Lawmakers address hot topics at town hall - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Lawmakers address hot topics at town hall

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MARION, Ill. -- Hundreds took their concerns over controversial issues straight to local lawmakers Monday night. 

A town hall in Marion focused on gun control, minimum wage and other topics. 

Representatives Terry Bryant, R-Murphysboro, Dave Severin, R-Benton, and Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, discussed what's going on in state government in a room packed full of southern Illinoisans 

"The three of us are opposing any bill that takes away your second amendment right," Bryant said. "Not only for recreational use for hunting, fishing or competition use, but for your own personal protection."

"We already have the highest minimum wage of the surrounding states," Severin said. 

Legalizing recreational marijuana also was brought up in the discussion. 

"I'm going to vote no on recreational marijuana and it doesn't matter what the legislation looks like," Bryant said. 

It was standing room only at the Midwest Event Center in Marion, where more than 400 people showed up for the forum. 

Dave Batts lives and owns a business in southern Illinois and says he came to the meeting because he wanted to know more about gun control legislation. 

"We have no idea what's going on in those people's heads up north and we can't fix it," Batts said. "If I didn't have grandkids here, I would move to Nashville tomorrow, Tennessee, not Illinois."

All three representatives told the audience they would continue to fight for southern Illinois in Springfield. 

"My personal concern is businesses will either close or move to Indiana, Kentucky or Missouri where they don't have to pay as high as wages," Windhorst said. 

"Is it really best for the state of Illinois, or the best for society?," Severin said. "Or is it just for things that we have gotten emotional about and all fired up about."

I think many of the Chicago legislatures have siloed themselves to think what they believe is right for the city of Chicago is right for the rest of the state and that's just not true," Bryant said. 

Bryant said there is a very good chance lawmakers in Springfield have the chance to vote on raising the minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 this week. 

You can count on News 3 to bring you any updates from Springfield. 

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