Fowler’s Week-in-review: March 4-8

After last year’s impressive turnout, State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is partnering with the Harrisburg and Southern Illinois Regional Chambers of Commerce to host the Second Annual Southern Illinois Made Expo on July 27 and 28.

This event is a premier opportunity for the business community of Southern Illinois to showcase Southern Illinois made products, speak with consumers and sell their goods. Meanwhile, the public can explore what’s being produced and offered by the businesses operating locally, employing residents and driving the economy.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, the Southern Illinois Expo will be in full swing.

To be a vendor in the Southern Illinois Made Expo, the following requirements must be met:

Feature products produced in Southern Illinois or destinations available in Southern Illinois
Willingness and capacity to sell/showcase products/destinations to retailers and the general public at your booth during both days of the event
Agree not to exhibit or promote any products/destinations not made in Southern Illinois
Agree to all Exhibitor Rules & Regulations listed in the Participation Agreement Form section

Interested vendors need to register for the event by April 1, with booth prices starting at $75. Currently, 68 vendors have already registered for the event. To register, vendors must visit or call the Marion Chamber of Commerce at (618) 997-6311.

In other news, State Senator welcomed more than four dozen students from the 59th District to the Capitol last week, bringing the students to Springfield to take part in the spring meeting of his annual Youth Advisory Council.

Students from 14 different schools toured the Capitol, heard from lawmakers and took part in a simulation of Illinois’ legislative process.

Before coming to Springfield, Senator Fowler invited members of his Youth Advisory Council to attend a Southern Illinois Salukis men’s basketball game on March 2. The students were welcomed by Coach Kill, the acting Athletic Director for SIU, who encouraged the students to get involved in their communities, take on leadership roles and continue their education.

Also happening last week, Senator Fowler was chosen to serve as secretary of the Sportsman’s Caucus.

The bipartisan Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus seeks to protect and advance policies that promote hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife management.

“Southern Illinois is home to some of our state’s greatest natural beauties, attracting visitors and providing our sportsmen and women a great venue to pursue the activities they love,” said Senator Fowler. “I’m excited to serve in leadership for this caucus, working to represent and advocate for the hunters, fishermen and trappers of this state.”

The next meeting of the Sportsmen’s Caucus is scheduled for later this month.


Senate Subcommittee continues hearings

Also meeting last week was the newly formed Senate Subcommittee on Capital. Lawmakers met in Edwardsville to hear testimony from colleges, universities, and local governments in the southern Illinois region about their capital and infrastructure needs.

The Subcommittee on Capital is comprised of members of the Senate’s Appropriations II and Transportation Committees and is tasked with understanding the needs around the state prior to drafting a potential capital improvement projects bill.

Illinois hasn’t had a capital bill in 10 years, which is concerning for state officials, transportation experts and higher education administrators, who say the state’s infrastructure has been rapidly deteriorating, causing concern for safety and economic prosperity.

In the coming weeks, the Subcommittee on Capital will continue touring the state and hosting these hearings in an effort to gain better insights into the state’s infrastructure problems. Edwardsville was just the second of six scheduled hearings. The first took place in Springfield on February 21.

Lawmakers take shots at Second Amendment rights

As spring session continues, a number of controversial gun-control measures have recently been filed for consideration in the Legislature.

Proposed measures include a ban on using ammunition containing lead when hunting wildlife, a mandate on the storage of firearms with penalties for violations, a requirement for FOID Card applicants to turn over a list of their social media accounts to authorities and a serial number requirement for all handgun ammunition.

Other measures carry extra costs for law-abiding gun owners, including a proposed tax on firearm ammunition and a 3.75 percent surcharge on firearms and firearm component parts.

Also being considered is a measure that would make it a felony to possess an “assault weapon” 300 days after the law goes into effect unless the assault weapon was owned before the law went into effect and is registered with the State Police. Another bill would ban licensed concealed carry holders from carrying in polling places, and a proposed measure would revoke the FOID cards of those who suffer and report losses or thefts of their firearms in three separate incidents within a two-year period.

Advocates of the Second Amendment contend that many of proposed gun-control measures filed this year dangerously encroach on the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners. Rather than entertain overreaching and unconstitutional proposals, State Senator Dale Fowler is urging lawmakers to work together and focus on the fundamental causes of gun violence in Illinois.

To follow along with this legislation and other bills filed in the 101st General Assembly, visit

Dale Fowler

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