Latest News


It's time for our annual reward party for our Summer Reading Program!
If your student has completed their summer reading log through our reading program and would like to attend my ice cream social, we will be at the following locations:




Friday, August 11
1pm – 2pm
Tastee Treet, 1219 North Cheney Street in Taylorville



3pm - 4pm
Irving Creamery & Pizzeria, 101 W.State  in Irving


Saturday, August 12
1pm - 2pm
Twistee Treat at the Pink Elephant, 908 Veterans Memorial Drive in Livingston


There are 16,629 students in the 95th legislative who depend on me to advocate for them at the state capitol. Each one of them deserves the chance to receive a world class education. Their future - that is what this fight for school funding reform is all about.
 
In the past three years, I have served on three school funding commissions and taskforces. I can tell you firsthand - throughout those meetings there has been genuine, groundbreaking, bipartisan work done to produce a new, fair, evidence-based school funding formula.

Unsurprisingly, at the last second, negotiations were cut off, amendments were filed that benefitted Chicago and the bill was forced through on a mostly partisan basis. Good bipartisan work was abandoned for partisan politics that send more money to Chicago first.
You’ll hear both sides argue about whether or not there is a Chicago bailout or what that means. Let me share what sending Chicago more money means for my neighbors in the 95th District.
 
In the 95th, there are 16,629 students in school districts like Taylorville, Pana, Carlinville, Gillespie, North Mac, Hillsboro and Staunton. That equals 0.85% of the students throughout the state of Illinois.
 
Chicago has 367,003 students. That equals 18.74% of the students in Illinois.

Under Senate Bill 1, Chicago will receive 63.62%  of the new money. Meanwhile students in the 95th District will receive 0.5% of the new money.

Once the bailout for Chicago is removed from SB1, Chicago’s students receive 19.06% of the new money while students in the 95th District receive .82% of the new money. That is fairness.

19.06% of new money for 18.74% of the students in Illinois and 0.82% of the money for 0.85% of the students.

Our students downstate deserve a fair shake. We need a new school funding formula - one that treats every school district the same and one that sends money first to the students and school districts that need it most. SB1, in its current form is not that solution. With structural manipulations in the base funding minimum (where money goes first), that means millions of dollars are shifted first to Chicago before any new money is dispersed to all other 851 school districts.

After years of education cuts under previous administrations, I cannot blame the schools who are desperate for more money. They need it. We owe it to the students they serve. However, we as downstaters, must fight for our fair share. We cannot settle for second fiddle. Lord knows Chicago isn’t settling. Our kids deserve more.

Now, the political games continue. Instead of abiding by the process every other legislature uses - sending a bill to the governor once it passes, they’re holding on to it.

To end the political gamesmanship, Governor Rauner has called us back into special session to get this done. There are two options - work with us in the legislature to come to a bipartisan solution or send the bill to the governor and let him take out the Chicago bailout. Either way, it is immoral to hold the school funding bill and hold our schools hostage until there is a crisis.

No special deals, No hostage taking. Let’s get this done for every school and every student, now.


 

Gov. Rauner calls lawmakers back to

Springfield Wednesday to take action on

education funding bill

CHICAGO, IL (July 24, 2017) – Determined to get children back to school on time, Gov. Bruce Rauner today announced legislators are being called back to Springfield Wednesday for a special session focused on Senate Bill 1, the school funding reform bill.

Public schools throughout Illinois may not open on time unless SB 1 is sent to Gov. Rauner. The governor plans to amend SB 1 to remove the Chicago Public Schools’ pension bailout that’s currently included in the bill, which then would provide more money to children and schools statewide.

Senate Democrats have delayed advancing the bill to the governor’s desk, choosing instead to use schoolchildren as political pawns. With time running out before the beginning of the new school year, Gov. Rauner insisted lawmakers prioritize Illinois’ children.

“Democrats have been holding this bill since May 31. Our families and students cannot wait any longer,” Gov. Rauner said. “We must act now, which is why I’m calling lawmakers back to Springfield for a special session. Our schools must open on time.”

Gov. Rauner’s amendatory veto will result in higher education funding for nearly every school district in Illinois. A new website launched by Gov. Rauner shows how much additional money each school district will receive as a result of the governor’s planned action: 
https://www.illinois.gov/gov/SitePages/SchoolDistrictFunding.aspx
 
Lieutenant Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti has launched a petition for Illinoisans to voice their desire for the Senate to send SB 1 to the governor’s desk and for schools to open on time: https://www.illinois.gov/ltg/pages/sb1petition.aspx.

