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.