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State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond)was named today to the role of Assistant Republican Leader for the Illinois House Republican Caucus. 

“I’m grateful to House Republican Leader Jim Durkin for the opportunity to serve in a leadership role with my House Republican colleagues. Our state faces many challenges, but I am ready to take on a greater role in the 101st General Assembly advoc
ating for our values and priorities,” said Rep. Bourne.

Bourne added, “Illinois House Republicans are focused on enacting a truly balanced budget, enhancing our state’s business climate to create good-paying jobs, reforming our political system with nonpartisan redistricting reform, providing property tax relief, and making the public pension systems viable for state employees and taxpayers alike. I am ready to work across the aisle with
newly elected leaders to tackle these issues, find areas where we agree, and continue to fight for my constituents and the people of Central Illinois.”

Bourne has served in the Illinois House since 2015. Bourne has also served in other leadership roles, including Chairman of the Legislative Ethics Commission and a House Republican negotiator on the school funding reform legislation passed in 2017. Committee assignments for the upcoming 101st General Assembly are expected in the coming weeks.
With the New Year, comes new laws that were passed in the General Assembly and take effect January 1, 2019. Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) sponsored or supported several of the bills that were signed into law. These include bills for small technical corrections as well as legislation that will have a significant impact statewide. Below is a recap of the new laws that will be on the books next year.

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Awareness Day
Rep. Bourne is co-sponsor
(Public Act 100-622, Senate Bill 2254)

May 17 of each year is designated as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Awareness Day to be observed as a day to encourage the people of Illinois to help increase public awareness of this particularly aggressive form of cancer affecting children.

Youth IDNR licenses combined
Rep. Bourne is sponsor
(Public Act 100-638, House Bill 4783)

Youth hunting and trapping licenses are combined under this new law. It provides that a Youth Hunting and Trapping License entitles the licensee to hunt or trap while supervised by an adult who is 21 years of age or older and has a valid Illinois hunting or trapping license.

Creating the Route 66 Centennial Commission
Rep. Bourne is co-sponsor
(Public Act 100-649, House Bill 66)

In preparation of celebrating the 100th birthday of historic Route 66, House Bill 66 creates the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission charged with planning the Mother Road’s centennial celebrations throughout the state. The Commission will consist of 20 members, three of whom will be appointed by the Governor and two from each of the legislative leaders. Additional members will represent various groups or state agencies, including the Executive Director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.

Rear-facing child seat
(Public Act 100-672, House Bill 4377)

Children under age two must be secured in an approved rear-facing child seat (instead of a forward-facing car seat) while riding in a vehicle.

Addressing medical record availability for homeless and indigent veterans
(Public Act 100-814, House Bill 4848)

A homeless veteran or authorized legal representative of said veteran is now allowed to obtain a copy of the patient’s medical record free of charge if the records are being used for supporting a claim for federal vet disability benefits. Medical records often serve to support homeless veterans’ federal disability claims.

Grants to increase trades in manufacturing
(Public Act 100-679, House Bill 4858)

Local school districts and community colleges will be allowed to apply for and receive grants for the acquisition of land, construction of facilities, and purchase of equipment, dedicated solely to the instruction of occupations in manufacturing. This law will help community colleges obtain the infrastructure necessary to educate future generations in manufacturing trades and technical skills.

Emergency Opioid and Addiction Treatment Access Act
(Public Act 100-1023, Senate Bill 682)

This new act will serve as a key component to address Illinois’ opioid crisis by providing people in need immediate access to outpatient treatment. Currently, individuals experiencing an opioid overdose or reaction must wait for their treatment to be approved by their insurance plan before entering a facility. The legislation removes prior authorization barriers so people do not have to wait for treatment. In the event the insurance company denies treatment, SB 682 requires the insurance plan to cover outpatient treatment for 72 hours while the patient challenges the denial.

Grandparent visitation rights clarified
(Public Act 100-706, Senate Bill 2498)

This change to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act makes changes to the process for petitions for visitation. It clarifies that if the petitioner for visitation is a grandparent or great-grandparent, the parent-child relationship needs only to be legally established with respect to the parent of the grandchild or great-grandchild who is related to the grandparent or great-grandparent. It makes a similar clarification regarding step-parents.

Addressing the early childhood teacher shortage
(Public Act 100-822, Senate Bill 3536)

This new law makes changes to the alternative educator licensure program to allow individuals seeking the alternative provisional educator endorsement the opportunity to be reviewed, evaluated and recommended to continue seeking the endorsement by a principal or qualified equivalent. The law seeks to address the early childhood teacher shortage by allowing multiple avenues to achieve full early childhood educator licensure.

Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
(Public Act 100-1101, Senate Bill 3547)

The Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act consolidates all Illinois laws providing employment protections to Illinois service-members into a new Act, with changes to training, compensation, probationary periods, and leave for both active and inactive military personnel.

For more information on any of these laws, visit If you have a question or would like more information on a specific new law, please call Representative Bourne’s Litchfield District Office at (217)324-5200.

To view the full list of all 253 new laws coming in the New Year, click here. 
State Representative Avery Bourne announced that, given the devastation to the area caused by the recent tornadoes and violent storms, the Illinois Comptroller has just released over $200,000 in payments due to Taylorville Memorial Hospital. The money was owed to the hospital for Medicaid patient treatment and was processed Monday to aid the community in the recovery effort. A spokesperson for the hospital told Bourne’s office that they were appreciative of the thoughtfulness of the act.  

Representative Bourne stated, “The devastation caused to our area, specifically in Taylorville, is heartbreaking to see. From this tragedy, though, we see the best of our community. People are volunteering and donating food, helping in any way they can to ensure that everyone is safe, sheltered, and knows they are cared for.” She added that if anyone needs assistance, they should call her office at (217) 324-5200.

More than 20 people were injured in the storm and hundreds of structures were damaged or destroyed. The tornado that hit Taylorville was categorized as an EF-3 and had wind speeds up to 155 miles-per-hour.

Bourne’s office toured the tornado-ravaged areas of Taylorville on Sunday with Congressman Rodney Davis, Governor Bruce Rauner, Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, and other local officials. Following the tour, the Governor declared Christian County a disaster area, enabling state resources to be used to assist in the recovery effort. The Comptroller’s act of expediting payments is one such way the state can assist and ease the burden of rebuilding.

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is pleased to announce the release of over $2.5 million for two projects at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro. The work at the prison will include the replacement of lock controls and their associated intercom equipment. Additionally, the prison will receive over 167,000 square feet of new roofing.

Representative Bourne states, “This funding will heighten safety for the hard-working men and women who are employees of Graham.” She added, “I am pleased to see this balanced budget, which I voted for, doing so much deferred maintenance in the state.”

“The bipartisan Fiscal Year 19 budget I signed in June includes funds for critically necessary improvements at state facilities across Illinois,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “Every dollar we are investing in these projects helps state government deliver better service to the residents of Illinois.”

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) signed on as Chief Co-Sponsor of House Resolution 766, a resolution that voices opposition to taxing Illinois drivers per mile traveled. HR 766 was filed at the beginning of the regular Legislative Session in anticipation of new legislation that attempts to do just that. Rep. Bourne is once again voicing her opposition in light of continued talk of the tax.
Senate Bill 2298, the Industrial Hemp Act, was just signed into law by Governor Rauner. This Act adds Illinois to a growing number of states that permit growth of cannabis cultivated for non-drug uses such as paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) was a co-sponsor of the bill and stated, “Illinois farmers will now be able to compete with neighboring states and the numerous other states that allow for cultivation of this crop. If we look internationally, more than 30 nations grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity and the market for hemp consists of more than 25,000 products." Rep. Bourne added, “The tide is turning in favor of this industry and I look forward to Illinois once again being the leading producer of this crop.” In the early 1900’s Illinois was a national leader in production of hemp.

State Representative Avery Bourne co-sponsored legislation that asks the Department of Public Health to develop and distribute information on the need for bone marrow donation and on how to join the bone marrow donation registry. Senate Bill 3062 directs the Illinois Department of Public Health to promote the “Be The Match” database which helps cancer patients, and others in need, find the ideal match for blood stem cell donors- giving them hope for a cure. 
Legislation aimed at reducing the suicide rate among veterans was signed into law by Governor Rauner recently. This bill, House Bill 4212, co-sponsored by State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), adds veterans who are suffering a physical or mental health condition to an alert system that immediately notifies law enforcement and the public when a person goes missing.
House Bill 4783, which merges two youth Department of Natural Resources issued licenses, was recently signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. The new law, sponsored by Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), combines the previously separate youth hunting and trapping licenses. This bill was an initiative of the DNR to cut red tape and streamline the licensing process for those under 18 years of age in the state.
State Representative Avery Bourne was recently named the newest member of ISBE’s (Illinois State Board of Education) Evidence-Based Funding Professional Review Panel. The panel was created with the new school funding formula to annually review data, proposed changes, and the overall implementation of the formula. It is made up of practitioners, experts, legislative leaders, and advocates.