Severin: Illinois House Committee Designates Eastern Milksnake as State Snake – Student Learns How a Bill Becomes a Law

SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) received a unique request in December 2021 from a local Carterville student.

Gentry Heiple, a 7th grader at Carterville Junior High School School contacted Rep. Severin’s office to inquire about how a bill becomes a law and suggested the State of Illinois needed to add to its list of state designations by naming an official State snake. Gentry chose the Eastern Milksnake as the designee.

“I was proud to team up with Gentry to present legislation that designates the Eastern Milksnake as the State of Illinois’ official state snake,” Severin said. “I truly enjoyed working with Gentry on this, ‘How a bill becomes a law,’ project. Gentry had the idea, did all the research, and bravely presented his idea to a panel of lawmakers that make up a standing House of Representatives Committee. I am proud to report he was successful, receiving unanimous Committee consent. It is my honor to serve the people of the 117th district, and especially in a moment like this when I can connect our young people to the legislative process.”

Gentry’s mom, Lindsay Stockhecke says she is excited at today’s unanimous committee vote and proud of her son’s drive and dedication to see the project through.

“Gentry learned a lot about the legislative process by teaming up with Rep. Severin to get this done. We are thankful to Rep. Severin and to the members of the State Government Committee for their indulgence and assistance in seeing this project through. Gentry is looking forward to the bill passing the House and Senate and being signed by the Governor.” 

HB 4821 will now move to the full Illinois House for consideration.