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.
 
Yesterday, Governor Rauner delivered what is deemed to be a historic address at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, calling for unity and bipartisanship from the General Assembly to end our state's budget impasse. The Governor urged the members of the General Assembly to vote on the Capitol Compromise, a plan that was introduced by Senate and House Republican leaders that has the Governor's support.

Representative Avery Bourne joined Governor Rauner in calling for unity, emphasizing the critical importance of coming together to work on and pass a budget that will put Illinois on the right fiscal path moving forward.

"Now is the time for working together. With only ten days before our deadline, we must come together, for the people of Illinois, to pass a bipartisan, balanced budget," said Bourne.

The Capitol Compromise Plan includes:

* Balanced Budget with Spending Caps
* Property Tax Relief
* Worker's Compensation Reform
* Government Consolidation (Already Passed House & Senate)
* Education Reform
* Term Limits
* Pension Reform

Representative Bourne added, "While we won't all agree on every aspect of the plans that have been proposed, we cannot wait any longer. This plan is a full year balanced budget that forces the state to live within its means. It also contains good policies that will get our state growing again and represents much of where the Senate Grand Bargain plan found compromises. I am calling on leadership on both sides of the aisle to come together, resolve the remaining issues in a budget deal and get it done."
House and Senate Republicans held a press conference today to introduce a package of bills to end the budget impasse. The bills represent a compromise balanced budget and include reforms that address the priorities of both parties, and urged the General Assembly to return to Springfield to vote on this proposal.
My entire time in the General Assembly, I have been working on fixing the school funding formula. What I will not support is a masked effort to rig the school funding formula. This week, House Democrats passed Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) - a bill to change the way we distribute state money to our schools.  

This bill was a version of the evidence-based funding model which is an excellent blueprint for us to follow when we discuss overhauling our broken state funding formula. This model, in theory, is significant to Illinois for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was specifically designed to send money to the schools that need it most, first. 

What’s so disappointing, however, and why I could not support SB1 is that the bill sponsored by Senator Manar and Representative Davis corrupts the evidence-based model and skews its results in favor of driving money to one school district - Chicago. 

For months, we have been negotiating, on a bipartisan basis, a new funding model that recognizes the unique characteristics of each school district, sends money first to the schools who need it most, and that appropriately considers the needs of schools across the state - including Chicago. However, the recent legislation that passed the House and the Senate is not reflective of our negotiations. As is often the case in Springfield, at the last minute they added in special deals and went with what was politically expedient instead of what was fair. 

To be clear, I am not denying that students in Chicago need a high quality education too. But, when politicians choose to rig the system to send more money to Chicago, it comes at the expense of every other student in the 850 other districts in the State. That includes us. 
Here is a snapshot of schools in the 95th District under our plan for school funding reform and then after the changes to benefit Chicago: 

All of these numbers seem like a benefit to our schools. You may ask - isn’t something better than nothing? The problem is, if we make all of these deals for Chicago permanent, we will lose money that we deserve every year from here on out. Also, if education funding is cut in the future like we've seen in the past, Chicago will automatically get more while everyone else suffers losses. That is not a system that is “fixed,” that is a system that is rigged. 
Also, let’s not forget about the financial condition of the state. Our schools across the state are already owed $1.1 billion from the state for this year alone. We’re broke. This bill assumes that the state will be able to pay another $350 million more next year than we did this year. Also, while House and Senate democrats wave this bill around as a victory, the House majority failed to even bring a budget up for a vote. That means, so far, not a single dollar is headed to schools next year. 
We truly were close to a historic agreement on reforming the school funding formula, but the House and Senate Democrats sold out to Chicago again. It’s time that Springfield got its priorities right. Let’s truly fix the formula for every school in the state - not rig the system for one school district at the expense of the rest of us.