CARBONDALE, Ill -- Senator Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, answered questions from concerned citizens at a town hall in Carbondale.
Schimpf told southern Illinoisans he's confident about the spring legislative session.
"I'm optimistic that Governor Pritzker is going to reach out and at least want some Republican input," Schimpf said.
Nearly a dozen showed up Saturday to the senator's town hall.
The event allowed citizens to ask questions about what is going on in state government.
"We have different political opinions on stuff, but 90 percent of the elected officials in Springfield are good, honest people who are trying to do what they perceive is the right thing," Schimpf said.
Throughout the meeting, Schimpf talked about some of the topics he thinks will be of major concern during the next few months.
"I think we are going to also see a debate on marijuana legalization," Schimpf said.
He also believes Pritzker will try to raise the minimum wage.
"A lot of business owners in southern Illinois are worried that this would potentially put them out of business," Schimpf said. "I think that will be the first issue us lawmakers are going to see."
Schimpf also addressed a hot button issue, gun control.
"I try to make elected officials from Chicago try to understand why it's important for us to have our strong second amendment rights guaranteed," Schimpf said.
Representative Terry Bryant also attended the meeting and joined in on the gun laws conversation.
"It's difficult for people who are in different part of the state, particularly those who are in a more urban area, to understand the complexity of a rural area when you have to protect yourself," Bryant said.
Although Schimpf and Pritzker are on different sides of the aisle, the state senator believes the governor is taking the time to listen to both Republican and Democrat ideas.
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