While many bills were approved and signed into law in 2016, several very worthwhile initiatives failed to receive fair consideration in the House or Senate. House Speaker Mike Madigan controls the Rules Committee, and he uses it to block any bill he does not wish to have considered by lawmakers. Bills that would seem like common sense to you and me were blocked this year by the Speaker. The list below represents a sampling of the “should haves” that will not be, thanks to far-reaching hand of the House Speaker:

HB 5744 – If the General Assembly fails to pass a balanced budget by the end of the regular session each year, lawmakers would have been required to stay in continuous session every day until a balanced budget is passed. HB4399 (co-sponsored by Rep. Bourne) would deny lawmakers their paychecks if there is no balanced budget.

HJRCA 7 / HB4386 (sponsored by Rep. Bourne) – A constitutional amendment that would have created term limits for leaders of the Illinois General Assembly: Would have limited the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, Minority Leader of the House, or Minority Leader of the Senate to a total of 8 years in any office.
In Illinois, 191 new laws take effect January 1, 2017. Here is a preview of 25 new laws that will have a significant impact statewide.

Agriculture Education Teacher Grant Program (co-sponsored by Rep. Bourne)
Public Act 99-826, Senate Bill 2975
A school district may apply for a grant to fund 50% of the personal services cost for an agriculture education teacher, or if the school is creating a new agriculture education program, 100% of the cost in the first two years and 80% in the third and fourth years. This new act is subject to appropriation.


Social media right to privacy
Public Act 99-610, House Bill 4999
Amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to make it illegal for an employer or prospective employer to request or require an employee or applicant to access a personal online account (such as Facebook) in the presence of the employer. It is also illegal to request or require that an employee or applicant invite the employer to join a group affiliated with any personal online account of the employee, or applicant, or join an online account established by the employer.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) has joined with colleagues from the Illinois House of Representatives urging Comptroller Mendoza to continue supporting the principle of “No Budget, No Pay”.  The Legislators are requesting that the newly-elected Comptroller continue the delayed payment of legislator salaries.  This delay was enacted as a response to the lack of budget and put lawmakers’ payments in line with payments to all others owed by the State of Illinois.
As snow and ice season approaches, Representative Avery Bourne is teaming up with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) to remind motorists in the 95th District to be prepared. By taking steps to prepare for wintry driving conditions, the motoring public can do their part to make this a safe and successful winter driving season.

Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) has been working with law enforcement and local prevention groups to combat the opioid epidemic here, in central Illinois. Bourne is encouraging constituents to take advantage of prescription drug disposal sites as one way to prevent the addiction.

“In 2014, regulations were expanded to allow for more types of locations to accept unwanted medications. As a result, disposing of medications is now easier and more convenient than ever,” said Bourne.
Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) joined leaders in the community today as they announced that the City of Litchfield has been awarded a grant from the Illinois Dept. of Transportation. The grant totals over $1.8 million dollars and will be used for transportation improvements citywide.

Litchfield Mayor Steven Dougherty, Chamber of Commerce President Jessica Vickery, Congressman Rodney Davis, and Representative Avery Bourne were in attendance.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) recently had the opportunity to assist Lydia Johnson, Coordinator of Staunton’s Meals on Wheels Program. Representative Bourne fought to have this program funded through the six-month, bridge funding that passed the Illinois General Assembly. Volunteering with the program gave the Representative the opportunity to see the program’s impact in the community.

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.”
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, www.isbe.net/ISFRC/default.htm.
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. 


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.
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.
Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) has been meeting with Advisory Committees throughout the month of September.  The groups meet twice a year and are comprised of experts and concerned citizens from throughout the district.  Bourne currently has five advisory committees: Agriculture, Education, Healthcare, Millennials, and Veterans.  Bourne is also asking for individuals who are interested in being on future committees to contact her office. 

Advisory Committees gather information and opinions about community issues and potential legislative changes.  Additionally, they review and advise Bourne on legislation designed to improve the quality of life within the district. 
Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and Citizens Utility Board (CUB) are hosting a cost saving clinic on Tuesday, September 27th from 6 to 7pm to help consumers analyze their telecom, gas, and electric bills to save money. The Utility Cost Savings Clinic will take place at Village Hall in Girard, 111 West Madison Street, in the Municipal Building. 
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is announcing new regularly scheduled traveling office hours and extended hours in her Litchfield district office. Bourne encourages any constituents seeking assistance to stop by her traveling office hours on the first Tuesday of each month in Carlinville and the last Tuesday of each month in Taylorville.
 

