Springfield…. Today House Bill 2897, introduced by Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton), passed the Senate by a unanimous vote. The bill aims to make sure that veterans suffering from PTSD or depression are included under those eligible to receive a service dogs from the Helping Paws Program free of charge.

“I am very pleased to see that the Helping Paws legislation has passed the Senate,” Severin said. “The bill makes a simple change to the programs list of eligible individuals, yet it will have an incredible impact on the lives of veterans suffering from PTSD or depression.”   

The Helping Paws Service Dog Program already trains and provides dogs to individuals for a range of health issues, HB 2897 adds veterans to that pool. The bill now heads to the Governor's desk for his consideration.

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Students,

Thank you for taking interest in my Summer Reading Safari reading club! There are so many wonderful stories waiting to be read. I believe the earlier you start reading the more likely you are to become a lifelong reader. That being said, I am hoping you will pick up a couple books this summer and join my reading club! Please take some time to review the following rules.

1. The Summer Reading Club is open to K-4th graders and asks that you read 8 books
over your summer break.

2. Once you complete the readings, fill out the form, have a parent or guardian verify that the books were read, and then return the form to Rep. Severin’s District office.

3. Those who have read at least 8 books will be invited to participate in an ice cream party in the fall, hosted by Rep. Severin. The Representative will also provide legislative brochures about saving for College.

You can pick up a form at one of the local libraries or print out a brochure by clicking on the Summer Reading Safari graphic on the right hand side of the page, underneath the e-newsletter signup. Please return your reading forms by August 11th. My office can be reached through the contact form on my website ww.repseverin.com or by calling the office at (618) 440-5090.

Sincerely,

Dave Severin
State Representative,117th District



Springfield…. Today Representative David Severin (R-Benton) unanimously passed Senate Bill 730 through the Illinois House of Representatives, which extends the Petroleum Education and Marketing Act (PEMA). The Act was planned to expire on January 1, 2018 but will now be extended another 10 years to January 1, 2028.

“IPRB has done a great job of promoting the industry within Illinois,” Severin said. “Some of its other work includes the cleanup of abandoned tank battery sites around the state and developing new processes for remediating historic produced water spills. This extension should enable the IPRB to be of even better service to the public.”

The Act is governed by the Illinois Petroleum Resources Board (IPRB) who works closely with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The board’s purpose is mainly educational, working to inform the general public of the importance of the industry

Senate Bill 730 now heads to the Governor’s office and waits to be signed. Click here for the bill.
Springfield….State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) today announced that the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) has reached an agreement with the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) on the issue of subcontracting in correctional facilities. This agreement will ensure that nurses working in correctional facilities will not be laid off.

“When the layoffs were first announced, my Republican colleagues and I immediately asked the administration to reconsider by rescinding the layoffs and returning to the negotiating table,” Severin said. “So I’m pleased that the INA and the Administration were able to come to an agreement that will allow these layoffs to be permanently avoided. I appreciate the administration’s willingness to negotiate and offer reasonable solutions to solve the crisis and the nurse’s reciprocating and negotiating in good faith. The goal all along was for a compromise to be reached to permanently avoid the layoffs. So I’m pleased with the end result and hope that we see this kind of compromise in all areas of state government.

The terms of the agreement will take effect on July 1, 2017.

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Marion…. State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) announced today that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will release more than $2.8 million in grant funds to seven communities in the 117th District.

“DCEO has informed me that they will be awarding several communities in our district with block grants from the Housing Rehabilitation program. These investments are designed to rehabilitate homes in designated areas of a community or help individual homeowners with small repairs.” said Severin.

Those cities receiving grants are: City of Benton - $450,000, Village of Cambria - $450,000, City of Sesser -$450,000, Village of Spillertown - $434,070, City of Creal Springs - $400,140, City of Marion - $361,530, and Village of Freeman Spur - $301,790.


