Marion – State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) attended a House Appropriations – Public Safety Committee hearing, on Tuesday, December 5, that focused on the recent spike in violence at Illinois Youth Centers and adult correctional facilities across the state.
While Rep. Severin is not a sitting member of the committee, he requested to take part in the hearing because the Illinois Youth Center sits just outside the boundaries of Severin's 117th District.
 “I have heard from Department of Corrections employees, and have read in multiple news reports, that the Illinois Youth Center in Harrisburg has seen an increase in violence between juveniles and staff,” Severin said. “Harrisburg IYC is not technically in my district but I do have constituents with ties to the IYC and adult facilities throughout Southern Illinois, so I felt it was important for me to attend the hearing. The number of incidents resulting in serious injuries is increasing, so this hearing was an important step to determine what needs to be done to reduce the violence that the men and women serving as public safety officials in these facilities face. These assaults have not just been a problem for Harrisburg but for correctional facilities throughout the state.”
The rise in staff assaults is a major issue, and Rep. Severin felt like progress was made at the committee meeting.

“I am encouraged that communication between the state, the facilities, staff, and other groups is improving,” Severin said. “However, there is much work left to be done. I hope to be a part of further discussions in the weeks and months to come until we find a comprehensive solution that addresses these serious issues to reduce assaults on staff.”
Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) announced that his office will be holding Satellite Office Hours at the McCoy Memorial Library in McLeansboro on Wednesday, December 20, from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

“Satellite office hours are a good way for me to make my office and its resources more accessible to the whole district,” Rep. Severin said. “Staff will be on hand to take your opinions and assist with any constituent-related issues you may have.”

The McCoy Memorial Library is located at 118 S. Washington St., in McLeansboro. If you would like to learn more about Rep. Severin’s office hours, please contact his district office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.

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Marion, IL - State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) and his colleagues in the legislature were invited by Alliance Resource Partners to tour Hamilton County Coal Mine #1, on Thursday, December 7. Those attending with Rep. Severin were Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg), and Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville).

“I had a great time touring the coal mine, and I think my colleagues did as well,” said Rep. Severin. “Everyone in Illinois knows how important coal is to Southern Illinois, but the industry has obviously been changing. I felt it was important to have some of my colleague’s tour a mine to show the continued importance of coal to the region and economy.”

Representative Severin visited the same coal mine a year ago and was impressed with the mine’s growth over the past year.

“Since the last time I visited Hamilton County Coal, the company has grown from 186 to 346 employees,” said Severin. “The staff were pleasant and it is my understanding that they are well compensated with good benefits. I think we all were very impressed with the operation as a whole, and it was good to see the mine is expanding.”

Rusty Ashcraft, of Alliance Resource Partners appreciated the state officials making time to visit and show support for the industry.

“It was a pleasure having Sen. Fowler, Rep. Severin, and Rep. Halbrook all come by and visit the Hamilton County Coal mine,” said Ashcraft. “We always enjoy having our public officials visit our facilities to show their support for the coal industry. We have a lot of great things going on here at Hamilton County Coal and we are proud of the men and women who work here and make it a special place to be.”


Hamilton County Coal operates Mine #1 for parent company Alliance Resource Partners, and is annually one of the top producing coal mines for the company. Mine #1 is an underground mine that produces roughly three million tons of coal per year.
Friday, December 8, 2017… State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) today presented Herschell Meadows with a Certificate of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives in honor of his retirement from Pepsi MidAmerica. He had worked for the company for 38 years. Pictured from left to right are Christine Meadows (daughter), Harry L. Crisp II, CEO of Pepsi MidAmerica, Herschell Meadows, Kimberlee Parry (daughter), and Rep. Severin. 
Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) announced that his office will be holding Satellite Office Hours at the Benton Public Library on Wednesday, December 13, from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

“Satellite office hours are a good way for me to make my office and its resources more accessible to the whole district,” Rep. Severin said. “Staff will be on hand to take your opinions and assist with any constituent-related issues you may have.”

