With the arrival of the New Year comes a series of new laws enacted by the State of Illinois. This year, over 200 new laws will take effect on January 1. These include bills for small technical corrections as well as major pieces of legislation.

Click here to read through a recap of these new laws which will be on the books next year. 
For more information on all the bills in the General Assembly, visit www.ilga.gov.
Individuals impacted by addiction to opioids and other substances now have a helpline for immediate assistance thanks to the launch of a statewide call center,” said State Representative Avery Bourne of Raymond. She praised the Rauner Administration for working to tackle this crisis and was proud to join her colleagues in the General Assembly in voting for policies to combat the opioid epidemic in Illinois.

“If you or someone you know needs help, please pick up the phone and call 1-833-2FINDHELP,” said Bourne. “My hope is that this helpline will connect those suffering from addiction and their families to the information and resources that they need,” said Representative Bourne.

The helpline will provide a confidential outlet for individuals experiencing opioid use disorders, their families and anyone affected by the disease 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Helpline specialists are trained in evidence-based approaches to help connect callers with treatment and recovery-support services.

“This helpline will provide a quick way for Illinoisans struggling with dangerous addictions to access resources, treatment options, and support,” Gov. Rauner said. “We are focused on helping them get on the road to recovery to combat further drug overdose tragedies.”

In launching this helpline, Governor Rauner is fulfilling his promise to tackle the opioid crisis and combat the growing number of overdose deaths related to heroin, other opioids, and synthetics like fentanyl. Administration officials have been meeting throughout the year to establish an agenda to combat the epidemic. Rauner unveiled the Opioid Action Plan and signed Executive Order 17-05, creating the Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force this year. The task force was charged with building strategies that would help reduce projected opioid overdose-related deaths by one-third within the next three years.

IDPH data shows opioid overdoses killed 1,946 people in Illinois in 2016 — more than one and a half times the number of homicides and nearly twice the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents. In addition, data from the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) estimates that approximately 248,000 Illinois residents need, but do not receive, treatment for illicit drug use.
New education funding that comprehensively changes the way that school districts receive the bulk of state funds was just enacted in Illinois. The new evidence-based funding sends more resources to Illinois’ most needy districts and demonstrates a new mindsets for understanding the relationship between equity, adequacy, and student outcomes.

Read more here at the Illinois State Board of Education's website: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/EvidenceBasedFunding.aspx

There are a lot of benefits to shopping local, but the biggest benefit is that for every $100 you spend at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy. (Source: Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan) State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) would like to remind shoppers that they are supporting our community in a dramatic way by shopping locally. So this Small Business Saturday, November 25th, visit a small business in this area. You’ll find something original, unique, or handmade and you’ll be making a big impact.

“Our small towns have a lot to offer in the way of small businesses,” said Representative Bourne. “Whether shopping at a town square, antique mall, or another exceptional small business in our area, you are doing a lot more than finding that special gift.”

According to the U.S. Small business Administration:

   Small businesses account for 99.6% of Illinois businesses

  There are 2.4 million small business employees in Illinois

  Small businesses account for 46% of all Illinois employees
Dollars spent at community-based merchants create a multiplier in the local economy, called the “local multiplier effect.” This means that from each dollar spent at a local independent merchant, 2 to 3.5 recirculates in the local economy. That’s a big impact for our local businesses and community.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Please note that our Litchfield District Office will be closed
Wednesday, November 22 - Friday, November 24 for the holiday.

During Veto Session, a bill co-sponsored by State Representative Avery Bourne, House Bill 4141, was presented before a Joint House and Senate Energy Committee for consideration. The legislation aims to reduce the competitive disadvantage faced by downstate energy producers. This bill is a result of numerous meetings with Dynegy Inc., the largest downstate energy producer, and its aim is to stabilize the region’s energy market and to prevent power plant closures.

Dynegy operates the Coffeen Power Plant along with seven other power plants in central and southern Illinois. The company has stated that under downstate Illinois' current electricity-distribution system, it may have to close at least four power plants by 2021 or sooner. The economic impact of these closures would mean the loss of almost 550 jobs and threaten approximately 4,000 indirect jobs.

