Severin Says – August 24, 2021

Dear Friend,

This week’s Severin Says explores the upcoming Special Session of the legislature, set for Tuesday, August 31, 2021. It is rare for the General Assembly to meet in August, but this year is indeed different. The COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent shutting down or delay of pretty much everything, the release of detailed US Census data was also delayed until last week.

When detailed US Census population information finally dropped last week, data analysts have discovered the Democrats’ proposed House districts have a population deviation that exceeds by as much as three times the amount allowed by the US Constitution. House and Senate Democratic leaders have decided to call the legislature back in to Session at the end of the month to try to correct the errors.

Governor Pritzker promised to veto any map drawn by politicians – he has already broken that promise by signing the potentially unconstitutional maps that will now need to be addressed by the legislature. A pending legal challenge is also making it’s way through the court system. I’ve got information on this and much more in this week’s Severin Says!

As I predicted last week, new legislative maps are likely coming. House and Senate Democrats have scheduled seven redistricting committee hearings for this coming week with Session to follow on Tuesday. Here’s a clip from the House and Senate Democrats’ press release.

Members of the public may request to provide testimony, submit electronic testimony or submit electronic witness slips in advance of the hearings via the General Assembly website or through email at and


This week, there will be seven hearings on the proposed map:

  • Thursday, Aug. 26 at 1 p.m. – Joint House and Senate Hearing (Hybrid Hearing – participants may testify in person or via Zoom) Room C-600, 6th Floor, Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL
  • Friday, Aug. 27 at 10 a.m. – House Hearing (In-Person Hearing) IBEW Local 309, 2000 Mall St., Collinsville, IL
  • Friday, Aug. 27 at 12 p.m. – Senate Hearing (Virtual Hearing – participants may testify at the hearing location or via Zoom) – Will County Board Room, 302 N. Chicago St., Joliet, IL
  • Saturday, Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. – Joint House and Senate Hearing (Hybrid Hearing – participants may testify in person or via Zoom) Gilmore Auditorium at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, 222 SW Washington St, Peoria, IL
  • Saturday, Aug. 28 at 12 p.m. – House Hearing (Virtual Hearing – participates may testify via Zoom (Champaign Region)
  • Saturday, Aug. 28 at 3 p.m. – Senate Hearing (Virtual Hearing – participants may testify at the hearing location or via Zoom) – Vermilion Room located on the 2nd Floor of the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale SIU Student Center, 1255 Lincoln Dr., Carbondale, IL
  • Sunday, Aug. 29 at 10 a.m. – House Hearing (In-Person Hearing) – Phillips Park Visitors’ Center, 1000 Ray Moses Dr., Aurora, IL

Will Governor Pritzker sign a 2nd gerrymandered map drawn by politicians in less than 5 months? Stay tuned and stay up to date by following along in the days and weeks ahead.

Rep. Severin – Pritzker Signature on Sex Ed Bill Obliterates Local Control

BENTON – State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) issued the following statement upon learning that Governor JB Pritzker has signed legislation, SB 818, that creates a new sexual education mandate for children attending K-12 public schools.

“I voted NO on SB 818. The materials that are suggested for the Federal government’s sexual education curriculum are out of touch with what I think are age-appropriate for students as young as Kindergarten. This is not your, ‘good touch, bad touch’ sex-ed. The materials I’ve seen in the Federal government’s sexual education curriculum go far beyond what I consider age-appropriate.

House and Senate Democrats and Governor Pritzker know this bill goes too far, and are simply trying to appease the radical elements of their liberal base by advancing this radical law. Equally upsetting to me is the governor’s governing philosophy has been almost exclusively based on removing local control. I’ll be working to reverse this law in the coming Session and return this issue to one of local control.”


IL DCEO Announces $250 Million in Back to Business (B2B)
Business Grant Programs

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has launched a $250 million Back to Business (B2B) grant program to support the continued recovery of small businesses across Illinois. The first round of Back to Business Grants will offer the hardest hit industries grants of $5K-$150K to help offset losses, bring back workers, and take continued steps to rebuild amid the fallout from the pandemic. 

DCEO will work alongside over 100 community navigators, 42 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and other outreach partners who have relationships with their local business community. These partners will help small businesses prepare and apply for funding with 1-on-1, and multilingual assistance in every region of the state.

Interested businesses can find information on grant opportunities and connect with navigators to assist in the process at

$10 Million in IL DCEO Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grants Available

$10 million is being made available by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to boost tourism in Illinois. Applicants may be eligible for up to $1 million to help offset the costs of putting on festivals and other events that bring tourists to the State of Illinois.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are depleted with awards made quarterly and the department will have the ability to fund applications most closely aligned to eligibility criteria approved for immediate funding. To view the NOFO, please visit

COMING SOON – 2021 Du Quoin State Fair August 27 – September 6

The Du Quoin State Fair begins Friday, August 27th with the Twilight Parade and ribbon cutting. This year’s fair entertainment includes acts like Riley Green, Jamey Johnson, REO Speedwagon, horse racing, dirt track and ARCA racing, and much much more! Check out the entire line up at

Stay Connected!

My office in Marion is available to serve you by appointment or phone Monday through Friday 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM. You may reach my office any time at 618-440-5090 or by visiting and sending me a message. You can correspond by mail with my office at 600 Halfway Road, Marion, IL 62956.