Latest News

Today is National Agriculture Day. Illinois is made up of roughly 75 percent farmland, and is one of the nation’s leading producers of soybeans, corn, and other similar commodities. Like many districts in the state, agriculture is a major component of the 117th District’s economy.

I want to extend a special thank you to all farmers and agriculture workers for the important work they do to keep Illinois, the nation and the world fed. I am honored to represent the hard working families that contribute to the state’s robust agricultural economy. 
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Dear Neighbor,

 
I would like to wish you all a happy St. Patrick’s Day. Hope you wore your green today!

It has been a productive week both in the district and at the Capitol. This includes spending Monday
in McLeansboro visiting several local businesses as well as moving my first bill through the Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday. Here is a recap of the week.



McLeansboro Monday

Monday I spent the day in McLeansboro visiting local businesses. I spoke with management at Hamilton County Communications learning about some of the issues telecommunications companies have serving our area. Thank you to Kevin Pyle for taking the time to meet with me.

I then took a tour of STC Incorporated, which engineers and manufactures all sorts of electronics for planes, trucks, traffic lights, and more. I want to thank Brad Cross for showing me around. I was honored by the hospitality.


After that I stopped by 4 R Equipment and took a tour of their operation. 4 R is a full-service Case IH dealership and has been family owned since 1987. It was a pleasure spending some time with Randy and Rick Rubenacker, learning about what they do and what kind of help they could use from Springfield. I look forward to keeping in touch.
 
My last stop was at the Peoples National Bank in downtown McLeansboro. I was invited by Randy Kirsch and enjoyed having the opportunity to talk with him and his associates about the budget impasse and other happenings in Springfield. I appreciated their time and the feedback I received on a number of issues.

Helping Paws Passes the House
On Wednesday, the Illinois House of Representatives passed HB 2897 allowing veterans suffering from PTSD or depression to receive service dogs free of charge. The bill calls for the Helping Paws Dog Service Program to expand the pool of those eligible to receive service dogs to include struggling veterans.


As you may know this is the first bill I have had pass the House. This was a fun moment for me as a new state Representative and it meant even more knowing it will be helping veterans in need. Click here and read my full statement on the bill.


Stay Connected
My office in Marion is staffed Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. You can email me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repseverin.com. My staff and I are here to serve you! So please feel free to share your opinions with us.




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Springfield….Legislation introduced by State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) that would provide additional assistance to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression received unanimous approval from the Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 15th.

HB 2897 dictates that veterans suffering from PTSD or depression shall be considered eligible to receive a service dog through the Helping Paws Service Dog Program. Currently this program is facilitated by the Department of Corrections where dogs are trained and provided to people with certain disabilities. 

“As Illinois' veterans return home from conflicts abroad, many struggle with the physical, mental, and emotional scars that they carry with them," Severin said. "Companion animals like service dogs have proven very effective in helping to relieve the symptoms of PTSD and depression. This bill will help us fulfill our obligation to care for our veterans when they return home, while utilizing a highly effective program that is already in existence.”

Severin was gracious for the support the bill received from both sides of the aisle and now looks forward to gaining the support of the Senate.

“I want to thank my colleagues in the House for unanimously for HB 2897 and I am eager to work with members of the Senate to get this bill on the Governor’s desk.”


To learn more about the bill Click Here.


Dear Friends,
It was another busy week in both the district and Springfield. This past week the district saw an influx of visitors as the United Field Trialers' Association held their National Championship at Rend Lake. In Springfield there has been some movement on House bills that I have been proud to support. One of them denying lawmakers a pay raise and the other ensuring veterans are getting the care they need. Here is a recap of the week:
Field Trialers' National Championship (Rend Lake)
On Saturday I attended the awards banquet for the United Field Trialers' Association’s National Championship at Rend Lake Golf Course. More than 600 hunters from all over the country came to Rend Lake to compete for 10 days. This was a great event and brought business and positive attention to Rend Lake and the surrounding area. Thanks to the Department of Natural Resources, Rend Lake Conservancy, City of Sesser, Rick Linton, and everyone else who helped bring this event to Southern Illinois.
Helping Paws – Veterans Passes Committee
On Tuesday I was able to pass my first bill out of the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee. HB 2897 seeks to include veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or depression among the list of disabilities eligible to receive a service dog through the Helping Paws Service Dog Program. Read my full statement and learn more about the bill Click Here.

A Bill Denying Pay Raise for Lawmakers Passes the House
Legislation denying state lawmakers a pay increase passed through the House on Thursday. As I’ve said in the past, lawmaker’s pay is currently considered a continuing appropriation, so every year the General Assembly takes a vote to deny what is supposed to be an automatic pay raise. It is ridiculous to think anyone in Springfield deserves a pay raise right now. This is why I introduced identical legislation at the beginning of the year. I am encouraged to see that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle feel the same way about the matter, and I encourage the Senate to put this bill on the Governor’s desk as soon as possible.
River to River Residential
On Friday I met with David Blaise of River to River Residential and had the opportunity to tour their community. River to River provides senior citizens with quality assisted living, which is customized to fit each resident’s needs. As someone who grew up working in human services I know that trying to ensure seniors have the proper assistance without taking away their independence is a tough task. Thank you to River to River for working so hard to for serving our community’s seniors.
Stay Connected

My office in Marion is staffed Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. You can email me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repseverin.com. My staff and I are here to serve you! So please feel free to share your opinions with us.