Bourne states, “I look forward to seeing new and familiar faces, providing assistance, and answering questions regarding state government. There is no need to schedule an appointment, just stop by.”

Carlinville’s Tuesday traveling office hours will take place from 10am to 1:30pm at City Hall, which is located at 550 North Broad Street. For those constituents who live in the northern part of the district, Taylorville’s Tuesday traveling office hours will be from 10am to 1:30pm at Congressman Rodney Davis’ Office at 108 East Market Street. 
On Veterans’ Day at the Illinois State Fair, a number of pieces of Veteran's legislation were signed into law by Governor Rauner.  Representative Bourne was a supporter of one new law that will help troubled Veterans get their lives back on track.  This law will require the Chief Judge of every judicial circuit in Illinois to establish a Veterans and Service Member Court program.  This bill was an initiative of the Montgomery County Veterans’ Assistance Commission and brought to Bourne’s attention at her Veteran’s Advisory Board meeting by this local organization.
Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) sponsored legislation to create a Youth Trapping License in an effort to promote trapping statewide.   The bill, SB2410, passed the Illinois House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on Monday.  Effective January 1, 2017, the new law allows residents 18 years old and younger to legally trap in the state.

With this Youth Trapping License, the holder must trap under the close supervision of a parent, grandparent, or guardian who is 21 or older and has a valid Illinois trapping license.  The young person simply applies to the Department of Natural Resources and submits a $7 fee to obtain their license.

“Learning under an experienced trapper will serve as ‘on-the-job training’ for these kids,” said Bourne.  “Evidence shows that if a youth starts hunting or trapping early in their life there is a higher likelihood they will continue to participate as an adult.  This legislation is subsequently promoting the sport for years to come.”
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is partnering with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to host a Fraud and Identity Theft Prevention Seminar in Carlinville. The Seminar will take place on Friday, September 16th, from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Macoupin County Farm Bureau, 220 North Broad Street.
 
In an effort to protect hunters from hearing damage, Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) co-sponsored Senate Bill 206 this legislative session. SB206 was an attempt to remove the prohibition on the use of a suppressor or other device to muffle the sound of gun fire. This noise can permanently damage hearing, even if the shooter is wearing ear plugs or muffs.The legislation states that a suppressor, allowed under the National Firearms Act, can be used on a handgun when on a shooting range. While hunting, an individual would be able to use the suppressor on long arm guns.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) were in attendance when Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 210 into law this week. Rep. Bourne and Sen. Manar were both sponsors of the legislation, which creates the Bath Salt Prohibition Act. Under this new law, a retailer that is convicted of selling bath salts can have their retail license revoked and guilty offenders can be charged with a Class 3 felony.  
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) was appointed today to serve on the newly formed Illinois School Funding Reform Commission by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. The commission was formed today by Governor Bruce Rauner to reaffirm his commitment to reforming the current school funding formula.

“Our current funding formula is broken. Illinois currently contributes the least of any state to our schools and we are too reliant on property taxes. Our students deserve a better school funding formula.” said Rep. Bourne. “I look forward to continuing to work to improve the way our schools are funded because every student in Illinois, regardless of where they live, deserves a high quality education.”
Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino, the top financial watchdog of the state, remains under federal investigation for highly irregular activities in his campaign account from his days as a State Representative. Given his patent refusal to answer even the most basic questions from his employer, the General Assembly, and the legal and ethical cloud under which he persists, it is time for Frank Mautino to resign.