The Benton Public Library is located at 502 S. Main Street, in Benton. If you would like to learn more about Rep. Severin’s office hours, please contact his district office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.
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 Marion… State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) would like to remind constituents of Williamson, Franklin, and Hamilton County to shop small and shop local in honor of Small Business Saturday on November 25th. Small Business Saturday has turned into a national tradition and has continued to grow each year.

“Sometimes we forget that small business owners are our neighbors, friends, or other people with ties to our community,” Severin said. “These business owners hire local workers, as well as support our local charities and other organizations. The weekend after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping weekend of the year. That makes it even more important for people to be shopping and supporting local businesses.”

As the owner of a small business in Benton, Rep. Severin knows firsthand how important small businesses are to local communities.

“Illinois is home to 1.2 million small businesses, which makes up about 90% of the state’s overall exports,” Severin said. “Small businesses bring entrepreneurship and innovation, giving a unique and energetic feel to our towns and villages. Most importantly, when they are supported, local businesses turn around and invest back in the community, providing jobs and other valuable resources.”

To learn where you can go to support local business visit the Shop Southern Illinois page on Facabook and follow on Twitter @shopsouthernIL.

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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) has announced his December schedule of Satellite Office Hours. Like in November, staff from Representative Severin’s Office will be made available on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Wednesday of the Month from 12:00 – 3:00 pm at various locations throughout the district.

Rep. Severin hopes to make his staff and office resources more readily available to constituents, by holding Satellite Office Hours at least once a month in each county. Anyone that needs help with constituent issues or would like to express their opinions, are encouraged to stop by one of the following office hours.

December 6th 12:00 – 3:00 pm Anne West Lindsey Library, N. Division St. & Bryan Ave. Carterville, IL 62918

December 13th 12:00 – 3:00 pm Benton Public Library, S Main St. & W. Hudelson St. Benton, IL 62812

December 20th 12:00 – 3:00 pm McCoy Memorial Library, 118 S. Washington St. McLeansboro, IL 62859

The next Satellite Office Hours will be at the Anne West Lindsey Library in Carterville on December 6th. If you would like to learn more about our office hours please contact Rep. Severin’s District Office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.

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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) announced that his office will be holding Satellite Office Hours at the McCoy Memorial Library in McLeansboro on Wednesday November 15th from 12:00 – 3:00 pm.
“Satellite office hours are a good way for me to make my office and its resources more accessible to the whole district,” Rep. Severin said. “Staff will be on hand to take your opinions and assist with any constituent-related issues you may have.”
The address for the McCoy Memorial Library is 118 S Washington St, McLeansboro. If you would like to learn more about our office hours, please contact Rep. Severin’s District Office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.
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Orient… Monday night, State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) presented a House Certificate to Orient city officials honoring the city’s 100th birthday. Rep. Severin presented the certificate to Orient’s Mayor Pete Witkewiz at city hall prior to the City Council’s monthly meeting.
“It is incredible to think that Orient, Illinois is celebrating its 100th birthday,” Rep. Severin said. “The small Southern Illinois town has been a great addition to Franklin County over the years and it has been an honor for me to represent its constituents in the General Assembly.”

The City of Orient was incorporated on September 11th 1917. It was formed in connection to Orient #1 coal mine which at its peak production was the top producing coal mine in the world. Mayor Witkewiz expressed gratitude for the recognition the city received from Rep. Severin.

“It was very thoughtful of the Representative to honor the City of Orient for its land mark birthday” Mayor Witkewiz said, “It is a small town but we are very proud of the long history our small community has had in Southern Illinois.”
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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) announced that his office will be holding Satellite Office Hours at the Benton Public Library on Wednesday November 8th from 12:00 – 3:00 pm.
“Satellite office hours are a good way for me to make my office and its resources more accessible to the whole district,” Rep. Severin said. “Staff will be on hand to take your opinions and assist with any constituent-related issues you may have.”
The address for the Benton Public Library is S Main St & W Hudelson St, Benton, IL 62812. If you would like to learn more about our office hours, please contact Rep. Severin’s District Office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.

