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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