Illinois State Trooper Brian McMillen
On Saturday, the Illinois House of Representatives adopted a joint resolution designating the Interstate 72, Exit 122 overpass as the “Trooper Brian McMillen Memorial Overpass”. Senate Joint Resolution 1 is sponsored by State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield), State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield) and State Senator Sam McCann (R-Carlinville).

Trooper McMillen was killed at 2:49 a.m. on October 28, 2007, in an accident involving two separate drunk drivers on Dye Road near Illiopolis, while responding to a call from a local officer for assistance.

“It was a very sad day for us locally when we heard the news of fallen Trooper Brian McMillen,” said Rep. Butler. “Trooper McMillen was dedicated to protecting his community and nation. Dedicating the Exit 122 overpass to Trooper McMillen will honor his commitment to Illinois and his country, he will never be forgotten.”

Trooper McMillen grew up in Pana, Illinois. He enlisted in the Illinois Air National Guard in 2000 and was a proud member serving as a Tech Sergeant with the 183rd Security Forces Squadron Fighter Wing. During his tenure, he served 3 separate overseas deployments. He served in Saudi Arabia in 2002 as part of Operation South Watch, in Romania in 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in Italy in 2005. McMillan received his bachelor degree in criminal justice in 2005 from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

“I commend Rep. Butler for his work on this important resolution to recognize the sacrifice of one of Pana's finest,” said Rep. Bourne. “This resolution will bring honor to his legacy and hopefully inspire others to serve their communities.”

Trooper McMillen graduated from Illinois State Police Cadet Class #113, for which he served as president, on February 2, 2007.

“Trooper McMillen is a hero by any definition,” said Senator McCann. “This memorial will help keep the memory of the man and his sacrifice alive for all those who pass by.”

Effective upon becoming law, the Illinois Department of Transportation will be requested to display at suitable locations, appropriate plaques or signs giving notice of the name "Trooper Brian McMillen Memorial Overpass”.
Springfield, IL…House Democrats introduced and approved nine budget bills in less than 48 hours with the final days of session coming to a close. The issue is that the proposed budget plan counts on Illinois spending $4 billion more than the state’s estimated revenue for fiscal year 2016.

“I’m disappointed with the budget that was proposed today,” said State Rep. Avery Bourne. “It spends $4.3 billion more than we have available. This kind of runaway spending has caused the mess that we’re in and needs to stop.”

The State of Illinois’ estimated revenue for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) is $32 billion. However, the budget proposed by House and Senate Democrats plans to spend $36 billion. The FY 2016 budget is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2015.
Rep. Bourne added, “Some argue that we need more revenue, while others argue we need to balance the budget through cuts alone. Regardless, we have to budget for the realistic revenue now and promote reform policies for growth in the future. I can’t support a budget which at its core is unbalanced and spends more than what we have in the bank account. Nor can I support placing the burden on the hard working families throughout Illinois. We all deserve better.”
Springfield….The Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation on Tuesday which will give parents the right to opt their child out of taking a State school assessment test. State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield) voted in favor of the legislation (HB 306) in order to strengthen a parent’s decision regarding their child’s education.
HB 306 provides that a student is not required to take a particular State assessment if that student’s parent or guardian requests, in writing, that the student be excused from taking the State assessment. The current law has students being tested multiple times throughout grade school, middle school and high school stating that if a child opted out of the high school career and college readiness assessment, that they may not get their diploma. Federal law, specifically the No Child Left Behind Act from 2001, makes it illegal for school districts to provide an opt-out option for students and their parents.
HB 306 will not only give parents the option to opt-out children, but it will also provide supervised instructional and enrichment opportunities to those who choose not to take the test.
“For me, this vote came down to requiring instruction for those students who opt-out,” said Rep. Avery Bourne. “They shouldn’t be punished for opting out by sitting in an empty classroom and doing nothing. Giving our parents a say in what their children are doing in school is important to me as well. It’s all about parental rights.”
Once each school year, before any assessments are administered, school districts will communicate with the parents and guardians of students to explain the right to opt out of a particular assessment. A school district and its teachers, principals, and other administrators are prohibited from encouraging or discouraging students or their parents or guardians, either individually or collectively, to opt out of the assessments.
The measure will now move to the Senate for consideration. To track this and other legislation sponsored by Rep. Bourne, please visit                                                                   

Rep. Bourne, Sen. Andy Manar, and Sen. Sam McCann each met with the Macoupin students at the Illinois State Capitol complex to discuss their positions on Governor Rauner's budget proposal for FY2016.
State Rep. Avery Bourne and Sen. Andy Manar stood alongside fellow legislators in a bipartisan movement to promote Illinois coal at a press conference, Tuesday. Our legislators hope that reopening mining operations in Southern Illinois will be a solution to a high unemployment rate as well as an economic booster.

If you are planning to visit the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, State Representative Avery Bourne would love to meet you!   

Rep. Bourne (left) poses with Abby Jones (right) of Gillespie, IL, who came along with a group from Jacksonville's Illinois School for the Deaf to tour the Illinois State Capitol in April.  They are standing on the 3rd floor of the Capitol, in front of a massive 40' x 20' painting by Gustav Fuchs (1886)  depicting George Rogers Clark negotiating with Native Americans at Fort Kaskaskia in 1778.

Send an email and alert the Representative's staff  of your group's plans. Every effort will be made to make your visit special.  There are architectural, historical, legislative and special tours that are available.