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Springfield…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) voted against House Bill 4117, which failed to pass the House on Thursday. The bill would have outlawed all trigger modification devices intended to accelerate a firearm’s rate of fire.
“House Bill 4117 was an attempt to trample on the rights of Illinois’s law abiding gun owners," Severin said. “The bill sought to outlaw the sale, purchase, and ownership of all ‘trigger modification device’. The language in the bill was vague and quite frankly poorly written. It basically would have made felons out of many law abiding gun owners.”
Proponents of the bill acknowledged that the legislation was drafted in response to the events that took place in Las Vegas.
“The sponsor admitted that this was a knee jerk reaction to what occurred in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. Everyone agrees those acts were despicable but sticking it to gun-owners is simply the wrong response. I will always stand opposed to legislation that targets our second amendments rights as HB 4117 did.”
The bill needed 2/3rds majority in order to pass and failed 48-54.

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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) will be holding Satellite Office Hours at the Anne West Lindsey Library on Wednesday November 1st from 12:00 – 3:00 pm. Rep. Severin’s staff will be on hand to take your opinions and assist with any constituent related issues you may have.
Staff from Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office will also be on hand and will be happy to work with you on any outstanding payments you may have with the State, as well as answer any questions you have for them.
The address for Anne West Lindsey Library is N Division St. & Bryan Ave. Carterville, IL 62918.  If you would like to learn more about our office hours please contact Rep. Severin’s District Office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com
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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) met with members of his Tourism advisory committee on Thursday to discuss some of the biggest issues facing local tourism.
Among the issues discussed were the plans for reopening both Rend Lake Resort and the Tourism Information Center which has been closed down due to construction on the north and south bound rest stops on I-57.
“It has been frustrating having both the Rend Lake Resort, and the Tourism Information Centers closed for as long as they have,” Severin said. “That being said we are working closely with state agencies on both of these issues and keeping an open dialogue with the committee and others involved in tourism that have been impacted by the closures.”
Shannon Johnson, CEO of visitSI, heads up the advisory committee and has enjoyed the improved communication the committee has helped provide for tourism throughout the district.
“Southern Illinois as a whole has so much to offer as a tourist destination,” Shannon said. “We have to be using all our resources though and make sure they are complimenting each other. I think the committee has done a good job of opening lines of communication between groups that otherwise would not be working together as they are now.”
The group meets on a quarterly basis with the most recent meeting held at Walkers Bluff. Their next meeting will be in January.
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Marion…. On Tuesday State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) announced dates for Satellite Office Hours during November. As in October, the office will be in Carterville the first Wednesday, Benton the second Wednesday, and Mcleansboro the third Wednesday of the month. Location, Date, and Time are listed below.
Anne West Lindsey Library, N Division St. & Bryan Ave, Carterville, November 1st, 12:00-3:00 pm
Benton Public Library, S Main St. & W Hudelson St, Benton, November 8th,  12:00-3:00 pm
McCoy Memorial Library, 118 S Washington St, McLeansboro, November 15th, 12:00-3:00 pm
Staff from Rep. Severin’s district office will be on hand to take your opinions and help you with any constituent related issues you may have. If you would like to learn more about the office hours please visit Rep. Severin’s website at www.repseverin.com, or contact the District Office at (618) 440-5090.
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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) announced Wednesday that the City of Benton will be receiving a block grant from the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) for local projects.

The DRA will invest $140,404 in Franklin Hospital’s Digital Mammography system. The Hospital will use the money to modernize their imaging department by replacing the old analog breast imaging system, with a new system that has digital capabilities. The upgrade will allow the Hospital to meet federal, state, and American Radiology standards.