Springfield…. Legislation introduced by State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) to provide additional assistance to veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression was unanimously approved by the House Judiciary-Criminal committee on Tuesday, March 7.

The legislation, HB 2897, would expand the Helping Paws Service Dog Program to allow veterans with PTSD or depression to be able to receive a service dog free of charge. The Helping Paws Service Dog Program is facilitated by the Department of Corrections where offenders train dogs and provide them to people with certain disabilities. 

“Many veterans in Illinois could benefit from a service dog,” Severin said, “This bill will further help us fulfill our obligation to care for our veterans when they return home while utilizing a highly effective program that is already in existence. I want to thank my colleagues in the House for recognizing the importance of this bill and I look forward to HB 2897 receiving a vote on the House floor.”
 To learn more about the bill Click Here.
Dear Friend,

The big news of the week was the severe weather that came through the state on Tuesday. Many people across the state were affected by these storms. Our district was no different seeing significant property damage to homes in Franklin County, specifically in Mulkeytown. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted by these storms as they begin to rebuild.

Living in Southern Illinois we know that unfortunately this is not the last time we will experience severe weather like this. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Ready Illinois are good resources on how to prepare for when disaster strikes. I encourage everyone to visit these websites to make sure you are prepared for the next storm that comes through.

Click Here to visit and Illinois Emergency Management Agency
Click Here to visit Ready Illinois

Southern Illinois Eclipse
On Tuesday I attended a presentation by Carbondale Tourism to introduce a new regional website for the eclipse coming in August. The website provides visitors with a list of travel, lodging, and dining options along with information on the eclipse and other local activities. Businesses are being encouraged to advertise on this website and can do so for free. This is a great for our area, as the region expects to see an influx in visitors with the upcoming eclipse.

You can visit the website by Clicking Here
Business owners can sign up by Clicking Here

Northside Elementary School
On Thursday, I visited Northside Elementary School in Herrin to talk with our youth about the importance of reading. During the visit I got to read a book by one of my favorite authors, Dr. Seuss, to Ms. Gaither’s first grade class. It was a treat to see how passionate the students were about reading.



Thank you to Principal Viernow for the invitation and I look forward to returning soon.

Legislation Update

A few more of the bills I have introduced were assigned to House committees on Wednesday, including:

HB 2895 State Exercise as Cycling 
HB 2896 Teachers for Rural Schools
HB 2897 Paws Program
HB 3660 School Board Statement of Affairs
HB 3666 Concealed License Fee Reduction
HB 3790 Legislative Pay Raise Denial

Once again, I encourage you to learn more about each bill and track them as they move through the legislative process. You can also explore other pieces of legislation by visiting the Illinois General Assembly’s website.

Stay Connected
My office in Marion is staffed Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. You can email me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repseverin.com. My staff and I are here to serve you! So please feel free to share your opinions with us.


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Dear Friend,

Another busy week has come and gone. This past week I split my time between the District and Springfield. Early in the week I met with members of the Franklin County Farm Bureau and then headed to Springfield for a full week of floor and committee action.

Before we get into the highlights from last week, I want to remind you that my 2017 Legislative Survey is now available online. This is a great way for me to learn where you stand on the important issues facing Illinois. Click here to take the survey.

Franklin Farm Bureau
On Tuesday night, I attended a meeting with the Franklin County Farm Bureau in Benton. It was a pleasure having an opportunity to meet with the current and future leaders of agriculture in the 117th District. Agriculture is incredibly important to our area, and I will continue to work closely with all of the ag community to learn how I can be of better service to them.

Tom Miller Interview
While in Springfield, I took some time to call in to Tom Miller’s radio show to discuss some of the latest news from the legislature. As usual we talked at length about the lack of a budget, but we also covered some of the developing legislation in regards to abortion, tougher penalties against DUI’s, and preparation for Zombie Apocalypse.


Deny Lawmakers a Pay Increase
On Thursday, I sat in on a meeting of the House Executive Committee to vote on House Bill 643 to deny lawmakers a pay increase. Earlier this year I filed an identical piece of legislation, HB 3790, so I was proud to support it. You can read my statement on this bill by clicking here.   

Legislative update
In an exciting development last week, three of my bills were assigned to House committees: 

House Bill 2895 Assigned to State Government Administration Committee
House Bill 2896 Assigned to Appropriations-Higher Education Committee
House Bill 2897 Assigned to Judiciary Criminal Committee

I encourage you to learn more about each of these bills and track them as they move through the legislative process. You can also explore other pieces of legislation by visiting the Illinois General Assembly’s website.

Stay Connected
My office in Marion is staffed Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. You can email me directly message through the Contact Form on my website at www.repseverin.com. My staff and I are here to serve you! So please feel free to share your opinions with us.


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