Representative Bourne said, “We are in the beginning stages of the bill and we will continue to work through the committee process. I am glad that both the legislature and the administration are engaged in discussions on this important issue.” She added, “Illinois needs to ensure that there is fairness in the energy marketplace so that we have stability and can prevent future closures. Beyond the implications at the state level, this issue is critical for Montgomery County - for our schools, our communities and our county, and I will continue fighting to keep our jobs here.”

House Bill 4141 is an effort to bring downstate electricity reliability by allowing Dynegy to pull out of the 15-state Mid-Continent Independent System Operator distribution system (MISO). Additionally, Dynegy will take over procuring capacity for all customers in their zone (current zone 4 of MISO) and restructure pricing. An identical bill has been filed in the Senate. Both measures await a committee vote.

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) commends the recent efforts by the Governor and Comptroller to approve and use proceeds from Illinois' recent General Obligation bond sale to begin paying down a major portion of the state's current $16.7 billion backlog. This move stops the clock on a mountain of interest payments accruing on Illinois' late bills, some dating back to 2015.

“After years of fiscal mismanagement, it’s important that the state look realistically at our situation and assess what can be done,” said Bourne. She added, “The sale of bonds to stop the accrued interest is a step in the right direction. The next step is to control spending and look at how we as a state can grow our economy. Illinois can’t continue down the same failed path of unbalanced budget after unbalanced budget. We need planning and the stability that it brings.”

The Comptroller’s office estimates that the state owes $900 million in late payment interest penalties on its bill backlog. The bond sale effectively refinances future interest costs on the state's existing debt, saving taxpayers billions of dollars over the next decade.

These payments will help to stop the bleeding of late payment interest penalties on this portion of the backlog. There is still a long, hard road ahead of us, but this is a vital first step toward smart planning for FY2019 and beyond.

In total, the Office of the Comptroller expects to receive about $6.48 billion in bond proceeds, including a $480 million premium from the sale on top of the $6 billion initially offered, an indicator of the strong market demand for the bonds.

Through the use of federal matching funds, it is expected this will turn a $6.48 billion bond offering into a nearly $9 billion investment which initially targets our state's struggling healthcare system and medical providers, many of whom have had to turn to third parties for loans just to stay afloat.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, the state of Illinois’s fiscal year 2018 budget is out of balance by $1.7 billion. State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), who voted against the out-of-balance budget believes that the imbalance could have been avoided through tough financial decision making, structural reforms, and a true, fair budget-making process.
“Clearly, the path that we continue to follow- passing unbalanced budgets, is not working for the state of Illinois. We will never dig ourselves out of this fiscal mess if we continue the culture of overspending without any meaningful reforms,” said Representative Bourne. “I am also opposed to the permanent income tax increase that this budget relied upon. It will not solve our long-term problems and is not the way to grow our economy.”
The Illinois Economic and Fiscal Policy Report presents a five-year economic outlook based on the budget along with state and national growth forecasts. The GOMB compiles the report, which is available for public view at https://www.illinois.gov/gov/budget/Pages/PolicyReports.aspx.

In the report, GOMB Director Scott Harry asserts that with stronger economic growth accompanied by spending controls, Illinois could achieve budget surpluses and reduce its bill backlog to an estimated $500 million by the end of fiscal year 2023.

Enacting the republican 2018 budget proposals, according to Harry, would have saved the state enough to balance this year’s budget. The plan proposed savings through reforms in government group health insurance programs ($600 million); Medicaid ($525 million); and issuing revenue rather than general obligation bonds to pay down the state’s bill backlog ($60 million in interest this year, and $390 million over the 12-year life of the bond).

“Balancing the budget and enacting reforms would let us grow the economy, control spending, pay down our debt, and invest in jobs,” Harry said. “It is time for the political leaders of our state to come together to build long-term fiscal stability so we can expand our economy,” he added. “The only way to resolve our fiscal issues is to grow the economy faster than our spending.”