Just days after having been appointed by the General Assembly to a 10-year term as Auditor General and being sworn in to his new office, a series of questionable transactions from Mr. Mautino’s campaign account were discovered. Among these were over $200,000 spent on gas and vehicle repairs at one vendor and $94,000 in repayments to a bank on a $26,000 loan.
Legislation to commend and honor two Hillsboro Veterans who lost their lives in the Vietnam War was recently unanimously adopted by both, the Illinois House and Senate. The Senate Joint Resolutions designating memorial highways in their honor was sponsored by State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

Senate Joint Resolutions 33 and 34, recognize US Army Specialist Charles Irby and Marine Corps Lance Corporal Larry D. Claybrook. Each of them gave their life defending our freedom and these resolutions seek to pay tribute to the men by naming roads in their hometown of Hillsboro in their honor. 
It's not too late but the deadline is quickly approaching
to submit your name and reading list for
Representative Bourne's Monster Summer Reading Program

Everyone who turns in their list by August 5th is invited to an Ice Cream Social before school starts up again!  Brochures can be found at our office at 301 N. Monroe in Litchfield or at your local library. 
On Thursday June 30th, the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Bruce Rauner approved a bipartisan stopgap budget less than 24 hours before the new fiscal year was set to begin on July 1st.  The new law totals $50.6 billion for fiscal year 2017, including $8.6 billion in General Revenue Funds, $33.6 billion in other state funds and $8.4 billion in federal funds.

According to State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), “Through bipartisan compromise we were able to give our area schools the full year funding that they needed to be able to open their doors on time.  This stopgap measure also ensures critical human services receive the funding and more than 800 transportation improvements will remain active throughout the next year.”  Bourne added, “This budget deal is progress but there is still plenty of work to be done because this is not a full year budget for all of state government.” 

The funding plan signed into law Thursday does not rely on a tax hike and fully funds elementary and secondary education for the first time in seven years.  It also creates an equity grant for low income school districts and ends proration of education.  Both of which will help to provide equality in funding throughout the state.  

The budget compromise funds road construction, federal programs, and other non-General Revenue Fund (GRF) programs for both fiscal years 2016 and 2017.  It also provides FY17 funding to support 6 months of critical operations for higher education, state-operated facilities including prisons and veterans’ homes, fuel for the State Police to patrol our roads, and other core operations.  Funds are available under current law for all components of this bridge plan.
With less than a week left until the State of Illinois begins its second year without a budget, Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and her colleagues are calling for a vote on legislation that will allow schools to open on time in the fall and fund critical human service programs. House Republicans have proposed two bills, House Bill 6583 and House Bill 6585, both of which are stopgap, fully funded, bills to provide stability to Illinois.

Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) stands in opposition to a bill making its way through the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation, HB1016, is an attempt by anti-gun groups to erode the 2nd Amendment by placing numerous regulations and high costs on gun retailers.

In an attempt to prevent automatic pay raises from taking effect, Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) sponsored House Bill 6584.  The bill would prevent legislators from receiving their automatic 1.7% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the Fiscal Year, a savings of $209,000.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) are sponsoring Senate Bill 210.  This legislation creates the Bath Salt Prohibition Act and provides for penalties for retailers who sell banned synthetic drugs.  Working with local law enforcement, Bourne has sponsored three pieces of legislation during this session of the General Assembly to halt the proliferation of this dangerous drug.


During the House floor debate on Friday, with only 4 days left in the regular session, State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) joined a call for all legislators in the House to stand up if they are willing stay at work over the holiday weekend and work on a compromise to achieve a comprehensive and balanced budget.
 

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and 19 fellow lawmakers are asking Auditor General Frank Mautino to provide answers to questions raised about suspicious campaign expenditures.  Questions arose after his selection as Auditor General when Mautino was still soliciting campaign donations.  Further reports point to highly questionable spending and accounting dating back to his time as State Representative.  

The Auditor General of Illinois is appointed by the General Assembly and serves a 10-year term.  They play a powerful role in shedding light on mismanagement and misspending in Illinois government.  The primary duties of the office include: auditing the state’s public funds, making additional reports and investigations as directed by the General Assembly, and reporting findings and recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor.

The formal requests for explanation began in February and continue still without any answers.  Rep. Bourne stated, “Auditor General Mautino has had several months to respond to these questions.  As a lawmaker, he responded to the voters, but now as an appointee, he is accountable to the General Assembly.  We need answers.”  Bourne added, “The office of Auditor General must be held to the highest standards.  There can’t be any question of impropriety hanging over it given that he is the fiscal watchdog of the state.”

