Severin Says October 5 2019

Dear Friend,

Here’s what’s on tap in this week’s edition of “Severin Says”:

  • Southern Illinois Legislators Named to House Firearms Public Awareness Task Force
  • Rep. Severin Announces “Backpacks for Buddies” donation drive
  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Information on local shelter services and hotline numbers.
  • Sixth Southern Illinois Veteran’s Honor Flight Celebration in Marion
  • “Principal for a Day” in Carterville
  • Carterville Chamber of Commerce – Legislative Update
  • Rep. Severin Reminds Students October 1 Starts FAFSA Filing Period

Press Release: Southern Illinois Legislators Named to House Firearms Public Awareness Task Force

Springfield….Three Republican members of Southern Illinois’ legislative delegation have been named to the Illinois House Firearm Public Awareness Task Force. The 24-member bipartisan task force is charged with producing an omnibus, or all-inclusive, piece of legislation that would overhaul the state’s gun laws.

State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton), and State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) were appointed to serve on the task force by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.

“I am grateful to serve on this important firearms task force along with my colleagues Rep. Severin and Rep. Windhorst. We all agree that Illinois’ gun laws are already among the strictest in the nation and stand ready to oppose any further infringement on 2nd Amendment rights,” Rep. Bryant said. “I am stridently pro-2nd Amendment and my work on this task force will reflect my position that law-abiding gun owners and gun dealers are already burdened enough.”

In the 100th General Assembly, legislation requiring further licensing restrictions and fees on small gun dealers passed was later signed into law by Governor Pritzker during his first week in office. During a press conference touting the signing of SB 337, Governor Pritzker said, “Today is a long overdue step to do more to prevent gun violence, to make sure that guns don’t fall into the wrong hands.”

Since January 1, 2019, more than 2000 people have been shot in the city of Chicago.

“The rhetoric coming from Democrat politicians from the city of Chicago and the surrounding urban areas would have us believe the answer to the gun-violence problem in Chicago is more gun laws,” said State Rep. Dave Severin. “Chicago has extremely restrictive gun-control laws already, yet every Monday morning we wake to another staggeringly high number of people that were shot and injured or shot and killed over the weekend. The Democrats’ rhetoric on gun control laws simply doesn’t match the results. When law-abiding citizens are stripped of their rights, we as a society are less safe.”

State Rep. Patrick Windhorst expressed concerns similar to those of Rep. Bryant and Rep. Severin.

“The majority of my constituents feel as though the State of Illinois burdens them enough when it comes to legal firearm ownership,” Windhorst said. “There must be some recognition by the majority party that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to gun legislation will result in further costs, burden, and alienation of average citizens that follow the law and want to exercise their Constitutional right to bear arms.”

Press Release: Rep. Severin Announces “Backpacks for Buddies” Drive to Aid Children in Emergency Foster Care

Marion….State Representative Dave Severin has announced a three-month drive to collect ‘go’ bags for children facing emergency family situations and being placed in foster care. Rep. Severin is calling the donation drive “Backpacks for Buddies.”

Severin says that far too often, children removed from their homes are forced to place their personal toiletry items, clothing, blankets, toys, and other personal comfort items into black trash bags.

“What I’m trying to do is raise awareness of this issue and achieve results that will make the lives of young children and adolescents placed in emergency foster care a little easier,” Severin said. “When children are faced with the unfortunate situation of being displaced from their home and placed into foster care, many do not have necessary care items to make it through the night or the next day. I want to lead an effort that says, if you find yourself in a situation where you are removed from your home or family unit and placed into a foster home or emergency shelter, then my office, and the people of Southern Illinois quite literally have your back. You won’t have to carry your things in a black trash bag, and you can have some very important items that you can keep and call your own during a difficult and trying period of time in your life.”

Severin says that starting Tuesday, October 1 through December 31, 2019, he will be collecting “Backpacks for Buddies” at his district office in Marion located at 600 Halfway Road. The backpacks will be distributed to DCFS and Southern Illinois child protection agency partners as they are received throughout the rest of 2019.

Although any toiletry or hygiene product donations will be accepted, Rep. Severin is seeking the following items as part of the “Backpacks for Buddies” drive. 

  1. A new backpack (can be themed for boys or girls, or gender neutral for adolescent foster children)
  2. The backpacks can be filled with all or some of the following items: Toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, body wash or bar soap, and feminine hygiene products for adolescent females.

For more information, please visit or call 618-440-5090.


