Livingston…State Representative Avery Bourne was joined by local students who completed her summer reading program last Sunday at the Pink Elephant in Livingston.  Students involved in the program were asked to read 8 books over the summer.

Those who completed the reading received an official certificate from the Illinois House of Representatives recognizing their commitment to reading, as well as an invitation to attend a free ice cream social at the Pink Elephant. Rep. Bourne went on to explain how proud she was of the students that participated.

“I’m proud of our students for their hard work,” said Rep. Bourne. “Reading has such a big impact on children’s futures and hopefully this program has helped strengthen their reading skills and broaden their imagination.”

Students that would like to participate in the future should look for forms at their local public library during the end of the school year. Any other questions about the summer reading program can be directed to Rep. Bourne’s office at 217-324-5200

Rep. Bourne's first bill that was signed into law was House Bill 3389, which amends the Municipal code and the County code regarding audits.  It provides that official documents submitted by a local government to the comptroller must be filed within 180 days after the close of the fiscal year. It also alters audit due dates from 6 months to 180 days.
Rep. Bourne with her junior, livestock exhibitor Keegan Cassady (left).
Springfield, IL… State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) joined fellow legislators and some Illinois celebrities last Friday at the Director's Invitational Celebrity Beef Showmanship Contest. The event was a collaboration between the Illinois Junior Beef Association and the Illinois State Fair to celebrate the state's beef industry and the culmination of the show season.

Rep. Bourne was paired with an expert junior livestock exhibitor named Keegan Cassady to learn the tricks of the trade. After brief coaching, the contestants led their cattle into the show ring and were quizzed on their knowledge of Illinois beef. Judges included: Gov. Bruce Rauner, Illinois Beef Association President Mike Martz and Dr. Doug Parrett of the University of Illinois.

The event came to a close after the judges selected Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder as champion, though all contestants received a trophy and official photo.

Other competitors included: State Treasurer Mike Frerichs, Sen. Sam McCann, Rep. Katherine Cloonen, Rep. Tim Butler, WICS News Channel 20 reporter Lindsey Hess, and WUIS statehouse bureau chief Amanda Vinicky.
Springfield, IL… Following what has been a tumultuous summer regarding budget talks in the State legislature, Illinois’ House of Representatives came together to appropriate nearly $5 billion in federal funds to many critical state programs.  State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) co-sponsored the legislation.

Senate Bill 2042 gives the Illinois Comptroller the authority to spend available federal dollars on state programs that are funded or mandated by the federal government.

"After months of political games, it was refreshing to see compromise and bi-partisanship to help those who are truly in need here in Illinois. I was proud to support this measure that makes sure programs such as the Council on Developmental Disabilities to Children and Family Services receive the federal funding they were promised."

SB 2042 passed the House 98-0 and now heads to the Senate for concurrence before reaching the Governor’s desk.

Springfield…Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) released the statement below following USDA’s approval to designate 87 counties in Illinois eligible to receive federal assistance as a result of heavy rainfall and flooding:

Illinois farmers were faced with record flooding this year which severely affected their crops. The announcement by the USDA to offer assistance to farmers in my district which includes Montgomery, Macoupin, and Madison counties is needed and appreciated. I would like to thank Governor Rauner and the USDA for their leadership in providing relief for our farmers."
Springfield, IL… State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) joined a bipartisan coalition of downstate legislators to support legislation that would instruct the federal government to extend a public comment period on new environmental rules targeting coal mining.

House Resolution 687 would ask the U.S. Interior Department to give states more time to respond to regulations that would hinder mining operations across Illinois.

The public comment period on the rules runs for 60 days. The resolution backed by Democrats and Republicans calls for that to be extended by 180 days.

Illinois has the largest recoverable bituminous coal reserves in the United States, a reserve base larger than all but six countries in the world. To put into perspective how large that number truly is, Illinois coal has the ability to produce all of America’s energy for 100 years or be energy self-sufficient for 600 years. The reason for its lack of utilization stems from The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 where it was decided that the sulfur dioxide content of Illinois coal was too high for emission standards and could not be burned without flue gas desulfurization equipment, commonly referred to as “scrubbers.”

“Illinois has been a leader in energy production within the United States, in large part due to our vast coal resources,” said Rep. Bourne. “Illinois is the largest electricity exporter in the Midwest and one of the largest in the U.S., nearly 45% of Illinois' energy comes from coal-burning plants within the State.”

Rep. Bourne had filed a resolution earlier this year urging multiple state agencies to conduct studies and gather information regarding environmental impact and potential revenue from Illinois’ coal industry.

“Over the last 20 years, due to environmental regulations, the state’s production of coal has dropped from 62 million tons in 1990 to just 31 million in 2003,” stated Rep. Bourne. “The resolution’s aim was to shed light on the many factors that have led to its decline as well as how Illinois can feasibly utilize the state’s supply of coal in the future. The current discussion at the federal level will further impact our coal industry so it’s important that we have more time to give Illinois’ coal industry a fighting chance.”