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Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) welcomed colleagues from the Illinois House to join her on a tour of Graham Correctional Center on Monday, October 17th.

“Graham Correctional facility is important to the residents of Hillsboro, Montgomery County and surrounding communities, it serves as a key component in the Illinois Department of Corrections,” said Rep. Bourne. “I often hear concerns from the community and those that work here at Graham; whether it is uniform changes, working conditions, or other various questions.” Bourne added, “I feel that it is important to listen and understand what is happening inside this facility.”

On the tour officials visited several different areas of the facility which included the clinic, industrial arts building, substance abuse counseling center, visitation room, and guard stations. Lawmakers were able to interact with prisoners and converse with correctional officers.

“It’s important that legislators take the time to visit state facilities, listen to correctional officers, and understand what these men and women who serve our community are encountering,” said Rep. Bourne.

Graham Correctional Center is a medium security correctional facility that houses adult male prisoners. It is located two miles southeast of Hillsboro on Route 185 and has 50 buildings housed on over one hundred acres. Graham Correctional Center not only serves general population but houses several special populations, including those who receive substance abuse treatment, sex offender treatment, and inmates in a kidney dialysis program.
Formed in July, the bi-partisan School Funding Reform Commission is tasked with making recommendations to the General Assembly by February 1st, 2017. The end goal is to revise the current school funding formula to ensure fair and equitable funding for Illinois’ public education system.

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) was appointed to the bipartisan School Funding Reform Commission and joins 24 other members who attend meetings regularly. The group just wrapped up their sixth meeting and will continue to delve into issues critical to the distribution of education funding in the following months. The meetings and schedule can be found at the commission’s website,
“I am optimistic that real change will come from our group’s proposals,” said Rep. Bourne. “Illinois has shortchanged our schools for years. We have to revamp the outdated formula so that every child in this state receives a high quality education. ”

The current formula, created in December 1997, is so dependent on property taxes that it creates inequality for school districts with low property wealth. The Education Trust, a nonpartisan advocacy group, found Illinois' school funding system to be the nation's most unfair. It found that poor students receive nearly 20 percent fewer state dollars than students in wealthier districts. Most of those poorer districts are downstate.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce today gave the Champion of Free Enterprise - Outstanding
Freshman Award to State Representative Avery Bourne. The award is given biennially to state legislators who recognize the importance of free enterprise, and who agree with pro-business legislative policies to further economic opportunities for Illinois businesses and their employees. 

“With Illinois’ lackluster economic performance, there has never been a more crucial moment for our state to embrace pro-business legislators who represent the business community and support the fundamental principles of the free market system,” said Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. 

“The Champions of Free Enterprise are exactly the types of lawmakers who will encourage investment in Illinois and help it become more competitive with other states. We appreciate Representative Bourne’s dedication to the good of all of Illinois,” Maisch added.

Illinois State Police Director, Leo Schmitz, is seen here with (from l-r) Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville), and Senator Sam McCann (R-Carlinville). The Legislators met with Director Schmitz, Illinois State Police Officers, Sheriffs, and Chiefs of Police at District #18 ISP Headquarters in Litchfield. They thanked the law enforcement professionals, listened to their concerns, and discussed proposed legislation to keep our communities safe.

Wilsonville Community Outreach is awarded AT&T’s “Investing in Illinois Award” on Friday. Pictured are: Chris Warwick from AT&T, State Representative Avery Bourne, John Veres (President), and community volunteers.
John Veres from Wilsonville Community Outreach accepted an “Investing in Illinois Award” from AT&T, as a result of their nomination from State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond). The award was presented to the organization by Chris Warwick, external affairs manager for the company.

“This summer, I got to see firsthand the important work they're doing at the Summer Lunch Program,” said Bourne. “Summers can be difficult for families who rely on free and reduced-priced meals during the school months.” She added, “I want to thank the group of volunteers in Wilsonville who are working to meet a need in their community. I also want to thank AT&T for the opportunity to nominate such a deserving organization for this Investing in Illinois Award."

Wilsonville Community Outreach, a non-profit organization, will receive $2,000 from AT&T to be used to support its privately funded Summer Lunch Program. The program feeds children in Wilsonville and the surrounding area during the school summer recess.

“Illinois offers great non-profit organizations that are truly improving lives in our state. By supporting these organizations, we’re strengthening the communities where our customers live, work and play,” said Warwick of AT&T. “We’re investing in Illinois.”
Superintendent Aaron Hopper of Panhandle CUSD is pictured with State Representative Avery Bourne. Representative Bourne delivered a number of donated school supply bags to Raymond and Gillespie Grade Schools recently. The supplies were donated by Walgreens and given to Legislators throughout the state to be distributed. Supplies included were: folders, crayons, spiral notebooks, pencils, and various other necessities.

State Representative Avery Bourne joined the Citizens Utility Board in hosting a Utility Cost Savings Clinic this week. The informative event was held at the Girard Village Hall and offered individuals assistance in analyzing their telecom, gas, and electric bills to save money. Seated are (l-r) a CUB representative, Rep. Bourne, and attendee-Mr. Gary Bettis of Girard.