Severin Says March 1, 2020

Dear Friend,

In this week’s edition of Severin Says, I have a quick update for my readers on some of the legislation I am sponsoring this Session. You’ve heard a lot about ‘silly bills’ being field…banning pumping your own gas, banning plastic straws, requiring $1 million in liability insurance to own a firearm, regulating backyard gardens, banning gas powered leaf blowers – I could go on…

Let’s take a quick look at some important bills that I am sponsoring that could actually make a positive difference in the lives of hard working families in Southern Illinois.

HB5097 bans the practice of robocall spoofing. Call spoofing is the practice of failing to transmit or cause be transmitted the true telephone number of the dialing entity. This bill is written to stamp out annoying robo calls and prevent scammers from using important, well known phone numbers to commit various crimes over the phone.

HB5099 creates the “Pyrotechnic Use Act”, and would legalize the sale of certain fireworks in Illinois

The bill not only legalizes fireworks, but lays out important safety guidelines as well. Safety should always come first when using fireworks. I believe the public is in favor of legalizing fireworks and that Southern Illinois is losing out on revenues to other states. We can grow jobs, and attract economic development and out of state dollars by legalizing the sale of certain fireworks that are currently banned. Right now the situation is, folks are using fireworks in Illinois, but they’re buying them in places like Kentucky and Missouri where fireworks are legal. If people are willing to travel to buy fireworks then surely they would be willing to spend their money closer to home if Illinois were to legalize fireworks. I’m strongly in favor of legalizing fireworks and making it as safe as humanly possible at the same time. I think HB 5099 would accomplish those goals.

HB 5100 deals with bids for State construction contracting work. Illinois contractors are at a disadvantage when competing with out of state companies in regard to paying sales tax on constructional materials. HB 5100 says an in-State retailer or serviceman bids on a purchase order or contract to provide materials, equipment, or supplies to a municipality with a population under 1,000,000, and that purchase order or contract involves an amount in excess of $25,000, then the municipality may apply to the Department of Revenue for a certificate of exemption from the taxes imposed under specified local provisions of the Use Tax Act, the Service Use Tax Act, the Service Occupation Tax Act, and the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act for the in-State retailer or serviceman, or a third-party supplier of the retailer or serviceman, with respect to the materials, equipment, or supplies covered by the bid if: at least one other bid is received from an out-of-State retailer or serviceman; the in-State retailer or serviceman demonstrates the necessity of the exemption in order to submit the lowest responsible bid, including substantive proof furnished by the retailer or serviceman to the municipality or the Department of Revenue; and the in-State retailer provides an itemized estimate of cost to the corporate authorities of the municipality. 

HB5101 provides tax credit incentives to film production companies that shoot their movies in Illinois. Illinois has a wealth of natural beauty and man made wonders that attract film makers from all over the country. Movie making business in Illinois, creating jobs, attracting tourists, and generating revenue outside of the taxing base. This is just one more way to spur economic development!

HB 5378 says any taxpayer may claim a nonrefundable income tax credit for rural job creation equal to a percentage of the taxpayer’s purchase of an equity interest in a rural investment company or purchase of a debt instrument issued by the rural investment company. This legislation will create investment in rural communities and aid economic development efforts in small towns throughout Illinois.

Joint Op Ed – Southern Illinois Republican Legislators Say Gov. Pritzker’s Inmate Release Policy Endangers Public Safety

During the last week of February, House and Senate Republicans joined members of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association for a press conference to denounce Governor Pritzker’s decision to end cooperation and communication with the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). The Governor’s policy shift now allows for the release of non-citizen, violent offenders back into our communities without any notice to law enforcement.

Throughout 2019, several county sheriff’s offices across the state of Illinois worked in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Corrections to coordinate the detainment and transfer of these criminals into the custody of ICE.

With zero notice or explanation to the public or to law enforcement officials, Governor Pritzker’s administration has ended the policy of cooperating with ICE on following through with deportation orders.

Let us be clear, the criminals that are being released are not all small-time purse snatchers. In 2019, 223 individuals were transferred from IDOC custody to federal immigration authorities. Of those 223: 36 were found guilty of sexual offenses against minors, including crimes against individuals as young as 5 years old; 11 were found guilty of murder, attempted murder or intent to kill or injure; and 33 were found guilty of a criminal offense involving a weapon.

Southern Illinois is home to several state-run correctional facilities that house convicted criminals that also happen to have a deportation order waiting for them upon their release. These include Shawnee, Big Muddy, Pinckneyville, Menard, and Vienna Correctional Centers.

Instead of working with local law enforcement and the proper authorities of the federal government to deport violent criminals, Governor Pritzker has decided to release dangerous felons into our communities despite requests from federal immigration authorities to hold them. This decision endangers public safety. We join the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association in denouncing this reckless change in policy and demand it be reversed.

Furthermore, the Governor has placed a high priority on reforming Illinois’ criminal justice system. He has willing partners on the Democrat side of the aisle that now want an end to cash bail for inmates awaiting court dates. The Governor’s own Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton even appeared before a joint committee of the House and Senate’s Judiciary Criminal Law Committee earlier in February in Chicago to endorse the end of cash bail.  We feel ending cash-bail would be a mistake, and fear the consequences of any such move will result in offenders re-offending. The criminal justice system is not perfect, but the Governor’s most recent policy changes and proposals to make even further changes are not going to make any of our communities safer.

We call on Governor Pritzker to end his policy to release non-citizen, convicted felons facing deportation into Illinois’ communities without notifying the proper authorities. This is a critical issue of enforcing law and order and protecting public safety in Illinois.

– State Representative Terri Bryant
– State Representative Dave Severin
– State Representative Patrick Windhorst


Mandatory HPV Vaccine Poll Results

This week, I asked my constituents to respond to the following Facebook poll question: Should Illinois government require teenagers to receive the HPV vaccine? As prescribed in HB 4870, students entering the sixth grade of any public, private, or parochial school would be required to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and provide confirmation to the school that the student has completed the series of HPV vaccinations upon entering the ninth grade of any public, private, or parochial school.  The results are below.

Black Diamond Harley Davidson of Marion Opens Black Diamond RV with Special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Thank you to Black Diamond Harley Davidson of Marion for inviting me to a special ribbon cutting ceremony to open a new RV sales and service center in Marion. I worked very hard to help Black Diamond get an enterprise zone designation in order to make this massive expansion project happen. I am happy to report more jobs and economic development are coming to Marion! Congrats Black Diamond!

Stay Connected!

My office in Marion is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. You can reach me any time by calling 618-440-5090 or contact me via my website at or by emailing

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