Springfield….According to State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton), Governor JB Pritzker’s first combined State of the State and Budget Address before a joint Session of the Illinois General Assembly laid out a vision that’s built on a shaky foundation.

“Governor Pritzker sure can give a good speech,” Severin said. “That being said, I favor substance much more over style, and some of the things I heard today were very concerning.”
Severin is referring specifically to Pritzker’s plan to short pension contributions this year for a one-time infusion of cash for State operating expenses. Severin says that plan has been tried already with some dubious results.

“Illinois’ pension obligation is the worst in the country,” Severin said. “Our debt to the pension systems is more than $100 billion in long term obligations. Skipping a pension payment or even shorting the pensions with a Rod Blagojevich-like borrowing and bonding scheme moves us backwards, not forwards on fiscal sustainability.”

Additionally, Severin expressed concern regarding Pritzker’s proposals to raise taxes on insurance plans, e-cigarettes, and to raise revenues from legalized marijuana and sports betting.

“I understand that the Governor is trying to close about a $3.2 billion hole in the budget,” Severin said. “I didn’t vote for the current budget because I knew it was out of balance. I’m not inclined to chase after a bunch of untried revenue stream ideas like more taxes and more gambling without seeing more details than we got today.”

Severin also said he was concerned about the approach that was offered by Pritzker in the State of the State/Budget Address.

“The Governor spent about 5 minutes laying out what a cuts-only budget would look like, and the entire rest of the speech talking about how to raise enough taxes to have enough money to fund enough programs to satisfy the Democrats in the House and Senate,” Severin said. “I would have preferred a more balanced approach than ‘tax, spend, and repeat’,”.

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Dear Friend,

Before I get into the meat of the policy discussion for this week's version of "Severin Says", I want to share some great photos and memories with you of my travels throughout the 117th district when I am not in Springfield.

Sometimes, when we lose a legislative battle in Springfield, it is a comfort to return home to the friends and family that I love in the 117th, and I consider my constituents to be my extended family!

As always, thank you for reading this week's edition of "Severin Says."

Celebrating 50 Years of Marriage - Gary and Billie Wyant
I was honored to present Gary and Billie Wyant with a certificate of congratulations on the occasion of their 50th Wedding Anniversary! Congratulations!

Coffee at Kokopelli!
I enjoyed a robust chat with a fine group of gentlemen at the Kokopelli golf course last week over a few cups of coffee (for them, not me of course!) Thanks for the lively conversation!

 
Benton Community High School Government Class
I had the pleasure on Monday of addressing the Benton Community High School government class. We talked about current events and how a bill becomes a law!
 Rend Lake Conservancy District Executives Meeting in SpringfieldThis week in Springfield, I was happy to host Rend lake conservancy district
CEO Keith Thomason and legal counsel Larry Sanders at my office in Springfield. We discussed Rend Lake conservancy water opportunities, Rend Lake resort, and Rend Lake tourism needs, opportunities, concerns, and new programs coming to Rend Lake.


PRESS RELEASE: Severin: Minimum Wage Hike is Valentine’s Day Massacre for Southern Illinois Economy
Springfield….117th District State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) was not in a loving mood following a Valentine’s Day vote to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Severin, who is a small business owner himself, says he is afraid that the impact of such a large increase will result in more businesses closing and more people leaving the State of Illinois.

“I guess you could call today a 'Valentine’s Day' massacre for Southern Illinois’ economy,” Severin said. “This minimum wage hike is going to kill jobs, close businesses, and put Southern Illinois further behind in competition with our neighboring states.”

Severin expressed concern over the rapid pace at which the legislation moved, and at the rapid pace with which the minimum wage will rise.

“SB 1 represents a singularly partisan effort,” Severin said. “Despite early pledges by Governor Pritzker to work together with Republicans, Democrats have put this bill on the fast track so Governor Pritzker can take a victory lap during his budget address next week. That is not a good reason to implement such a sweeping redistribution of wealth that will have decades of economic impact on our State.”

Severin says he has spoken with several local business owners and executives of larger companies in the past couple of days as the legislation raced through the process over the last two weeks.

“I’m hearing from businesses large and small, from local Chambers of Commerce, from staffing agencies, from human services providers…everyone’s worried that they’ll either have to close their doors or raise prices to an untenable point,” Severin said. “If the Governor signs this legislation I’m certain that Southern Illinoisans will lose jobs, that businesses will close, and that our costs of living and educating our kids will go up. That is unfortunate. That is why I voted NO on SB 1 today.”


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Springfield….117th District State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) was not in a loving mood following a Valentine’s Day vote to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Severin, who is a small business owner himself, says he is afraid that the impact of such a large increase will result in more businesses closing and more people leaving the State of Illinois.

“I guess you could call today a 'Valentine’s Day' massacre for Southern Illinois’ economy,” Severin said. “This minimum wage hike is going to kill jobs, close businesses, and put Southern Illinois further behind in competition with our neighboring states.”

Severin expressed concern over the rapid pace at which the legislation moved, and at the rapid pace with which the minimum wage will rise.