Marion…. State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) is reminding constituents that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The month-long information and awareness campaign is a movement first began in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“October is the month we use to distribute critical information for people that are experiencing domestic violence, how to prevent it, how to break the cycle, and where to turn for help,” Severin said. “I want the people of the 117th district and all of Southern Illinois to be aware that there are domestic violence services available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year available through the State of Illinois and key partners right here in our region.”

The State of Illinois currently operates a domestic violence hotline through the Illinois Department of Human Services. The hotline is toll free, confidential, and multi-lingual and open 24 hours a day. The State of Illinois domestic violence hotline number is 877-863-6338.

The State of Illinois also collaborates with domestic violence agencies to provide key services that include counseling, legal advocacy, children’s services, temporary food and housing, domestic violence education, emergency medical care, transportation, employment assistance, and childcare.

“The services offered through the Department of Human Services and its local partners are free and private, and available regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, income, disability, or sexual orientation,” Severin said. “I am urging that if you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence or abuse, please know that help is available and take action by calling the domestic violence hotline or the Southern Illinois Women’s Center.”

The Southern Illinois Women’s Center provides crisis services for victims of domestic violence and their children. There are three locations serving Southern Illinois: Carbondale, Harrisburg, and Marion.

The Southern Illinois Women’s Center also operates a 24-hour hotline that can be reached at 1-800-334-2094.

Sixth Southern Illinois Veterans Honor Flight Celebration

Marion….Southern Illinois Veterans Honor Flight held its sixth flight on Tuesday, Oct. 1. I was honored to greet the returning heroes of our armed forces upon their return from Washington DC. Thank you to EVERYONE that makes the Honor Flight Program such a success! To learn about how you can help make the next Honor Flight a success visit

Principal for a Day – Carterville Intermediate School

On Wednesday, I was at Carterville Intermediate School as a part of the legislative principal for a day program. I had the privilege of visiting a 6th grade classroom and discussing the role of a State Representative, answered some questions and challenged the students to excel in school and life.

Carterville Chamber of Commerce Legislative Update

Stop # 2 on Tuesday was the Carterville Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting. I gave a quick district update and provided details on the new recreational cannabis law, the $15 minimum wage law, and the graduated income tax ballot initiative. Thank you for having me – and the food was GREAT!

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

Press Release: Rep. Severin Reminds Students October 1 Starts FAFSA Filing Period

CARBONDALE….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) are reminding high school, college, and non-traditional students planning to attend college next school year that October 1, 2019, was the first day to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal government for consideration.

The Southern Illinois Republican legislators are both members of the Illinois House Committees on Higher Education and Higher Education Appropriations. Rep. Terri Bryant says submitting a FAFSA as soon as possible makes financial sense, and can help students planning to attend college get a leg up on the stiff competition for student aid dollars. 

“The FAFSA evaluates family finances to help determine a family or individual’s ability to pay for college,” Bryant said. “My advice to prospective students is to get those FAFSAs turned in as soon as you can so you can make plans for your educational future.”

“Establishing some financial certainty for yourself concerning how you will afford the upcoming school year is a critical part of a successful educational journey,” Severin said. “Whether you plan to go to John A. Logan College or Southern Illinois University, filling out the FAFSA is the first step to knowing what kind of assistance you may be eligible for.”

The website to file a FAFSA, and to find more information is: 

During the final days of the 2019 spring Legislative Session, Representatives Bryant and Severin cast Yes votes for a balanced FY 2020 budget package that included increases for higher education funding and financial assistance.

The legislators supported a 5% funding increase to universities and community colleges, an additional $50 million for MAP grants, and an additional $10 million towards AIM HIGH scholarships. 

“I am proud to have been part of negotiations that produced a truly balanced budget that also invests in Southern Illinois University, and the entire state higher education system,” Severin said. “Illinois Universities have endured years of budget cuts and financial uncertainty. The investments we’ve made as a result of the FY 2020 balanced budget will help keep our institutions on the cutting edge, keep them competitive with neighboring states, and increase accessibility for students from lower-income homes.”

“During my time in Springfield, I have always fought hard for SIU Carbondale,” Rep. Bryant said. “This past year, Rep. Severin and I joined forces in the House to demand an increase in funding for both community colleges and universities, and to increase funding for MAP grants and merit-based scholarships through the AIM HIGH program. AIM HIGH encourages Illinois students to attend an in-state university, improves access for low-income students, and incentivizes students to be excellent.  With these tools in place, and some fiscal certainty, Illinois’ can become a more competitive state in terms of access and affordability.”

The Illinois College 2 Career website is a newer tool for students to find Illinois colleges that best fit their educational priorities and career goals within the state. The website’s address is

Stay Connected!

My office in Marion is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can call any time at 618-440-5090 or email me at