Video of the event will be posted here.
Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is hosting traveling office hours throughout the district on Mondays and Fridays from July 21st to July 31st. Traveling office hours are held in an effort to make it easier for those who are unable to make it to the Litchfield Office to meet with the Representative.

Bourne looks forward to hearing from constituents who need assistance or have questions about state government. All are invited to meet with the Representative or just stop by and say “hello.” If individuals would like to ensure individual meeting time with Representative Bourne they are asked to call her district office in Litchfield at (217) 324-5200. Appointments are encouraged but not required.

TRAVELING OFFICE HOURS SCHEDULE
Friday July 21st

Shipman from 10 - 11:30 a.m. at Village Hall, 402 Carlinville Rd.

Brighton from 12:30 - 2 p.m. at Village Hall, 206 S. Main St.

Monday July 24th 

Mt. Olive from 10 - 11:30 a.m. at Village Hall, 215 East Main St.

Coffeen from 12:30 – 2 p.m. at City Hall, 107 Locust St.


Friday July 28th
 
Virden from 10-11:30 a.m. at Community Hall, within City Hall, 101 West Jackson St.

Girard from 12:30-2 p.m. at City Hall, 111 West Madison St.
 
Monday July 31st
 
Assumption from 10-11:30 a.m. at City Hall, 229 N Chestnut St.

Morrisonville from 12:30-2 p.m. at City Hall, 307 SE 6th St.

Field Museum photo credit: Nimesh Madhavan
If you and your family are interested in visiting some of Chicago’s world-class museums, Rep. Bourne's office has a museum pass you can borrow, which is provided by the Museums in the Park Organization. Any resident of the 95th District can borrow our Constituent Education Resource Card, to visit any of the following museums in the city of Chicago for 2017:

• Adler Planetarium
• The Art Institute of Chicago
• Brookfield Zoo
• Chicago Botanic Garden
• Chicago Children’s Museum
• Chicago History Museum
• Dusable Museum of African American History
• The Field Museum
• Lincoln Park Zoo
• Museum of Contemporary Art
• Museum of Science and Industry
• National Museum of Mexican Art
• National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
• Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
• John G. Shedd Aquarium

 
Please contact Rep. Bourne's office at (217) 324-5200 and provide your name and address along with the dates you are requesting (can be used for up to 3 days) and we will provide you with the Constituent Education Resource Card for your use.

Legislation changing the way intoxicated minors are processed and ultimately released stems from a tragic death of a local young man, Conor Vesper, in 2015. Following his death, family and friends worked to change the law by contacting their representatives at the Illinois State House. Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) signed on as the Chief House Sponsor of Senate Bill 2185.

“Conor’s Law will mean that the way law enforcement releases minors will be uniform throughout the state,” said Bourne. “This change in current law will hopefully ensure that this situation never occurs again. I thank those who brought the idea forward. Their hard work and dedication to bring change from tragedy will ensure that Conor’s life will continue to impact people’s lives in a positive way in the future,” added Representative Bourne.

Conor's Law requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board and the Illinois State Police will create a model policy to train law enforcement officers to respond to a person arrested while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They will also be required to create a policy for the release of persons arrested under the influence of alcohol or drugs who are under the age of 21 years of age. This policy will include language requiring the arresting officer to make a reasonable attempt to contact a responsible adult who is willing to take custody of the person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Working with Senator Manar, Rep. Bourne passed the legislation unanimously out of the House and it now awaiting the Governor’s consideration to become law.

Rep. Avery Bourne calls Conor's Law, SB2285, for a vote on 6/29/17.  
 The bill creates policy for police officers that will guide them in the processing and eventual release of intoxicated individuals to ensure their safety. SB2285 passed both Houses and now goes to the Governor.

Representative Avery Bourne calls SJR32-
Naming Pfc. Gary Wayne Price Memorial Hwy
for adoption by the House on 6/29/17.
The Resolution was unanimously adopted.
Click to see the Committee of the Whole's Education Panel answer my questions about SB1's funding of Chicago Public School System at a different level than every other school district in the state.