LITCHFIELD - State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) had two bills signed into law by Gov. Bill Rauner today. The information on these bills can be found below:

Bill Combating Synthetic Drug Epidemic

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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.”

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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.

Bill Promoting Illinois Coal

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.

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