“SB 1 represents a singularly partisan effort,” Severin said. “Despite early pledges by Governor Pritzker to work together with Republicans, Democrats have put this bill on the fast track so Governor Pritzker can take a victory lap during his budget address next week. That is not a good reason to implement such a sweeping redistribution of wealth that will have decades of economic impact on our State.”

Severin says he has spoken with several local business owners and executives of larger companies in the past couple of days as the legislation raced through the process over the last two weeks.

“I’m hearing from businesses large and small, from local Chambers of Commerce, from staffing agencies, from human services providers…everyone’s worried that they’ll either have to close their doors or raise prices to an untenable point,” Severin said. “If the Governor signs this legislation I’m certain that Southern Illinoisans will lose jobs, that businesses will close, and that our costs of living and educating our kids will go up. That is unfortunate. That is why I voted NO on SB 1 today.”



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Dear Friend,

This week's edition of Severin Says will take a look at my Committee assignments in the House, our TREMENDOUS Town Hall meeting on Monday, and we'll discuss a couple of very controversial topics making news from Springfield this week. Let's get started!

Press Release: Severin Says Committee Assignments Reflect District Priorities

Springfield….117th District State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) has announced his appointment to several key House Committees. Severin says he believes his assigned Committees will allow him to use his voice to stand up for Southern Illinois and the many interests of the region.

“This week I am proud to announce my House Committee assignments,” Severin said. “I received appointments that will allow me to work on issues in K-12 and higher education, mental health services, and Veterans’ affairs.”

The 117th district is either home to or in close geographic proximity to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, John A. Logan Community College, Rend Lake Community College, and Shawnee Community College.

Severin will serve in the 101st General Assembly as a regular standing member of the following Committees: Higher Education and Higher Education Appropriations, Elementary and Secondary School Education: Curriculum and Policies, Mental Health, and Veterans’ Affairs.

“With the Anna Veteran’s Home and Choate Mental Health Care Center being here in Southern Illinois, I will have a unique opportunity to advocate for our mental health care system and for critical human service needs facing the people of our State,” Severin said. “My Committee assignments will allow me to represent an important cross-section of issues for the people of my district and for Southern Illinois as a region.”

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Town Hall Draws Hundreds!
I want to say THANK YOU to the hundreds of Southern Illinoisans that came out to participate in the Southern Illinois Town Hall meeting in Marion on Monday. The crowd was enormous, with estimates of attendance being around 500 people. As you can see, the Midwest Event Center put on a beautiful display and hosted a first-class event



The issues we covered were: taxpayer funding of abortion, gun control , raising the minimum wage to $15/hr., and legalizing marijuana for recreational use. We also provided a 10-question survey to attendees on the aforementioned issues and several more. You can take the survey yourself by visiting: http://www.ilhousegop.org/marion_survey_2019



In total, attendees turned in 353 completed surveys. The completed surveys were tabulated and here are the results of the vote of the Town Hall attendees.


As you can tell by the numbers above, Southern Illinoisans in attendance were overwhelmingly opposed to taxpayer funding of abortion, banning so-called “assault weapons”, searching through social media posts for reasons to revoke FOID cards, $15 an hour minimum wage, and all of the proposed tax increases.


Large, but somewhat narrower margins express disapproval of legalizing recreational marijuana and expanding access to medical marijuana.

After Monday night's town hall, I have heard from many people expressing interest in completing witness slips as opponents or proponents of certain bills. Here is how you do it.

Track the bill by # on www.ilga.gov. Watch for when the bill is assigned to Committee:

Then, go to my.ilga.gov.

1. Click on the Committee you want. The bills in Committee will appear.

2. Click on the far right to complete a witness slip.

3. If you do not plan to speak at the hearing show “record of appearance only” section 4

4. Click the box at the bottom agreeing to the terms

5. Click the button “Create Slip”

Minimum Wage Increase Clears State Senate
Discussion on raising the minimum wage is ramping up in Springfield. On Thursday, SB 1 passed the Senate. The bill will increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $15/hour over the next 6 years. The House is expected to take action next week, and hosted a subject matter only hearing on the issue this week.

A major concern that I am expressing is the ‘one-size-fits-all’ nature of the legislation.

The current version of SB 1 does not reflect real cost of living differences in the various regions of the State and I believe raising the minimum wage this high, this fast will result in massive job losses and more outmigration of businesses and families from Illinois.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you support the proposal to raise Illinois' minimum wage to $15 an hour?

You can express your opinion by visiting my website at www.RepSeverin.com and clicking on “Marion Survey 2019” at the top right of the page.

Evidence that Your Voice Can Be Heard! HB 181 Tabled!I am not sure how many of you have heard of HB 181, but I just want to take a moment to congratulate you, the people of Illinois, for expressing your collective outrage at this ridiculous legislation.

HB 181 would have created the Parental Bullying Act. HB 181 stipulated that a parent or legal guardian of a minor commits parental bullying when he or she knowingly and with the intent to discipline, embarrass, or alter the behavior of the minor, transmits any verbal or visual message that the parent or legal guardian reasonably believes would coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to the minor.