The projects are funded by the Community Development Block Grant, one of the longest continuously run programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program is federally funded, but the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity administers the program.
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Springfield…. Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) signed a letter with 39 of his Republican colleagues requesting that the Attorney General use her power to force the General Assembly to pass a revenue estimate. A revenue estimate establishes how much the government expects to bring in over the next fiscal year. Using this estimate the General Assembly plans how much it can expect to spend for the next fiscal year. The Illinois Constitution requires the General Assembly to agree on an estimate as the basis for determining a budget.

 Representative Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) penned the letter, calling for the Attorney General to step in. Rep. Severin says it is about time the AG forced the General Assembly to comply with the Constitution.

“It's common sense that the state shouldn't spend what we don't have," said Severin. "Yet without a revenue estimate, we do not even know how we can expect to be able to spend for the coming year. The majority party has failed in taking the first step toward achieving a balanced budget, and as a result we would like the Attorney General to step in and force their hand.”

As of Friday, only 12 days remain until the May 31 deadline to pass a budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The past two weeks the House of Representatives have spent less than 6 hours in session.

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This week is National Tourism week and, like much of the state, tourism is a big part of our Southern Illinois’ economy.

Looking at some of the statistics from last year, tourism in Illinois is doing better than ever.  According to the Illinois Office of Tourism, the state saw one million more visitors in 2016 than in 2015, and 83% of these visitors came to the state for a vacation.  

The 117th’s options for outdoor recreation are second to none, with a variety of spots for fishing, hiking, cycling, golfing, and other activities. On top of that we have a growing number of wineries and local breweries for those looking for good food and drinks.

The 117th district truly has something for everyone to enjoy, which is why we should be proud of everything we have to offer. Check out some of the links to local tourism websites provided below:


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Springfield…. The House of Representatives have adopted House Resolution 379, introduced by state Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton), to recognize Zeigler-Royalton Coaches vs. Cancer and the exceptional work they have done raising money to fight cancer.

“The amount of money that Zeigler-Royalton has been able to raise in eight years is truly impressive,” said Severin. “In fact, each year Zeigler-Royalton has led the state in fundraising and last year ranked seventh in the entire nation. Their work shows that a small community can have a huge impact when people come together and commit to a worthy cause.”

Zeigler-Royalton has been raising money since 2009, and so far has raised more than $110,000.

Rep. Severin will be presenting leaders of the Zeigler Royalton Coaches v. Cancer with a copy of House Resolution 379. Click here for the full text of the Resolution.

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Dear Neighbor,

I hope you stayed safe during the heavy rains we experienced this past week. Thankfully there have been no serious injuries or fatalities to report. Thank you to all the Fire Departments, Emergency Management Agencies, county, and municipal leaders. If not for their proactive efforts, the effects of the weather could have been much more damaging. If you need assistance we have provided contact information below.

Williamson County Emergency Management Agency
618-998-2123

Franklin County Emergency Management Agency
618-439-4362

Hamilton Count Emergency Management Agency
618-643-3744

Outside of the storms we have had several things going on in the district this week. Here is a recap of what our office has been working on.

Williamson County Early Childhood Program
                                                                                                                           
Last week I was told that the Williamson County Early Childhood Program is in danger of shutting down due to the budget impasse. In response I have contacted and been working with the Illinois Comptroller’s office requesting hardship payments to keep the program running into the next fiscal year.

The program services all five districts in Williamson County with Pre-K education that many families would otherwise not have access to. It is critical that we keep this program running for the children and families that rely on it.

Honor Flight Recognition

Many of you have heard about the Veterans Honor Flight that flew out of Marion in late April. It was a tremendous event and to recognize this special occasion, I introduced House Resolution 328 which recognizes April 25, 2017 as Veterans Honor Flight Day in the State of Illinois.

On Tuesday, I presented the Honor Flight board with a copy of the Resolution as well as certificates for all the veterans to acknowledge their selfless service to our country.





Open House

Thursday, my staff and I held an open house in our district office and we were very happy with the turnout! I had a great time meeting some new faces, showing off the office, and talking about what is going on in Springfield with constituents. Thank you to all of you who came out and I encourage those who could not make it to stop by and say hi.

The Marion office is staffed Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. You can email me 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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