Also, the DRA will send $515,000 for construction in Rend Lake Conservancy District. The money will go towards building a second discharge pipe from their water treatment plant. The project will support 170,000 customers in five counties. The new pipe will ensure proper water pressure and distribution for customers, during the times of highest usage.  

The money received by the City of Benton came from a larger announcement form the Delta Regional Authority, that they would be funding seven projects in Southern Illinois. Other cities included were Cairo, Carbondale, Eldorado, and Goreville totaling $1.4 million for the region.

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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) will be holding Satellite Office Hours at McCoy Memorial Library on Wednesday October 18th from 12:00 – 3:00 pm. Rep. Severin’s staff will be on hand to take your opinions and assist you with any constituent related issues you may have.
Staff from Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office will also be on hand and will be happy to help answer any questions you have for them as well, or work with you on any outstanding payments you may have with the State.
The address for McCoy Memorial Library is 118 S Washington St, McLeansboro, IL 62859.  If you would like to learn more about our office hours please contact Rep. Severin’s District Office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.
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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) held an ice cream social, for kids who participated in his Summer Reading Club, on Tuesday, October 3, at The Custard Stand in Sesser.
“I was very encouraged by number of kids we had participate in the first year of our Summer Reading Club, and I look forward to seeing the club grow next year,” Rep. Severin said. “It is important that kids continue to learn and read throughout their summer break. This helps them to maintain the knowledge and skills they learned from the previous school year, which otherwise could be lost.”
As a reward for participating in the club, the students received official certificates from the Illinois House of Representatives along with the ice cream from The Custard Stand. For those interested in participating in the club next year feel free to call the district office at (618) 440-5090.
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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) will be holding Satellite Office Hours at the Benton Public Library on Wednesday October 11th from 12:00 – 3:00 pm. Rep. Severin’s staff will be on hand to take your opinions and assist you with any constituent related issues you may have.
Staff from Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office will also be on hand and will be happy to help answer any questions you have for them as well, or work with you on any outstanding payments you may have with the State.
The address of the Benton Public Library is S. Main St. & W. Hudelson Street, Benton, IL, 62812.  If you would like to learn more about our office hours please contact Rep. Severin’s District Office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.

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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) today announced that he has been appointed by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin to the Illinois Forestry Development Council and the Flue Gas Desulfurization Task Force.
The Illinois Forestry Council was created from the Illinois Forestry Development Act in 1983. The council’s goal is to identify and evaluate the social, economic, scientific and educational value of Illinois’s forest lands, and product industries.
“I am very excited to have been selected for the Illinois Forestry Council,” Severin said. “It is a great fit for me because forests and protected lands are deeply rooted in the identity of Southern Illinois. I look forward to helping our state better understand its forests and find ways to better protect them.”
Rep. Severin was also appointed to the Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) Task Force. The task force was created to increase the amount Illinois coal mined and burned in the state, while continuing to comply with federal regulations.
“The FGD Task Force is another group I am looking forward to being a part of," Severin said. “Illinois has an abundance of coal and the task force will make sure that we are maximizing that resource. On top of that, the task force will work with new stacks to comply with federal standards and regulations.”



Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) today issued the following statement on the signing of House Bill 40:
“I consider myself to be pro-life before an elected official, a Republican, or anything else, which is why I voted against House Bill 40 and co-sponsored House Resolution 620 encouraging the Governor to veto House Bill 40. I am extremely disappointed by today’s action to expand access to abortions and put tax payers on the hook for those expenses. Protecting the sanctity of life is my guiding principle and I will continue to fight for our shared values.”


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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) has announced a new schedule for satellite office hours. The new schedule will take effect starting in October and will run through December. Rep. Severin’s staff will be available, throughout the district, three times a month at the following locations. 
Anne West Lindsey Library, in Carterville, on the first Wednesday of every month
Benton Public Library, on the second Wednesday of every month
McCoy Memorial Library in McLeansboro, on the third Wednesday of every month.
Rep. Severin knows the Marion district office is not necessarily convenient for everyone, so his office hosts these office hours to make the office’s services more readily available to everyone. Those that have constituent issues, opinions, or questions are encouraged to visit one of these office hours. Staff from the Illinois Comptroller’s office will also be available to answer any questions you may have for them.

