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State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) is pleased that four communities in his district will receive Small Firefighting and Ambulance Service Equipment Grants as part of this year’s Small Equipment Grant Program announced this week. In Franklin County, both Valier Fire Department and Ziegler Fire Department will each receive $26,000; McLeansboro Fire Department in Hamilton County will receive $25,988.43; and the Carterville Fire Department in Williamson County will be awarded $25,824.76.

"These grants are vital for our more rural areas in Illinois to be able to provide life-saving services to our residents and visitors alike,” commented Rep. Dave Severin. “I encourage other fire protection districts and ambulance services to apply for these grants every year to keep equipment up-to-date and help protect those who protect us.”

One hundred fire departments and nonprofit ambulance services across the state received grants for the purchase of safety equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus and other needed tools. The money for this grant comes from the Fire Prevention Fund. The grants total $2.2 million, with each recipient receiving up to $26,000.

"This year we had over 400 fire departments from across the state apply for a grant," State Fire Marshal Matt Perez said. "The requests for grants totaled over $9 million. We had $2.2 million in funds to award and we ensured that the neediest stations across the state received the money to ensure the safety of the men and women that protect their cities. It is imperative that we continue to find ways to aid the men and women that respond first in a disaster and always put the lives of others before their own."

This year, research conducted by the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Research Center led OSFM to evaluate new needs. The research on cardiovascular and chemical exposure risks faced by firefighters prompted the inclusion of gear washers as acceptable purchases in this year's grant application cycle. Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts, township fire departments, and stand-alone, nonprofit ambulance service providers were eligible to apply. All fire department, fire protection district and township fire department applicants were required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of two years prior to applying.
State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) reacted to the signing of two pieces of legislation that put additional regulations on Second Amendment rights. Rep. Severin opposed both bills when they came before the Illinois House Chamber.

Senate Bill 3256 establishes a ’72-hour waiting period’ while background checks are performed on gun purchasers.

“This three-day waiting period bill does nothing to stop criminals from obtaining a gun or any other kind of weapon to hurt someone or commit a crime,” said Rep. Dave Severin. “Criminals have never waited on the legal morality of a law to break the law. This waiting period only impacts law-abiding citizens in Illinois.”

House Bill 2354 would allow family members to get court approval to remove firearms from other family members they claim could hurt someone or themselves.

“HB 2354 unfairly limits our due process and could make criminals out of law abiding citizens. I feel this legislation goes too far and allows for actual confiscation of legally owned weapons and will hurt gun dealers as well as gun trade shows,” declared Rep. Severin. “I will continue to fight to protect our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights her in Illinois.”


Presented continuously from 1983 to 2014 and then 2017 to present, the Governor’s Hometown Award​s (GHTA) program gives formal recognition to those who contributed to projects that improved their community’s quality of life. These projects are sponsored by local units of government t​​hat had strong volunteer support, met a need, and made a definitive impact, thereby generating a positive outcome in the community and by extension, the state. The program is administered by the Serve Illinois ​Commission, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.
Serve Illinois, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, is excited to be able to tie GHTA to its mission to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State. In order to nominate your community, please complete the application at the link below:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/serve/Pages/GHTA.aspx
Joe Ragusa of WSIL Channel 3 reports that Illinois state officials want to reopen the Rend Lake Resort.

Representatives with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources met with several companies Thursday, hoping to find someone capable of running the place.

The facility closed due to mold problems in Dec. 2016, right after Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) won his seat.

"There was actually one building, it was called 'The Wind Jammer,' it was razed," Severin said. "They tore it down just a couple weeks ago and they found that not only was there mold in that building, but the walls, you could put your hands through them. It was in terrible shape."

Loris Elston of Marion is considering a bid with his son-in-law.

"We need flooring. We need pads. We need the carpet," Elston said. "The bathrooms need to be sheet-rocked. In some cases, new tubs, new toilets."

Thursday's meeting was the fourth meeting officials have held since the Rend Lake Resort's closure, according to another prospective buyer whom did not wish to be named.

"It's a beautiful, beautiful facility. Beautiful resort," Elston said. "But it's just sat too long and too much needs to be done."

Elston said he isn't sure just how much the repairs will cost but the work won't end anytime soon.

Bidders have until Aug. 9 to submit their proposals. An IDNR spokeswoman said there is no timetable after that to reopen the facility, it just depends on the bids.

The contract would last 18 years with an extension possible for another 25 years.

View the WSIL Channel 3 report by Joe Ragusa by clicking here.
Benton….State Representative David Severin (R-Benton) is voicing his support for a newly introduced bill by his House colleague Barbara Wheeler of the 64th legislative district. HB 5928 would create the “Pyrotechnic Use Act”, thereby legalizing fireworks in Illinois for the first time since the 1930s.