The only action that was taken by the full House of Representatives this week was to in fact, table HB 181. That means that the legislation is dead (for now) and will advance no further. Your voices were heard!

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Springfield….117th District State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) has announced his appointment to several key House Committees. Severin says he believes his assigned Committees will allow him to use his voice to stand up for Southern Illinois and the many interests of the region.

“This week I am proud to announce my House Committee assignments,” Severin said. “I received appointments that will allow me to work on issues in K-12 and higher education, mental health services, and Veterans’ affairs.”

The 117th district is either home to or in close geographic proximity to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, John A. Logan Community College, Rend Lake Community College, and Shawnee Community College.

Severin will serve in the 101st General Assembly as a regular standing member of the following Committees: Higher Education and Higher Education Appropriations, Elementary and Secondary School Education: Curriculum and Policies, Mental Health, and Veterans’ Affairs.

“With the Anna Veteran’s Home and Choate Mental Health Care Center being here in Southern Illinois, I will have a unique opportunity to advocate for our mental health care system and for critical human service needs facing the people of our State,” Severin said. “My Committee assignments will allow me to represent an important cross-section of issues for the people of my district and for Southern Illinois as a region.”

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Dear Friend, 

This week was a short one in Springfield, as the winter weather cut short the first week of floor votes and House Committee action. Wednesday's temperatures plunged into the negative 20+ degrees in Southern Illinois and as low as more than -50 degrees below zero in Chicago!

Although the legislative week was shortened due to the weather, there was a significant move made by Illinois House Democrats on the issue of parliamentary procedure.

These kinds of things can get a bit "in the weeds" for the average person that isn't familiar with the way the House does it's business, but I have taken the time to explain in detail why "The Madigan Rules" matter to you and to all of the people of the State of Illinois in my press release below.

We'll do a quick wrap up on this week's news and then preview Monday's upcoming Town Hall meeting with my colleagues State Representative Terri Bryant and State Representative Patrick Windhorst. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE. God bless you and may God continue to bless the State of Illinois and the United States of America.

PRESS RELEASE - Severin Says Madigan's Super Majority Hands him Total Control 

Springfield….On the first day for floor votes in the 101st General Assembly, 117th District State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) voted no on a proposal he says gives Mike Madigan total control over the legislative process. Severin and all other House Republicans voted no on HR 59, which establishes the parliamentary rules by which the chamber will operate for the 101st General Assembly.

“When I think of the word Democracy, when I think of what a Constitutional Republic is supposed to be, one-man, one-party rule doesn’t exactly come to mind,” Severin said. “Today I was proud to vote against a Resolution that will ensure Mike Madigan has total control of the process.”

Severin, a 2nd term State Representative, says he learned quickly during his first term that Speaker Madigan wields enormous power over the legislative process.

“Madigan can sweep good ideas from the Republican side of the aisle under the rug, and bury them in his Rules committee or in some sub-committee,” Severin said. “After today’s vote, Madigan can now drop major pieces of legislation on legislators’ desks just one hour prior to voting, and bring legislation directly to the House Floor without so much as a Committee hearing. With that vote, Democrats gave him total control."

Severin says he is disappointed that efforts made by Republicans to alter Madigan’s proposed House Rules would allow for more public input were ignored.

“It doesn’t just look bad,” Severin said. “The House Rules adopted today are bad public policy. I was in support of HR 62, which also establishes Rules for the House and addresses some of the concerns that members from my side of the aisle had with issues of transparency and public access to amendments to legislation."

“Madigan has the power and the votes push anything he desires in the next two years,” Severin said. “I want my constituents to know that I do not support Madigan’s Rules, and I voted No on Madigan for Speaker. Total control by one man just doesn’t match up with American values."

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2019 Legislative Town Hall Meeting
Marion....Terri Bryant, Dave Severin, and Patrick Windhorst will host a legislative town hall and listening session in Marion on Monday, February 4, 2019. The Representatives will make themselves available to discuss their own legislative agendas, their thoughts on actions taken during the first weeks of the Pritzker administration, and take questions from audience members.

The public and members of the media are invited to attend.

If you have any questions, you may reach Representative Bryant’s office in Murphysboro at 618-684-1100, Representative Severin’s office at 618-440-5090, or Representative Windhorst’s office at windhorst@ilhousegop.org

Who: 115th District State Representative Terri Bryant, 117th District State Representative Dave Severin, and 118th District State Representative Patrick Windhorst

What: Legislative Town Hall and Listening Session hosted by Southern Illinois State Representatives

When: February 4, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where: Midwest Event Center, 11580 Route 37 North, Marion, IL

Issues for Discussion:
Abortion (Most recent Executive Order and legislative efforts to respond)

Gun control (Gun dealer licensing bill, Assault weapons ban, SB 888)

Progressive Tax Proposal

Job Creation and Outmigration

A survey will be provided to attendees covering these topics and others like legalized recreational marijuana, immigration, and infrastructure needs.

Stay Connected!
My office in Marion is located at 600 Halfway Road, Suite 103. My office phone number is 618-440-5090. You can reach my office any time Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. You may also visit my website at www.RepSeverin.com