The first Satellite office hours will be held Wednesday October 4th at Anne West Lindsey Library (N Division St. & Bryan Ave. Carterville, IL 62918) from Noon to 3:00 pm. If you have any questions, please contact Rep. Severin’s District Office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.
Marion…. On Friday, State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) visited a fourth grade music class at Lincoln Elementary School in Johnston City. The visit took place to bring awareness to National Keep Kids Creative Week, which occurs once a year during the third week of September.

After watching his son and now grandsons grow up, Rep. Severin knows that creativity comes easy to all kids.

“Being able to express your creativity is one the many fun aspects of being a kid.” Severin said, “As I have watched my son and now grandsons grow up over time, it makes me believe creativity just comes so naturally to children. From the art projects brought home from school to musical performances, you really see how they all are overflowing with creativity.”

Creativity may come natural to kids but Rep. Severin knows it is important that we are continually supporting and cultivating it in schools.
 
“It is important that our schools continue to foster creativity in our kids through music, art, and other creative programs, otherwise it will be lost on them sooner than we think.” Severin said “The best ideas come from dreamers, and as far as I am concerned you can never have too ma
ny good ideas. So it is important to recognize National Keep Kids Creative Week and promote creativity in all our kids.
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 Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) spoke to students and teachers at Unity Christian School on Monday as the school held a ceremony in honor of Patriot Day.
 
Rep. Severin talked about how incredible of a country the United States is and the importance of patriotism.

“There are still people in other countries that do not have electricity, running water, and other basic things we all take for granted have in our lives," Severin said. “God has truly blessed the United States and it takes patriots to protect it. We saw this when police officers and firefighters rushed into those burning towers 16 years ago on September 11."

The representative also spoke about his memory of 9/11 and what the day means to him.

“It is one of those days in our history where anyone you talk to will remember where they were when they heard the news. It was a terrible day, and one you cannot forget, but in the chaos we saw tremendous acts of patriotism which revealed the true character of our country."






Marion…. On Friday, State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) joined Governor Bruce Rauner in Marion for the signing of House Bill 2897 into law. The new law, sponsored by Rep. Severin, amends the Unified Code of Corrections to allow the Helping Paws Service Dog Program to begin training service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression.

"I am proud to have sponsored HB 2897, a law that will help veterans suffering from PTSD or depression," Severin said. "I also want to thank Governor Rauner for signing the bill in Marion, where the Marion VA Hospital serves thousands of veterans from Southern Illinois and beyond.”

Severin noted that PTSD and depression are serious mental health issues affecting many veterans, and service dogs have proven to help them cope.

"This new law will help us keep our promise to provide top quality care for our veterans," Severin said. "The program has had a positive impact for the Illinoisans it currently serves, so I’m proud that we’ll now be able to utilize it to benefit veterans suffering from PTSD and depression. I'm thankful to my colleagues in the House and Senate and the Governor for recognizing the importance of helping our veterans that are struggling from the mental scars of war.”

The Helping Paws Service Dog Program is administered by the Illinois Department of Corrections. HB 2897 received unanimous support in both the House and the Senate and is the first bill initiated by Representative Severin to be signed into law.





Marion…. A bipartisan bill sponsored by State Representative David Severin (R-Benton), was signed into law by the Governor on Friday. Senate Bill 730/P.A. 100-0220 extends the Petroleum Education and Marketing Act (PEMA) another 10 years to January 1, 2028. The Illinois Petroleum Resources Board (IPRB), which works under the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, will continue to oversee the act.