On Thursday, the Illinois House voted on a piece of legislation labeled by many as a gun control measure. House Bill 4117, would have, among other provisions, outlawed all trigger modification devices intended to accelerate a firearm’s rate of fire. State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) voted against the bill, which failed to pass in the House. 

“This bill was another example of a knee-jerk response to a complex issue. We will not curb gun violence by further regulating and criminalizing those who responsibly and legally own and use firearms. House Bill 4117 would have made felons out of 40 to 50 percent of our law-abiding gun owners," Bourne said. She added, “The bill was both an infringement on our Second Amendment rights and a disservice to those concerned with the proliferation of violence and illegal gun activity in our society.”

Proponents of the bill acknowledged that the legislation was drafted in response to the events that took place in Las Vegas.

The bill needed 2/3rds majority (or 71 votes) in order to pass and failed 48-54. Not dissuaded by this setback, Illinois Democrats have filed another so-called assault weapons ban and have advanced a restrictive and duplicative gun dealer licensing bill to the House floor for a final vote in the near future.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) announced on Thursday that she signed on as a co-sponsor of HB 4114. This bill, by prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion, seeks to reverse key provisions of the recently enacted House Bill 40. House Bill 40 was recently signed into law in Illinois, legalizing taxpayer funded abortions at any stage of pregnancy for any reason. 

"I am pushing for the House to consider this bill and vote on it during the upcoming fall veto session before HB40 becomes effective at the start of 2018," Bourne said. "The majority of Illinoisans are strongly opposed to their taxpayer dollars funding abortion. This new bill, HB 4114 will end that unconscionable use of tax dollars."

Bourne says the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" is based on the model of the federal Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions other than in cases of rape or incest, or that threaten the life of the mother. Abortions under these circumstances constitute roughly 1% of all abortions. Federal law already requires states to provide Medicaid abortions under these three conditions, and the proposed Act recognizes those federal provisions.

Additionally, while the federal government typically matches a state’s Medicaid expenses, it will not do so for elective abortions. Based on the estimated direct cost to the state of $30 million for abortions, the true impact to the Medicaid system is actually double that, $60 million in lost medical services.
House Leader Jim Durkin announced that he is appointing Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) to fill seats in a recently established task force that seeks to increase the use of Illinois coal. A new law, sponsored by Bourne, created the task force to study the costs and benefits of using the latest scrubber technology to allow Illinois coal mined in our home state to be burned here as well.

“Coal is one of Illinois’ most abundant resources. We should be able to utilize that resource here,” said Representative Bourne. “Through this taskforce we are working to take a different approach that promotes clean coal and good-paying jobs.”

The vast majority of Illinois coal is being sold and burned out of state because of the sulfur content, which burns off at a higher rate than federal and state air quality standards allow. A way to prevent, or reduce, sulfur escaping into the air when the coal is being burned is to install costly “scrubbers” that help remove sulfur before leaving the stack.
This newly formed bipartisan task force’s members’ primary responsibility is to study the costs and benefits of the construction of new stacks or conversion of existing stacks at coal-fired power plants with flue gas desulfurization scrubber technology. The task force’s work begins immediately and they will be reporting their findings and recommendations to the General Assembly.

Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) issued the following statement after Governor Rauner’s press conference today announcing that he will sign House Bill 40, making the legislation law.

“Allowing state taxpayer dollars to pay for elective abortions is unconscionable. I was strongly opposed to House Bill 40 and am extremely disappointed that Governor Rauner plans to sign it into law. It has been a longstanding policy in Illinois and in our nation that we should not require our citizens to pay for abortions. House Bill 40 requires Illinois citizens pay for abortions for those on Medicaid and for state employees through the full nine months of pregnancy, for any reason. I wholeheartedly disagree with this legislation and will work for its repeal.”

Governor Rauner was at Blackburn College on Tuesday signing legislation into law that changes the way intoxicated minors are processed and ultimately released. This new law, Sponsored in the Illinois House by Representative Bourne, stems from the tragic death of a local young man, Conor Vesper.
Attending the signing, are from L-R: Alice Vesper (mother), Hannah Vesper (sister), Senator Andy Manar, Governor Bruce Rauner, Jack Vesper (father), Lori Zenner (family friend), Representative Avery Bourne, and John Comerford (President of Blackburn College).

