BENTON – State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) announced this week that he’s been appointed to serve as the House Republican Spokesperson for three Illinois House Committees. Severin, a Benton native, and 117th district State Representative serving in his third term, says his experience in Springfield has prepared him for the new challenges ahead.
Severin has been appointed to serve as the Republican spokesperson for the Illinois House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee, a post he says will remain critically important as Illinois Democrats continue to push for criminal justice reforms.
“I was very much opposed to HB 3653. The way it was passed was terrible, but the final legislative product is much more troubling,” Severin said. “As Republican Spokesperson for the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee, I will be a strong voice of support for our brave police officers and work to pass laws that protect victims of crime. The Judiciary Criminal Law Committee also makes laws and provides oversight that impacts the Illinois Department of Corrections, and that is particularly important to Southern Illinois. I will fight for the men and women serving on the front lines in our correctional facilities to make sure have what they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.”
Severin is also set to lead Republican efforts as ranking member and Spokesperson for the Illinois House Committee on Mental Health and Addiction. Severin notes mental health concerns have continued to grow amid the COVID-19 pandemic, shut down orders, and continued isolation of the population.
“People are hurting in our state. Mental pain and anguish can harm a person’s ability to lead a productive life, and unfortunately, some people use substances to escape the realities of the circumstances or pain they are facing,” Severin said. “The State of Illinois has made strides to invest in mental health and addiction therapies and mitigation strategies, but we continue to see a pandemic of drug abuse and undiagnosed mental illness.”
“The State is also in charge of several facilities that provide critical services to patients with debilitating mental health conditions. As the Republican Spokesperson, I will work to understand the plight of those folks left behind or falling through the cracks. We can do better as a state on providing effective mental health services for Illinoisans.”
Finally, Severin says he is thrilled to have landed the top Republican spot for the Illinois House Tourism Committee.
“To have a southern Illinoisan hold a spot on the House Tourism Committee will mean I get to help shine a brighter spotlight on the numerous opportunities the entire State of Illinois, especially Southern Illinois in all its beauty and wonder, offer tourists from neighboring states and around the world,” Severin said. “Increasing tourism to our state parks, our national forests, our amazing lakes and rivers, bike trails, walking, and hiking trails, world-class museums, and professional and semi-professional sports teams will be among my priorities. Illinois really does offer something for everyone. We need to maximize our potential to be a tourist destination. Having a seat at the table to highlight Southern Illinois is especially important for our future economic growth.”