Representative Severin says that the PEMA is still primarily meant to promote the oil and gas industry. The act will also expand the purpose of the board to include oilfield environmental remediation and restoration activities.
“The PEMA is intended to be mainly educational, by working with teachers to educate students and the general public about the importance of the oil and gas industry in Illinois.” Rep. Severin said, “Under the renewed act, the board will also be able support efforts to clean up and/or restore tank battery sites that are environmentally friendly.”
The bill received support from the Illinois Oil and Gas Association and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources alike. It will go into effect immediately.
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Springfield…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) today released the following statement on the vote of Senate Bill 1947:

“The vote on SB 1947 yesterday was nothing more than political theater and a waste of time. If the Speaker was serious about moving forward on school funding reform, he would have allowed a vote on the motion to override the Governor's amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1. Instead the Democrats decided to play games and put up a phony school funding bill that they never intended to pass.

“The state is already a week behind in state aid payments to schools and the legislature continues to waste time. It's time to stop stalling and get to the business of negotiating and compromising. It is the only way we will bring fair and equitable school funding to all Illinois students.”
Benton…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) on Wednesday presented members of the Farm City Days committee with a copy of House Resolution 380, which designated June 10, 2017, as “Farm City Days” in Illinois. The event saw an excellent turn out, considering that prior to this year Franklin County had not held Farm City Days in more than 21 years.

“It was great to have Farm City Days back in Benton this year, and I was glad see the so many people attended the event,” Rep. Severin said. “Thank you to the members of the committee for your hard work putting together the event and I hope HR 380 can bring more attention as you start preparations for next year.”
Farm City Days is a family-friendly festival that gives Franklin County residents a unique opportunity to learn about the equipment, operations, and techniques behind modern farming. Steve Browning, Chairman of Farm City Days 2017, was happy with this year’s event and felt that HB 380 would help build the events reputation moving forward.
“It is a big boost for Farm City Days to receive state wide recognition from the Illinois General Assembly.” Browning said, “The committee is proud of the event we were able to put on, and positive attention like what we have received from Representative Severin will only help grow the event for next year.
“Also thanks to my Co-Chair Gay Bowlin and the other committee men and women. Without their hard work Farm City Days could not have had the success it did.” 
The Farm City Days committee has already settled on June 9, 2018, as the date for next year’s event.

Marion…. Two bipartisan bills co-sponsored by State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) have been signed into law by the Governor. The new laws, House Bill 619/P.A. 100-0026 and House Bill 3063/P.A. 100-0035, are aimed at improving security in correctional facilities and improving the food safety standards at farmers’ markets.

HB 619 restricts individuals in a county jail or the Department of Corrections, from using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain law enforcement records that do not pertain to the individual’s case or claim. This includes but is not limited to records that have the potential of causing harm to others, risk of escape, or reveal personal information of victims or family members of inmates.

“In the past, inmates have been known to use FOIA to obtain information on other inmates and their families, as they look for ways to intimidate others,” said Rep. Severin. “FOIA has also been used by inmates to find information about victims of crimes. This bill aims to eliminate the practice in an effort to protect both victims and family members of inmates.”

HB 3063 seeks to improve food safety standards at local farmers’ markets. The bill directs the Department of Public Health and the Farmers’ Market Task Force to work together to set standards for handling and preserving hazardous foods. The bill also provides a list of homemade products that are not permitted for sale. Further the DPH and the Farmers’ Market Task force will also help solve vendor complaints regarding health department fees and sanitation requirements.


“HB 3063 makes positive steps towards protecting consumers at farmers’ markets,” Rep. Severin. “We all like our homemade farmers market products, but we must ensure that we know we can trust what we are buying.”
Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) will be holding satellite office hours at Anne West Lindsey Library, 600 N Division St. & Bryan Ave, in Carterville from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Tuesday August 8th.
Rep. Severin’s staff will be available to meet with constituents to address concerns and receive feedback on the issues most important to them.
If you have any questions, please contact Rep. Severin’s District Office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.