Mark your calendars!  
Representative Avery Bourne will be holding an Open House at her new Litchfield District Office, 207 North State Street, on Monday, October 16th. The Representative is inviting citizens from the district to drop by and meet her and her staff. Open House hours will be held from 8:30am to 10am and later in the day from 1pm to 3pm. Coffee and donuts will be provided for morning guests.

In an effort to save state dollars, Bourne only operates one district office in Litchfield (central location) and holds monthly Traveling Office Hours in Carlinville and Taylorville to help increase access for constituents in such a large district. The 95th District includes Montgomery County, much of Christian and Macoupin Counties, and a small section of Madison County.
“Everyone is welcome at our Open House. Please stop by, see where our new office is located, and say ‘Hello’,” said Bourne. “If you need assistance or information about state programs, we would be happy to help. We take pride in our constituent service and the ability to help individuals navigate state government.” 

The new office is located in downtown Litchfield, just off of the south-west side of the square and is open to constituents.  Normal office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

What's Coming Up?

September 26th, Tuesday- Traveling Office Hours in Taylorville at Congressman Rodney Davis' Office, 108 West Market Street, in the US Bank Building on Floor 2R from 10:30am to 1pm.

October 10th, Tuesday- Traveling Office Hours in Carlinville at Carlinville City Hall, 550 North Broad from 10:30am to 1pm.

October 10th, Tuesday- Extended Office Hours (open until 6pm) at our current District Office, 301 N. Monroe in Litchfield.

October 16th, Monday- Open House at our new District Office, 207 N. State St. in Litchfield from 8:30am to 10am and from 1pm to 3pm. Refreshments will be served.

October 31st, Tuesday- Traveling Office Hours in Taylorville at Congressman Rodney Davis' Office, 108 West Market Street, in the US Bank Building on Floor 2R from 10:30am to 1pm.

November 14th, Tuesday- Traveling Office Hours in Carlinville at Carlinville City Hall, 550 North Broad from 10:30am to 1pm.

November 21st, Tuesday- Extended Office Hours (open until 6pm) at our new District Office, 207 N. State St. in Litchfield.

November 28th, Tuesday- Traveling Office Hours in Taylorville at Congressman Rodney Davis' Office, 108 West Market Street, in the US Bank Building on Floor 2R from 10:30am to 1pm.
December 5th, Tuesday- Traveling Office Hours in Carlinville at Carlinville City Hall, 550 North Broad from 10:30am to 1pm.

December 12th, Tuesday- Extended Office Hours (open until 6pm) at our new District Office, 207 N. State St. in Litchfield.

December 19th, Tuesday- Traveling Office Hours in Taylorville at Congressman Rodney Davis' Office, 108 West Market Street, in the US Bank Building on Floor 2R from 10:30am to 1pm.
On July 29 the credit rating company Equifax was victim to a data breach that jeopardizes the sensitive and personal information of 5.4 million Illinois residents. Information stolen in this breach are: social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, names, addresses and date of births. The Illinois Attorney General’s office is now investigating this cyber-attack.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from having your identity stolen. First, you can place a freeze on your credit. Most credit freezes cost $10 each and you may have to pay a fee to unfreeze your credit. Some exceptions apply to senior citizens who are 65 years old or older, and to active military members.

Second, inspect your credit reports and all financial statements. You should contact your financial institution immediately if you find an unauthorized charge on your account(s).

Third, do not open or answer any emails you may receive from any unknown senders who are threatening or trying to coerce information from you about the Equifax data breach. Those emails are scams.

You will receive a letter in the mail from Equifax if your credit card number has been stolen. They will not email.

Finally, please contact Equifax at 866-447-7559 or visit their website
www.equifaxsecurity2017.com if you any questions. You may also contact the IL Attorney General’s office at 1-866-999-5630 or visit her website at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.
Governor Rauner signed legislation today, brought forth and sponsored by State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), that seeks to increase the use of Illinois coal. The new law creates a taskforce to study the costs and benefits of using the latest scrubber technology to allow Illinois coal mined in our home state to be burned here as well.

