier this year, and after hearing first hand his interest in government, the Representative invited him to Springfield to serve in the Honorary Page for the day program. As a page, Mr. Little was introduced by Rep. Andersson on the House Floor, met other lawmakers and observed the legislative process in action.

Representative Andersson was happy to have an eager student, learner, and perhaps future State Representative join him for the day in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Andersson presents HB5288
in the Human Services Committee
State Representative Steve Andersson’s legislation to create an online registry for Illinois’ recovery residences passed today in the House of Representatives.

As described in HB5288, a "recovery residence" means a sober, safe, and healthy living environment that promotes recovery from alcohol and other drug use and associated problems.

The legislation is an initiative of the Department of Human Services, and the bill provides that DHS will develop and maintain the online registry of recovery residences. The will be publicly available online through the DHS website and include detailed information about each residence. These recovery residences are not subject to Department licensure as they are viewed as independent living residences that only provide peer support and a lengthened exposure to the culture of recovery.

No such database of recovery residences currently exists, making it difficult for Illinois residents to find necessary resources to aid in their recovery. The online registry of recovery residences will serve as a referral resource for individuals seeking continued recovery assistance.

Representative Andersson commended DHS for suggesting the bill, as it will greatly help individuals and their families easily access all the information they need in one place. While presenting the bill in the House, Representative Andersson called these recovery residences “a critical and key component to an individual’s recovery from substance abuse.” Further, Andersson believes it is vital that people are aware of the resources in Illinois that are available to them in their recovery.

The bill passed unanimously out of committee and also garnered a unanimous vote in the House to move forward for further consideration in the Senate.
The Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, presented as SJRCA 4, was ratified this week by the Illinois Senate. Originally introduced in Congress in 1923, the Amendment provides that the equality of rights will not be denied by the United States or any state on account of sex.

Today, the Amendment is currently awaiting further consideration in the House of Representatives, and State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) became the first chief-co sponsor of the initiative in the House.

Andersson has supported the Amendment in the past, and was eager to sponsor its current movement in the House. “This is a long time coming, and I am excited to help garner the necessary support for this to become a reality in our state,” said Andersson.

The Amendment has been presented in the House in years prior, where both the House and Senate have each voted in favor of it, but the Amendment has yet to clear both chambers in the same year.

For passage as a constitutional amendment, 71 votes are required instead of the usual 60 votes needed for legislation. If it does get the necessary votes, Illinois would become the 37th state to ratify the Amendment.
State Representative Steve Andersson was recently featured in the House Republican Caucus Podcast, "Have All Voted Who Wish." The podcast series gives insight into legislators thoughts on state issues, but also a look into their interests outside of government.

Click below to listen to Rep. Andersson's thoughts on transparency in state government, mental health issues, clean energy, and more!

The City of St. Charles is warning residents of a current phone call scheme that is targeting area residents.

The St. Charles Utility Billing Office has received reports from local residents who have received phone calls from people claiming to be representatives of the city. In the calls these scammers demand immediate payment for utility bills. Callers have also been known to leave voicemails stating, “Electric bill is overdue, here’s your reference number. You need to call immediately.”

The phone numbers used by the scammers show up on Caller ID as “City of St. Charles,” but City Spokesperson Lisa Garhan has confirmed that this is a hoax. Garhan has reassured that residents are never asked for immediate payment over the phone for such bills.

St. Charles residents should be aware that this is a scheme to get your credit card information. If you do receive a phone call as described, DO NOT call back the number provided and do not give any personal information over the phone.

St. Charles city officials have noted their willingness to work with residents, should they have concerns or further questions on this issue. Residents are also encouraged to contact the St. Charles Police Department to report phone calls of this nature at, 630-377-4435.