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Marion….Representative Dave Severin (R – Benton) honored several West Frankfort public servants at the West Frankfort City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 25. On April 29th, as a result of heavy flooding, a vehicle was swept off of the road with the driver still inside. The West Frankfort Police and Fire Department were both dispatched to the scene and were assisted by citizens who were at the scene when police and firefighters arrived.

Rep. Severin presented each of the following public servants with Certificates of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives and praised them for the heroics they showed responding to the emergency: Detective Jeff Tharp, Officer James Trogolo, Officer Jason Yunker, Firefighter Gary A. Little, Firefighter Matt Morthland, citizen Dustin Shelton, and citizen Scotty O’Daniel.

“These individuals showed incredible courage responding to a very dangerous situation involving a sinking car and a woman trapped inside,” Rep. Severin said. “Each of them will say they were simply doing their job, or did what anyone else would have done in that situation, however they truly went above and beyond. It is stories like this that assure the community as a whole that we are in very good hands.”

West Frankfort Police Chief Mike Irwin, gave similar praise and expressed gratitude for the recognition these public servants received.

“These guys deserve every bit of the recognition they are receiving,” Chief Irwin said. “Sometimes an event like this will go unnoticed to the general public but it is encouraging to our officers and all other public servants, when they receive praise for the dangerous work they do.” 

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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) will be holding satellite office hours at Sesser City Hall, 302 W Franklin St, in Sesser from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Tuesday August 1st.
Rep. Severin’s staff will be available to meet with constituents to address concerns and receive feedback on the issues most important to them.
If you have any questions, please contact Rep. Severin’s District Office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.

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We are offering this joint op-ed this week to explain our support for Governor Rauner’s plan to fix the current school funding formula bill, Senate Bill 1.

SB 1 has passed the House and Senate, but is currently being held back from the Governor’s desk because of a procedural maneuver. The purpose of this stall tactic is purely political, with the Chicago Democrat-led super majority in the Senate using the potential crisis of some schools not opening as leverage in their scheme.  This is unacceptable.
Imagine a would-be Kindergartner eagerly awaiting their very first day of school, only to be left at the bus stop with no bus to ride and no school to attend because Chicago politicians are more focused on continuing their never ending pursuit of crisis-driven politics. The people of Illinois are tired of political cliffhangers. This is absolutely the wrong issue to play politics with. The Chicago Democrats’ political games are no laughing matter and we will not tolerate their attempts to bail out Chicago and keep Illinois schools from opening.
The recently passed budget contains $778 million in funding for K-12 public schools. The major complaint that we share with the current version of SB 1 is that Chicago would receive a disproportionate share of these education dollars. The way the bill currently reads means that 64% of all new funds ($495 million of the $778 million) for education are directed to Chicago Public Schools, despite the fact that they only have 19% of the state's students.

Also, $215 million of the $495 million allocated to Chicago in the current version of SB 1 would be used to pay Chicago teacher pension system payments in perpetuity. That redirection of state funding would be unprecedented and is not something we can support. That pension payment, in combination with the block grant that Chicago Public Schools gets for special education and transportation services, along with regular general state aid payments to CPS would give Chicago schools 3 bites at the funding apple. That is fundamentally unfair.

The plan that we can support eliminates that extra $215 million payment to CPS pensions and allows that money to be redistributed through the new evidence based model formula.
In order to fix SB 1 to reflect our priorities for public schools in Illinois, we are supporting a plan offered by Governor Rauner that includes a “re-write” of SB 1 via the amendatory veto tool that the Governor has. Eliminating those extra pension payments for Chicago would result in a more fair and equitable distribution of funding to K-12 schools.

Our two representative districts are home to dozens of public schools. Using the most up to date analysis made available by the Illinois State Board of Education, almost all public schools in the 115th and 117th districts are considered to be in the category of those most in need of additional state funding. Applying the Governor’s proposed fix to SB 1 would mean that all of the schools we represent will receive more funding than if the bill becomes law with the Chicago bailout language included.