“Coal is one of Illinois’ most abundant resources. We should be able to utilize that resource here. This bill has bipartisan support and is something I’ve been working on since taking office,” said Representative Bourne. “Because of Obama-era regulations, Illinois’ coal industry has been attacked and our area has lost many jobs as a result. I am working to take a different approach that promotes clean coal and good-paying jobs.”

The vast majority of Illinois coal is being sold and burned out of state because of the sulfur content, which burns off at a higher rate than federal and state air quality standards allow. A way to prevent, or reduce, sulfur escaping into the air when the coal is being burned is to install costly “scrubbers” that help remove sulfur before leaving the stack.

This newly formed bipartisan task force’s members’ primary responsibility is to study the costs and benefits of the construction of new stacks or conversion of existing stacks at coal-fired power plants with flue gas desulfurization scrubber technology. The task force’s work begins immediately and is to report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) has aggressively been pursuing legislation to curb the synthetic drug problems facing central Illinois. Her latest bill, House Bill 2534, crafted in conjunction with the Illinois State Police, was just signed into law by Governor Rauner.

Representative Bourne’s bill amends the Illinois Controlled Substances Act by adding and updating new synthetic drugs to the list of controlled substances. SB2534 is an ongoing initiative to fight the growing use of “bath salts” and synthetic drugs whose complex chemical compounds have eluded definition under the law.

“Both locally and across the state, synthetic drugs continue to destroy lives and hurt communities. We must continue to pursue legislation to both help those who are addicted and to provide law enforcement with the necessary tools to effectively prosecute those who are making and distributing the drugs,” said Bourne. “The way that we combat synthetic drugs is different from other controlled substances. Because of their dynamic nature, we must consistently update the law to include new ingredients and compounds. This bill is another step to help law enforcement crackdown on this epidemic.”  

Last year, during the 99th General Assembly, Rep. Bourne partnered with Senator Manar to sponsor Senate Bill 210.  This bill made the sale of bath salts by a retail mercantile establishment a Class 3 felony with up to a fine of $150,000 and provided for revocation of a retailer’s license.

The Illinois House of Representatives just passed a historic school funding reform bill that will fundamentally alter the way we fund our schools and will improve the lives of millions of schoolchildren throughout Illinois! I was proud to be a chief co-sponsor of this legislation and work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bring this bill forward. 

For an entire generation of students, we have perpetuated an education funding system that does not send our state dollars to the school who need it most first. We are past due for reforming our school funding formula. 

This bipartisan school funding reform agreement replaces our broken school funding plan with elements from the Governor’s School Funding Reform Commission and input from bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.

This proposal will ensure all students in Illinois receive the high quality education they deserve. Moreover, this compromise prioritizes funding for our most impoverished schools and students while ensuring that no school district loses money. This plan is realistic, fair and represents the best outcome for all Illinois students.

Getting school funding right is the most important thing we can do here - for our children, for their future and for Illinois’ future. This is a good compromise that fixes the formula and gives the next generation of Illinoisans better opportunities for a high quality education.
Legislation that removes the statute of limitations for prosecution of felony sex crimes against minors has been signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. The bill’s Co-Sponsor, Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), hailed the signing of Senate Bill 189 as a significant victory in the fight for child victims’ rights.

Rep. Bourne stated, “This legislation was a bipartisan bill that was unanimously approved in the House and Senate.” She added, “With this change in state law there are no limitations on when an abuser can be charged after the crime occurs. Survivors of child sexual assault will hopefully be encouraged to come forward and seek justice in their own time.”

Senate Bill 189, signed into law as Public Act 100-0080, provides that when the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, a prosecution for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or criminal sexual abuse may be initiated at any time. Under previous laws, many cases held a 10-year or 20-year statute of limitation for prosecution.

The provisions of the new law take effect immediately.

