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:

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.