We urge Senate President John Cullerton to release his hold on SB 1 and allow the Governor to amendatorily veto SB 1. This will ensure our schools will open on time and that Chicago does not get a bigger piece of the education budget than they should. We need a deal that is fair to all taxpayers. The right plan is Governor Rauner’s plan to fix Senate Bill 1.


Offered by State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton)
Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R- Benton) will be holding satellite office hours at several locations during the week of July 24th. Rep. Severin’s staff will be available to meet with constituents to address concerns and receive feedback on the issues most important to them. Dates, times, and locations for these office hours are:
Monday July 24th, Benton Public Library, 502 S Main St. in Benton, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm..

Wednesday July 26th, Johnston City Hall, 100 West Broadway Blvd. in Johnston City, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Friday July 28th, McCoy Memorial Library, 118 S Washington St. in McLeansboro, from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.

If you have any questions, please contact Rep. Severin’s District Office at (618) 440-5090 or through the contact form on his website at www.repseverin.com.
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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) will be hosting a free educational seminar on identity theft. The seminar will be held on Thursday, July 27, from 5:00pm – 6:00pm, in the conference room of Franklin Hospital, 201 Bailey Lane, in Benton. All are welcome to attend.
Identity theft is a growing problem affecting more people now than ever before. In 2016 $16 billion dollars were stolen from about 15 million people across the United States. This educational seminar will teach you how to catch identity theft early, what to do if you become a victim of identity theft, and steps you can take to prevent identity theft in the first place.
Rep. Severin has partnered with professionals from the Illinois Attorney General’s office who will show you how to protect your credit cards, social security number, and other personal and financial information.
If you have any questions about the seminar please feel free to call Representative Dave Severin’s office at (618) 440-5090 or email him directly using the contact form at www.repseverin.com.
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Springfield…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) issued the following statement on the override of the Governor’s veto of an income tax increase.

“I am disappointed that the House has concurred with the Senate to override the Governor’s veto. I understand that things like our schools, universities, and healthcare facilities are in dire straits and that the threat of junk bond status loomed large over everyone’s head. What passed yesterday will help address those issues in the short term but also means that a 32 percent, permanent tax increase will be imposed on every Illinois family, and that is wrong. We already know that simply raising taxes without making significant structural changes doesn't work. It didn't work in 2011 and it won't work today.

“Over the past week my district office has been flooded with stories of families and businesses on the verge of leaving Illinois for Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, and other states. So this tax increase may have been the last straw for many. Until the legislature gets serious about addressing the root causes of our financial difficulties, I fear we'll be faced with more tax hikes in the years to come. That being said the mission of returning Illinois to an attractive home for families and business does not ride on one vote, and we will have many more opportunities to improve our state in the coming months.”
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Zeigler…. Tuesday, State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) stopped by Zeigler-Royalton High School to present House Resolution 379 and honor the High School’s Coaches v. Cancer program. The group started during the 2009-2010 school year, and has since raised over $110,000 in support of the American Cancer Society for research and patient services. That is the most of any high school in Illinois and one of the top in the nation.

Representative Severin was inspired by how the community has rallied around this cause, and thought Zeigler-Royalton was a great example of how a small town can make a big difference.

“Zeigler-Royalton Coaches vs. Cancer is an incredible group.” Rep. Severin said, “Zeigler-Royalton community is neither the biggest nor the wealthiest but somehow, year after year, they are one of the top fundraisers in all of Illinois. The numbers speak for themselves and what Zeigler-Royalton has been able to do is nothing short of amazing.”

Randall Risley, who started Zeigler-Royalton Coaches v. Cancer, is very proud of how the group has grown and is happy to receive recognition from Rep. Severin for it.

“The Zeigler-Royalton community is small but we are proud to say we have had a bigger impact than any other high school in the state since we started,” Risley said. “I really appreciate the recognition from Representative Severin as we are all so proud of what we have been able to accomplish.”

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