There are 16,629 students in the 95th legislative who depend on me to advocate for them at the state capitol. Each one of them deserves the chance to receive a world class education. Their future - that is what this fight for school funding reform is all about.
In the past three years, I have served on three school funding commissions and taskforces. I can tell you firsthand - throughout those meetings there has been genuine, groundbreaking, bipartisan work done to produce a new, fair, evidence-based school funding formula.

Unsurprisingly, at the last second, negotiations were cut off, amendments were filed that benefitted Chicago and the bill was forced through on a mostly partisan basis. Good bipartisan work was abandoned for partisan politics that send more money to Chicago first.
You’ll hear both sides argue about whether or not there is a Chicago bailout or what that means. Let me share what sending Chicago more money means for my neighbors in the 95th District.
In the 95th, there are 16,629 students in school districts like Taylorville, Pana, Carlinville, Gillespie, North Mac, Hillsboro and Staunton. That equals 0.85% of the students throughout the state of Illinois.
Chicago has 367,003 students. That equals 18.74% of the students in Illinois.

Under Senate Bill 1, Chicago will receive 63.62%  of the new money. Meanwhile students in the 95th District will receive 0.5% of the new money.

Once the bailout for Chicago is removed from SB1, Chicago’s students receive 19.06% of the new money while students in the 95th District receive .82% of the new money. That is fairness.

19.06% of new money for 18.74% of the students in Illinois and 0.82% of the money for 0.85% of the students.

Our students downstate deserve a fair shake. We need a new school funding formula - one that treats every school district the same and one that sends money first to the students and school districts that need it most. SB1, in its current form is not that solution. With structural manipulations in the base funding minimum (where money goes first), that means millions of dollars are shifted first to Chicago before any new money is dispersed to all other 851 school districts.

After years of education cuts under previous administrations, I cannot blame the schools who are desperate for more money. They need it. We owe it to the students they serve. However, we as downstaters, must fight for our fair share. We cannot settle for second fiddle. Lord knows Chicago isn’t settling. Our kids deserve more.

Now, the political games continue. Instead of abiding by the process every other legislature uses - sending a bill to the governor once it passes, they’re holding on to it.

To end the political gamesmanship, Governor Rauner has called us back into special session to get this done. There are two options - work with us in the legislature to come to a bipartisan solution or send the bill to the governor and let him take out the Chicago bailout. Either way, it is immoral to hold the school funding bill and hold our schools hostage until there is a crisis.

No special deals, No hostage taking. Let’s get this done for every school and every student, now.


Gov. Rauner calls lawmakers back to

Springfield Wednesday to take action on

education funding bill

CHICAGO, IL (July 24, 2017) – Determined to get children back to school on time, Gov. Bruce Rauner today announced legislators are being called back to Springfield Wednesday for a special session focused on Senate Bill 1, the school funding reform bill.

Public schools throughout Illinois may not open on time unless SB 1 is sent to Gov. Rauner. The governor plans to amend SB 1 to remove the Chicago Public Schools’ pension bailout that’s currently included in the bill, which then would provide more money to children and schools statewide.

Senate Democrats have delayed advancing the bill to the governor’s desk, choosing instead to use schoolchildren as political pawns. With time running out before the beginning of the new school year, Gov. Rauner insisted lawmakers prioritize Illinois’ children.

“Democrats have been holding this bill since May 31. Our families and students cannot wait any longer,” Gov. Rauner said. “We must act now, which is why I’m calling lawmakers back to Springfield for a special session. Our schools must open on time.”

Gov. Rauner’s amendatory veto will result in higher education funding for nearly every school district in Illinois. A new website launched by Gov. Rauner shows how much additional money each school district will receive as a result of the governor’s planned action: 
Lieutenant Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti has launched a petition for Illinoisans to voice their desire for the Senate to send SB 1 to the governor’s desk and for schools to open on time: https://www.illinois.gov/ltg/pages/sb1petition.aspx.

Video of the event will be posted here.
Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is hosting traveling office hours throughout the district on Mondays and Fridays from July 21st to July 31st. Traveling office hours are held in an effort to make it easier for those who are unable to make it to the Litchfield Office to meet with the Representative.

