The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) operates several Small Business Development Centers around the state to provide information, training, and resources for start-ups and existing small businesses. Recently, the Illinois House unanimously passed legislation recently that would add marketing and networking to those services.

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is a Chief Co-Sponsor of
House Bill 1813, which directs DCEO to create a Networking for Success program within its Small Business Development Centers to assist small businesses with strategic market research, geographic information systems, web design, search engine optimization, and social media marketing.


“This bill modernizes, through the digital expansion of services that DCEO offers, and creates a network of assistance that I hope businesses in the area will utilize,” said Bourne. “Current business incentives and assistance programs mainly focus on large companies. House Bill 1813 is a way to assist small businesses within our communities so they, too, can be successful and flourish.”

Currently, such services are often out of reach to many Illinois small businesses because of the cost. This program would make such services accessible to small businesses – the very businesses that employ so many of our neighbors and generate so much economic activity in our communities. The bill is now awaiting action in the Senate.

State Representative Avery Bourne joined fifteen of her colleagues from the Illinois House of Representatives calling for Comptroller Susana Mendoza to pay Illinois school districts with the almost $600 million dollars she currently has sitting in the general revenue fund to spend. The Representatives are urging Mendoza to pay for the services, mandated by the state, that were already provided by the districts, such as transportation.
 
These payments would give much needed relief to districts that are struggling. The timing of these payments is at the discretion of the Comptroller alone. The Representatives are asking that she makes schools a priority instead of stalling on their payments, which are presently up to a year behind.
 
The following is the letter delivered to Comptroller Mendoza on Thursday:
 
Dear Comptroller Mendoza,
 
In light of recent comments made by your office, we write to express our concern over your decision to delay mandated categorical payments for Fiscal Year 2017 to all Illinois school districts until later this spring.
 
As you are well aware, these services, which are required by state law, are major cost drivers for our school districts. Delaying these payments, for services which have already been provided, disproportionately hurts our downstate and rural school districts, as transportation costs specifically are a huge burden for our schools.
 
Due to recent comments and proposals in the Illinois House to spend “surplus money,” we are requesting that you utilize the money available to make good on the promises we have already made for the needs of our school children.

As of today, your office has more than $587 million on hand that could be used to begin making these payments. We ask that you please reconsider and begin to make these payments immediately.
 
 
In response to the national nursing shortage, and in particular the need for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) at assisted living facilities, Representative Bourne (R-Raymond) has proposed legislation to allow CNA’s to fulfill their training at assisted living facilities. 

Across the nation, we are facing a nursing shortage. The Illinois General Assembly has looked at various proposals to help provide incentives for people to enter the nursing field and to make it easier for nurses to become certified while still upholding the quality of care necessary.

“This legislation will help assisted living facilities attract CNA’s and will allow those training to become CNA’s another path toward fulfilling their clinical requirement,” said Bourne. “As an example of how our legislative process should work, an idea was brought to me by an assisted living facility facing a CNA shortage. We worked together to develop a solution to their problem by offering amendments to the bill to make it better. The bill then passed the House with bipartisan unanimous support. We need more commonsense bipartisan solutions like this.”

House Bill 481 amends the Nursing Home Care Act. The legislation states that the Department of Public Health will now allow an individual to satisfy their supervised clinical experience requirement, needed for a CNA to be placed on the Health Care Worker Registry, through supervised clinical experience at a licensed assisted living establishment. This measure, House Bill 481, passed unanimously in the Illinois House this week.
Representative Avery Bourne is proud to announce the winners of her annual Illinois Themed Art Contest. The Art Contest was open to all children who live or learn within Illinois’ 95th House District. Bourne hosted the contest in an effort to promote the arts and recognize the artistic talents of local students.

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.

Winners are announced by name, grade, school, and title of their work:

K-4th Grade Winners
1st-, Olivia Handshy, 4th grade home schooler from Litchfield, “Illinois Nature”
2nd- Easton Page, 1st grader at Beckemeyer, "Capitol Building"
3rd- Sheridan Stangle, 4th grader at Ben-Gil Elementary, “Cardinal In Spring”

5-8th Grade Winners
1st- Chloe Pastrovich, 8th grader at Zion Lutheran, “What Makes Illinois”
2nd-Skylar Swan-Henson, 7th grader at St. Peter’s Lutheran, “Land of Lincoln”
3rd- Joseph Cisler, 7th grader at Zion Lutheran, “Land of Lincoln”



Olivia Handshy "Illinois Nature"