Spending by the Mautino campaign includes $214,000 on gas and repairs at a single Spring Valley service station owned by a city alderman.  Additionally, the campaign paid $274,000 to a local bank beginning in 1999, including $94,000 in repayments on a loan for $26,000.

The first letter was sent to Auditor General Mautino on February 1st asking for a written reply within 10 days.  Mautino replied on February 9th that he needed more time to properly address the request.  To accommodate the Auditor General, the lawmakers on February 11th extended their request deadline to February 25th. Mautino replied that he had retained a legal firm to assist him and would be working ‘…during the next few weeks in order to respond to your letter.’  Bourne and her colleagues released the correspondence, stressing their growing frustration with the continued delays.
Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is sponsoring legislation to help local farm families by reducing the estate and inheritance taxes paid on land transfers upon death.  The legislation, House Bill 6113, is an effort to stop double taxation of land transfers for agricultural purposes.

Bourne’s HB6113 states that if a farmer gifts his land upon death to a descendant who was a farmer, then the exclusion amount for that descendant will be the federal exclusion amount. This is including any deceased spousal unused exclusion amount. The legislation also defines the term "farmer" means an individual whose adjusted taxable estate consists of at least 75% farm property and who was engaged in active management of that farm property at any point during his or her lifetime.

Representative Bourne explains, "The estate tax in Illinois, especially for small farmers, often means that families must sell the family farm to meet their tax obligations. This adds to the overwhelming tax burden in Illinois.”  Bourne states, “This proposal grew out of a suggestion from my Agriculture Advisory Board and I am proud to bring it forward as just one more way we can make Illinois more competitive and compassionate."

The legislation would be effective immediately upon Governor Rauner’s signing it into law.  Currently, 18 states impose an estate tax and 32 states (including neighboring Indiana) do not.
Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), along with member of the Illinois General Assembly, approved bipartisan legislation on Friday to provide $600 million in funding for higher education.  The bill is an effort to keep the doors open at struggling Illinois universities and community colleges during this unprecedented budget impasse. Senate Bill 2059 is a stopgap measure to provide emergency funding.

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) released the following statement after Comptroller Munger’s decision to delay legislative pay:

“With Illinois’ record $8 billion unpaid bill backlog, this is the right thing to do. Public officials should not get special treatment - ever, especially when social service providers and other vendors have been waiting for months to receive payment. Comptroller Munger’s actions are similar to a bill I have been pushing for months that would end lawmaker pay until a balanced budget is reached. This proposed legislative fix is a long-term solution that would hopefully keep a budget impasse like this from ever happening again.”

Madison Slayton's "Illinois The Great, Great, Great"
Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is proud to announce the winners of her annual Art Contest. The Art Contest was open to students in Illinois’ 95th House District and was judged by a local high school art teacher. Bourne hosted the contest in an effort to promote the arts and recognize the artistic talents of local students.

Mylie Corso's "Illinois"

 
 
 
 
 
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners were selected in two groups; kindergarten through 4th grade and 5th through 8th grade. The first place winners in each group will have the opportunity to spend the day with Rep. Bourne at the Statehouse and all winners will go on a tour of the Capitol Building. Additionally, winning artists will be recognized in the House Chambers and then have their work displayed in Rep. Bourne’s office.
 
 



 


Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is sponsoring legislation to create a Youth Trapping License in an effort to promote trapping statewide.  The bill, HB5962, allows residents 18 years old and younger to legally trap in the state.

With this Youth Trapping License, the holder must trap under the close supervision of a parent, grandparent, or guardian who is 21 or older and has a valid Illinois trapping license. The young person simply applies to the Department of Natural Resources and submits a $7 fee to obtain their license.  

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is co-sponsoring legislation, House Bill 138, to phase out pensions for the General Assembly.  HB138 would close GARS, General Assembly Retirement System, to State Representatives and Senators elected after January 1, 2016.

Bourne has refused a legislative pension and is proud to co-sponsor this common sense bill.  This bill is just one of many pieces of legislation that the Representative supports in an effort to create a better Illinois.  She also sponsored legislation for term limits and “no budget, no pay.” 


Representative Bourne spoke to a crowd of 2nd Amendment supporters who gathered in the Capitol Rotunda for 
Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day.

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

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RKP_7721 | by Illinois House Republican Caucus