Bourne looks forward to hearing from constituents who need assistance or have questions about state government. All are invited to meet with the Representative or just stop by and say “hello.” If individuals would like to ensure individual meeting time with Representative Bourne they are asked to call her district office in Litchfield at (217) 324-5200. Appointments are encouraged but not required.

Friday July 21st

Shipman from 10 - 11:30 a.m. at Village Hall, 402 Carlinville Rd.

Brighton from 12:30 - 2 p.m. at Village Hall, 206 S. Main St.

Monday July 24th 

Mt. Olive from 10 - 11:30 a.m. at Village Hall, 215 East Main St.

Coffeen from 12:30 – 2 p.m. at City Hall, 107 Locust St.

Friday July 28th
Virden from 10-11:30 a.m. at Community Hall, within City Hall, 101 West Jackson St.

Girard from 12:30-2 p.m. at City Hall, 111 West Madison St.
Monday July 31st
Assumption from 10-11:30 a.m. at City Hall, 229 N Chestnut St.

Morrisonville from 12:30-2 p.m. at City Hall, 307 SE 6th St.
Legislation changing the way intoxicated minors are processed and ultimately released stems from a tragic death of a local young man, Conor Vesper, in 2015. Following his death, family and friends worked to change the law by contacting their representatives at the Illinois State House. Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) signed on as the Chief House Sponsor of Senate Bill 2185.

“Conor’s Law will mean that the way law enforcement releases minors will be uniform throughout the state,” said Bourne. “This change in current law will hopefully ensure that this situation never occurs again. I thank those who brought the idea forward. Their hard work and dedication to bring change from tragedy will ensure that Conor’s life will continue to impact people’s lives in a positive way in the future,” added Representative Bourne.

Conor's Law requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board and the Illinois State Police will create a model policy to train law enforcement officers to respond to a person arrested while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They will also be required to create a policy for the release of persons arrested under the influence of alcohol or drugs who are under the age of 21 years of age. This policy will include language requiring the arresting officer to make a reasonable attempt to contact a responsible adult who is willing to take custody of the person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Working with Senator Manar, Rep. Bourne passed the legislation unanimously out of the House and it now awaiting the Governor’s consideration to become law.

Rep. Avery Bourne calls Conor's Law, SB2285, for a vote on 6/29/17.  
 The bill creates policy for police officers that will guide them in the processing and eventual release of intoxicated individuals to ensure their safety. SB2285 passed both Houses and now goes to the Governor.

Representative Avery Bourne calls SJR32-
Naming Pfc. Gary Wayne Price Memorial Hwy
for adoption by the House on 6/29/17.
The Resolution was unanimously adopted.
Click to see the Committee of the Whole's Education Panel answer my questions about SB1's funding of Chicago Public School System at a different level than every other school district in the state.

Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is pushing legislation that will pick up where Senate Bill 1 failed downstate school districts, skewing school funding to first drive money to one school district - Chicago.

Bourne is a Chief Co-Sponsor of legislation, House Bill 4069, that is an attempt to restore truly equitable funding through a restructured school funding formula that drives more funding to low income students and to school districts that need it most. Bourne’s bill was drafted from agreed language in SB 1 before an amendment was added to bail out the Chicago Public School System.

“Legislators have an opportunity to reopen the education funding reform debate and fix the problems with Senate Bill 1,” said Representative Bourne. “Every downstate district would receive more funding through this plan than through Senator Manar’s Senate Bill and no school district in the state loses money. Without the windfall for Chicago, downstate schools will see major gains. Bourne added, “The State Board of Education data clearly shows this bill is the most fair and equitable plan for all students.”

House Bill 4069 incorporates the agreed upon evidence based model while treating all 852 school districts the same. It also ensures that no districts lose money and creates real equity in the school funding system for every student across the state.

Following the proclamation by the Governor, the General Assembly has been called back to Springfield to be in special session June 21-30. These ten days give the legislature the opportunity to reestablish school funding reform discussions and ensure that reforms are passed that provides fair and equitable funding for all children in Illinois regardless of zip code.