“I’m proud to say on this 4th of July week that I am a supporter of re-legalizing fireworks in our state,” Severin said. “Rep. Wheeler’s bill not only legalizes fireworks, but lays out important safety guidelines as well. Safety should always come first when using fireworks.”

During the recent legislative session, Severin filed legislation (HB 5630) that would have legalized fireworks, but the bill was never allowed for a vote. Severin says he believes the public is in favor of legalizing fireworks and that Southern Illinois is losing out on revenues to other states.

“Right now the situation is, folks are using fireworks in Illinois, but they're buying these items in places like Kentucky and Missouri where fireworks are legal,” Severin said. “If people are willing to travel to buy fireworks then surely they would be willing to spend their money closer to home if Illinois were to legalize fireworks. I’m strongly in favor of legalizing fireworks and making it as safe as humanly possible at the same time. I think HB 5928 would accomplish those goals.”


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Marion.... State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Rides Mass Transit District "Park and Ride" facility on Thursday, June 28 in Marion. The new facility is being built to allow easier access for passengers using public transportation across southern Illinois.

"We are very excited to have mass transit expanding for folks in Southern Illinois," Severin said.

The location at 2315 W. Main St. is near the grounds of the Veterans Affairs medical clinic and will allow easier access for passengers using public transportation from across southern Illinois.

"The new park and ride facility will expand the availability of services for rural transit. This will certainly be a big benefit for those that Rides Mass Transit provides for the citizens of the area. I want to thank RMTD, Sentor Fowler, and all the local officials that helped make today's groundbreaking a reality. The real work now begins!"

State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) joined RMTD officials and Senator Dale Fowler for Tuesday's
groundbreaking on a new 'Park and Ride' facility. The location at 2315 W. Main St. is near the grounds of the Veterans Affairs medical clinic and will allow easier access for passengers using public transportation from across southern Illinois.



Rep. Dave Severin announced today that the next event in the State Museum Bicentennial Speaker Series will be July 15th at 2 p.m. in the Thorne Deuel Auditorium of the Illinois State Museum. Mike Matejka will present a program entitled Building Illinois: Entrepeneurialism Flourishes, Workers Rise.

Beginning with 1850s railroad construction, Illinois boomed as an agricultural and industrial powerhouse. Familiar brand names, from Wrigley chewing gum to Swift and Armour meat products, covered the nation. Looking at two specific industries, this presentation will cover not only the business expansion, but the workplace tensions that followed. George Pullman was a model nineteenth century entrepreneur, a “rags to riches” story. Yet when he was buried, his grave was concrete reinforced, to curtail desecration. What did Pullman create and what was his legacy? For many years Illinois led the nation's coal production--a vital industry that fueled nineteenth and twentieth century expansion. At the same time, the deep dark mines were a dangerous lair, creating a widespread workers’ movement for industrial democracy.

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Future presentations include:

August 19 - Farming in the Great Corn Belt: 200 Years of Challenges, Choices, and Changes
Presented by Don Meyer



Explore 200 years of farming from the arrival of the earliest settlers in Illinois and the decision-making, determination, hard work, adoption of machines and technology, and financial decisions of farm families that have brought us to the modern era of agriculture. Four “eras” of changes will provide the framework including the Western Frontier (1820’s to 1850’s), The Railroad Arrives (1850’s to 1900), Information Age and Mechanization Advancement (1900-1945) and the Modern Era (post WW2 to present).


September 16 - Illinois Art and Literature, 1818-2017
Presented by Laura Mueller


Art historian and educator Laura Mueller will offer a wide-ranging, slide-illustrated presentation surveying depictions of Illinois and its people in art and literature. It will include examples representing many points in time between 1818 and the present, indicating the countless ways in which Illinois has been represented artistically throughout its history as a state. The presentation will emphasize works of visual and literary art by Illinoisans but will also incorporate works by artists and authors from elsewhere that illuminate significant aspects of life in our state.


October 21 - From Prairie to Farm to City: Music to Commemorate Illinois' Bicentennial
Presented by Phil Passen


The music performed by singer and hammered dulcimer player Phil Passen reflects the story of Illinois, which has been shaped not only by its land and natural features – the prairies, lakes, and rivers – but also by the many cultures that have flourished here: those of Native Americans, French, Germans, African Americans, Latin Americans and numerous others. Songs of the Underground Railroad, which ran through Illinois, will be featured as well as selections representing farmers, workers, labor struggles, disasters, and tragedies. Passen will provide commentary about the histories of the selections and the contexts in which they have been sung and played in Illinois. This will be an informative and entertaining look at Illinois, its history and its people. Audiences are fascinated by the uncommon, trapezoidal-shaped hammered dulcimer, a word that means “beautiful song”. After Phil’s performance, members of the audience, young and old, musicians and non-musicians, are welcome to take a closer look at the dulcimer and try their hand at it.